I am a fifth generation Methodist church member, responding to “Protestants churches’ letter on Israel straining ties with Jews” (Oct. 19). The general conference of the United Methodist Church in Tampa this past April voted by a majority of 57 percent to continue supporting Israel as before.
Each regional UMC conference is made up of the UMC churches in that region, and only one pastor and one or two lay members from each church attend the regional conferences. Ours is the Pacific Northwest region. I don’t know if this issue of the letters came up at our regional conference because they have moved its location from western Washington (greater population) to eastern Washington (Richland/Tri-Cities) and only our pastor attended for my church.
I can tell you truly that these letters do not represent the political or biblical stand of our total UMC members, which number more than seven million today. We did not all get the right to vote on this. The letter writers who use our church conference as a platform for their personal political agenda and opinions cannot speak for all of us. They are using our Methodist Book of Discipline to gauge their actions and not the Holy Bible. Their letters offend me greatly and my concern is, above all, that God will not be pleased with their letters.
Christians are the “wild olive branch” grafted onto the “tame, rooted olive tree” (i.e., Israel). God calls us to support and defend Israel, not harm her – and if we do, “…how much easier our wild branches (which replaced some of the original branches) can be removed from the original olive tree!” and (through the mouth of Isaiah): “Any individual, entity, or nation who comes against My precious remnant, Israel, will experience My right hand.” God made that perfectly crystal clear, didn’t He? Know that most UMC Christians do stand with Israel.