Christian Zionism in the UK

Christians must love and defend Israelis, preaches church mission

Ever heard of the CMJ (the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People)?

Neither had I until I saw a parish magazine recently announcing a talk by the CMJ’s Director of Advocacy to a local Church of England study group about “God’s purpose for the Jewish people and Great Britain’s involvement in the formation of modern Israel”.

Apparently the CMJ has a proud 200-year history and is a worldwide ministry sharing with Jewish people its belief that not only is Jesus the Saviour of the world, He is the Jewish Messiah. CMJ is “propelled by devotion to God and the fulfillment of His promises to His people Israel”, and it feels a need to provide in-depth teaching on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.

CMJ’s USA website talks of “the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people and the education of the Christian church in its call to take the Gospel to ‘the Jew first’.”

And in its statement of faith the CMJ says Christians have “a special responsibility to love, defend and share the Gospel with God’s historic, chosen People, the Jews”.

  • CMJ believes that both Jewish and Gentile believers (including our Palestinian brothers and sisters) are united in the one “olive tree”. In fact, Jesus has made Jew and Gentile believers one “and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…”
    • The Israelis are still building the barrier and love nothing better than destroying whole groves of olive trees.

      • Gentiles are “fellow-citizens with God’s people”… God loves all people equally. This means that he loves the Israelis and the Palestinians equally.

      So all those claims to be God’s “chosen ones” are meaningless?

      • CMJ… has always seen the return of the Jewish people to their ancient land, and on a national scale to their Messiah, as a precursor to the return of Jesus in glory.

      Their return is achieved by ethnically cleansing the Holy Land, expelling the Arabs (whom God loves equally), slaughtering those who resist and trashing just about all of God’s commandments. Jesus is really going to appreciate that when he arrives.

      • CMJ rejoices that, after 2000 years… the Jewish people now, at last, have returned to the land from which the majority were dispersed in AD70…

      Rejoice in the Jewish occupation and you rejoice in the murderous crime spree it entails.

      • Israel is a secular state which is no more religious than Britain.
      • CMJ recognizes that the State of Israel was set up as a result of a majority vote of the United Nations in 1947… However the Ministry does not hold any official position as to the appropriate location of the borders of the state.

      But greedy Israel isn’t satisfied. If CMJ recognises the UN’s partition it should also accept the borders on which it was based. To do otherwise only serves to legitimise Israel’s ongoing land-grab and lawlessness.

      • CMJ believes that the term “Restoration” when applied to the Jewish people is primarily restoration to their Messiah… The focus of New Testament doctrine of the end times is on Jesus and holy living, rather than land.

      So why rejoice in their seizing the land and dispossessing the rightful owners?

      • CMJ affirms that God is a God of justice and peace, and that he desires justice and peace for all people groups.

      How can there be justice or peace under illegal occupation?

      • CMJ Ministry recognizes that the Israelis, after 2000 years of anti-Semitism, face a resurgence of anti-Semitism, a military threat from various nations, Palestinian terrorism and a threat to the stability of their safe homeland through demographic factors.

      Israel, with its nuclear arsenal and American-supplied state of the art weaponry, easily outguns the other nations in the Middle East. Its lack of restraint and contempt for international law, demonstrated many times, makes it the prime military and terror menace to the region. Meanwhile Palestinians have every right to defend their homes as best they can.

      • [The Palestinians] experience economic disaster and lack of infrastructure, partly through Israeli policies and partly through the failures of the Palestinian Authority.

      Palestinian infrastructure is regularly destroyed by Israel. Left in peace the Palestinians would have prospered like other nations. The PA has no legitimacy, it is a tool of the West.


      Some say the CMJ encourages the physical restoration of the Jewish people to the biblical Land of Israel despite the suffering this causes, and published statements seem to confirm it.

      Wikipedia says: “CMJ has always adopted a Zionist position, and expressed the view that the Jewish people deserved a state in the Holy Land decades before Zionism began as a movement.”

      CMJ is also accused of propagating Zionism rather than Christianity.

      Ready for the bombshell? The CMJ was adopted as an official ministry of the Church of England in 1995. It has been operating in the shadows for 15 years.

      So is this the Church of England’s official Zionist wing?

      Within the Church it is said that some believe the mission to Jewish people is inappropriate. Others maintain that Jewish people cannot be excluded from the scope of Christian mission.

      And what about the local parish study group, and all the other study groups targeted by the CMJ? Did they know enough about the facts on the ground to challenge the CMJ’s advocacy?

      Here are the thoughts of the Local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, as set down in their Jerusalem Declaration of 2006… and they are in the front line, in the cauldron of brutal reality, facing the disastrous consequences of evangelical meddling by America and Britain.

      • We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as a false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.
      • We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine.
      • We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war…
      • Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from ideologies of militarism and occupation.

      Amen to that.

      Stuart Littlewood, after working on jet fighters in the RAF, became an industrial marketeer in oil, electronics and manufacturing, and with innovation and product development consultancies. He also served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and a member of the Police Authority. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and has produced two photo-documentary books including Radio Free Palestine (with foreword by Jeff Halper). Now retired, he campaigns on various issues, especially the Palestinians' struggle for freedom. Read other articles by Stuart, or visit Stuart's website.

    2 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. MichaelKenny said on July 9th, 2010 at 9:56am #

      The interesting thing about the expression “Christian Zionist” is that it is practically unknown in Europe. It seems to have been invented in the US, probably not that long ago, to designate some of the more extreme Protestant fundamentalist denominations, essentially unknown in Europe. (Note the specific reference to the US in the statement of the Local Heads quoted above.) The expression is totally unknown outside of Britain and even there, of very recent introduction. Precisely because of its association with US extremists, I would be wary of applying it to any other Protestant group. By definition, it cannot properly be applied to Catholics. Because of their greater emphasis on the Old Testamant, Protestants, particulary the fundamentalist denominations, have always had a fascination for the Jews not shared by Catholics. The CMJ’s name suggests that it was originally set up to convert Jews, considered the proper course of action until very recently. When and how it was hijacked is something perhaps Mr Littlewood can tell us.

    2. Ismail Zayid said on July 9th, 2010 at 5:07pm #

      The claim by Zionists, Jewish and Gentile, that Palestine was promised to the Jews by God, makes strange logic. I was not aware that God is a real-estate agent who can apportion land to those He favours. It ia also usually stated that this claim is affirmed in the Bible. Again, are we to understand that the Bible is a Registry of Deeds?!

      As to Britain’s role in its support for Zionism, through its infamous Balfour Declaration, brings to mind the strange British act of generosity in promising the land of the Palestinians to another people. Who, pray, gave to Balfour the authority to be generous with other people’s property?!