Sunday, October 03, 2010

Abuse of Our Resources - Reflections on Suing the Church

Birmingham's 'Methodist Preacher' today fired the latest salvo in his continuing battle with whatever problems he has with the denomination of which he is a member.  While subtly written up on his blog, the fundamental truth is David Hallam is about to sue the British Methodist Church.

Ever since the Methodist Conference considered, then passed, a report titled 'Justice for Israel and Palestine' our friend up the road has been in a continual lather.  By having a major christian denomination responding to the Palestinian's cry for justice, the church has somehow become part of a large anti-semitic conspiracy...why....because the report calls for a boycott of goods produced on Israeli settlements in the occupied territories....that's it....territories in land which is mainly seen as illegal and which will ultimately return to the Palestinian people if a two state solution is reached (note - for more on the settlements see this article)

The irony of this is unmistakable.   He has spent the last few weeks blogging about the need for large sums to refurbish his own church.  Yet he then will waste money donated in care to the Connexion by forcing it to defend in the law-courts something that has been debated at all levels of the decision making church, and of course could potentially be overturned at the next Methodist Conference.

I give my collection to the church for a simple reason.  We use the gifts from God to further the kingdom of God.  For me that means defending principles of justice, truth and god's love for all.  In this current age this means listening to our Christian friends from Palestine,alongside other groups, and spending time and effort to highlight the injustices going on in the holy land.

The good samaritan makes clear - clerics and academics can always find a reason to walk by as someone suffers. It is the job of every Christian to make sure that no-one of any faith suffers and the churches focus on Palestine is just one way of doing this.


  1. I will be very interested to see how the courts rule on this.

    I still don't understand how this call can be in any way considered to be "racially" motivated. (Scare quotes because there is only one human race.)

    I futher fail to see how calling for an economic boycott from a region which is acknowledged by Israel itself as having been the subject of international negotiations can be illegal.

  2. I see nothing illegal in the position of the church. It is taking a position which I happen to broadly agree with but which is a matter for legitimate debate. I see no good reason for legal action. At the end of the day someone is going to have to cough up legal fees for the only true winners - lawyers!

  3. Anonymous2:58 pm

    Dear Blogger,

    As a fellow Christian I would like to point out that our fellow Christian Palestinians are being forced out of their homes and ancestral lands by Moslem presecution. Remember Palestine could have been sorted 25 years ago if Islamic nationalism had not taken root throughout the Moslem world. Israel is a 'theological' problem. Its existence is blasphemy in the 'Palestinian' mind. The problem is that the Moslem leadership cannot go for a two state solution. That would get them shot. It's all or nothing for the Moslem Nationalists and children are legitimate collateral damage as martyrs.

    Think outside the stereotype.

  4. Anonymous9:10 pm

    I would suggest that you all go out and look at, for example, Gaza - with the new shopping mall opened recently. Or maybe look at the video of the armaments which were unloaded from the ship which the IDF stopped. Since when were fragmentation grenades humanitarian aid?

    First we had the incredible publication on Climate change - sorry global climate disruption - and now we have this ill informed action against Israel.

    Frankly - go for it David Hallam!

  5. Anonymous1:42 am

    The demise of the Christian community in the Holyland over the last 15 years is well documented but only occurs in the areas under Palestinian control.At a time when Christians are prosecuted for the crime of eating lunch (in Algeria), being killed in Eygpt and generally being persecuted all over the Muslim world, one has to think why the Church would focus on Israel.
    Why is it that the Church chooses sides in this particular battle? Is it racism or stupidity that lends support to those that persecute Christians?
    Rather than blame Hallam, look at the actions of the Church in promoting and accepting such a document.
    As said above, the lawyers will be the winners but the Church has lost way before any lawyers get involved.