Category Archives: Christ at the Checkpoint

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012, Dr Jim West & pro-Nazi theology

Meet Dr Jim West, Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at the Quartz Hill School of Theology and Pastor of Petros Baptist Church, Petros, Tennessee:

He is supportive of the Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 conference, which is likely to be full of antisemitism, racism and replacement theology. He is also a fan of Stephen Sizer.

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 will be hosted by Bethlehem Bible College. Raed Salah supporters Stephen Sizer and Ben White are due to speak there. Sizer is listed as an organiser.

Bethlehem Bible College has a worrying track record on antisemitism. They sent lecturer Alex Awad to represent the college, and share a platform with Hitler-admirer and Holocaust denier Frederick Tobin in Indonesia. Stephen Sizer also attended this conference in Indonesia, as did Iranian Holocaust denier and Faurisson admirer Jawad Shabarf.

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 has a Facebook page and a Twitter page.

Here is what CATC tweeted recently:

A blog post from @drjewest on why he’s supporting the Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 conference http://wp.me/pLvic-a6q

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 also issues a request for its supporters to follow Dr West on Twitter.

Dr West’s blog post accuses Christian Zionists of being heretics. Dr West has previously written that Jews and Christian Zionists are co-conspiring to produce “the sickest sorts of behaviors” in Israel.On Israel selling arms to Argentina during the Falklands, he wrote:

If hatred of Jews is antisemitism, Jewish hatred of Brits must be antibriticism. I wonder how many antibritites there are in Israel. […] It’s high time for Jews the world over to denounce antibriticism. That sort of ethnic hatred is intolerable in today’s world. It has no place here among the decent.

You can see already, why Christ at the Checkpoint organisers are interested in his writings. But there’s more. Here is Dr West on Martin Luther. Whilst he appears to denounce the work in his first paragraph, West then reveals his hand:

Luther didn’t hate the Jews- even when he wrote his tirade.  He hated falsehood. And he hated falsehood whether it was found in Rome or Wittenberg. Those poorly informed historical ignoramuses who repeatedly denounce Luther as an anti-semite are simply wrong.  They know nothing of Luther nor anything of the history of the Church.  All they know is their own biases and prejudices.

Here are some excerpts from Luther’s tirade against the Jews, On the Jews and their Lies:

 

Did I not tell you earlier that a Jew is such a noble, precious jewel that God and all the angels dance when he farts?

I shall give you my sincere advice:

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. […] Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God. […] I advise that safe­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for them. […]

I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews’ malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils.

Here is Jim West on the theologian Kittel: Gerhard Kittel: Was He The Nazi Devil So Many Presume?

He writes:

Let’s be fair for a moment. Kittel was a jerk. A completely disgusting human being. Wagner was a jerk too who ran out on his creditors and lived like a vagabond beggar. Does that mean his music has no value? Are people’s works so intricately connected with their personalities that we can’t value their good contributions while damning their bad? Are we really willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater?

This strikes me as odd – Kittel is politically well-known for joining the Nazis, and well-known theologically for his racialist antisemitism. Outside the Nazi party, Kittel’s theological writings mostly focused on the evil of the Jews. Alan Steinweiss observes in Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany [pp.69-70]:

Kittel was innovative in anchoring theological and religious differences in the divergent racial developments of Jewish non-Germans. […] As a rhetorical device, Kittel suggested four possible approaches for dealing with the Jews: extermination, Zionism, assimilation, and guest status. Kittel dismissed the option of extermination on practical rather than moral grounds. […] Kittel contributed his lecture and booklet on “The Jewish Question” at a time when the exclusion of Jews from German professions was not merely the subject of theological discussion, but a work in progress. In later years, the Nazi regime implemented similar purges in the fields of medicine and law, both of which, in Kittel’s characterisation, had been “over-flooded” with greedy, unscrupulous Jewish practicioners.”

James Lehman, providing an overview of Theologians Under Hitler for theNorthwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education writes:

Gerhard Kittel came from a very prestigious and scholarly family.  Prior to the war, Kittel was a professor of New Testament theology and a leading scholar in the field of Judaism and its relation to early Christianity.  It was this relationship with Judaism that led Kittel to become the theological expert on the “Jewish Question.”  Kittel joined the Nazi party in 1933 with the hopes that a religiously based anti-Jewish policy would prevail over radical and vulgar racism.After the end of the war, Kittel claimed that he was innocent, that he began disagreeing with and denouncing the Nazi party and Hitler at the onset of the war.  However, there is no evidence of any criticism from Kittel.  He did not even stand up for the Church when the Nazi party condemned the churches; rather, he demanded that the church must respond to the historical hour of the German people.  In fact, Kittel’s scholarship made the extermination of the Jews theologically respectable.

