The World Council of Churches has announced Rev Jerry Pillay as the new general secretary for the council.
The Jewish community has spoken out against Rev Jerry Pillay’s election as leader of the WCC, expressing concern for the fact that someone who supports the boycott campaign against Israel and who accuses Israel of being “apartheid” would be elected to such a prestigious position.
While the Jewish community has spoken out against it there hasn’t been much of a response from the Christian community, so we wanted to address this issue and talk about it from a Christian perspective.
What is the World Council of Churches?
The WCC is a worldwide Christian inter-church organisation founded in 1948 (funnily enough the same year Israel was reborn as a nation) and represents various church denominations in 120 countries around the world.
The WCC’s members include some of the largest church groups, including the second and third largest churches, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion, which includes the Church of England. Other groups include the Methodists, Lutherans, Oriental Orthodox Church and more. In total, the WCC claims representation for around 500 million Christians worldwide.
What does the WCC believe about Israel?
The WCC as an organisation is anti-Israel and anti-Christian Zionist.
Just read this:
“Christians who promote “Christian Zionism” distort the interpretation of the Word of God and the historic connection of Palestinians—Christians and Muslims—to the Holy Land, enable the manipulation of public opinion by Zionist lobbies, and damage intra-Christian relations.”
– The World Council of Churches (29/05/2013)
What a shameful take from a council that is supposed to be promoting the truth of God’s Word and yet they are undermining God with such an anti-Biblical view.
Furthermore, the WCC supports the boycotts and has sided with the Palestinians.
In 2009, the WCC gave its support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. They claimed that goods produced in Israeli settlements were “illegal, unjust” and “incompatible with peace”.
In 2013, the General Secretary for the WCC declared, “We support the Palestinians. The WCC supports the Palestinians, because they are in the right.”
What about Rev Jerry Pillay?
So why is there concern for Rev Jerry Pillay’s position as the general secretary?
Well, Rev Pillay has long spoken about Israel in a negative light. In 2016, he wrote a paper entitled, “Apartheid in the Holy Land” and in it he describes Israel as being “apartheid” just as in South Africa. In fact, he quotes various sources to argue that Israel is “worse” than South Africa.
He refers to Israel as the “Zionist project” that has a “disrespect and disregard for human dignity and rights”. And he wrongly claims that Palestinians, not Jews, are the “indigenous people of the land.”
Pillay also called on the church to challenge Christian Zionism along with “the biblical justification that usually comes with it.”
The document is filled with anti-Israel rhetoric, but the most egregious comes when he uses both the Old Testament and the Holocaust to attack Israel and the Jewish people.
Rev Pillay writes, “Likewise there are many passages in the Old Testament that speak about taking care of the poor, vulnerable and oppressed people. Clearly, Israel has not taken God’s call seriously in their treatment of and disrespect for Palestinians in their own land. It is quite alarming that this is so, given their own history of persecution at the hands of the Nazis.”
We cannot fathom how someone who holds the title of Reverend has such little understanding of the Bible from which he preaches.
The Word of God is clear that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people in an eternal covenant.
In Genesis 17:8, God speaks to Abraham and says, “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
When God makes a promise He keeps that promise. There isn’t a passage in the Bible that removes this promise from the Jewish people.
The Bible also declares the restoration of Israel as prophetic event.
Amos 9:14-15 reads, “‘And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.”
What a powerful Scripture that predicted the restoration of Israel and the fulfilment of God’s promise.
We also know that God will punish nations that work against Israel.
Joel 3 speaks of a future event in the End Times where God will judge the nations based on how they treat Israel and the Jewish people.
“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land.”
The World Council of Churches has rejected the truth of the Bible when it comes to Israel and the Jewish people. Christian Zionism is not distorting the Word of God, it is honouring the truth of God’s Word and His plans for Israel.
We call on the WCC to repent and turn back to the truth of the Bible.
We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.