In “Christian Zionism: It challenges our Lutheran commitments” (June), the author notes that the “Lutheran bishop [of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, Munib] Younan, in 2003 declared that Christian Zionism is a heresy.” My concern is that such a heavy emphasis on Christian Zionism seems to ignore the more immediate danger of Hamas and similar terrorist groups. As a Lutheran, I cannot support proclaiming Christian Zionists to be dangerous heretics while we remain silent about Hamas and similar groups bent on a war of annihilation against the Jews and their state.
Centrality of the land
I’m a pastor who grew up in a Jewish-Lutheran home. To address Christian Zionism in a way that dismisses the centrality of the land of Israel to Jewish identity perpetuates the one-sided misunderstanding that in my view has characterized recent ELCA pronouncements on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Lost friendships and sleep
I know you will be attacked for anything that appears critical of the state of Israel and political Zionism. I’ve been outspoken in pursuit of equal justice for Palestinians and Israelis and critical of all forms of Zionism. It has cost me friendships and some sleep, but I count such losses the cost of discipleship. I hope you are confirmed and blessed in your willingness to risk as you educate.
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