Divestment plans, support of messianic Jews caused tension
Aug 10, 2004
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), under fire from Jewish groups for its funding of messianic Jewish congregations and a move to divest from Israel, is appealing to members of both faiths to respect whatever “fragility of trust” still exists between them.
On July 28, delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Boston will nominate John Kerry as their candidate for president. They will also approve the party’s national platform. Gay marriage will be finessed to satisfy Kerry’s cautious approach. Iraq? Bush’s efforts will be condemned; patriotism will be celebrated. God will reemerge as a Democrat. Health care? Democrats can do it better.
Released Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu said on April 21 he had been persecuted by the authorities in Israel because of his conversion to Christianity. “I want to tell those who say I am a traitor, I suffered here 18 years because I am a Christian,” Vanunu said after his release from 18 years in jail.
The Israeli government’s refusal to renew visas to Christian clergy in the Holy Land has precipitated a crisis with the Vatican and the entire Christian world, say Catholic representatives. All told, it is estimated that hundreds of priests, nuns and Christian volunteers have not been granted permission to remain in Israel.
When the United States vetoed a proposed UN Security Council resolution criticizing Israel’s March 22 assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, it was the 24th time since 1983 that the U.S. has blocked a resolution critical of Israel. By this latest veto, the U.S.
In response to a series of legal challenges, Israel’s Supreme Court has frozen the appointment of the Greek patriarch of the Holy Land, Irineos I, whose position was to have been approved by Israel early this month. The February 25 decision was the latest action aimed at preventing the patriarch from being confirmed in his status more than two years after he was elected.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board will cease endorsing women for chaplain positions “where the role and function of the chaplain would be seen the same as that of a pastor.” The move will apparently bring an end to the SBC’s endorsement of new female chaplains for the military but apparently will not prevent women from serving as hospital chaplains.
What did the biblical writers know and when did they know it? That question formed the title of a recent book by William G. Dever. At issue is the historical veracity of the so-called historical books of the Hebrew Bible, particularly the early parts of the narrative that begins in the Book of Genesis with creation and concludes in the Book of 2 Kings with the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.