Yet as Luke Moon warned, this year was different as CATC for the most part, “took the liberals out of the program.” It also included some opposing views. For example, Oral Roberts University President William “Billy” Wilson, unequivocally distanced himself from the doctrine of “replacement theology” which asserts that Christians are the “new Jews.” A couple of other speakers pointed out that Israel’s security wall is in place to save Israeli lives from terrorism.
Despite the attempt to shroud the real agenda of the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference, its manifesto is revealing . It “condemns all forms of violence unequivocally,” yet states that “Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam” and furthermore “blames the ‘occupation’ as the core issue of the conflict;” and although CATC boasts a mandate of dialogue and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian believers, there are still those voices that are seemingly rejected from the conference. In a report released by Israel Today, entitled, “The Message ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ Didn’t Want to Hear,” it is argued that CATC organizers do not want to hear from those Israeli voices that have been victimized by Palestinian terrorism or able to expose the Palestinian nationalist agenda.
One case has been highlighted: in late 2010, Israeli tour guide Kay Wilson and her visiting Christian friend, Kristine Luken, were attacked by Palestinian terrorists outside Jerusalem. Luken was killed and Wilson suffered severe injuries. Wilson approached one of the CATC speakers about speaking at the 2012 convocation, but was told that her story was “not what the Lord wants,” a phrase that is sadly abused by some Christian leaders to exercise control — akin to a kind of spiritual or psychological extortion — over the follower. Wilson then expressed dismay about “how any Israeli…. Messianic believer, could justify participating in a conference that has chosen to associate itself with theologians advocating Replacement Theology and Palestinian officials with clear ties to recognized terrorist organizations.” She further stated, “For any self-respecting person, and especially for Israelis such as myself, the endorsement of terror by association, at a Christian conference, is obscene.”
Wilson is not off base; Israeli government officials have expressed the concern that the “blame Israel” propaganda coming out of the conference “ultimately serves, even if unintentionally, to encourage violence and stir up even more radical Islamic terror.” They say it is “just the type of religion-fueled imagery that has in years past resulted in the worst kind of Christian anti-Semitism” — disturbing words, given recent anti-Semitic Church history and the state of inertia that gripped the Church during the Nazi attempt to wipe out the Jewish people.
In the article “The Role of the Churches: Compliance and Confrontation” published by the ADL’s Dimensions, A Journal of Holocaust Studies, Victoria J. Barnett wrote, “Churches throughout Europe were mostly silent while Jews were persecuted, deported and murdered.” Barnett goes on to point out the “few Christians in the Protestant Confessing Church who demanded that their Church take a public stand in defense of the Jews” and how their efforts “were overruled by Church leaders who wanted to avoid any conflict with the Nazi regime.” Although some Church leaders across Europe and North America condemned the Nazis, there was a priority of how to maintain “good relations with colleagues in the German Churches.”
While many Churches have acknowledged their failures and complacency during Hitler’s reign of terror — with confessions of guilt by Catholic Churches in France and Germany, as well as by many major Protestant denominations — there is a pattern of repeating the anti-Semitic transgressions of history that is evident today. The United Church of Canada , for instance, has instituted boycott and divestment drives against Israel that are causing dissension in the church; as well as in the Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal Churches and the World Council of Church’s Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel [EAPPI], which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] movement and a Palestinian “right of return”.