Will PC USA Heed the Writing on the Wall?

By Kenneth Larter
My Christian denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), has adopted an increasingly antagonistic stance towards Israel. The recent approval of divestment from companies who do business in the Jewish state is just the beginning. This will now be followed by an additional report that will conclude the Church should divest more, boycott more – seek to harm Israel even more. I, and many members of my Church, unequivocally reject these actions.
Our attitude is born of both our faith itself and the manner in which that faith informs our individual moral approach to the world.
Growing up, I was taught that the modern children of Israel are the descendants of Abraham, and that the founding of the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of God’s promise to His chosen people. In my formative years, Moshe Dayan and Golda Meir were my heroes.  The books of Yigael Yadin, the Israeli archaeologist, were avidly read, and I rejoiced when the Jews, against all odds, triumphed in the Six Day War, liberating Jerusalem. 
Israel has always held a special place in my heart, and I have always prayed for the peace of Jerusalem. But as James reminds my Christian brothers and sisters “…faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
In late 2015 I came to know Christians United for Israel (CUFI). I traveled with them to the Holy Land, and was reminded of the words the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.”
Love is the greatest gift, and God has put in my heart a love of Israel. And He then introduced me to CUFI which has shown me what works need be done to support the Jewish state. I am thus compelled to vigorously resist the narrative that Israel should be the victim of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions.
Demonizing and singling out the Jewish state for attack is anti-Semitic. It is the duty of all Christians, especially those whose denominational kin have strayed down this dangerous path, to reject, disown and distance themselves from the heresy of anti-Semitism. In the Presbyterian context, the actions taken against Israel are violations of our Creeds of Christendom and our Church’s Confessions of Faith. And lest any Christian forget, “Salvation is from the Jews.”
I came to my current charge almost fourteen years ago as a man committed to Biblical and Reformed Christianity.  I remain so by the grace of God, and hope to die in this faith.  Despite the tension of remaining in a denomination in which many have strayed from a Biblical and moral path, to date I stay for the sake of the congregation. 
And it is the whole Presbyterian congregation for whom I fear.
When Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall that so troubled King Belshazzar, he wrote “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end.  You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting, and your kingdom is divided.”
I pray my denomination will stop, consider the Word of God, and reverse course before our own kingdom is divided.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Larter leads the congregation of Deerfield Presbyterian Church. Established in 1737, Larter’s house of worship is among the oldest Presbyterian churches in the United States.