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Stephen Sizer

Stephen Robert Sizer (born 27 July 1953) is the former vicar of the Anglican parish of Christ Church, Virginia Water, in Surrey, England. Sizer is known for his opposition to Christian Zionism, which is the basis of his 2004 PhD thesis and the focus of his published works.

Stephen Sizer
Born (1953-07-27)27 July 1953 (age 68)
NationalityBritish
OccupationPastor
Evangelist
WebsiteStephen Sizer
Stephen Sizer's blog

In October 2012, the Board of Deputies of British Jews lodged a complaint against Sizer with the Church of England under the Clergy Discipline Measure alleging that he had made anti-Semitic statements and published links to anti-Semitic web sites. Although he did not admit culpability, at a conciliation meeting in October 2013 Sizer agreed to have his online web usage monitored.

In 2015, the Board of Deputies lodged a further complaint against Sizer, this time for posting a link accusing Jews and Israel of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks in the United States. He was censured by the Bishop of Guildford, who imposed a complete ban on Sizer's use of all social media for at least six months.

Contents

Stephen Robert Sizer was born in Lowestoft in 1953, the son of a carpenter. He began his career working for the Department of Health and Social Security (1971–1973) as a supplementary benefits visiting officer in east London. From there he went on to study geography (African and Asian studies) at Sussex University, (1973–1976). It was while at University, that he became a Christian. After graduation Sizer worked as a campus director/student counsellor with Agape at the Universities of London, Liverpool and Sussex. In 1980 he was accepted for training as a minister in the Church of England and gained a diploma in theology at Trinity College, Bristol. In 1983 he was ordained and became an assistant curate in St Leonards-on-Sea, then was appointed Rector at St. John's, Stoke, Guildford in 1986. He gained an MA in Theology from Oxford University in 1994. After 11 years at St John's, in 1997 he became the vicar of Christchurch, Virginia Water, where he was incumbent until Easter Sunday 2017. He meanwhile continued his formal studies and was awarded a PhD from Oak Hill Theological College and Middlesex University in 2003.

Stephen Sizer is a Conservative Evangelical and has aligned with a number of related organisations. He used to be a member of Reform (Anglican) and Church Society. He has endorsed the Jerusalem Declaration issued by the Global Anglican Future Conference and has joined the resulting Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. He supports the Third Province Movement.

In 2004, Sizer adapted his PhD thesis into a book, Christian Zionism - Road Map to Armageddon? He claims that Christian Zionism has led millions of Christians astray and helped to tip the world on its side heavy with military artillery.

Sizer says that Christian Zionism has no biblical foundation or historical precedent. He writes that his motivation lies in the conviction that ignoring or stereotyping Palestinian Christians is a contradiction of faith and immoral before God. He suggests that "it is irresponsible to believe that God will bless Christians materially if they support the largely secular State of Israel."

Christian and Jewish responses

In the Christian world, some of Sizer's writings have been commended by some Christians who embrace Reformed covenant theology, including leaders and academics such as John Stott (Stott's essay "The Place of Israel" is included in Sizer's Book "Zion's Christian Soldiers?"), R. C. Lucas, Gary M. Burge, Gilbert Bilezikian, and Paul Copan.

Some reviews of Christian Zionism - Road Map to Armageddon? have been highly critical. A prominent Christian opponent of Sizer, Bible teacher David Pawson, wrote a book called Defending Christian Zionism - in response to Stephen Sizer and John Stott. Pawson has said of Sizer: "I am grateful to Stephen Sizer for drawing attention to the legitimate criticisms of dispensational Zionism. He has rendered a service to the cause of Zionism which was needed." Pawson publicly debated Sizer on Premier Christian Radio.

Other Christian authors who have criticised Sizer include Barry Horner and Paul Wilkinson, leaders of Christian missions to the Jewish people such as Mike Moore, General Secretary of Christian Witness to Israel and Tony Higton. Later, having met Sizer, Tony Higton largely retracted his view and wrote:

Sizer is right to criticize the serious failings of some Christian Zionism. I agree with him in rejecting the following errors which are held by many Christian Zionists: Lack of godly compassion for the Palestinians, and of concern for their human rights and about their legitimate aspirations. A negative attitude toward Palestinians, and Arabs in general, to the point of racism. Uncritical support for Israel (a secular, sinful state like any other), justifying all its actions against the Palestinians.

British journalist Melanie Phillips has criticised Sizer and has condemned him in her writings. The historian Geoffrey Alderman has also criticized Sizer, accusing him of masking his "religious prejudices" in "academic guise." Jewish converts to Christianity such as Aaron Abramson and Jacob Prasch have disagreed with Sizer's views.

