A senior member of the Church of England has responded to my positive blog about the GAFCON conference
with the thought that most of those present would have been replacement theologians and/or Messianic Jews with an agenda, and therefore no friends of the Jewish people. He also pointed out that support for Israel is not the same as support for the Jewish people.
I am not sure about this. Although it is quite true that some, or maybe many, Christian supporters of Israel would like us to convert to Christianity as soon as possible, there are many who don't. And as Ruth Gledhill has pointed out in this truly superb blog report on the whole conference, the Israeli tourism people are thrilled with the Jerusalem event, which will apparently be repeated in two years time:
For those of us who have worked very hard for the last three or four years to counter the adverse effects of the words and actions of former Anglican Bishop Riah of Jerusalem and his western supporters on truly good relations between Jews and members of the Church England, which culminated in the decision of Anglican Synod to divest from Israel only two years ago, this turn-around is amazing - and most be inspired by God.
As for the role of Israel in Jewish aspirations, although it is to be hoped that the Jewish diaspora will continue to flourish, many believe, as do I, that the future of the Jewish people is ultimately in Israel. What is more, even for those remaining in the diaspora, Israel will always represent the pinnacle of their dreams and aspirations, as we intone every year at the Pesach Seder service, and in the many Psalms and other parts of our ancient synagogue liturgy.
So for Jews and Christians alike, may it be
Next year in Jerusalem!