In connection with the last post’s consideration of the real source of anti-Semitism as being ‘the Father of Lies’ strategies, last Monday’s 6 o’clock BBC News announced developments on this social issue with reference to the Anglican church.
This was surprising in view of that media corporation’s jaundiced bias against Israel, which I’ve often had cause to berate (as within this tag). Their story-line was built upon an All Party Parliamentary Inquiry’s Report into growing racist and anti-Semitic abuse on the internet. The rising tide of the latter in Britain and Europe featured prominently in the media after the terrorist attacks in France, as is evident in this listing. BUT note this: the only reference I can find on the BBC’s website to this Report is the third item under What’s in the newspapers – clearly, they don’t think the issue is of any importance!
The BBC reported the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks on social networks, and the news-anchor went on to report that the contentious pro-Palestinian vicar I’d blogged about has been banned from using Facebook! Both matters are covered in Christian Today and I’ll quote Ruth Gledhill’s informative articles, which deserve to be read for further enlightenment:
In Justin Welby: ‘Ban racist and anti-Semitic trolls online’ she summarises the Report and quotes several authoritative opinions. She refers to Justin Welby as having spoken “in advance of a report today that calls for “internet Asbos” to ban “determined” abusive social media users from certain sites” and opens her article,
The Archbishop of Canterbury called on social media sites to crack down on antisemitic abuse online. Archbishop Justin Welby said Facebook and Twitter must do more to prevent the proliferation of racism and antisemitism on their sites.
In fact, a few days earlier he’d sensitively commented On tweeting and touching on his personal blog about the difficulties digital communication can bring and recommended,
Love often says don’t tweet. Love often says don’t write. Love often says if you must rebuke, then do so in person and with touch – with an arm around the shoulder and tears in your eyes that can be seen by the person being rebuked. .
Ruth opens Rev Stephen Sizer banned from social media over 9/11 conspiracy post by stating,
Controversial pro-Palestinian vicar Rev Stephen Sizer has been banned from writing, preaching, teaching, emailing, tweeting, posting on Facebook or commenting in any way in relation to the current situation in the Middle East. He has also been banned from doing anything at all on any social media for six months. He will instead now concentrate on his ministry as a parish priest.
The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said it was his view that Mr Sizer’s “strong but increasingly undisciplined” commitment to an anti-Zionist agenda had become a “liability to his own ministry and that of the wider church…
“It is therefore my decision that Stephen’s work in this area is no longer compatible with his ministry as a parish priest.
“In order for Stephen to remain in parish ministry, I have therefore asked for – and received from him – a solemn undertaking, in writing, that he is to refrain entirely from writing or speaking on any theme that relates, either directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop.”
Ruth makes a noteworthy point that the Council of Christians and Jews had said:
“It is perfectly possible to criticise Israeli policies without such criticism being antisemitic, and Christians and others should feel free to do so. However, such legitimate criticism must not be used as a cloak for antisemitism, nor can antisemitism itself ever be disguised as mere political comment.”
I certainly agree for, although supportive of the modern state of Israel’s right to exist, it is definitely not a matter of ‘Israel right or wrong, no matter what’. Like all states, their policies are not perfect, and some ultra-Orthodox Jews are no different to Islamists in their irrational hatred and violence for those of a different belief.
In the light of the above disclosures we could conclude that the Anglican church is now taking a zero-tolerance attitude toward anti-Semitism. Perhaps its leadership will direct clergy and communicants towards a more loving, open and Biblical respect for Jewish people and the nation of Israel? The new Bishop of Guildford’s very firm stance shown in his official statement on this matter is highly commendable. Basically, if Rev Sizer so much as whispers anything about the Middle East from now on, he’ll be sacked!
If, as has been prophesied, the Lord is calling that church out of ‘Lazarus’ grave’ into new life one could surmise this means, like Lazarus, it will at last recognise its ancient roots in Judaism. It may even gain new insights into Paul’s seminal letter to the Roman church on his detailed teaching upon our Judaic roots!
In all likelihood, the exposure and tackling of these issues are a part of the prophesied “shaking of all things” and “sifting the harlot from the Bride of Christ”, in order to prepare for His return.
But there’s more that needs exposing! The next post will cover the outrageous inclusion of anti-Israel politics within inter-church prayers during Lent…