Sizer was accused in 2012 of linking from his Facebook profile to an article on an anti-Jewish American site espousing Holocaust denial called The Ugly Truth, which features cartoons celebrating Holocaust deniers and states that Israel is responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sizer deleted the link in January 2012 after The Jewish Chronicle pointed out the link to him, reputedly two months after he had first been informed of the problem.

After complaints about his link to The Ugly Truth, Sizer's Diocesan Bishop, Christopher Hill, defended him. Hill believed posting the link could have been an accident, and insisted that Sizer "repudiates anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial" and was just drawing attention to an article about potential military action by Israel against Iran. After referring to Sizer's Facebook post, the Rev. Nick Howard asserted in an article for the Standpoint issue of January–February 2012 that, given Sizer's statements on Press TV and elsewhere, the link made on his Facebook page is not an isolated, or "uncharacteristic", incident.

Several prominent people wrote to the Bishop Hill, then the Bishop of Guildford, in Sizer's defence. Amongst them was Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, emeritus professor of Judaism at Aberystwyth University, who wrote, "I have been disturbed to read about the allegations made against Stephen Sizer. These are, I believe, completely without foundation: there is simply no evidence that he is an antisemite. It would be a mistake… to construe Stephen Sizer's political criticisms as evidence of antipathy against Jews." The then backbench Labour member of parliament Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Bishop Hill, Sizer's Diocesan Bishop, around April 2012. In his letter, Corbyn described Sizer's link as being "a technical oversight" and that those criticising Sizer were politically motivated and were "intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation". They were, wrote Corbyn, "part of a wider pattern of demonising those who dare to stand up and speak out against Zionism".

The Board of Deputies of British Jews formally complained to the Church of England in late October 2012 over Sizer's actions since early 2010, under the terms of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. The complaint listed 10 incidents which the Board stated were antisemitic. These included statements made by Sizer, or material he had passed to his contacts. In addition to The Ugly Truth, they stated that he had linked to the Veterans Today website, and the Window into Palestine website which features an image of a Nazi flag with a swastika superimposed on the Star of David. The complaint stated in part: "we will not remain quiet in the face of actions and remarks capable of being seen as antisemitic even where they are disguised as anti-Zionist attacks on Israel".

A meeting took place with the Board of Deputies in October 2013. Jonathan Arkush, then vice-president of the Board of Deputies, told the BBC: "The thing that we did was to criticise him for publishing materials that were anti-semitic and anti-Jewish. Israel doesn't come into it". Sizer himself described the meeting as "very healthy" and accepted the comments from the Board of Deputies but did not regret what he had said.

In September 2014, by the invitation of Hamed Ghashghavi the secretary for international affairs of the "Second New Horizon Conference" Sizer attended the event in Tehran where 9/11 conspiracy theories such as "Zionist Fingerprints on the 9/11 Cover-up" and "9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist 'Public myths'" were under discussion. Sizer himself spoke in the Israel lobby in England session. Sizer said he was present at the conference as an "ambassador for reconciliation". According to him, the conference was anti-Zionist rather than antisemitic, and he disagreed with many of the speeches which were delivered.

Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust, a charity which monitors anti-semitism in Britain, queried whether Sizer was still honouring the conciliation agreement he had made with the Jewish community. A spokesman for the British Board of Deputies said that attending "such a hate-filled event is irreconcilable with his position as a minister in the Church of England".

A few months later, on 20 January 2015 at 9.17 pm, Sizer posted a link on his Facebook page to a 9/11 conspiracy theory article entitled '"9-11/Israel did it" ' on the WikiSpooks site. He asked in his posting: "Is this anti-Semitic? If so, no doubt I’ll be asked to remove it. It raises so many questions". Sizer clarified that he "never believed Israel or any other country was complicit in the terrorist atrocity of 9/11, and my sharing of this material was ill-considered and misguided." Sizer removed the post at the request of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who said it was "unquestionably anti-Semitic". In correspondence with Jewish News online, he asked that evidence be provided to refute the conspiracy theory. After he removed the posting, Sizer continued to insist that it was "encouraging debate".

On 29 January 2015, the Church of England said in a statement that the comments made by Sizer were unacceptable and that the Diocese of Guildford would launch an investigation. On 30 January 2015, Sizer issued a statement of apology and announced that the diocese had suspended him from all social media and blogs. The Board of Deputies also published a statement condemning Sizer's behaviour.

On 9 February, it emerged that Sizer had been banned from social media by the new Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, for at least six months for the Facebook post alleging Israeli responsibility for the 9/11 atrocities. He was also banned from commenting on issues relating to the Middle East, and from attending conferences on the subject. In his letter to the bishop, Sizer accepted that he would have to resign his ministry if he were to break the undertaking he had made.

