Stand FIRM with Israel — international body of Believers unites in Israel Summit

FIRM’s website www.firm.org.il and its Social Media channels went live on February 4, the first night of the Israel Summit.

Watch the Live Stream of the event at www.israelsummit.org

For the 1st time since Acts 15, the International body of believers is making a global, public pronouncement regarding the oneness of Jew and gentile in Messiah! –Myles

Stand FIRM with Israel

Why Israel? Why now? Why next generations?

And why does the world need a “global fellowship of Biblically sound believers committed to cultivating Messiah-centered relationships to bless the inhabitants of Israel (both Jew and non-Jew) and the worldwide Jewish community?” This is the vision of FIRM, the Fellowship of Israel-Related Ministries.

Wayne Hilsden co-founded King of Kings Community in 1983, now a thriving congregation located in the heart of Israel’s capital and biblical epicenter, Jerusalem. Several years ago Wayne began to sense that we have entered a time of shaking.

Indeed, growing forces are attempting to delegitimize and demonize the nation of Israel. Historic and once rock-solid backing of Evangelicals for the Jewish people is undergoing shaking as well. Various streams are accepting theologies that dismiss God’s special relationship with the Jewish people. Liberation Theology tends to side with the perceived underdog, identifying Palestinians as David and Israel as Goliath. There are also theologians who advocate various forms of Supersessionism, in which the chosenness of the Jewish people has been revoked in God’s new order of things.

With a heightened urgency, Wayne Hilsden became more emphatic about the need to get close to God, dig deeper in the study of the Scriptures, and pray with increased intensity. Hilsden believed that the result will be a greater confidence in God’s commitment to restore the Jewish people to their irrevocable call to be a “light to the nations.” (Zechariah 8:22-23; Romans 11:29). Hilsden began to take notice that the thousands of prayer houses suddenly rising up around the globe share a common thread: These intercessors are praying through the lens of the Scriptures — and virtually all are praying fervently for Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration.

FIRM’s leaders believe it’s time for Bible believers who have stood with Israel to go beyond cheering from the grandstands. It’s time to get on the field where a vicious battle for truth is being waged.

Motivated by Scriptures such as Daniel 11:32—“The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (ESV)—Hilsden took action and began to envision a Fellowship of Israel-Related Ministries (FIRM). His first step was to consult with widely respected Pastor Jack Hayford. Hayford immediately expressed his belief that FIRM was God-inspired and timely, and offered to help in any way he could. In late 2014, Hilsden brought together a founding board of 20 frontline leaders, including Hayford.

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The Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM), went public at the “Israel Summit: Stand Firm” on February 4-6 at Resurrection Fellowship (Rez) in Loveland, Colorado. Rez Pastor Jonathan Wiggins, noted that registrations reached full 1,800 capacity 12 days prior to the gathering.
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Wiggins, also a FIRM board member, prepared for more than 500 students together with about 90 members of Youth with a Mission to participate in the Summit’s sessions on Friday, February 6. This is consistent with FIRM’s vision to change a trend where typical audiences at Israel-themed conferences consist of older people who have long supported the people of Israel.

One key purpose for FIRM is to engage next generations, especially as many universities have strayed into promoting anti-Israel agendas. FIRM also intends to point millennials and developing leaders to ministries that are geared to young adults.

FIRM’s vision includes awakening the global body of believers to “tap into the nourishment of the olive root from which we have sprung, to reverse the erosion of our common Judeo-Christian values and to experience blessing promised to those who bless God’s chosen people,” according to Tomas Sandell, FIRM board member and founding director of the European Coalition for Israel.

FIRM will not replace or compete with existing Israel-oriented ministries. FIRM’s leadership is committed to complement and collaborate with Biblically-sound and fruitful efforts that extend unconditional love and blessing to the people of Israel.

One such ministry that has joined with FIRM is Jewish Voice Ministries International, with president Jonathan Bernis. Also a FIRM board member, Bernis believes, “We are witnessing a rapid rise of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes, not only throughout the world but in the Church. Now is the time we must act. God is raising up FIRM for such a time as this.”

