If it isn’t enough that the Islamic world is seeking to destroy Israel, we now have a new movement of evangelicals who deny Israel’s right to her land and actually have gone so far as to claim that Jesus is a Palestinian! What’s more, they say that the promises of God to Israel are invalid or already fulfilled. One of their leaders, who was recently in Israel to promote his anti-Israel stance, is British theologian Colin Chapman. In his book Whose Promised Land? he questions whether God really intended for natural Israel to be restored:
[The New Covenant writers] ceased to look forward to a literal fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies of a return to the land and a restored Jewish State. The one and only fulfillment of all the promises and prophecies was already there before their eyes in the person of Jesus.
In Chapman’s eyes, we must now ignore much of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah. Of course his premise is deeply flawed. If Yeshua already has fulfilled all the prophecies and all the promises, that would include the prophecies of Him returning as a King (Zechariah 14:3-4)—sorry, no Second Coming. This is nothing more than an attempt to twist Scripture to agree with one’s presuppositions.
A Cut and Paste Theology
Many in this movement don’t merely reapply passages in the Old Covenant to the Church, but they reject them altogether! Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Christian theologian, wrote:
When confronted with a difficult passage in the Bible, one needs to ask such simple questions as: Does the way I am hearing this fit with the way I have come to know God in Christ? Does this fit the picture I have of God that Jesus has revealed to me? … If it does, then that passage is valid and authoritative; if not, then I cannot accept its validity or authority.
As one my professors used to say, “You don’t make the Word fit your theology, but you make your theology fit the Word.” However, according to Ateek, anything that I am uncomfortable with, that doesn’t line up with my image of God, is not valid. In essence…I am God! Sadly this is idolatry—creating God in my image. What if I feel like adultery and murder are really okay—can I just delete the Ten Commandments? And how about the doctrine of Hell? If it disturbs me, can I invalidate it?
Radical Identity Theft
Some of these theologians have gone so far as to further confuse the identity of the Jewish Messiah—by actually turning Him into a Palestinian! The same Naim Ateek wrote that Yeshua was “also a Palestinian living under an occupation.” Alasdair Black, a Scottish clergyman, shared before the Scottish Parliament:
“And this is the hope of Christmas, that the birth of another Palestinian Child, who was born a refugee, that military oppression brought…”
Alasdair, No one referred to this region as Palestine when Yeshua was alive! It was called Judea and Jews lived here. Only in the 20th Century nearly 2,000 years after Yeshua walked the shores of the Galilee, did Arabs who migrated to the area once known as Israel, begin to refer to themselves as Palestinians. How on earth could Yeshua have been a Palestinian? (For more on the History of Palestine, read my blog, 15 Facts about Palestine)
Yassar Arafat was famous for saying that “Jesus was the first Palestinian Shahid (Martyr or Suicide Bomber in this context).” But Arafat was a terrorist and a pathological liar. I expected as much from him. Yet, now Christians are claiming Jesus was Palestinian.
Zionism is Evil
These ‘theologians’ see Zionism as an evil, apartheid, imperialistic movement. They seek to tap into the current social justice movement and accuse Israel as being a repeat offender. While many Christians envision the fulfillment of the hope of the Hebrew prophets when they hear the term Zionism, these people envision oppression and occupation.
One of the most outspoken leaders of this anti-Israel, anti-Zionist movement is Dr.
Dr. Sizer with Yassar Arafat
Stephen Sizer. I have had several communications with Dr. Sizer and sadly he has ceased to correspond with me. As I promised him, I will keep those correspondences private. My first impression of him in our communications was that he was a sincere man who loves the Lord. However, his statements and actions concerning Israel over the years are troubling. In the picture, he poses with notorious murderer and terrorist Yassar Arafat—a man who died with nearly one billion dollars in Palestinian aid money in his personal account. While Sizer may claim he was reaching out to the former leader of the PLO, posing for photos with a man with blood on his hands and smiling like you are friends is shocking. I don’t think he would have a photo opt with Benjamin Netanyahu!
Furthermore, he falsely presents himself as a friend of the Messianic Movement in Israel when nothing could be further from the truth! This is when I began to wonder if our dialogue was not merely a pretense for him to misrepresent himself to evangelicals as a friend of Israel or the Messianic Movement. I asked him to cease to use such language and he has not responded since.