With high-profile Christian speakers from the United States and Jerusalem, a sold-out conference on Israel drew 1,700 Bible-believing supporters to Colorado as a couple hundred more watched live streaming coverage beginning Wednesday, the opening night of a two-day summit that organizers predict will grow into a global solidarity movement of Jews and non-Jews.
Speaking Friday night, Dr. Jack Hayford, who is considered by ministry leaders to be a pastor to pastors, said Israel will continue to be a focal point of world history. And, as Bible-believing Christians align themselves with Israel, Hayford says they can expect both God’s blessings of favor and protection, as well as persecution from enemies of the Jewish state.
“Standing with Israel and for traditional marriage are non-negotiable tenets for Christians living amid changing cultural viewpoints,” Hayford told Christians from a dozen nations and the United States on the final night of what some call a historic summit.
As Israel-loving Christians and Messianic believers from the U.S., Brazil, Pakistan, Sweden, Australia and India filled Resurrection Fellowship’s worship in Loveland and a global online audience logged onto computers for the Feb. 4-6 conference, a small group of pro-Palestinian advocates braved cold and snow to protest “unequivocal support for Israel’s shedding of innocent Palestinian blood” on the opening night.
Conducting a candle-light vigil and carrying signs critical of Israel’s role in inflicting casualties among Palestinians civilians, protest organizers said they hoped to draw attention to “unimaginable and unspeakable” war atrocities. Their primary goal was to convince the church’s host pastor, Jonathan Wiggins, to cancel the conference which, protestors say, amounts to “treating political Israel with God-like status.”
With delegates traveling to Colorado from across the U.S. and foreign nations – and with what Wiggins believes is a fair, balanced treatment of Palestinian issues by conference speakers – the pastor refused the opposition’s suggestion he cancel the themed event, Israel Summit: Stand FIRM.
Instead, Wiggins reaffirmed the legitimacy of both the conference and the claims of those who oppose it for political or spiritual reasons. “I gladly respect the right of this group to gather,” Wiggins said. More