A major goal of FIRM is to be a Biblically-informed voice of reason in the midst of confusion and complexity. Its leaders also believe that FIRM can serve as a forum for discussion of crucial issues related to Israel and the Middle East. The Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries seeks to bless all peoples in the region, Jews, Arabs, and others, and show special concern for those of “the household of faith” who are under severe pressure from many sides.

Steve Strang, publisher of Charisma, attended the Summit. Multiple publications he leads have included statements on FIRM recently. “I believe that it is time for Christian ministries to join together to support Israel, even embracing those believers who come from a Jewish background….”

Robert Morris, senior pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX, with 36,000 active members, recently challenged other pastors and churches concerning the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries: “We’re a part of it, and I encourage you to be a part of it, too!”

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, writes, “As Israel is increasingly being isolated from the international community, I’m claiming God’s promise in Hosea 3:5…The Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God…They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days. I want to be one of those who reconnect Jews with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Fountainhead of all blessing, and connect them to His Son, Yeshua, the Messiah in these Last Days. Therefore I consider it a privilege to support FIRM and it’s vision “to bless the inhabitants of Israel (both Jew and Arab) and the worldwide Jewish community.”

Why are Christians funding Israel’s anti-Zionist fringe?

A Palestinian man walks in front of a mural calling for the return of Palestinian refugees on May 14, 2011 in Rafah in southern Gaza during a gathering to mark the 63th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)
A Palestinian man walks in front of a mural calling for the return of Palestinian refugees on May 14, 2011 in Rafah in southern Gaza during a gathering to mark the 63th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

By Emily Ziedman / www.jta.org

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The State of Israel is celebrating its 66th birthday. For Israelis, Jews around the world, and all supporters of Israel, this is a joyous occasion. By and large, even Israelis who are critical of some of their country’s policies nevertheless celebrate its remarkable accomplishments and contributions to the world.

Amid these celebrations, there is a minuscule group of Jewish Israelis who support Palestinian rejectionist ideology and identify with the “Nakba” (Arabic for “catastrophe”) narrative. The importance of this unrepresentative fringe is inflated far beyond its numbers due to support from some powerful Christian institutions, including Catholic frameworks.

For example, Zochrot (Hebrew for “remembrance”) is an Israeli NGO whose activities are made possible in large part through the support of European church aid agencies. It aims to “raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and to “recogniz[e] and materializ[e] the right of return.” In this way, Zochrot is overtly political, promoting a radical vision for the Middle East that does not include the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality.

Zochrot supports the “one-state” framework and implementation of the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” of the millions of people who claim to be descendants of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. This directly contradicts the “two states for two peoples” formula supported by the international community, including the government funders of the church aid agencies that serve as Zochrot’s benefactors.

In this vision, Israel would become a bi-national entity with an Arab majority. Or as explained by Zochrot founder Eitan Bronstein, “When the refugees return, Jews will become a minority in the country. Israel as a Jewish state will change radically, and it will no longer be defined as such.” In this scenario, Jews would return to the pre-1948 predicament of everywhere being minorities, vulnerable to the whims of sometimes-hostile majorities.

Funding for Zochrot’s radical campaigns and agenda comes from powerful European Catholic and Protestant aid framework such as Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), HEKS (Switzerland), Finn Church Aid (Finland), MISEREOR (Germany), CCFD (France), ICCO (Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), and Trocaire (Ireland). These organizations are funded by European governments that officially support the two-state solution. Zochrot’s activities, then, undermine these governments’ own policies.

For instance, Broederlijk Delen is a Flemish Catholic “development and peace” NGO. With a massive budget provided in part by the Belgian government, it funds many highly politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Zochrot. In 2012, Broederlijk Delen gave 50,000 Euros to Zochrot, out of which 40,000 Euros originated with Belgian taxpayers.

This funding enables many of Zochrot’s activities. For example, the heads of this fringe group joined a 2012 trip to South Africa, sponsored by HEKS, in order “to learn from cases of expulsion and return.” Afterward, Zochrot co-published “The Cape Town Document,” which states, “It is our hope that the new political structure created in de-Zionized Palestine will be that of a single democratic state.”