How then, is there anything we can gain from Kittel’s theological scholarship – outside of his membership of the Nazi party – given that Kittel’s theology was largely driven by his antisemitism?

More pertinently, why is Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 delving into the sewers of Jim West’s blog – just to find some affirmation for their anti-Israel theology conference?

At the previous Checkpoint conference in 2010, speakers suggested that Jews had no Jewish blood, that jihadists have “every right” to attack people in other countries, and that it must look to Muslims, as if Jews were behaving like they did in Mohammed’s day, “repeating the hostile behaviour of Jews many centuries earlier towards the Prophet.”

However, the Checkpoint 2012 organisers appear to feel that, if they invite speakers like Richard Harvey to the conference, then they don’t have to deal with questions over antisemitism:

Unconvincing.

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Brother Andrew and Stephen Sizer at Christ at the Checkpoint 2010: Violent jihad has “every right” to attack the West

Rev. Stephen Sizer, and Dutch missionary Brother Andrew, in conversation at the last Christ at the Checkpoint conference.

Stephen Sizer: We need a Christian jihad.

Brother Andrew: That’s what Paul says, I’ve fought a good jihad. 2nd Timothy. I was speaking at Hamas university, and all the Hamas leaders were there. It was a very, very great occasion, for me and for them! At the end of it I said, I am not demanding for a dialogue with you Muslims, but at any time, anywhere, I want a dialogue with Muslims, what kind of person does the book produce? Your book, my book. That’s what I want to talk about.

[…]

Stephen Sizer: “[…] Paul says, I have fought the good jihad.

[…]

When we talk about Christian jihad, we’re not talking about violence or changing a political system. We’re talking about the way of Christ, the way of the cross.

Brother Andrew: Even in Islam they have two types of jihad. One jihad you fight against your own evil desires in your own heart. Especially the Sufis are doing that. But then there’s the other jihad. That’s a relatively new thing. Because of the increasing antagonism that it gets from the West. So now they’re more and more to determined to hit us back. And they have every right to do so.”

Sizer: Yeah. So we have much in common with fundamentalist Islam! You’ve been called a fundamentalist, I know, by Muslims, because you believe in the Bible.

Brother Andrew: “Yeah I still see the man at the university. I said, you’re the fundamentalist, I said to the Hamas leader, he said, no, either you follow Christ you go all the way, [but] most people stop half-way, and that he said makes you a fundamentalist.”

Bear in mind: this is a conference claiming to oppose violent fundamentalist and apocalyptic theology within Christianity.

Bang goes that argument.

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Head of Sabeel, Naim Ateek: “today, whether we like it or not, it’s Israel that is on top of any country in the world”

Watch from 03:50:

Naim Ateek gave recommendations to the Christ at the Checkpoint 2010 conference.

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Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 and the role of Palestinian Christians

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 is hosting many well-known Christian speakers, including several Palestinians and a couple of Messianic Jews. One invite that I find particularly odd, is the invite given to Ben White.

As far as I know, Ben White is not theologically trained. Neither is he a pastor, but simply a one-issue campaigner who occasionally aligns his work with nominally-Christian organisations.

How does Ben White understand the role of Palestinian Christians, in Palestine?

A few years back, Ben White wrote an article in the Al Aqsa journal (edited by Islamist antisemite Ismail Patel, who shares with Ben White an apparent admiration for French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy), entitled ‘Palestinian-Christian/Muslim Relations: Myths, Propaganda and Realities.’

What is most interesting is that White frames Muslim-Christian co-operation amongst Palestinians by focusing on their response to Zionism, writing:

‘I will look at how Christian and Muslim Palestinians have traditionally lived and worked alongside each other, with a focus on their united front against the Zionist movement.’

White informs readers that:

‘From the Arab Revolt in 1936, to the flourishing of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the mid-1960s, Christian Palestinians played a significant role in the resistance to Israel.’

White even quotes the founder of the Islamic Jihad movement as having said:

‘in our movement we accept the participation of our Christian brothers in our struggle without them having to change their religious beliefs.’

White, seeking to break down ‘Zionist propaganda’ that Palestinian Muslims persecute Palestinian Christians, even lays the blame with Israel for inter-Palestinian honour killings, writing:

‘Israel’s territorial fragmentation of Palestine has always threatened to affect Palestinian society on a wider-level and indeed, there are worrying signs that the “sociocide” being practised by Israel has gradually pressurized Palestinian society to breaking point. One such indication is the increase in so-called ‘honour killings’ in recent years, a phenomenon that has sometimes been presented as part of a Muslim-Christian conflict within Palestine.’

