“For those who honour Me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30)
We have appreciated your prayers for the recent CUFI campaign, Christians Against Antisemitism Declaration, which enables Christians to make a stand against anti-Semitism and demonstrate support for Britain’s Jewish community at this difficult time. One of the components of this Declaration has been the call for church denominations to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition on anti-Semitism. This follows groundwork earlier in the year in which CUFI approached Archbishop Welby personally, requesting that the Church of England adopts the definition and all its examples.
Last week, Archbishop Welby stated that he believed the definition needs to be adopted. Then this week, Anglican bishops approved the definition in full at their annual gathering. This is certainly an answer to prayer.
Many Anglican supporters of Israel have been praying that their leadership will take a stronger stand for Israel. And whilst the definition doesn’t address some of the broader Israel-related issues that the church has been silent on, the Church of England has at least recognised those elements relating to Israel that the Labour leadership initially excluded. Furthermore, it sends a clear message to the Jewish community that the established church will not tolerate anti-Semitism in any form.
CUFI support is comprised of members that belong to many different denominations – and many that don’t identify with any denomination. It is our prayer that other Christian groups will adopt the definition. For example, CUFI has approached the Baptist Union, Methodist Church and Evangelical Alliance. Please pray for this on-going campaign.
We regularly say, “Britain’s stand with Israel begins with the Church”. It is disappointing how sections of the church in Britain has placed itself in opposition to Israel, but let us take encouragement. Through CUFI there is an expanding group of Christians from all types of fellowship backgrounds that are rising up in their stand for Israel. The fact that 10,000 Christians have signed the Declaration in one month is testimony to the fact that something significant is happening in the UK.
Back in the 19th Century, when the “Restoration of the Jews” became a matter of political discussion, it is sometimes forgotten that a man named William Hechler played an important role.
Hechler had no high position, in a national sense, but as a Christian he was obedient to God’s Word. As an Anglican clergyman of German descent, he was Chaplain of the British Embassy in Vienna and became a close friend of Theodor Herzl, who he aided through his diplomatic activities..
Marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Theodor Herzl, the “father of modern Zionism”, it was noted by the editors of the English-language memorial volume that William Hechler would prove, “not only the first, but the most constant and the most indefatigable of Herzl’s followers”. You could say he was a founder of modern Christian Zionism.
This is the difference we can make as individuals when we are obedient to God’s Word. Remember, the Lord honours those that honour Him. Who knows what role God might have in store for you by simply remaining faithful to His Word?
It also reminds us of the impact Christian leaders can have when they defend truth. Oh, how we must pray for Christian leaders to rise up in this nation.
To close, let us share with you something that CUFI wrote in a letter handed to Archbishop Welby earlier this year. It mentions another Christian leader who remained faithful in a love and concern for the Jewish people.
It was your predecessor, William Temple, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury during World War II that left such an honourable legacy of standing with the Jewish people.
As you will be aware, Archbishop Temple joint-founded the Council of Christians and Jews to combat anti-Semitism. In 1943 he addressed the House of Lords urging for action to be taken concerning the atrocities being carried out by Nazi Germany, saying, “We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility. We stand at the bar of history, of humanity and of God.”
Antisemitism, like all prejudices and hatred, goes against the core of our Christian values. However further to this, we at Christians United for Israel believe that as Christians we have a Biblical responsibility to stand with the Jewish people. Christianity could not and would not exist if it were not for the Jewish people. The Christian values we hold dear are rooted in the faith practiced by the Jewish people for thousands of years before the birth of Christ, who Himself was Jewish. Our debt to the Jewish people compels us to stand against all forms of hatred towards them.
Today, in the words of Archbishop Temple, we stand at the “bar of history, of humanity and of God”. We trust that the Church of England will take this “moment of tremendous opportunity” and adopt the definition of antisemitism.
Save the Date: On 13 October 2018, CUFI will be in Coventry, West Midlands. Click here for more information
The following prayer points are to assist you as you pray. For the stories behind these prayer points, please view the CUFI Weekly News Round-up, by clicking here.
- Praise the Lord for the answer to prayer regarding a section of the Christians Against Antisemitism Declaration. Pray that the decision by Anglican bishops this week to adopt the definition on anti-Semitism will be an important step towards a stronger stand from the Church of England in support of Israel and the Jewish people.
- Pray for further success of CUFI’s campaign.
- Pray that the Lord will use each and every one of us to faithfully honour Him in our stand with Israel.
- Pray against the plot that has emerged this week to unseat Labour MPs that have spoken out against Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the anti-Semitism crisis.
- Pray that the truth will come out over claims two of Corbyn’s aides, one an open supporter of Hezbollah, have had over 8 months of access to Parliament without security clearance.
- Praise the Lord that new figures show a 33% growth in the value of Israeli tech investments in the UK with many more companies wanting to enter deals.
- Amid reports that anti-Semitism has tripled in West Yorkshire, pray for the Jewish community there, especially Leeds where most incidents have occurred.
- Pray for the owners of the Kosher restaurant in Germany that experienced an anti-Semitic attack by neo-Nazis.
- Praise the Lord for the bold move by the US government to close the PLO office in Washington.
- Pray for blessing upon blessing for Israel in the year ahead.