More recently, in September 2013, Zochrot held a conference called “From Truth to Redress: Realizing the Return of Palestinian Refugees” to further spread its agenda of Israel’s disappearance. At the time, Zochrot’s funders sought to justify their support under the guise of promoting refugee rights and justice, reflecting a lack of due diligence and serious engagement by the funders.

It is startling that so many Christian groups fund an NGO that openly rejects Israel’s existence, the single most important manifestation of Jewish empowerment and self-determination in the world today. Such activities are clearly not conducive to Jewish-Christian reconciliation or to finding a realistic solution to the conflict. Instead, they echo the tortured history of Jewish persecution and marginalization in European Christian societies and the extreme demands of radical groups.

In a few weeks, Israel will welcome Pope Francis, who has long demonstrated his close ties with the Jewish people. It is hoped that he will send a powerful message of true peace by stating firmly and without equivocation that the vision of a world without Israel clearly contradicts church teachings. This is a message that the officials of powerful Catholic aid agencies who channel money to groups that demonize Israel will need to internalize.

(Emily Ziedman is the communications associate at NGO Monitor.)

That Jew Died For You–video

As the Church rediscovers its Jewish roots, it must also confront its history.

Visit the website to make comments there and to see personal stories and other background material.

Jews for Jesus explains why the organization made this film:

Below are the key points we wanted to get across in the film as well as a more expanded explanation.

Jesus has often been wrongly associated with the perpetrators of the Holocaust. In reality, He is to be identified with those who were the victims. As a Jew, if He were in Europe at the time, Jesus may well have suffered the same fate of the six million who perished in the concentration camps.

Jewish teaching promotes the idea that the death of Jews in the Holocaust accomplished kiddush ha Shem, the sanctification of God’s name. How much more then, the Bible tells us, Jesus’ death was intended by God for kiddush ha am, the sanctification of the people. Through Him we can be made right with God. (See Hebrews 13:12)

Christians Rediscovering Passover

Leonardo da Vinci's mural painting of the Last Supper, located at the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. Nothing reattaches Christians to their Jewish roots faster than realizing the Last Supper was actually a Passover seder meal being led by a Jewish rabbi, writes David Parsons. Credit: PD-Art.
Leonardo da Vinci’s mural painting of the Last Supper, located at the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. Nothing reattaches Christians to their Jewish roots faster than realizing the Last Supper was actually a Passover seder meal being led by a Jewish rabbi, writes David Parsons. Credit: PD-Art.

By David Parsons/JNS.org

For Jews and Christians, the Passover season is a special time for reflection on the rich spiritual truths contained within this remarkable holiday. Indeed, we can all observe the command to “remember” the incredible Israelite deliverance from bondage in Egypt.

For Christians, the events of a momentous Passover some 15 centuries later have given added meaning to this holiday, so that the truths of the first are reinforced in the latter. Deliverance from Pharaoh’s taskmasters became freedom from slavery to sin. The blood of a lamb on the doorposts became a typology of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Yet the parallels between Pesach and Easter were lost for centuries to most Christians when the early Church fathers deliberately severed our faith from its Jewish roots. In time, this hostility to Judaism produced vicious blood libels against Jews at Passover.

Today, however, multitudes of Christians are rediscovering our Hebraic roots. Indeed, TIME magazine recently identified growing Christian interest in our faith’s Jewish heritage as one of the ten top trends of our day.

Even respected Jewish scholars have started joining Christian theologians in rediscovering the “Jewishness” of Jesus and the Hebraic origins of Christianity. One notable in this regard is the late Prof. David Flusser of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, considered the leading Orthodox Jewish expert on the Second Temple era and Early Christianity.

Flusser placed Jesus within the Pharasic tradition and viewed him as among the great sages of his time, such as Hillel and Ben-Shammai. But Flusser concluded that the Galilean preacher went boldly beyond the classic Judaism of that day, for instance by proclaiming the advent of the Kingdom of God and espousing a radical ethic of loving one’s enemy.

As a result of such groundbreaking scholarship, the Feast of Passover is one occasion when the lineage and cultural identity of Jesus as a “son of the covenant” now holds so much more meaning for Christians. In fact, nothing reattaches Christians to their Jewish roots faster than realizing the Last Supper was actually a Passover seder meal being led by a Jewish rabbi.

