The ethical-theological committee of the pentecostal church in Finland released on 10 May a statement that seeks to redefine Israel theology and curb the excesses of christian zionism within its ranks.
In the statement pentecostalists seek to distance the movement from uncritical glorification of Israel and judaism on theological grounds. Instead, the statements seeks set the foundation for a healthy and positive relationship towards Israel. Common thinking and traits that are criticized include unconditional endorsement of the actions of the state of Israel.
The pentecostalists stress that Israel is a democratic and independent country, but the responsibility of Christians is to promote the spiritual, social and economic welfare of all people living in the region without unnecessary meddling into political disputes. They stress that the use of violence must always be separated from legitimate security concerns and defense of the country.
"Love of thy neighbour means taking up the ethical and humanitarian responsibility and rejection of violence. Unethical conduct must never be endorsed on the basis of nation or nationality - including the conduct of Jewish people and the state of Israel."
In addition the pentocostal movement wants to point out that glorification and adoption of Jewish culture, rituals and traditions among non-Jewish believers can lead to practices that are contradictory to the spirit of the gospels and the teachings of the New Testament. It is particularly important to recognize that there is salvation only through Jesus for Christians and Jews alike.
"We must not reject Israel and we have obligation to pray for Israel." The pentecostal church in Finland rejects all forms of antisemitism. We call for believers to rise against public opinion when they recognize antisemitism and hostility towards Israel.
Palestinians or Palestinian Christians are not mentioned in the statement, but the pentecostalists emphasize that it is the duty of Christians to help even-handedly all people in need without putting anyone in a privileged status.
Report in English provided by Pyhä Maa (www.pyhamaa.net)
Sources: Pentecostal Church in Finland (original document in Finnish) http://bit.ly/Miegug - Kotimaa (Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church Newspaper, in Finnish) http://bit.ly/KTGTBs