Mart Green Is At It Again

Jim Fletcher 90x115by Jim Fletcher

The threats to Israel have never been greater in number, nor so varied in scope. We see the “big ones,” like Iran, and international condemnation via the UN.

What many people are unaware of are the relentless attacks on Israel’s legitimacy from within the American Church.

It is becoming epidemic.

Just last night a friend emailed me a press release from the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD); Mark Tooley and his associates do tremendous work there, and have long highlighted the departure from the faith from within the mainline churches (Tooley is United Methodist). They are also now connecting the dots between Palestinian activists and the evangelical world.

(Note: next week, I’ll have a lengthy, exclusive report about this at Prophecy Matters)

This week, I would simply like to bring to your attention an astonishing example of this—straight from the heart of the Pentecostal world. Readers of “Israel Watch” already know that Pentecostals have long been strong supporters of Israel. My dear late friend and mentor, Dr. Davis Allen Lewis, would be so grieved at what is going on in those circles, specifically within the Assemblies of God, where he served as an evangelist for 50 years.

Empowered21, a group meeting this weekend at Regent University in Virginia Beach, is partnered with the Society for Pentecostal Studies. From the IRD press release:

“Often identified as strong supporters of Israel, Pentecostal Christians are now being targeted by anti-Israel activists from the Evangelical Left.

“Meeting March 1-4 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Society for Pentecostal Studies is jointly gathering with Empowered 21, a group of Pentecostal ministry leaders. Themed on ‘peacemaking and social justice/righteousness,’ this year’s gathering will feature presentations by academics with anti-Israel views, as well as a screening of ‘Little Town of Bethlehem,’ a film with a subtle anti-Israel message aimed at usually pro-Israel evangelicals.”

Tooley had this to say:

“The Evangelical Left is eager to dissuade Pentecostals, Charismatics and Evangelicals from their traditional support for Israel.”

They are succeeding, in my view.

You see, for one thing, “peacemaking” and “social justice” are long-time favorite phrases of the religious left in America.

Among the folks who comprise the leadership of Empowered21 (based in Cleveland, TN):

  • Nigerian Pastor E.A. Adeboye
  • Lisa Bevere
  • Charles E. Blake, Sr., presiding worldwide leader of the Church of God in Christ (the largest African-American denomination in the U.S.)
  • Glenn Burris, Jr., President of Foursquare Church
  • Michael Coleman, chairman of Integrity Media
  • Kenneth Copeland
  • Dr. Ulf Ekman, founder and senior pastor of Word of Life Church in Uppsala, Sweden
  • Ingolf Ellssel, chairman of the Pentecostal European Fellowship
  • Jentezen Franklin
  • Alton Garrison, assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God
  • Jonas Gonzalez, president of Enlace TBN (“the most influential Christian television network in Latin America”)
  • Jack Hayford
  • Brian Houston
  • Cindy Jacobs
  • Lawrence Khong, senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore
  • Dr. Young Hoon Lee, senior pastor of the Yoido Full Gospel Church (succeeded Dr. Yonggi Cho)
  • Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries
  • Gordon McDonald, pastor of Calvary Christian Church in Surrey, B.C.
  • Robert Morris; Myles Munroe; Rick Renner, pastor of the Moscow Good News Church
  • Gordon Robertson, CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and host of The 700 Club
  • Samuel Rodriguez, Jr., president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
  • Greg Surrat, pastor of Seacoast Church; Dr. Vinson Synan, Regent University
  • Pastor Matthew K. Thomas, founder of Central India Outreach
  • Mark Williams, Second Assistant General Overseer of the Church of God
  • Rev. Billy Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal
  • Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Folks, where do I begin?

When you have the General Superintendent of the AG, youth ministry heads, leaders from Europe, all through the Americas, and Africa, and CBN involved…one wonders if they know the insidious nature of the gathering they are involved in at Regent. I would dearly love to know what people like Jack Hayford think about this, and if they are aware of who Sami Awad and his friends are.

At the heart of all this, though, is Mart Green. I wrote about this for WorldNetDaily in December—Green’s involvement in producing “Little Town of Bethlehem,” a pro Palestinian film from EGM Films, which is headquartered at Green’s Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby empire. The Greens have bankrolled EGM, and it is a high-profile way for Mart Green to advance his pro Palestinian agenda.

Green became chairman of the board of trustees at Oral Roberts University in 2008, after his family pledged tens of millions of dollars to the cash-strapped school. Since then, there are numerous signs that Green’s pro Palestinian agenda is being furthered much deeper in the evangelical world.

EGM Films director Jim Hanon traveled to the Middle East to interview several people for the film, ostensibly to offer a “balanced” view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The three featured interviews are with a Palestinian Christian (Awad), a Palestinian Muslim, and an Israeli. However, keep in mind that a subtle advocacy trick is employed in this interview concept. Most people would say, “Oh, they’ve interviewed three people from different perspectives, so it’s balanced.”

Not so.

The three principals all decry the so-called “occupation,” and the entire film is heavily slanted to portray Israel as an expansionist bully.

Green’s fingerprints are all over this effort.

As Israel struggles to withstand increasing loathing from the international community, it is especially dismaying to see that loathing come from the American Church.

There will be much more to this story in the coming weeks. I would ask you to circulate this far and wide, and watch for more reports to come from me.

by Jim Fletcher