Thus, we can now see in the Gospel narratives just how closely Jesus held to Jewish traditions in presiding over the Passover meal with his disciples—or rather, his talmidim.

For instance, he followed the custom then developing in First Century Judaism of serving four cups of wine at the Passover meal to mirror the four great “I wills” of Exodus 6:6-7. When Jesus took the third cup—considered the “cup of redemption”—he used it to seal a new covenant with his followers.

Interestingly, he also used customary Jewish words of betrothal at that same moment, promising to go build them all mansions in his Father’s house and to come back for them one day as a bridegroom for his bride (John 14:2-3).

In serving them wine and unleavened bread, Jesus further played off the command to “remember” the Passover by instructing his disciples to always partake of it “in remembrance of me!”

Then, one of the most extraordinary moments of the Last Supper came when he washed the feet of his disciples.

Like other great rabbis of his day, Jesus had developed a unique preaching style by telling parables, many of which are universally known to this day, such as the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. But he was different in the way he also practiced what he preached. In washing the feet of his disciples, the rabbi Jesus taught by deed and not just words what it means to be a servant in His kingdom (John 13:14-15).

And finally, Jesus demonstrated tremendous grace that evening when he gave the place of the guest of honor to his immediate left to Judas, even though he knew this was the one about to betray him. What a difference it would have made down through history if Christians had understood that Jesus was never bitter towards Judas.

Sadly, it is too late to change that history. But we are witnessing a sea-change in Christian attitudes towards the Jewish people today, as we understand better the Jewish matrix of our faith. This historic shift is helping to build Christian support for an embattled Israel at a critical hour. And just as importantly, it is shielding multitudes of Christians against modern-day blood libels and other anti-Semitic lies now being hurled at the Jewish state.

David Parsons, ICEJ
David Parsons, ICEJ

David Parsons is an ordained minister who serves as media director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (www.icej.org).

The Palestinian Narrative: Seeking Peace by Waging War

By Steve Feldman & Christopher J. Katulka / AmericanThinker.com

All along, this has been the modus operandi of the Palestinian-Arabs and their supporters. They have fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians; committed shootings, stonings, and bombings; and incited hatred and violence among the Palestinian-Arab population. Outside the region, they seek to defame or delegitimize Israel, or to punish Israel economically. This onslaught has been incessant. Hardly the ingredients for “peace.”

A major conference taking place in Philadelphia, starting Friday (March 28) and extending into Saturday, by supporters of the Palestinian-Arabs looks to perpetuate the attacks rather than end them.

Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) is staging “The Role of the US in Israel-Palestine: Current Realities and Creative Responses” at the American Friends (the Quakers) Service Committee headquarters in Center City Philadelphia. FOSNA is a support arm of a radical Christian Palestinian-Arab group based in Jerusalem called Sabeel.

Sabeel is a stew of Christian liberation theology and replacement theology that politicizes religion to advance a political agenda. In this case, that agenda is an end to the Israel we know and love – an Israel that serves as a vital ally to America.

Rather than truly seeking ways to coexist or to build up a normal Palestinian-Arab society, FOSNA has assembled a roster of Israel-haters and antagonists to present discussions and workshops geared toward delegitimizing and defaming Israel, hurting the Jewish state economically, and eroding support for Israel – particularly among American Christians.

Based on a conference schedule posted on its website, the FOSNA conference will encourage the termination of American military aid to Israel; recast “the Israel-Palestine conflict as a civil rights struggle, with parallels to South Africa and the American South”; seek to increase anti-Israel activities on campuses; and promote the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. FOSNA believes that the mainstream media is not already biased against Israel and thus will discuss strategies to make it more unfavorable to Israel, and to turn more Christians against Israel.

According to FOSNA’s website, conference sponsors include Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel; the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers); the Catholic Peace Fellowship; the Philadelphia Coalition for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel; the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Jews for a Just Peace; and the Peacemaking Committee of the Presbytery of Philadelphia.

