Put together Sadat, Begin, and Jimmy Carter. Mix them with the leaders of the oil producing nations of the Middle East. Add the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Soviet Union. Stir briskly and you have quite a stew. Meanwhile, various Christians, using a series of full-page advertisements, are cooking up an interesting side dish. These ads were published in the New York Times or Washington Post and then in certain other newspapers.
So far as we can tell, the battle of the advertisements started with the one placed in the Times on November first; it was headlined “Evangelicals’ Concern for Israel” (see our November 18, 1977, issue, page 50). Editor Harold Lindsell and editor-elect Kenneth Kantzer were among the fifteen signers. They were speaking for themselves rather than for CHRISTIANITY TODAY. This ad was followed on November 15 by a statement in the Times by fifteen others, led by Carl McIntire, and headed “Fundamentalists Vote With Israel.”
More than thirty Americans of various theological views offered a different approach on December 29. Their ad was headed. “We Christians believe simplistic interpretations of the Holy Scriptures and simplistic answers to the complex questions involved will not bring peace to the Middle East.” It then expressed alarm and distress over “attempts on the part of some Western Christians to impose solutions on the problems of the Middle East by employing a few selected verses from the Bible, … to prove that a particular political or property right is willed by God.…”
The next salvo came in a February 3 ad headed “Catholics concerned for the future of Israel and its Arab neighbors.” Like the first two in the sequence, it came out unequivocally for the Israeli side in the Middle ...1
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