The Church Times reported the bishop as saying that disciplinary action against Sizer had been considered, but an alternative approach was taken in order to resolve the matter quickly. The Board of Deputies praised the church for taking swift action, and hoped that good relations could be restored.

In October 2016, Sizer attended a meeting organised by Palestine Return Centre at the House of Lords chaired by Baroness Jenny Tonge, which gained negative media attention for comments made during the session. He wrote about the event online, thus breaking the agreement he had made. In a statement, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford said any further such incident would lead to "his tenure of office ending with immediate effect".

Sizer is a member of the Executive of the Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship and a member of Guildford Diocesan Synod. He is a trustee and former chairman of the International Bible Society UK, publishers of the New International Version. He is a founding member of the Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism, a member of the Advisory Council of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, a Trustee of the Amos Trust and on the UK Board of Reference for the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibillin, Galilee. He is also on the editorial board of Living Stones Magazine. Sizer regularly contributes articles for newspapers and journals including Evangelicals Now, Third Way, Plain Truth and Friends of Al Aqsa. He is a regular contributor to programmes on Premier Radio, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). He has also appeared on Syrian TV and Al Manar TV.

Sizer left his Christ Church post at Easter 2017. Just before his retirement, he again broke the terms of the agreement he had made by posting about the Middle East on Facebook.

