Category Archives: With God on our Side

With God on our Side : Monday 26th September

With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole.

This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.”

For more information see With God on our Side

RSVP if you would like to attend this free showing

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Robert Murray McCheyne’s Church Hosts Seminar on Christian Zionism

Porter Speakman Jr and I gave presentations today at a seminar on Christian Zionism hosted by Solas: The Centre for Public Christianity based at St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland in Dundee.

One of my spiritual heroes, Robert Murray McCheyne was the pastor of St Peter’s between 1831-1843. One of his particular passions was ministry to Jewish people. In 1839 along with Andrew Bonar, Alexander Black and Alexander Keith, McCheyne made a six month visit to Palestine to examine the condition of the Jewish people in Europe and Palestine. His only published book was a result of that tour – a joint effort with Andrew Bonar – The Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews.

It was doubly significant therefore that Porter Speakman Jr, the producer of the film With God on our Side, showed a preview and spoke about his ministry in Israel/Palestine, and I gave a short paper on the Bible, Israel and the Church.

We had a fruitful and constructive two hour bible-based discussion with about 25 evangelical church leaders from the Presbyterian, Church of Scotland, Baptist and Free Church of Scotland. While many identified with a Christian Zionist perspective, we were nevertheless unanimous in our desire that Jews and Palestinians hear the good news of Jesus Christ and come to live together in peace and reconciliation.

The seminar was also recorded by Thistle Channel TV for a programme on Christian Zionism. Local Christian leaders also hosted the film With God on our Side at the Hilton International Hotel in Dundee last night.

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Frankie Schaeffer Reviews With God on Our Side

Two men shaped my early Christian thinking probably more than all the others combined – John Stott and Francis Schaeffer, to whom I will be eternally grateful. I met Francis Schaeffer’s son Frankie two years ago and we dialogued about our mutual interest in the Middle East and our concern about the destructive influence of Christian Zionism.

Frankie has now written a review of our new film With God on our Side in his own inimitable style.  Here’s a taster:

The so-called Jewish lobby is supposed to be so powerful that no American president can act without their approval. This is an anti-Semitic slur, a kind of Americanized “lite” version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a forged anti-Semitic screed purporting to describe a Jewish plan to achieve global domination). For one thing most Jewish-Americans aren’t part of this lobby, but rather are ordinary American citizens who are just as skeptical of right-wing Jewish Zionist fundamentalist Israelis as other Americans are — perhaps more so, because they know more about them.

The truth is that when it comes to pandering to powerful religious/ethnic “blocs” in the US the biggest game in town is the across the board bowing to the white Evangelical “base” of the Republican Party. That’s the bloc of voters that adds up to real numbers, as high as a third of the American voting population.

It’s the Christian Zionists who have driven American foreign policy over a cliff. (I’m speaking here as the proud father of a Marine, who was sent to war in the Middle East, again and again.) Christian Zionists continuously jeopardize our future by putting the promotion of harebrained interpretations of biblical “prophecy” ahead of the well being of both Israel and the US.

To the Christian Zionists “defending Israel” is just a handy pretext for indulging their obsession: egging on, even “helping” the fulfillment of “biblical prophecies” about the “return of Christ.” But their worst sin isn’t just embracing dumb “theology” but that they have enabled a nefarious group of losers to irreparably harm America and contribute to the needless killing of our men and women in uniform worldwide: the neoconservatives.

To the neoconservatives “defending Israel” is just a handy pretext for upholding the myth of “American exceptionalism” for profit and nationalistic “glory,” of the kind that was supposed to have gone out of fashion when hubris and stupidity got half the young male population of Europe killed in World War One.

America needlessly went to war in Iraq because neoconservative war mongers — who laugh at the “those rubes” as they think of earnest Evangelical Christian Zionists, and whose own sons and daughters seem notably absent from our armed services — used the religious passion and dedication of conservative Evangelicals to provide political means and cover for the neoconservatives’ commitment to America’s military dominance of the world. In other words the Evangelicals provided the votes to put foolish war mongers like George W Bush in power.

With “friends” like the Christian Zionists and the neoconservatives Israel, America, our men and women in uniform, the Palestinians and the rest of humanity need no enemies. This is made poignantly clear by a new film, With God On Our Side.

With God On Our Side is the most powerful, humane and compassionate documentary exposé of the Christian Zionist movement, and the impact of their ideology on the lives they have touched (and ruined), ever made. It is well crafted, subtle and fair. And — notable in the “when hell freezes over” department — it was directed and produced by… an American Evangelical.

Read the rest here

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

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With God on our Side: UK Tour

“The first obvious challenge of “With God On Our Side” was articulating a perspective on the Middle East debate anchored in history and sound theology. Porter Speakman has not only met that test, but also delivered one of the clearest assessments of the struggle between Palestinians and Jews, and a US Church largely unaware of their complicity in the current conflict. Speakman’s second more ominous challenge will be obtaining an audience, often steeped with established notions, open to wrestling with the film’s content. The hope of an ongoing Christian presence in the Holy Land may depend on the success of his message… I dare anyone to see this film and remain unchanged.” Steven W. Haas – Vice President/Chief Catalyst, World Vision United States

“This film is informative, it’s inspiring, it’s challenging and it summarizes in brilliant fashion, what the problem is and what needs to change in order to solve the problem. I don’t know of anything quite like it – and I would have to say the church desperately needs it.” Tony Campolo Professor emeritus of sociology, Eastern University and founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education

“I can’t think of any form of media in recent years that deals more clearly and powerfully with the most complex region of the world. I can’t recommend it enough!” Carl Medearis Author  “Muslims, Christians, and Jesus”  & “Tea With Hezbollah”

“Finally! A look at what Christian Zionism teaches and more importantly, the real implications it has on the people of the Middle East. A perspective not heard often in the church.” Brian McLaren – Author / Speaker / Activist

4 stars “…Christian Zionism is officially on notice…Whether one agrees with Speakman or not, his challenging glimpses remind us that people are at stake here.” Christianity Today – July 2010, pg. 56.

With God on our Side: UK Tour

Manchester, England
November 8, 2010
Nazarene Theological College – 7:00 PM

Dundee, Scotland
November 9, 2010
Hilton Hotel – Earl Grey Place – 7:15 PM

Edinburgh, Scotland
November 10, 2010
Holyrood – Scottish Parliament
Invitation Only

Belfast, Northern Ireland
November 11, 2010
Stormont – Northern Ireland Assembly (Afternoon)
Invitation Only

Belfast, Northern Ireland
November 11, 2010
Queens University Belfast – 7:30 pm
The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
6 College Park – Belfast BT7 1LP

Dublin, Ireland
November 12, 2010 – 7:30 pm
Synge Theatre – Trinity College, Dublin

Cambridge University
November 13, 2010 – 2:00 PM
Queen’s Building Auditorium, Emmanuel College
St Andrew’s Street
Ben White will be joining Porter Speakman, Jr. and Rev. Stephen Sizer

With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole.

This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.”

For more information see With God on our Side

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With God on our Side: Preview

With God On Our Side – Trailer 2 from Porter Speakman Jr on Vimeo.

“With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole. This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.”

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With God on our Side: US Tour Photos

View the highlights of the With God on our Side US tour here or on Flickr. See also photos taken on the first WGOOS US tour here

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