To the Jewish community, the lack of a consistent position regarding Israel within Christianity can be confusing. Groups including Friends of Israel (founded in 1938), Christians United For Israel (founded about a decade ago), and smaller groups such as Delaware’s Olive Tree Ministries are fervently pro-Israel, while other Christians such as the Quakers and “Main Line” Protestant denominations have been antagonistic toward Israel. This divide is as old as the modern State of Israel itself.

When the State of Israel declared its independence in 1948, many Palestinian-Christian clergymen abandoned the Hebrew Bible because they believed that it was too Zionist. In an effort to reclaim it for their people, they replaced the Israelites with Palestinians in the narrative. For example, instead of adhering to the biblical context of the Exodus, they supplant that with an interpretation of the Palestinian-Arabs going to the Knesset, saying: “Let my people go!”

“Palestinian Liberation Theology” takes interpretive liberties with the biblical accounts and prophecies of the Hebrew Bible in order to mold it to specific political and theological agendas. It maintains that certain Torah passages are outdated and irrelevant, claiming they reveal a primitive way of understanding God’s revelation to man. A majority of these “irrelevant” sections often involve God’s promise to return the Jewish people to their land, or to give them land.

“Palestinian Liberation Theology” is still considered fringe within mainstream Christianity. Its proponents wish to advance the cause of the Palestinian Christians, who desire to create a Palestinian state. The impetus for the movement stems from “Replacement Theology,” a faulty method of biblical interpretation that claims that the church has replaced the role of Israel in the Bible.

Sabeel and Friends of Sabeel also distort history, international law, and the situation on the ground – casting Israel as “oppressors” and responsible for every “injustice” that allegedly afflicts Palestinian-Arabs. Everyone else is apparently blameless for their claimed suffering. Moreover, there is no mention of Palestinian-Arabs’ and Arabs’ repeated rejections of their own state if it means living alongside a Jewish one. Also escaping the finger-pointing is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has maintained a long-term “refugee” status for these individuals rather than resettling them, as is its directive.

In Sabeel’s view, history begins in 1948, and thus it accuses Israel of existing on “78% of historic Palestine leading to the displacement of most of its Palestinian inhabitants[.]” Ironically, they fail to acknowledge that Jordan (née Transjordan) was created from the eastern 78% of the territory that the League of Nations had set aside for a Jewish homeland.

Further, Sabeel considers all of the land as “Palestinian,” accuses Israel of practicing “apartheid,” and dates the “occupation” to 1948. The facts that the Palestinian Arabs rejected the U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that offered them a state of their own, that the international community gave the land to the Jewish people for “close settlement” (as per the Mandate for Palestine issued by the League of Nations), that Judea and Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip were illegally occupied respectively by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967, and that the charge of “apartheid” is laughable do not seem to matter. It is truly a case of “Don’t let the facts get in the way.”

While much of this battle is an internal Christian matter, the Jewish community can play an influential role. Activities such as the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council’s Interfaith Mission to Israel introduce Christian clergy to Israel, offering an opportunity to see and hear Israel for themselves rather than through anti-Israel propaganda.

The Zionist Organization of America frequently interacts with Christians on an organizational level and individually. Other Jewish groups do likewise. Contacts at the grassroots level and one-on-one conversations with friends and colleagues to convey the historical facts and current realities are also important.

As the peace process ramps up and the deadline set by America to at least reach a “framework” toward peace approaches, we who support Israel’s shared democratic values as an asset to and ally of the U.S. can and must reinforce American support for an Israel that is strong, secure, and thriving.

Steve Feldman is executive director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Greater Philadelphia District. Christopher J. Katulka, formerly of Langhorne, is church ministries representative and director of ORIGINS for the Friends of Israel.

Exposing Christian Palestinianism Documentary – video Trailer

Published on Feb 17, 2014
Lighthouse Trails Publishing logo Lighthouse Trails Publishing

Click here to order this DVD.