Author

Contributor

  1. "Remembrance Sunday: How to Love Your Enemies". Stephensizer.com. Retrieved11 July 2018.
  2. "About Stephen Sizer". Stephensizer.com. Retrieved11 July 2018.
  3. Sizer, Stephen. "Christian Zionism". Stephensizer.com. Retrieved11 July 2018.
  4. Sizer, Stephen. "Zion's Christian Soldiers?". Stephensizer.com. Retrieved11 July 2018.
  5. "Vicar Stephen Sizer 'has no regrets' after Jewish complaint". BBC.
  6. "Conciliation report to the Bishop of Guildford"(PDF). Stephen Sizer.
  7. "Board condemns Sizer for 9/11 posting". Board of Deputies.
  8. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/vicar-investigated-over-facebook-post-linking-to-anti-semitic-article-911-israel-did-it-10012794.html
  9. "Church bans 9/11 Israel conspiracy priest from using social media". The Telegraph.
  10. "About Stepher Sizer". Retrieved6 April 2009.
  11. "Stephen Sizer". Retrieved6 April 2009.
  12. Additional biographical information from Dr Sizer's CV
  13. Sizer, Rev Dr Stephen (26 November 2004). Christian Zionism - Road Map to Armageddon?. Inter-Varsity Press. ISBN 978-1-84474-050-5. Retrieved4 April 2009.
  14. "Christian Zionism: The New Heresy that Undermines Middle East Peace". Middle East Monitor. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved1 August 2013.
  15. Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon?, p.17 and 20
  16. Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon?, p.13
  17. Zion's Christian Soldiers, p.46
  18. "Commendations of Zion's Christian Soldiers". Inter-Varsity Press. Retrieved2 February 2010.
  19. Macaulay, Ian; Parker, Rev Keith (Summer 2005). "Christian Zionism "A Road Map to Armageddon?"". Christians for Israel. Archived from the original on 1 December 2005. Retrieved4 April 2009. We are therefore disappointed at the writer’s failure to engage in enough questions in sufficient depth
  20. Smith, Dr Calvin L. (26 November 2007). "Book Review of Christian Zionism". Midlands Bible College. Archived from the original on 12 January 2009. Retrieved4 April 2009.
  21. Merkley, Paul (1 January 2007). "Was Israel a Mistake?". Christianity Today. Retrieved4 April 2009. major misrepresentations of historical fact too numerous to list
  22. Pawson, David (2007). Defending Christian Zionism - a response to Stephen Sizer and John Stott. Bristol: Terra Nova Publications International Ltd. ISBN 978-1-901949-62-9.
  23. David Pawson, Defending Christian Zionism, p. 39
  24. Horner, Barry (15 October 2008). Future Israel - Why Christian Anti-Judaism must be challenged. B&H Academic. ISBN 978-0-8054-4627-2.
  25. Wilkinson, Paul (15 April 2008). For Zion's Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby. Paternoster. ISBN 978-1-84227-569-6.
  26. Moore, Mike (2008). "Stephen Sizer and Anti-Zionism". Mishkan. Caspari Centre (55). Archived from the original on 26 December 2008.
  27. Moore, Mike (August 2007). The impact of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on the story about Jesus. Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism International Conference 2007. Retrieved7 April 2009. (Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon?) ... presents a perspective on Israel that is opposite in the extreme to the view held by those with whom Stephen Sizer takes issue ... is replete with historical inaccuracies, misrepresentations, libels and citations from Holocaust-deniers, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.
  28. Higton, Tony. "A Response to Stephen Sizer's criticisms of CMJ and ITAC". Church's Ministry Among Jewish People. Archived from the original on 7 March 2006. Retrieved7 April 2009. I have to conclude that Stephen's paper is ill-researched, rather unscholarly and very prejudiced. As such it should not really be taken too seriously.
  29. Tony Higton, A Critique of Christian Zionism, p. 18
  30. Phillips, Melanie (4 March 2009). "Beware the new axis of evangelicals and Islamists". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved6 April 2009.
  31. Alderman, Geoffrey. "Disturbing Turns in Pulpits and Theses". The Jewish Chronicle (2004-07-09, p. 23. ed.). Not available online without subscription but quoted at [1] "Dr Sizer's thesis struck me as little more than his own religious prejudices dressed up in academic guise."
  32. Baty, Phil (6 August 2004). "Zionism thesis stirs up a storm". Times Higher Education Supplement. London. Retrieved7 April 2009. Professor Alderman told The Times Higher: 'Middlesex has permitted its highest research degree to be awarded in respect of a work of propaganda.
  33. Abramson, Aaron. "Aaron Abramson's dissertation critiquing Sizer's book Christian Zionism - Road Map To Armageddon?". Jews for Jesus. Retrieved7 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  34. Prasch, Jacob. "Stephen Sizer & The Sons of Menelaus". Moriel Ministries. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved7 April 2009.
