Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Hank Hanegraaff Responds to anti-Semitism Allegations

Dear Bishop Christopher,

Allow me this opportunity to add my voice to the list of noteworthy men and women who have written to you on behalf of Dr. Stephen Sizer. I write in full recognition that the charge leveled at Dr. Sizer is a most serious one. In an age in which Internet lies travel halfway around the world before truth has had the chance to put its boots on, I find it ever more crucial to counter insidious falsehoods such as this one immediately.

Let me first note that I am intimately acquainted with Dr. Sizer's perspectives in that I have read his work exhaustively and have quoted him extensively in major trade publications. I recognize him as a gifted exegete and a much needed voice respecting unnecessary roadblocks erected on the path to peace in the Middle East. He consistently and even-handedly warns against the grievous sin of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism as well as the abomination of turning a blind eye to a Zionist theology that divides people on the basis of race rather than uniting them on the basis of righteousness, justice, and equity.

Moreover, I find it wholly ironic that courageous men such as Dr. Sizer are uncharitably charged with anti-Semitism while precious little is said respecting the unbalanced perspectives of Christian Zionists who communicate that directly following their own glorious rapture a numberless multitude of Jews will be slaughtered in a bloodbath that they say will exceed even the horrors of the Holocaust. Indeed, those who dare question their notion of a pretribulational rapture followed by a Holy Land holocaust, in which the vast majority of Jews perish, are shouted down as peddlers of godless heresy. The ultimate pejorative phrase has even been coined for those who deny the heart of their Zionist eschatology. They are dubbed “replacement theologians” and are said to be guilty of spreading “the message of anti-Semitism.” Indeed, popular dispensationalists are blunt in their denunciations: “Replacement theologians are now carrying Hitler's anointing and his message.” Little wonder then that this charge is now being gratuitously directed at Dr. Sizer.

I am deeply grateful for Dr. Sizer's willingness to stand for truth no matter the cost. He is an example to me and thousands who have listened to his gracious and godly communications on our nationally syndicated radio broadcasts. It is my prayer that you will continue to be a great source of encouragement and support to Dr. Sizer in the days ahead.


Hank Hanegraaff

Christian Research Institute
Charlotte, North Carolina


See other letters from:

Right Revd Riah Abo El Assal, 13th Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem
Dr Bishara Awad, Founder and President Emeritus, Bethlehem Bible College
Dr Mark Braverman,
 Author of the Fatal Embrace
Canon Dr Mike Butterworth, former Academic Registrar, Oak Hill College
David Carter
, Director, Middle East Evangelical Concern
Anne Clayton, Coordinator, Friends of Sabeel UK
Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Professor Emeritus of Judaism, University of Wales
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Islington North
Katherine Cunningham, Moderator, IPMN, Presbyterian Church USA
Professor Scott Elias, Royal Holloway, University of London
Tony Greenstein, Founding Member, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Professor Mary Grey, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Wales
Dr Jeff Halper, Co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Hank Hanegraaff, President, Christian Research Institute
Revd Phil Hill, Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary
Canon Garth Hewitt, Founder, Amos Trust
Dr Ghada Karmi, Fellow of the Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, Exeter University
Manfred W. Kohl, Ambassador, Overseas Council
Dr Attorney Jonathan Kuttab, Chairman of the Board, Bethlehem Bible College
Venerable Michael Lawson, Chairman, Church of England Evangelical Council
Jeremy Moodey, Chief Executive, Embrace the Middle East
Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan
Diana Neslen, Ex-officio Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Professor Ilan Pappe, Director, European Centre for Palestine Studies, Exeter University
Revd Jack Sara, President, Bethlehem Bible College
Rabbi Dr Stanley Howard Schwartz, Hospice Chaplain and retired Army Chaplain
David Toorawa, Chair, Friends of Sabeel UK
Revd Dr Donald Wagner, National Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
Revd John Woodger, Retired vicar, St Mary's Watford

Anthony Julius is chairman of the London Consortium and a Visiting Professor at Birbeck College, University of London. His book Trials of the Diaspora, is a magisterial 800 page examination of the history of Anti-Semitism in England. In the final chapter which deals with the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Julius writes,
"He has recently explained, however, that he 'categorically reject[s] any position that threatens the territorial integrity of Israel as a sovereign nation.... Stephen Sizer's work has the merit of clearly setting out the issues that divide the two sides, and furthermore doing so without the rancour or sheer nastiness of tone typical of the polemics in the conflict." (p.571)

And see also these articles from other news sources:

Phil Groom (member of CCJ): Jeremiah's Underpants
Phil Groom (member of CCJ): Dr Sizer is cleared
Church of England Newspaper: Sizer complaint
Church Times:  Vicar is not Anti-Semitic
Church Times:  Rabbi Clears Vicar of Anti-Semitism
Jewish Chronicle: Bishop: anti-Zionist vicar ‘no antisemite
Jewish Chronicle: Sizer: I am ready to meet the Board of Deputies any time