Dr. Stephen Sizer sees Christian support for Israel as evil and and says it’s a root cause that keeps Muslims from embracing Yeshua. He has called Israel a racist, apartheid state. His blog refers to the Israeli Defense Force as ‘the Israeli Terrorist Organization.’ And more recently he reaffirmed the comment of which he formerly repented—calling the Messianic Movement in Israel “an abomination” that has “repudiated Jesus” and “repudiated the Bible.”
So it should come as no surprise that I take issue with him. He is dangerous. Even still, in disagreeing with him, I try to stick to the issues—his comments and actions—as oppose to name calling or publicly questioning his salvation.
I cannot see what Sizer writes on his Facebook page, either because he has blocked me or because I am not a friend. However, someone alerted me this morning, about the following question on Sizer’s Facebook page:
Not trying to cause trouble—It’s just that the commentary coming from the other side of the ‘household of faith’ is somewhat antagonistic, and polarized rhetoric develops a life of its own, which, in one-to-one communication may dissolve? Praying.
This fellow was referring to the picture I posted on Facebook of the recreation of the Sbarro Suicide bombing by Palestinians students at a Palestinian University. (Note: The poster has informed me that he was referring to comments made by folks, not the content I posted and he abhors, with all of us, terror in all forms. To be clear, he was an innocent bystander in this and should be commended for seeking to promote dialogue.)
The poster is seeking to get Sizer and me together—to fellowship and work out our differences. He sees me as the aggressor. Sizer responds:
Steve—sorry but Ron Cantor does not demonstrate sufficient evidence of being a Christ follower to motivate me to want to have fellowship with him. We are commanded in the Bible, “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” (Titus 3:10)“Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22)
A few thoughts…
1) The person asking the question does not know it, but I have had extensive private email discussions with Dr. Sizer over the years trying to reason with him. It has accomplished nothing. The fact that he reaffirmed his ‘abomination’ statement just a few weeks ago shows that. I don’t believe in calling someone out by name to whom you did not first reach out. I have reached out privately on many occasions to Sizer.
(By the way, despite reaffirming his ‘abomination’ statement on live radio, he is now saying we are lying and denying his comments… you be the judge! Go to 50:20.)
2) The only thing I have ever done regarding Stephen Sizer is ask him if he believes what he has written and stated (like that Islam has a Biblical claim to Jerusalem) and if so, to explain, clarify… or repent. He has requested fellowship with the Messianic Movement here in Israel, but speaks horrible things against us in other venues. I have told him, that unless he repudiates these stands, it is unlikely that we would embrace him.
3) When someone seeks to hold him accountable for his words and actions, he deems that divisive. That is extremely manipulative. The threat of public humiliation is an intimidation tactic to keep people from talking. Indeed he has even sent the police in the UK to confront his opposes and has threatened others with similar actions. Anyone who challenges his declarations is, apparently, contentious.
4) Of course, he takes it one step further in saying, in essence, that I am not even a follower of the Messiah. (I am now smiling.) He bases the condition of my soul on nothing more than the fact that I have reported what he has said. That’s it. Disagree with Sizer, and you too shall perish.
5) He quotes Titus about warning a divisive person, once, twice, then having nothing to do with him (again, divisive means to him: challenging Sizer on his statements). Sizer has never “warned” me. Furthermore, as Sizer often does, he takes this passage completely out of context.
It is not referring to leaders disagreeing over serious theological issues, but congregational government. It is speaking of those causing division in a local context. My friends and colleagues here in Israel have commended me for my stand against Sizer’s behavior and we walk in loving unity. It would be those men who would need to warn me of being divisive, not a lone preacher in the U.K. who knows nothing about me or my ministry, except that we have sought to hold him accountable to his words.
6) Let’s look at the passage in context: But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. (Titus 3:9-11)
It is referring to “avoid[ing] foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law” —it is not speaking of holding a minister accountable for their public statements.
It is clear that Titus is acting with pastoral authority. Dr. Sizer and I do not have that type of relationship, though there are many men who do, including Dan Juster, whom Sizer will see this week. If he has a problem with me, he can appeal to those to whom I submit.
The divisive person that Paul is speaking of is “warped and sinful…[and] self-condemned.” While I have not reached perfection, I do think this description of me is a reach. 🙂
7) Lastly, when you cannot defend your arguments, go personal. Attack the person to shield yourself from having to defend your words. Sizer compares me to a dog returning to vomit or a pig going back to its slime. Of all people, Sizer should know that calling a Jewish person a pig is considered anti-Semitic speech. If not for the fact that formal charges of anti-Semitism, unprecedented by the Board of the Deputies of the Church of England, were brought against Sizer in the past, I would assume it was just a poor choice of words.
Again, can we look at this passage in context? This is what Sizer thinks of me…
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (1 Peter 17:22)
WOW!!! Holding Dr. Sizer accountable for his radical statements, according to his theology, get’s you thrust into your well-deserved “blackest darkness.”
Ironically, Sizer claims that he learned from the last time he was accused of being an anti-Semite. He “now realizes the importance of monitoring online posts and avoiding inflammatory language.” “Dog,” “Pig,” Lack of “sufficient evidence of being a Christ follower.” Gee, could have fooled me.
According to the report concerning accusations of anti-Semitism, Dr. Sizer agreed in future, “to have three people check his blog post and said he would respond promptly to future critics.”
While, I doubt anyone checked his post, but he did respond promptly! I guess the assumption was that he would not compare his future critics to dogs and pigs who are awaiting damnation.
Once again I have not sought to personally attack Sizer with insults or misusing the Scriptures, as he has with me. I have only used his own words! If he would like to clarify, he is welcomed to do so.
Photo: Sizer poses with Terrorist General Nabil Kaouk of Hezbollah, their top main in South Lebanon, where Christians were forced to flee to Israel or risk murder. (source)