  35. Dysch, Marcus (5 January 2012). "Bishop: anti-Zionist vicar 'no antisemite'". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved31 March 2018. A Church of England vicar has been backed by his diocesan bishop after promoting a website which supports Holocaust denial and warns of a Zionist conspiracy controlling the world.
  36. Shaviv, Miriam (31 October 2012). "UK Jews complain to Church of England over 'anti-Semitic' vicar". The Times of Israel. Retrieved31 March 2018.
  37. Howard, Nick (January–February 2012). "Web Only: The Asymmetry of Racism Awareness". Standpoint.
  38. Dysch, Marcus (19 April 2012). "Sizer: I am ready to meet the Board of Deputies any time". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved20 August 2015. Reverend Stephen Sizer posted a link from a website which supports Holocaust denial and warns of a Zionist conspiracy controlling the world.
  39. Paul, Jonny (2 November 2012). "Group Says Church of England Vicar Anti-Semitic". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved31 March 2018.
  40. Ferrer, Richard (23 October 2013). "The sorry tale of Reverend Stephen Sizer". Jewish News. Retrieved31 March 2018.
  41. For the complaint by the Board of Deputies of British Jews see "Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 6 November 2013. Retrieved11 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. Dysch, Marcus (1 November 2012). "'Antisemite' vicar in Board of Deputies complaint". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved31 March 2018.
  43. "Vicar Stephen Sizer 'has no regrets' after Jewish complaint". BBC News. 24 October 2013. Retrieved31 March 2018. But [Sizer] said his criticism of some Israeli policies towards Palestinians had 'caused offence to those who want to justify those actions'. 'I don't regret what I said,' he added.
  44. Bingham, Nick (6 October 2014). "Church of England vicar denies backing 'anti-Semitic hate-fest' in Iran". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved31 March 2018.
  45. Lewis, Jerry (6 October 2014). "UK Vicar Attends Tehran 'Zionist Lobby' Conference". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved31 March 2018.
  46. Dearden, Lizzie (30 January 2015). "Vicar investigated over Facebook post linking to 'anti-Semitic' article '9/11 Israel did it'". The Independent.
  47. Cohen, Justin (29 January 2015). "'Show me evidence Israel wasn't behind 9/11', asks vicar Stephen Sizer". Jewish News. Retrieved29 January 2015.
  48. Bingham, John (29 January 2015). "Vicar investigated over '9/11 Israel did it' posting". The Daily Telegraph.
  49. "Statement on Rev. Stephen Sizer" retrieved 29 January 2015
  50. "Vicar 'sorry' for 9/11 Israel Facebook post". BBC News. 31 January 2015. Retrieved31 January 2015.
  51. "A statement of apology from The Revd Dr Stephen Sizer" retrieved 30 January 2015
  52. "Board condemns Sizer for 9/11 posting", Board of Deputies of British Jews, 30 January 2015
  53. John Bingham "Church bans 9/11 Israel conspiracy priest from using social media", Daily Telegraph, 9 February 2015
  54. Elgot, Jessica (9 February 2015). "Vicar Stephen Sizer Banned From Social Media After Israel 9/11 Conspiracy Post". The Huffington Post.
  55. "Vicar faces social media ban over Facebook post linking 9/11 to Israel". The Guardian. -Press Association. 9 February 2015.
  56. Wyatt, Tim (9 February 2015). "'Not anti-Semitic, just stupid': Stephen Sizer ordered offline to save his job". Church Times.
  57. "Board welcomes Church's swift action over Sizer". Board of Deputies of British Jews. 9 February 2015.
  58. Dysch, Marcus (2 November 2016). "Stephen Sizer warned after attending anti-Israel meeting". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved2 November 2016.
  59. "Sizer set to 'end Clergy career under cloud'". The Board of Deputies of British Jews. 2 November 2016. Retrieved2 November 2016.
  60. Israel : The Mystery of Peace by Julia Fisher Archived 27 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine A Book Review for Evangelicals Now, May 2004
    See also Barak and the Bulldozers of Bethlehem A series of interviews with Christians in Palestine with an evaluation of the recent Israeli elections, published in Evangelicals Now, August (1999)
  61. Benny Morris for Third Way. "Israel: The Revised Version. A Review of 'Righteous Victims, A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict 1881-1999'". Archived from the original on 18 May 2007.
  62. "Annapolis: Optimism Vs. Pessimism An article for Sojourners Magazine"(PDF). Sizers.org. January 2008. Retrieved2 October 2012.
  63. American Apocalypse. Why are some Christian's anxious for Armagfeddon? Archived 11 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Published in Plain Truth May–June 2007
  64. Travelling through the Holy Land: by Donald Bridge Archived 16 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Book review published in Al Aqsa Journal, Vol 1, No. 2, April (1999)
  65. Sugarman, Daniel (10 March 2017). "Board of Deputies 'disappointed' as Church allows controversial vicar last hurrah". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved31 March 2018.