Controversy about the existence of the Nation of Israel has been intensifying not only within the Arab world but within Christianity also. A political-religious campaign is gaining worldwide acceptance as church leaders, denominations, charities, missions, and humanitarian groups are uniting with Muslims and other world religions against Israel. 2,500 years ago, Zechariah the Hebrew Prophet foretold, “Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all people: and, all the people of the earth shall be gathered together against it.” (Zech. 12:2-3)

In an aggressive worldwide anti-Israel-Jewish movement, an infectious anti-Semitism is growing within contemporary Christianity, termed Christian Palestinianism. In these 3 powerful programs (approx. 35 mins each) fast moving, graphic footage illustrates the eye-opening informative EXCLUSIVE FEATURE of Wide Is The Gate: The Emerging New Christianity, exposing the rising tide of beguiling apostasy gripping today’s Church in regard to modern Israel.

Christians and Jews unite in London to support Israel

JPost.com

Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus calls on Israel’s supporters to battle anti-Zionism.

A Night to Honor Israel.
A Night to Honor Israel.

Hundreds of Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel came together in London on November 7, 2013 for a groundbreaking celebration of the ties between the two communities in Britain.

The interfaith event, “A Night to Honor Israel”, was an endeavor by the Zionist Federation, in cooperation with Bridges for Peace, a Jerusalem-based organization that focuses on pro-Israel advocacy in the Christian community.

Some 900 people turned out for the event at Logan Hall in Russell Square, and the speakers included Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s deputy ambassador to the Court of St. James; Josh Reinstein, the director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus; and Claire Lomas, the first British user of the Israeli-designed “Re-Walk” robotic suit, and the first paraplegic to complete a marathon wearing this device. Providing the entertainment were, among others, violinist Ariella Zeitlin-Hoffman and members of the Israeli Opera.

Reinstein called on supporters of Israel to stand up to critics of Zionism, branding anti-Zionism “the newest form of anti-Semitism.”

“It is up to people of faith, both Jews and Christians to come together around the world in order to combat this new form of evil” he said.

Dream Turns Hate-Filled Muslim Into Lover of Israel

By JULIE STAHL AND SCOTT ROSS / CBN NEWS
CharismaNews.com

Umar Mulinde was a Muslim who hated Israel until Jesus appeared to him in a dream. (CBN News)
Umar Mulinde: “I am the true picture of what Islam is all about.”(CBN News)

Umar Mulinde was a Muslim who hated Israel until Jesus appeared to him in a dream. After that, he became a Christian and started a church in Uganda.

But his newfound faith cost him.

On Christmas Eve 2011, Mulinde, now a pastor, was attacked by two Muslims with buckets of acid. The acid ate away his skin, his eye, and his ear.

“I felt fire from up to down to my toes and I was like, ‘Something’s cooking me,'” he recalls about the attack. “And they shouted, ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,’ three times. I realized I have fallen into the ambush of Muslim terrorists.”

Mulinde now wears a special pressure mask to aid the healing process.

“My conversion from Islam and my love and promotion of the love of Israel in my community taught the people on the other side to haunt me and to hunt me for a kill,” he says.

In a recent interview with CBN News, Mulinde gave the account of his conversion to Christianity, the details of the attack on him, the lessons he has learned, his forgiveness of those who attacked him, and his message to the West. Click play to watch his remarkable testimony.

Was Adolf Hitler a Christian?

Throughout history, politicians have used religious language to win elections. One world leader was particularly good at it:

“In this hour I would ask of the Lord God only this: that He would give His blessing to our work, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right. I am convinced that men who are created by God should live in accordance with the will of the Almighty. No man can fashion world history unless upon his purpose and his powers there rests the blessings of this Providence.”

That may sound like an ideal leader, but that speech was given in 1937 by the Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler. In his speeches, he challenged people to love their neighbors, to care for the poor and sick, and to take a stand against violence.

“His speeches were filled with hope,” says Ray Comfort, the author of Hitler, God & the Bible. “He says ‘I’m going to restore the glory.’ He also said that ‘I believe I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator.‘”

In public, Hitler often referred to himself as a follower of Christ. Even today, many people still believe the Holocaust was carried out in the name of Christianity, but what was the real relationship between God and Hitler?

“Adolf Hitler was the nastiest, most hate-filled, almost wickedest man in history,” says Comfort, “and to say that he was a Christian is to be tremendously ignorant, or to be disingenuous.”

