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October 31, 2003 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Insight

ISSUES

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from page 29

and lunch sessions with Jewish com-
munity leaders. At the morning ses-
sion Oct. 16, executive committee
members from the Catholic,
Evangelical, Lutheran and
Presbyterian churches explained
some of the current thinking, and
political and structural pressures, on
their respective religious communi-
ties.
JoAnn Magnuson, community
relations director for Bridges for
Peace, said she understands Jewish
concerns about evangelical support
and sometimes gives talks to her fel-
low evangelical Christians about
"why we make our Jewish neighbors
nervous. "
"Evangelicals need as much help
as you can give them," she
explained. "There is lots of zeal .
without a lot of knowledge. Don't
jump ship the first time they say
something wrong.
But it's not only evangelicals who
need education about Israel.
"Most Catholics are woefully
ignorant of the history of modern
Israel," said Dr. Richard Lux, pro-
fessor of Hebrew Scripture at Sacred
Heart School of Theology in
Milwaukee.
Mark Gentry, a non-denomina-
tional Pentecostal minister in
Cedarville, Ark., stated flatly,
"There is much greater ignorance in
the church than you can imagine."
There was broad agreement
among the Christian leaders when
Dr. William Harter, pastor of a
Presbyterian church in
Chambersburg, Pa., and NCLCI's
secretary-treasurer, asked the Jewish
representatives to "take the time to
build relationships between
Christian and Jewish Zionists —
those who are not afraid to say they
are Zionists.
"We were heartened to hear that
even though mainline churches
nationally are passing anti-Israel res-
olutions, there are strong Israel
advocates within those churches,"
said Allan Gale, associate director of
the Jewish Community Council of
Metropolitan Detroit, who hosted
the morning session.
"This meeting reinforced the
Council's feeling that we should
work through individual churches
and not focus so much on the state-
ments coming out of the national
church bodies."

"

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