The Moral Inversion of NZ Evangelicalism
May 6, 2012
As the persecution of Christians in Egypt, Syria, Sudan and Iraq intensifies, for many Western Christian aid agencies it is apparently not a high priority. Here in New Zealand it is not the ongoing expulsion or murder of Middle East Christians that is given special attention by Tear Fund and World Vision ““ rather, it is the one nation in the region in which religious freedom is guaranteed regardless of race.
As the Arab Spring reveals its true fruit, MPs of Egypt’s new regime seek to mandate female genital mutilation (a barbaric procedure in which, typically, the clitoris of a young girl is gouged out by a ritual butcher, without anaesthesia). But it is not the honour killings and deepening degradation of women throughout the Middle East that so readily excites the moral crusaders and theologians of our best known aid agencies and Laidlaw College, an ostensibly evangelical Bible college. No, it is the Middle East’s only Western style democracy that these agencies choose to castigate, a nation that has demanded equal rights for women from its very inception.
As Syria continues to butcher, rape and torture its own people at such an appalling rate that even the morally bankrupt UN has begun to notice, it seems almost unworthy of mention by the Claytons moralists at the aforementioned agencies. Their moral indignation seems uniquely sensitive to alleged Israeli injustices. In the conflict that Syrian born psychiatrist Dr Wafa Sultan calls a “battle between modernity and barbarism”, these institutions have chosen to undermine evangelical support for the Middle East’s only real beachhead of sanity in a landscape of tyranny and intolerance.
This writer has heard gasps of disbelief, dismay or disgust from World Vision and Tear Fund supporters as they learn that a clergyman who has openly associated with terrorists and Holocaust deniers is being promoted and given a platform by these very agencies and that the “apartheid Israel” lie is being peddled by the same. In our view, the sense of betrayal expressed by these donors is entirely justified.
Rev Dr Stephen Sizer is an Anglican clergyman who has spoken in defense of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man who has repeatedly declared his intention to wipe Israel from the map. The Middle East conflict is the fault of Israel and her Christian allies, according to Sizer.
By dispensing a toxic mix of historical revisionism, well-crafted propaganda, and aberrant theology, Sizer has duped many young Christians into believing they can take the moral high ground by standing against the very people group to whom they are most indebted. In Sizer’s morally inverted worldview the victim becomes the aggressor, the historically indigenous people group becomes a foreign occupier, and the only beacon of freedom in the Middle East becomes a pariah.
While antisemitism in France, Germany, and the Netherlands reaches levels unseen since the 1930s, The Myth Of Moderate Islam (as Patrick Sookhdeo calls it) continues to be embraced by a Western culture paralyzed by political correctness and intellectual laziness. As media misrepresentation of Israel becomes increasingly Goebbelesque, it is shameful that supposedly evangelical institutions appear willing to cooperate with the prevailing culture. The European church failed the Jewish people in the 1930s. Will the New Zealand church fail likewise?
The delegitimization of Israel is a purpose to which Tear Fund, World Vision and Laidlaw College appear willing to apply their considerable resources. In the eyes of Bible believing Christians they will succeed in one thing only: they will prove their own illegitimacy.