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Alan Simons
Author | Writer | Social Advocate

The Methodist Church joins the ranks of the asinine

God is back as part of politics.

This past Friday, July 1, 2022, in the UK, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth remarked on Twitter that he was “deeply saddened to learn that the Methodist Church of Great Britain at their recent Conference has again voted in favour of BDS, further eroding relations with the Jewish community.”

He added, “BDS does not in any way advance the cause of peace. The Methodist community should invest in constructive engagement with Israel society.”

Last year, on July 1, 2021, the Methodist Conference discussed and then adopted the draft Reply to four Memorials from Methodist Circuits or Districts that responded to the Kairos Palestine call “Cry for Hope”.

In the adopted piece, one point stands out as repulsive as it can get.

“Cry of Hope argues that it is time for the international community to recognise Israel as an apartheid State in terms of international law.”

The Cry for Hope can be read here: – https://www.cryforhope.org/

Methodist GB has for many years been unable to come to terms with Jews and the State of Israel and its people.

In June 2010, following the submission of a report entitled Justice for Palestine and Israel, the Methodist Conference was reported to have questioned whether “Zionism was compatible with Methodist beliefs”.

In response, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who at the time preceded Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, described the report as “unbalanced, factually and historically flawed” and charged that it offered “no genuine understanding of one of the most complex conflicts in the world today. Many in both communities will be deeply disturbed.”

The Methodist Church of Great Britain is a Protestant Christian denomination in Britain and the mother church of Methodists worldwide. It participates in the World Methodist Council and the World Council of Churches among other ecumenical associations.

Over the ten-year period from 2006 to 2016 membership decreased from 262,972 to 188,398 representing a decline at a rate of 3.5 per cent year-on-year. Over the following three years to 2019, the rate of decline slowed slightly, as membership was reduced to under 170,000.

During the 20th century, British Methodists increasingly embraced Christian socialist ideas. Donald Soper (1903 to 1998) was perhaps the most widely recognised Methodist leader. An activist, he promoted pacifism and nuclear disarmament in cooperation with the British Labour Party. Historian Martin Wellings says of Soper:

“His combination of modernist theology, high sacramentalism, and Socialist politics, expressed with insouciant wit and unapologetic élan, thrilled audiences, delighted admirers, and reduced opponents to apoplectic fury.”

In 1967, Soper, then the only Methodist minister in the British House of Lords, lamented that:

“Today we are living in what is the first genuinely pagan age—that is to say, there are so many people, particularly children, who never remember having heard hymns at their mother’s knee, as I have, whose first tunes are from Radio One, and not from any hymn book; whose first acquaintance with their friends and relations and other people is not in the Sunday School or in the Church at all, as mine was.

Methodism is a worldwide movement. Its largest denomination is the United Methodist Church, which has congregations on four continents (though the majority are in the United States). With nearly 12 million members in 42,000 congregations worldwide, the United Methodist Church is the largest American mainline Methodist Church. The UMC was formed in 1968 with a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church.

The United Methodist Church is a collection of associated congregations of Protestantism. In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 3.6 per cent of the US population, or 9 million adult adherents, self-identify with the United Methodist Church, revealing a much larger number of adherents than registered membership.

Their odious obsession with Jews and Israel.

In the US, The United Methodist Church has also shown its thirst for antisemitism. As reported in an article published in November 2018 by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Jewish Journal titled United Methodist Church under fire for antisemitism.” The article stated:

In the wake of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, activists from several mainline Protestant churches came under fire for promoting a culture of antisemitism in their churches, especially the United Methodist Church.

The worst offenders are usually activists affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) and the United Church of Christ (UCC).

But this year, the activists and officials from the United Methodist Church took on a leading role by hosting the controversial “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference” in Oklahoma.

The political goal of the conference was to flip American Christian support for Israel to the Palestinians. The conference soon took on a more sinister tone.

At one point, a speaker put up a slide of U.S. President Donald Trump surrounded by three of his advisers. The speaker asked the audience what was wrong with the picture.

Audience members answered that the problem was that they were Jews, apparently angry that the American president had Jewish advisors involved in the effort to achieve a peace deal.”

The media outlets added:

The United Methodist Church’s struggle with antisemitism goes back several years. Methodist Pastor James M. Wall, for example, was an editor of the popular mainline magazine Christian Century while also being affiliated with an antisemitic website called Veterans News Now, which promoted the writings of David Duke.”

More of the same in Canada

Canada also has not been immune to church resolutions against Israel. In 2012, after much debate, the United Church of Canada’s 50 voting members of their Executive General Council voted to adopt the recommendations of the Report of the Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy, which included a boycott of products from Israeli settlements and a campaign of “encouraging members of the United Church to avoid any and all products produced in the settlements.” This was the church’s first boycott since an anti-apartheid boycott against South Africa in the 1980s.

Previously, three other resolutions by the United Church of Canada, similar in nature against Israel, protesting its occupation of Palestinian territories and treatment of Palestinians, had been recommended.

God is back, that God is back as part of politics

John Micklethwait, formerly the editor-in-chief of The Economist, in his 2010 book, God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World, looks at the rise of religious sentiment around the world and how it is affecting politics. The Methodists, as did their brethren in the United Church of Canada in 2012, in their quest to eagerly join their international Israel-bashing religious brethren, gave credence to Micklethwait’s comments that God is back, that God is back as part of politics.

Martin Luther King in his 1964 Nobel Prize acceptance speech said:

“Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love!”

Fifty-eight years later why are we still waiting for love?

Additional content sources were obtained through christianity.com and Wikipedia.

About the Author
Simons is an author, writer and social advocate. He publishes an online international news service, now in its 15th year, dealing with issues relating to intolerance, hate, antisemitism, Islamophobia, conflict, and terrorism, as well as an online community news site. As a diplomat, he served as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Rwanda to Canada, post-genocide era. He has lectured and designed courses in the areas of therapeutic management, religion in politics, and communications. He recently published his fifth book.
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