Beyond ‘Balance’: Taking sides with Palestinian and Israeli Peacemakers

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 3, 2007: Lynne Hybels speaks at Sojourners' Pentecost 2007: Taking the Vision to the Street conference.

An interview with Lynn Hybels by Ryan Rodrick Beiler

You say that you are both “pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian.” How is that possible?

When I say I’m pro-Israel, I mean that I support the existence of the State of Israel as a home for the Jewish people. The fact that I may disagree with some policies of the government of Israel doesn’t mean that I’m anti-Israel or anti-Jew, anymore than my disagreement with certain policies of the US government means that I’m anti-US or anti-American.

When I say I’m pro-Palestinian, I mean that I believe Palestinians have an equally valid right to live in the land and should have the same civil rights that are afforded to Israeli Jewish citizens, whether that’s in one state, two states, or however many states. I believe Palestinians—whether in the West Bank or Gaza—should be free from military occupation or blockade.

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Holy Spirit Activism

micael-grenholm-foto-arah-asadi“I am fully convinced that activism for peace and justice should be performed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Miracles, healing, prophecy and evangelism should be combined with peacemaking, economic equality, simplicity and care for the environment, just as in the biblical church.” -Micael Grenholm

Holy Spirit Activism


Spirited Justice


by Robert Welsh

Christians who risk their lives for the Gospel always challenge me. Encountering heroic expressions of faith provokes me to question my own faith journey. Am I taking up my cross? If I were more courageous, would I take a different path? Should I be doing more “extreme” acts of faith? I had the opportunity to confront some of these questions as I studied Christians who risked their lives for the sake of making peace and bringing justice.

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The Scandal of the Evangelical Worldview


by Tom Sine

My friend Ron Sider made some pretty harsh critiques about materialism in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience. He tried to persuade his readers that a Christian worldview doesn’t begin with the materialistic values that are so popular in modern culture. And rightly so.

In 2009 the Barna Group reported that only nine percent of American adults possess a biblical worldview. I will explain why I believe that many sincere believers have allowed the economic values of modern society to define the foundation of their worldview instead of anything that came from scripture.

The single question I would like you to explore with me is “What seems to be the purpose at the very center of our world that, if we embrace it, will create a better future for all people?” There are two very different responses to this question among American evangelicals. One answer comes from modern culture, the other from ancient faith.

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Treating guns as a public health problem


“When I tweeted about the need to address gun violence after the college shooting in the Roseburg, Oregon, a man named Bob pushed back. ‘Check out car accident deaths,’ he tweeted sarcastically. ‘Guess we should ban cars.’ Actually, cars exemplify the public health approach we need to apply to guns. We don’t ban cars, but we do require driver’s licenses, seat belts, air bags, padded dashboards, safety glass and collapsible steering columns. And we’ve reduced the auto fatality rate by 95 percent.”

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Research shows that when young students are suspended or expelled from school, they are several times more likely to experience disciplinary action later in their academic career; drop out or fail out of high school; report feeling disconnected from school; and be incarcerated later in life.


It turns out that principled pacifism is not the sole province of Mennonites. Jay Beaman and Brian Pipkin have uncovered a wealth of documents that testify to the peace commitments of other American religious groups. They have compiled them in a sourcebook entitled Pentecostal and Holiness Statements on War and Peace

Pentecostal Veganism?


by Pastor Eric Gabourel

“I don’t eat the flesh of animals, their by causing them pain…” wrote the man that was to become the first General Overseer of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). A.J. Tomlinson’s story of facilitating the growth of an international Pentecostal denomination begins in the lonely hamlet of Culbertson, North Carolina.

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The Insanity of Corporate Capitalism

Wall street

“Only in the insanity of corporate America can nonviolent animal rights activists be charged as terrorists while a white supremacist who gunned down African-Americans in a South Carolina church is charged on criminal counts. Only in the insanity of America can Wall Street financers implode the global economy through massive acts of fraud, causing widespread suffering, and be rewarded with trillions of dollars in government bailouts. Only in the insanity of America can government leaders wage wars that are defined as criminal acts of aggression under international law and then remain, unchallenged, in positions of power and influence.”

Chris Hedges

Pentecostal Nonviolence

Did you know that Pentecostal denominations have not always been militaristic? For example, during WWI, Pentecostals widely professed pacifism, the active promotion of peace, and resisted participation in warfare.

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