Stephen Sizer
Stephen Sizer Language Watch Edit Stephen Robert Sizer born 27 July 1953 1 is the former vicar of the Anglican parish of Christ Church Virginia Water in Surrey England Sizer is known for his opposition to Christian Zionism which is the basis of his 2004 PhD thesis 2 and the focus of his published works 3 4 Stephen SizerBorn 1953 07 27 27 July 1953 age 68 Lowestoft United KingdomNationalityBritishOccupationPastor EvangelistWebsiteStephen Sizer Stephen Sizer s blog In October 2012 the Board of Deputies of British Jews lodged a complaint against Sizer with the Church of England under the Clergy Discipline Measure alleging that he had made anti Semitic statements and published links to anti Semitic web sites 5 Although he did not admit culpability at a conciliation meeting in October 2013 Sizer agreed to have his online web usage monitored 6 In 2015 the Board of Deputies lodged a further complaint against Sizer this time for posting a link accusing Jews and Israel of responsibility for the 9 11 attacks in the United States 7 8 He was censured by the Bishop of Guildford who imposed a complete ban on Sizer s use of all social media for at least six months 9 Contents 1 Biography 2 Views and opinions 2 1 Christian and Jewish responses 3 Allegations of antisemitism and misconduct 2012 4 Later allegations of antisemitism and misconduct 2014 16 5 Public roles 6 Published work 6 1 Author 6 2 Contributor 7 See also 8 References 9 External linksBiography EditStephen Robert Sizer was born in Lowestoft in 1953 the son of a carpenter He began his career working for the Department of Health and Social Security 1971 1973 as a supplementary benefits visiting officer in east London From there he went on to study geography African and Asian studies at Sussex University 1973 1976 It was while at University that he became a Christian After graduation Sizer worked as a campus director student counsellor with Agape at the Universities of London Liverpool and Sussex In 1980 he was accepted for training as a minister in the Church of England and gained a diploma in theology at Trinity College Bristol In 1983 he was ordained and became an assistant curate in St Leonards on Sea then was appointed Rector at St John s Stoke Guildford in 1986 He gained an MA in Theology from Oxford University in 1994 After 11 years at St John s in 1997 he became the vicar of Christchurch Virginia Water where he was incumbent until Easter Sunday 2017 He meanwhile continued his formal studies and was awarded a PhD from Oak Hill Theological College and Middlesex University in 2003 10 11 12 Views and opinions EditStephen Sizer is a Conservative Evangelical and has aligned with a number of related organisations 10 11 He used to be a member of Reform Anglican and Church Society He has endorsed the Jerusalem Declaration issued by the Global Anglican Future Conference and has joined the resulting Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans He supports the Third Province Movement In 2004 Sizer adapted his PhD thesis into a book Christian Zionism Road Map to Armageddon 13 He claims that Christian Zionism has led millions of Christians astray and helped to tip the world on its side heavy with military artillery 14 Sizer says that Christian Zionism has no biblical foundation or historical precedent 15 He writes that his motivation lies in the conviction that ignoring or stereotyping Palestinian Christians is a contradiction of faith and immoral before God 16 He suggests that it is irresponsible to believe that God will bless Christians materially if they support the largely secular State of Israel 17 Christian and Jewish responses Edit In the Christian world some of Sizer s writings have been commended by some Christians who embrace Reformed covenant theology including leaders and academics such as John Stott Stott s essay The Place of Israel is included in Sizer s Book Zion s Christian Soldiers R C Lucas Gary M Burge Gilbert Bilezikian and Paul Copan 18 Some reviews of Christian Zionism Road Map to Armageddon have been highly critical 19 20 21 A prominent Christian opponent of Sizer Bible teacher David Pawson wrote a book called Defending Christian Zionism in response to Stephen Sizer and John Stott 22 Pawson has said of Sizer I am grateful to Stephen Sizer for drawing attention to the legitimate criticisms of dispensational Zionism He has rendered a service to the cause of Zionism which was needed 23 Pawson publicly debated Sizer on Premier Christian Radio Other Christian authors who have criticised Sizer include Barry Horner 24 and Paul Wilkinson 25 leaders of Christian missions to the Jewish people such as Mike Moore 26 27 General Secretary of Christian Witness to Israel and Tony Higton 28 Later having met Sizer Tony Higton largely retracted his view and wrote Sizer is right to criticize the serious failings of some Christian Zionism I agree with him in rejecting the following errors which are held by many Christian Zionists Lack of godly compassion for the Palestinians and of concern for their human rights and about their legitimate aspirations A negative attitude toward Palestinians and Arabs in general to the point of racism Uncritical support for Israel a secular sinful state like any other justifying all its actions against the Palestinians 29 British journalist Melanie Phillips has criticised Sizer and has condemned him in her writings 30 The historian Geoffrey Alderman has also criticized Sizer accusing him of masking his religious prejudices in academic guise 31 32 Jewish converts to Christianity such as Aaron Abramson 33 and Jacob Prasch 34 have disagreed with Sizer s views Allegations of antisemitism and misconduct 2012 EditSizer was accused in 2012 of linking from his Facebook profile to an article on an anti Jewish American site espousing Holocaust denial called The Ugly Truth which features cartoons celebrating Holocaust deniers and states that Israel is responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Sizer deleted the link in January 2012 after The Jewish Chronicle pointed out the link to him 35 reputedly two months