Monday, 19 November 2012

Paul Wilkinson - Jesus in the Protestant Church?

Paul Wilkinson asserts that he does not see Jesus in the Protestant Churches today. he was speaking in the opening session of a consultation organised by the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel (ETRFI). This fraternity apparently was established to support Jewish Christian relations. A report can be found here and He accuses Christendom of being spiritually blind for 2,000 years in its understanding of Israel and offers no hope of change because its erroneous theology is so deeply ingrained.  He says he is 'completely pessimistic in terms of believing that I, we, are going to overturn 2,000 years of erroneous theology that has manifested itself in all kinds of diatribes and anti-Semitic factions.' He writes further that there is '...absolute hatred toward Israel that exists in the heart — in the heart — of the Protestant Church.' Really? It is hard to know where to begin with this type of rhetoric.

Wilkinson's statement reminds me of the holy-huddle mentality of the Plymouth Brethren, in which I was brought up, that sometimes held that they are the only true Christians left on earth - many chapels are now closed and the Darbyite theology, of which Wilkinson is an advocate, led to increasing fragmentation and exclusivity. Not a place where God's Holy Spirit can work in building loving communities of believers, communities that should include Jews, Gentiles and Palestinians.

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