The impression gained by these articles is that Ben White defines his form of Christianity as a response to Zionism.

Ben White’s equation appears to go like this:

The legitimate Palestinian credentials of Palestinian Christians can be judged by their participation in ‘resistance’ against Zionism.

We see here how Ben White encouages Palestinian Christians to be authentically Palestinian.by showing ‘resistance’ against Zionism. Resistance which means, in practise, killing Israeli Jews. By contrast, consider what White has to say about Palestinians who pursue peace with Israel, ie. those who have given up on “resistance”.

All of which raises a disturbing question:

If this is how Ben White envisages the role of a Palestinian Christian, then why did the Bethlehem Bible College invite him to Christ at the Checkpoint?

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Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organiser: evil Pharaoh “the messiah of modern Israel”

Alex Awad is on the organising committee the Christ at the Checkpoint 2012.

This is what he says about Israelis:

 I knock at the doors of God’s mercy and pray because Pharaoh, the messiah of modern Israel, is hardening his heart and the leaders of the Western world are clasping their hands in his bloody hands.

Remember, Pharaoh is the enemy of the Jewish people, as remembered at Passover every year.

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Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organisers share platform with Holocaust denier

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 organiser Alex Awad has a track record of preaching anti-Zionism around the world. Most notoriously, in May 2008, Awad attended the Voice of Palestine 60th Nakba Conference hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Here is a picture of Awad (far-right) with Holocaust denier Fred Tobin (second-from-left):

You can read conference-attendee and Holocaust-denier Fred Tobin’s account of events in Jakarta here. You can see the aims of the Voice Of Palestine conference here. According to Tobin’s report, Awad advocated a one-state solution, as did others at the event.

Also in attendance was Ayatollah Khomeini’s daughter Zahra Mostafavi from Iran, who has previously urged children to become suicide bombers.  Fellow Checkpoint 2012organiser Stephen Sizer also spoke at this conference.vop4

You can see a list of speakers, including representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah, here. You can see photos of Awad at the conference here and here alongside, among others, Neturei Karta Jews Dovid Weiss and Aharon Cohen.

According to the Voice of Palestine website, Awad was representing the Bethlehem Bible College at this event.

The website Kesher Talk has previously highlighted the controversy surrounding Bethlehem Bible College and the Awad family, and cites Alex Awad and brother Bishara (himself President of the college) as having said:

“Palestinian Christians view Israel, and not Arafat, as the problem.”

And here for more about the Awad family’s views on Arafat.

It is worth noting that Alex Awad blames Israel for suicide bombings, and claims:

“When we fight for a piece of land, we use religion to rally people, to excite people to build zeal among the people so they will help accomplish a goal. Religion is used in the conflict, but it’s about land. The Muslim is fighting the Jew because of what the Jew took by force.”

One blogger reviewing Alex Awad’s book Palestinian Memories wrote:

“While Alex Awad has no problem detailing many instances of injustice committed by Israelis against Christians, he completely denies that there are any injustices committed by Muslims. Alex Awad has allowed his hate of Israelis to affect biblical worldview.”

Awad’s writing is used approvingly by the Amos Trust, who were recently criticised in the press for manipulating Christmas to advance a political agenda. Awad himself frequently writes articles critical of Israel and Zionism.

Whilst the faculty at Bethlehem Bible College are busy asking questions of Israel, it seems they have a lot to answer to themselves.

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Paper at Christ at the Checkpoint 2010: Netanyahu has no Jewish blood

Here is Palestinian Lutheran priest Mitri Raheb speaking at Christ in the Checkpoint 2010:

Actually, Israel represents Rome of the Bible, not the people of the land. And this is not only because I’m a Palestinian. I’m sure if we were to do a DNA test between David, who was a Bethlehemite, and Jesus, born in Bethlehem, and Mitri, born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I’m sure the DNA will show that there is a trace. While, if you put King David, Jesus and Netanyahu, you will get nothing, becauseNetanyahu comes from an East European tribe who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. I said that I would be pushing a bit the envelope but so far you are surviving. I’m glad for that.And being born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I always loved to say that most probably one of my grand, grand, grand, grandmas used to babysit for Jesus.

It is a myth that Jews aren’t really Jews by blood, and it is absurd to suggest Palestinian Arabs have more common DNA with the Biblical Israelites than Israeli Jews today do.

So why does Raheb make this unsubstantiated claim?

I think we know why.

I wonder how the Messianic Jews attending Christ At The Checkpoint 2012 will respond to these outrageous claims. I hope they will respond assertively.

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