We’re still waiting to hear from Pastor Mark Martin at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona. It appears that Jesus gets second billing behind Israel at this church. Here’e a video of a one man vigil at this church:
What: Vigil For Peace and Justice In The Holy for Israel and Palestine
When: Sunday, April 10, 2016 @ 8:30 am
Where: Calvary Community Church
12612 N. Black Canyon Hwy., Phoenix, AZ
To: Senior Pastor Mark Martin
We Hold These Truths will be conducting another vigil at your church. You may recall the first vigil we conducted at your church in Nov. of 2002, before the Gulf War against Iraq started in 2003. Some people in your church were so upset by our presence that they hoisted the Israeli flag. Was this done to say that Israel is more important than Jesus at your church? Over the years we have done several vigils at your church. Also, a former member of your church, who woke up to your Israel first and foremost theology, conducted about a half dozen vigils on her own. She realized that your church, because of its theology, had no real compassion for the plight of Palestinians, and would seem to include Palestinian Christians because, according to you, God gave the land to the modern state of Israel (you appear in our video, “Christian Zionism: The Tragedy & The Turning, Part I” by answering the question, “Is the modern state of Israel, a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy?” in the affirmative).
What about the rights of over 750,000 Palestinians who were forced to flee Palestine while over 400 of their villages were destroyed by the Zionists? Jesus is not a Zionist or a racist. The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:16 – “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. And then in 3:25-29 “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
We are fortunate to have two stateless, Palestinian refugees from Lebanon, visiting Phoenix to tell their stories. They will join our vigil. We invite you or one of your pastors to come out and meet us on the public sidewalks and explain to 86 year old Mariam Fathalla why she has no right to return to her home in Palestine based on your theology.
We have seen a gradual awakening to the dangers of Christian Zionist theology that influences over 40 million American, evangelical Christians. I recently gave the pastor emeritus at our church, who is now the president of a local seminary, a copy of Dr. Rob Dalyrmple’s book, “These Brothers of Mine: A Biblical Theology of Land and Family and a Response to Christian Zionism.” He told me in an email, “I had the time to read These Brothers of Mine over the weekend and found it a wonderful book. I so appreciated the spirit in which Rob wrote the book. I cannot say that there was anything in the book that I would not embrace! I am passing this book on to another one of our professors to get his take on it, but I believe this is an area of teaching we need to be addressing in the church.” Perhaps, you should investigate this book, too, Pastor Mark. I would, also, recommend that you invite Dr. Dalrymple to preach at your church for a fresh look at the theological aspects of Christian Zionism that you may not have considered. Check out this sermon on Israel by Pastor Rob Dalrymple: “What Does Israel Mean to You?”
Toward the Strait Gate.
Tom Compton,, AZ Outreach Director