CCJR Approves Letter to Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly on "Breaking Down the Walls" Report

Regular member organizations of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations voted today to write to leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to express concern over the Presbyterian Middle East Study Committee's Report, "Breaking Down the Walls."

The letter was prepared by an ad hoc CCJR committee led by Drs. Adam Gregerman and Christopher Leighton of the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies in Baltimore. A supermajority of 75% of the regular membership is necessary to approve transmitting such a letter in the name of the Council.

"Breaking Down the Walls" will be voted on at the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which begins on July 2, 2010.

Commenting on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the CCJR letter expresses "genuine concern over the plight of the most vulnerable persons, caught up in protracted turmoil over which they have little control," but critiques theological and exegetical aspects of the Presbyterians' Middle East Study Committee's report.

These include facilely applying the Christian Old Testament to 21st century geopolitical conflicts and a selective emphasis on "punitive" biblical texts to criticize Israeli policies.

The CCJR letter offers its comments "in a spirit of collegiality and a shared commitment to peacemaking and interfaith harmony," and asserts "that Christians, Jews, and Muslims together should call upon all those with political responsibility and influence to work urgently to remedy the present intolerable situation."

For the full text of the CCJR letter to the Presbyterian Church (USA), click HERE.

For the report "Breaking Down the Walls," click HERE.