after he had first been informed of the problem 36 After complaints about his link to The Ugly Truth Sizer s Diocesan Bishop Christopher Hill defended him 35 37 Hill believed posting the link could have been an accident and insisted that Sizer repudiates anti Semitism and Holocaust denial and was just drawing attention to an article about potential military action by Israel against Iran 35 After referring to Sizer s Facebook post the Rev Nick Howard asserted in an article for the Standpoint issue of January February 2012 that given Sizer s statements on Press TV and elsewhere the link made on his Facebook page is not an isolated or uncharacteristic incident 37 Several prominent people wrote to the Bishop Hill then the Bishop of Guildford in Sizer s defence Amongst them was Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn Sherbok emeritus professor of Judaism at Aberystwyth University who wrote I have been disturbed to read about the allegations made against Stephen Sizer These are I believe completely without foundation there is simply no evidence that he is an antisemite It would be a mistake to construe Stephen Sizer s political criticisms as evidence of antipathy against Jews 38 The then backbench Labour member of parliament Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Bishop Hill Sizer s Diocesan Bishop around April 2012 In his letter Corbyn described Sizer s link as being a technical oversight and that those criticising Sizer were politically motivated and were intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation 38 They were wrote Corbyn part of a wider pattern of demonising those who dare to stand up and speak out against Zionism 38 The Board of Deputies of British Jews formally complained to the Church of England in late October 2012 over Sizer s actions since early 2010 under the terms of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 The complaint listed 10 incidents which the Board stated were antisemitic 36 These included statements made by Sizer or material he had passed to his contacts In addition to The Ugly Truth they stated that he had linked to the Veterans Today website and the Window into Palestine website which features an image of a Nazi flag with a swastika superimposed on the Star of David 39 40 The complaint stated in part we will not remain quiet in the face of actions and remarks capable of being seen as antisemitic even where they are disguised as anti Zionist attacks on Israel 41 42 A meeting took place with the Board of Deputies in October 2013 Jonathan Arkush then vice president of the Board of Deputies told the BBC The thing that we did was to criticise him for publishing materials that were anti semitic and anti Jewish Israel doesn t come into it Sizer himself described the meeting as very healthy and accepted the comments from the Board of Deputies but did not regret what he had said 43 Later allegations of antisemitism and misconduct 2014 16 EditIn September 2014 by the invitation of Hamed Ghashghavi the secretary for international affairs of the Second New Horizon Conference Sizer attended the event in Tehran where 9 11 conspiracy theories such as Zionist Fingerprints on the 9 11 Cover up and 9 11 and the Holocaust as pro Zionist Public myths were under discussion Sizer himself spoke in the Israel lobby in England session 44 45 Sizer said he was present at the conference as an ambassador for reconciliation According to him the conference was anti Zionist rather than antisemitic and he disagreed with many of the speeches which were delivered 44 Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust a charity which monitors anti semitism in Britain queried whether Sizer was still honouring the conciliation agreement he had made with the Jewish community A spokesman for the British Board of Deputies said that attending such a hate filled event is irreconcilable with his position as a minister in the Church of England 45 A few months later on 20 January 2015 at 9 17 pm Sizer posted a link on his Facebook page to a 9 11 conspiracy theory article entitled 9 11 Israel did it on the WikiSpooks site He asked in his posting Is this anti Semitic If so no doubt I ll be asked to remove it It raises so many questions Sizer clarified that he never believed Israel or any other country was complicit in the terrorist atrocity of 9 11 and my sharing of this material was ill considered and misguided 46 Sizer removed the post at the request of the Board of Deputies of British Jews who said it was unquestionably anti Semitic 46 In correspondence with Jewish News online he asked that evidence be provided to refute the conspiracy theory 47 After he removed the posting Sizer continued to insist that it was encouraging debate 48 On 29 January 2015 the Church of England said in a statement that the comments made by Sizer were unacceptable and that the Diocese of Guildford would launch an investigation 49 On 30 January 2015 Sizer issued a statement of apology 50 and announced that the diocese had suspended him from all social media and blogs 51 The Board of Deputies also published a statement condemning Sizer s behaviour 52 On 9 February it emerged that Sizer had been banned from social media by the new Bishop of Guildford Andrew Watson for at least six months for the Facebook post alleging Israeli responsibility for the 9 11 atrocities 53 He was also banned from commenting on issues relating to the Middle East and from attending conferences on the subject 54 In his letter to the bishop Sizer accepted that he would have to resign his ministry if he were to break the undertaking he had made 55 The Church Times reported the bishop as saying that disciplinary action against Sizer had been considered but an alternative approach was taken in order to resolve the matter quickly 56 The Board of Deputies praised the church for taking swift action and hoped that good relations could be restored 57 In October 2016 Sizer attended a meeting organised by Palestine Return Centre at the House of Lords chaired by Baroness Jenny Tonge which gained negative media attention for comments made