Evangelical leaders oppose Christian Zionists

July 29, 2007

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:


We write as evangelical Christian leaders in the United States to thank you for your efforts (including the major address on July 16) to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to achieve a lasting peace in the region. We affirm your clear call for a two-state solution. We urge that your administration not grow weary in the time it has left in office to utilize the vast influence of America to demonstrate creative, consistent and determined U.S. leadership to create a new future for Israelis and Palestinians. We pray to that end, Mr. President.


We also write to correct a serious misperception among some people including some U.S. policymakers that all American evangelicals are opposed to a two-state solution and creation of a new Palestinian state that includes the vast majority of the West Bank. Nothing could be further from the truth. We, who sign this letter, represent large numbers of evangelicals throughout the U.S. who support justice for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope this support will embolden you and your administration to proceed confidently and forthrightly in negotiations with both sides in the region.


As evangelical Christians, we embrace the biblical promise to Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you." (Genesis 12:3). And precisely as evangelical Christians committed to the full teaching of the Scriptures, we know that blessing and loving people (including Jews and the present State of Israel) does not mean withholding criticism when it is warranted. Genuine love and genuine blessing means acting in ways that promote the genuine and long-term well being of our neighbors.


Perhaps the best way we can bless Israel is to encourage her to remember, as she deals with her neighbor Palestinians, the profound teaching on justice that the Hebrew prophets proclaimed so forcefully as an inestimably precious gift to the whole world.


Historical honesty compels us to recognize that both Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine. Both Israelis and Palestinians have committed violence and injustice against each other. The only way to bring the tragic cycle of violence to an end is for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a just, lasting agreement that guarantees both sides viable, independent, secure states.


To achieve that goal, both sides must give up some of their competing, incompatible claims. Israelis and Palestinians must both accept each other’s right to exist. And to achieve that goal, the U.S. must provide robust leadership within the Quartet to reconstitute the Middle East roadmap, whose full implementation would guarantee the security of the State of Israel and the viability of a Palestinian State. We affirm the new role of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and pray that the conference you plan for this fall will be a success.


Mr. President, we renew our prayers and support for your leadership to help bring peace to Jerusalem, and justice and peace for all the people in the Holy Land.


Finally, we would request to meet with you to personally convey our support and discuss other ways in which we may help your administration on this crucial issue.



Ronald J. Sider, President
Evangelicals for Social Action


Don Argue, President
Northwest University


Raymond J. Bakke, Chancellor
Bakke Graduate University


Gary M. Benedict, President
The Christian & Missionary


George K. Brushaber, President
Bethel University


Gary M. Burge, Professor
Wheaton College & Graduate School


Tony Campolo, President/Founder
Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education


Christopher J. Doyle, CEO
American Leprosy


Leighton Ford, President
Leighton Ford Ministries


Daniel Grothe, Pastoral Staff
Life Church (Colorado Springs)


Vernon Grounds, Chancellor
Denver Seminary


Stephen Hayner, former President
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship


Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor
Northland Church

Member, Executive Committee of the NAE

Jo Anne Lyon, Founder/CEO

World Hope International


Gordon MacDonald, Chair of the Board
World Relief


Albert G. Miller, Professor
Oberlin College


Richard Mouw, President
Fuller Theological Seminary


David Neff, Editor
Christianity Today


Glenn R. Palmberg, President
Evangelical Covenant Church


Earl Palmer, Senior Pastor
University Presbyterian Church


Victor D. Pentz, Pastor
Peachtree Presbyterian Church,


John Perkins, President
John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development


Bob Roberts, Jr., Senior Pastor
Northwood Church
, Dallas


Leonard Rogers, Executive Director
Evangelicals for
Middle East Understanding


Andrew Ryskamp, Executive Director
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee


Chris Seiple, President
Institute for Global Engagement


Robert A. Seiple, Former Ambassador-at-Large,
International Religious Freedom
U.S. State Department


Luci N. Shaw, Author, Lecturer
, Vancouver


Jim Skillen, Executive Director
for Public Justice


Glen Harold Stassen, Professor
Fuller Theological Seminary