From Jim O'Brien
January 11, 2019

Politics of Churches

Hi Friend,

A few years ago it was surprising to hear that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church made two major decisions. One was an attack on the financial viability of Israel. The elders of the Presbyterian Church voted to divest funds invested in American companies that sell products to Israel. The Presbyterian elders believe that the state of Israel is carrying out a policy of racism against Muslim terrorists.

In the holy conclaves of the Presbyterian Church the teachers of morality decided that checkpoints to prevent potential bombers from murdering innocent citizens is racist.

A further irony is that PCUSA is attacking U.S. companies to accomplish their goal.

PCUSA has chosen to divest its retirement funds from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard. What have these three companies done? Caterpillar sells bulldozers to the US military who pass them on to Israel. Caterpillar has never sold anything to Israel and legally cannot turn down the US military as a client. To satisfy the cloudy morality of the Presbyterian ministry Caterpillar would have to go out of business and Israel must not defend her citizens.

Motorola sells communication technologies to Israel. The same was praised by the commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, for doing "more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare".

Hewlett Packard supplies biometric scanners used at Israeli checkpoints. These airport security style checkpoints exist to prevent terrorist attacks. The reason HP got involved was because the Palestinians complained that passing through the checkpoints took hours. HP's answer was to design technology that would speed up the process without endangering lives. HP was helping the Palestinians so the Presbyterians want to punish them.

There are deeper factors involved. What kind of company attacks the only Middle Eastern nation that guarantees the safety of Christians? All over the Muslim world Christians are being attacked and killed, churches are being destroyed and hospitals burned. Yet the Presbyterians say nothing about Muslim atrocities.

In another irony PCUSA also voted to perform wedding ceremonies for same sex couples. Yet Islam supports the killing of homosexuals.

The Prophet Isaiah was inspired by God to write:

Woe to those who call evil good

And good evil,

Who put darkness for light

And light for darkness,

Who put bitter for sweet

And sweet for bitter.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes

And clever in their own sight.

Isaiah 5:20-21

Some wag has said that the world's oldest profession is politics. He may be right. Churches cannot avoid becoming involved in politics. Even doing nothing is political. So the question is "what will the members of PCUSA do?" If they support their leadership, it's political. If they leave the church, it's political.

Maybe the lesson to be learned is that Isaiah wrestled against the same spirit that we wrestle against today. We have this in common with Isaiah. He knew the Spirit of Truth and that determined his politics.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien