God is gathering his sons and daughters from afar (Isaiah 43) and he will save them in his own way (Zechariah 12). These were the central points made by Rev Willem Glashouwer, Bible teacher and President of Christians for Israel International, when he addressed the hundreds of people who attended this year’s National Conference of Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) UK.
With clarity and power he explained the biblical situation of Israel – the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He concluded his second message with some statements of faith regarding Israel’s place in God’s plan of salvation, eg: “It is our strong conviction that the Church has not replaced Israel.”
Dr James Patrick had provided some context for Willem’s messages with an informative and surprisingly comprehensive review of ‘British Christian History and the Jewish People’. James has published a booklet on this subject with CFI UK.
One of Willem’s colleagues, Andrew Tucker, an international lawyer by training, spoke about the United Nations (UN) making many decisions about Israel. While the UN Charter says all states are equal, that ideal evaporates when the topic is Israel.
So he challenged widespread thinking about the legitimacy of those decisions within international law, and emphasised the need for Christians to help redress the bias and falsehoods often spoken about Israel. Quoting Zechariah 12:3 where it says that God will make Jerusalem “an immovable rock,” he explained the significance of the UN’s founding charter.
Kevin Howard, CFI’s Director of Media, and his wife Stacey, Executive Director of CFI Jerusalem, spoke about the need for us to be salt and light in the world today, in context with Hebraic thinking. Kevin touched many hearts when he presented photos from the ten care projects run by CFI Jerusalem, where 25 staff and volunteers work with Holocaust survivors and victims of trauma and terror in the land, and serve in various ways to encourage Arab and Jewish pastors in Israel.
Between those talks Matthew Soakell and Jacob Vince used an amusing visual aid to encourage the audience to use social media in their struggle against online anti-Semitism. The overall conference feedback from young and old alike was very encouraging, with many commenting that they look forward to meeting up at next year’s national conference.
Recordings of all talks are available by contacting CFI UK on 01323 410810.
With thanks to Robin Lane, Operations Manager of CFI