The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) is one of the largest protestant denominations in the world. It is meeting this week for its 222nd General Assembly and on its agenda is a resolution to take a formal position to further expose Israel for its 68 year occupation of Palestine.
The biblical Philistines were the native population of Gaza and the West Bank when the biblical Israelites arrived. Yes, I say ‘Philistines’ because that is closer to the phonetic Arabic pronunciation of ‘Palestine’ and is the biblical name of those who were the indigenous people of the region, according to both the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah. As an example, biblical Delilah was a Philistine from Gaza.
PCUSA has for years listened to the pleas of a large faction within it that is sympathetic, and we think well-educated, about the Palestinians’ plight. But, sadly, The Huffington Post has published an open attack on the Presbyterians written by a self-professed Jewish activist group that calls such church efforts “deception in the name of Christ” and openly seeks to scuttle the PCUSA‘s support for the Philistine human rights cause.
We believe all followers of Christ should know about and support the PCUSA. This is not a political issue, but one of life or death for many. Some refugees now flooding Europe are children and grandchildren of Palestinians driven out of Syrian refugee camps, where they have lived since being displaced from the West Bank and Gaza in 1948 by modern day Israel.
We Hold These Truths acknowledges PCUSA‘s careful scholarship and its examination on the ground of the Philistine’s plight, as well as its recognition of the Jewish state. The PCUSA is one of a few denominations that have acknowledged and helped us explain the importance both of the large Christian sect that we have called ‘Neo-Christians’ and sometimes ‘Christian Zionists’ and of its involvement in and negative influence on peace in the Middle East.
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network sells a Kindle version of Zionism Unsettled, A Congregational Study Guide which we recommend. It is by our standards an honest and even-handed treatment of Christian Zionism in American and its negative influence on both peace in the Middle East and the right-to-life of the Philistine people. The PCUSA has remained true to the chosen words of Jesus, “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).