As a child, Hitler was baptized into the Catholic Church. He was an altar boy, and at one point he even wanted to become a priest. But as history would later show, a church member and a Christian are two different things.

From his earliest political speeches, Hitler invoked God: a smart political move in the mostly Christian nation of Germany.

“At the very beginning of his career, Adolf Hitler was a baby-kisser, believe it or not,” says Comfort. “Even nowadays, if you want to get anywhere as a politician, you flavor your language and your speeches with maybe a Bible verse here and there, maybe have your picture taken with a robed minister outside his church on a Sunday, show up at a prayer breakfast and say something about God – then once you’re in your place of political authority, you can let your agenda come out, and that’s exactly what Hitler did.”

One of Hitler’s most public shows of solidarity with the Church was the signing of the Nazi-Vatican Concordat in 1933.

“That pact was that the Catholic Church would support Adolf Hitler politically, and Hitler would make sure they had freedom of religion,” Comfort explains. “Hitler in 1933 said wonderful things about Christianity. He even said he hated atheism and wanted to get rid of it in the country, so Hitler was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and he did pull the wool over the Catholic Church.”

So if Hitler wasn’t a Christian himself, why did he go to so much trouble to win the support of the Church?

As one author put it, he knew Christians would interfere with his plans if they were not hoodwinked first.

What you won’t hear in history class is that Hitler wasn’t just out to eliminate the Jews: he wanted to get rid of Christianity as well.

Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach said, “The destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the national socialist movement.”

And Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg, a member of Hitler’s inner circle, stated at the Nuremberg Congress of 1938, “I am absolutely clear in my own mind, and I think I can speak for the Fuhrer as well, that both the Catholic and Protestant churches must vanish from the life of our people.”

In 1933, the German economy was in freefall, with unemployment over 30 percent. Germany was a nation in need of a savior, and Hitler decided that he would be the one to fill that role.

As Hitler grew more powerful, his religious tolerance disappeared, and he tried to replace Christianity with a new “Reich Church,” a religion in which there was no god but Hitler.

“I think after a while, Hitler begins to believe in Hitler,” says Dr. Anthony Santoro, a history professor at Christopher Newport University.

“Hitler set up a very horrible antichrist system disguised as a Christian church,” adds Comfort.

His fellow Nazis were only too happy to embrace their Fuhrer as Germany’s messiah.

“It is only on one or two exceptional points that Christ and Hitler stand comparably. For Hitler is far too big a man to be compared with one so petty,” said Julius Streicher, the publisher of the Nazi paper Der Sturmer.

Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said, “Our Fuhrer is the intermediary between his people and the throne of God. Everything the Fuhrer utters is religion in the highest sense.”

And since every religion needs a house of worship, Hitler developed a 30-point plan for the new “National Reich Church,” which was even published by The New York Times in 1942. Among the rules:

No pastors, chaplains or priests were allowed to speak in church…. only National Reich orators.
All Bibles and pictures of saints were removed from the church altars and replaced with copies of Mein Kampf.
The cross was also removed and replaced with the swastika.
One of the most controversial Reich Church rules involved the Bible.
Although Hitler quoted scripture in many of his early speeches, he later referred to it as “a fairy story invented by the Jews,” and in 1942, the Bible became a banned book in Germany.

“Adolf Hitler hated the Bible,” says Comfort. “He had his own bible printed, 100,000 copies. There are some copies still around, but most of them were destroyed by people who realized what Hitler had done.”

In Hitler’s bible, all Hebrew words like hallelujah were removed. He also replaced the Ten Commandments with twelve of this own. Among them:

Keep the blood pure and your honor holy.
Maintain and multiply the heritage of your forefathers.
Joyously serve the people with work and sacrifice.
Honour your Fuhrer and Master.
Hitler also wrote his own version of the Lord’s Prayer, to be recited by the Hitler Youth:

“Adolf Hitler, you are our great Fuhrer. Thy name makes the enemy tremble. Thy Third Reich comes; thy will alone is law upon the earth. Let us hear daily thy voice, and order us by thy leadership, for we will obey to the end, even with our lives We praise thee; hail Hitler Fuhrer my Fuhrer, given me by God. Protect and preserve my life for long. You saved Germany in time of need; I thank you for my daily bread; be with me for a long time, do not leave me, Fuhrer my Fuhrer, my faith, my light – hail, my Fuhrer.”

