A Bethlehem Reality Check

With the controversial, anti-Zionist Christ at the Checkpoint conference starting on Monday in Bethlehem, here's a revealing counter-narrative by my colleague Robert Nicholson: In 1990, Christians made up a majority of Bethlehem's residents; today they make up only 15%. Some say Israel is the reason for the decline, but then why is the Muslim population… Continue reading A Bethlehem Reality Check


Sizer Held Accountable . . . At Last

Stephen Sizer is an Anglican vicar and author of Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon (IVP, 2004), who has served as program coordinator for Christ at the Checkpoint (an anti-Zionism conference hosted by Bethlehem Bible College). I told one of the other CATC organizers, a Palestinian Christian whom I consider a friend, that I could never attend their conference… Continue reading Sizer Held Accountable . . . At Last

Boycott the Checkpoint?

Our UMJC rabbis were discussing whether it was a good idea for Messianic Jewish leaders to attend the recent "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference, which was clearly anti-Zionist and anti-Israel in its orientation. I posted this response, which I'd like to share here: My view is that some may be genuinely called to attend, being… Continue reading Boycott the Checkpoint?

Justice and the wall

The Israeli security fence and checkpoints are often invoked as symbols of the “occupation” and Israel’s oppressive policies. But is this a fair portrayal? How should we assess this structure from the perspective of justice? I've seen the security fence and it is indeed a wall, monstrous, ugly and heartbreaking. I've stood at its base outside Bethlehem… Continue reading Justice and the wall

Another Palestinian perspective

Amazing timing: “Christ at the Checkpoint” ended two days ago and tonight I met a Palestinian Christian leader who supports Israel and completely rejects the replacement theology that undergirded that whole CatC conference. Steven Khoury grew up in a Christian family in Jerusalem and threw rocks at Israeli soldiers as a kid during the first Intifada.… Continue reading Another Palestinian perspective

Matthew 18 and “Christ at the Checkpoint”

Since my last blog, the UMJC joined with other international Messianic Jewish organizations to issue another statement on the controversial "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference. You can read it, and an article on the same topic by an Israeli colleague, under "Community News" at umjc.org. For now I'll just respond to one complaint raised by… Continue reading Matthew 18 and “Christ at the Checkpoint”

Christ at the Checkpoint?

I haven't been blogging much lately, partly because I've been involved in drafting a couple of important public affairs statements that you can see under "Community News" at http://www.umjc.org. One of them has to do with "Christ at the Checkpoint," a controversial conference hosted by Palestinian Christians next month in Bethlehem. I mention it in… Continue reading Christ at the Checkpoint?