Hitler had his own church, his own bible and even his own hymn, sung every day in German schools:

“Adolf Hitler is our savior, our hero. He is the noblest being in the whole wide world. For Hitler, we live. For Hitler, we die. Our Hitler is our Lord, who rules a brave new world.”

Now that Hitler had set up his own Reich religion, it was time to get rid of the competition. And while his persecution of the Jews was well- known, his “Final Solution” for Christians remained a secret for more than 60 years.

In 2002, a Jewish law student discovered a 120-page report from the 1940s.
It was compiled by members of the OSS, an American spy agency in World War II. The report was called The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches. The documents lay out a step-by-step plan to de-Christianize Germany:

“Take over the churches from within, using party sympathizers.
Discredit, jail or kill Christian leaders.
Re-indoctrinate the congregants.
Give them a new faith in Germany’s Third Reich.”

So where were Germany’s Christians in all this? Most of them were too frightened to protest, but a small remnant of Christians did stand up against the Reich Church. A group of 3,000 Protestants known as the “Confessing Church” openly defied Hitler and paid the price.

Hitler said, “I’ll make those damned pastors feel the power of the state in a way they’ve never believed possible. If I ever have the slightest suspicion that they’re getting dangerous, I’ll shoot the lot of them.”

Seven-hundred pastors from the Confessing Church were arrested. Many of them were murdered or sent to concentration camps.

“There is such a thing as evil, in my judgment, and this man is evil,” says Santoro. “Hitler has no permanent loyalties. If you cross him, you’ll die.”

The most important aspect of Christianity that Hitler ignored was the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. That’s a role Hitler preferred to take for himself. And even when he did mention Jesus, it wasn’t the Jesus of the Bible. For example, he refused to admit the fact that Jesus was Jewish.

“They didn’t take any notice of John 4, where the woman at the well says, ‘How is it, you being a Jew…’ and Jesus didn’t say, ‘Hang on – I’m a gentile.’” says Comfort. “And then you find the genealogies in the book of Luke; they go right back through David, through to Abraham, so obviously, they didn’t believe the scriptures, and they made up their own Jesus. “

The Jesus Hitler made up was an Aryan, to whom he often referred as “The Nazarene” and “the first great enemy of the Jews.”

Hitler denied the deity of Christ and forced people to worship him as god. Then he killed or imprisoned hundreds of Christian pastors and developed a detailed plan to destroy the Church. If he was a Christian, as many people suggest, then he wasn’t a very good one.

“If you are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, if you are truly born again, you will have the evidence of fruit,” says Comfort. “The fruit of righteousness, the fruit of praise, the fruit of thanksgiving, the fruit of repentance, and especially, the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, generous, faith, meekness and temperance. So if you haven’t got love, you are not a Christian.”

If someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist.

Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
I John 4:3, 8, 18

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler

Dietrich Bonhoeffer actively resisted the Third Reich and Hitler. His life is an example for all Christians today.
See the videos God & Hitler and Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Prophet and Spy at www.cbn.com/700club/features/churchhistory/godandhitler/index.aspx

Pope at installation acknowledges Jews

ROME (JTA.org) – Pope Francis acknowledged Jews during the open-air Mass that formally installed him as pontiff.

Francis began his homily on Tuesday, March 19, by greeting the Catholic dignitaries and faithful in the huge crowd that crammed St. Peter’s Square and the surrounding area. He thanked “representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence.”

Among the crowd were Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni; Riccardo Pacifici, the president of the Rome Jewish community; and more than a dozen other Jewish representatives.

It is said to be the first time that Rome’s chief rabbi has attended a papal inauguration.

Francis’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, had invited Di Segni to his inauguration on April 24, 2005, but Di Segni did not attend because it was the first day of Passover.

Benedict also singled out Jews in his welcoming remarks, greeting “with great affection … you, my brothers and sisters of the Jewish people, to whom we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage, one rooted in God’s irrevocable promises.”