during the session He wrote about the event online thus breaking the agreement he had made In a statement the Rt Revd Andrew Watson Bishop of Guildford said any further such incident would lead to his tenure of office ending with immediate effect 58 59 Public roles EditSizer is a member of the Executive of the Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship and a member of Guildford Diocesan Synod He is a trustee and former chairman of the International Bible Society UK publishers of the New International Version He is a founding member of the Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism a member of the Advisory Council of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding a Trustee of the Amos Trust and on the UK Board of Reference for the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibillin Galilee He is also on the editorial board of Living Stones Magazine Sizer regularly contributes articles for newspapers and journals including Evangelicals Now 60 Third Way 61 62 Plain Truth 63 and Friends of Al Aqsa 64 He is a regular contributor to programmes on Premier Radio and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting IRIB He has also appeared on Syrian TV and Al Manar TV Sizer left his Christ Church post at Easter 2017 Just before his retirement he again broke the terms of the agreement he had made by posting about the Middle East on Facebook 65 Published work EditAuthor Edit A Panorama of the Holy Land with Jon Arnold Eagle 1998 10 23 ISBN 978 0 86347 171 1 A Panorama of the Bible Lands with Jon Arnold Eagle 2002 09 17 ISBN 978 0 86347 353 1 In The Footsteps of Jesus and the Apostles with Jon Arnold Eagle 2003 11 ISBN 978 0 86347 583 2 Christian Zionism Road Map to Armageddon Inter Varsity Press 2004 11 26 ISBN 978 1 84474 050 5 Zion s Christian Soldiers Inter Varsity Press 2007 10 19 ISBN 978 1 84474 214 1Contributor Edit Holy Land Hollow Jubilee God Justice and the Palestinians eds N Ateek amp M Prior Melisende 1999 03 02 ISBN 978 1 901764 09 3 They Came and They Saw Western Christian Experiences of the Holy Land ed M Prior Melisende 2000 03 13 ISBN 978 1 901764 40 6 A Third Millennium Guide to Pilgrimage to the Holy Land ed D Macpherson Melisende 2000 06 28 ISBN 978 1 901764 30 7 The Land of Promise Biblical Theological and Contemporary Perspectives eds Philip Johnson amp Peter Walker Inter Varsity Press 2000 11 24 ISBN 978 0 8308 2659 9 Toronto in Perspective Papers on the New Charismatic Wave of the Mid 1990s ed David Hilborn Paternoster Press 2001 30 09 ISBN 978 1 84227 099 8 Speaking the Truth about Zionism and Israel ed Michael Prior Melisende 2004 03 30 ISBN 978 1 901764 26 0 Heaven on Earth The Temple in Biblical Theology permanent dead link eds D Alexander amp S Gathercole Paternoster Press 2004 07 23 ISBN 978 1 84227 272 5 Challenging Christian Zionism eds Naim Ateek Cedar Duaybis Maurine Tobin Melisende 2005 09 20 ISBN 978 1 901764 42 0 With God on Our Side With God On Our Side film See also EditAnti Zionism Christian Zionism in the United Kingdom Covenant theology Criticism of the Israeli governmentReferences Edit Remembrance Sunday How to Love Your Enemies Stephensizer com Retrieved 11 July 2018 About Stephen Sizer Stephensizer com Retrieved 11 July 2018 Sizer Stephen Christian Zionism Stephensizer com Retrieved 11 July 2018 Sizer Stephen Zion s Christian Soldiers Stephensizer com Retrieved 11 July 2018 Vicar Stephen Sizer has no regrets after Jewish complaint BBC Conciliation report to the Bishop of Guildford PDF Stephen Sizer Board condemns Sizer for 9 11 posting Board of Deputies https www independent co uk news uk home news vicar investigated over facebook post linking to anti semitic article 911 israel did it 10012794 html Church bans 9 11 Israel conspiracy priest from using social media The Telegraph a b About Stepher Sizer Retrieved 6 April 2009 a b Stephen Sizer Retrieved 6 April 2009 Additional biographical information from Dr Sizer s CV Sizer Rev Dr Stephen 26 November 2004 Christian Zionism Road Map to Armageddon Inter Varsity Press ISBN 978 1 84474 050 5 Retrieved 4 April 2009 Christian Zionism The New Heresy that Undermines Middle East Peace Middle East Monitor Archived from the original on 7 August 2013 Retrieved 1 August 2013 Christian Zionism Road map to Armageddon p 17 and 20 Christian Zionism Road map to Armageddon p 13 Zion s Christian Soldiers p 46 Commendations of Zion s Christian Soldiers Inter Varsity Press Retrieved 2 February 2010 Macaulay Ian Parker Rev Keith Summer 2005 Christian Zionism A Road Map to Armageddon Christians for Israel Archived from the original on 1 December 2005 Retrieved 4 April 2009 We are therefore disappointed at the writer s failure to engage in enough questions in sufficient depth Smith Dr Calvin L 26 November 2007 Book Review of Christian Zionism Midlands Bible College Archived from the original on 12 January 2009 Retrieved 4 April 2009 Merkley Paul 1 January 2007 Was Israel a Mistake Christianity Today Retrieved 4 April 2009 major misrepresentations of historical fact too numerous to list Pawson David 2007 Defending Christian Zionism a response to Stephen Sizer and John Stott Bristol Terra Nova Publications International Ltd ISBN 978 1 901949 62 9 David Pawson Defending Christian Zionism p 39 Horner Barry 15 October 2008 Future Israel Why Christian Anti Judaism must be challenged B amp H Academic ISBN 978 0 8054 4627 2 Wilkinson Paul 15 April 2008 For Zion s Sake Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby Paternoster ISBN 978 1 84227 569 6 Moore Mike 2008 Stephen Sizer and Anti Zionism Mishkan Caspari Centre 55 Archived from the original on 26 December 2008 Moore Mike August 2007 The impact of anti Semitism and anti Israelism on the story about Jesus Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism International Conference 2007 Retrieved 7 April 2009 Christian Zionism Road Map to Armageddon presents a perspective on Israel that is opposite in the extreme to the view held by those with whom Stephen Sizer takes issue is replete with historical inaccuracies misrepresentations libels and citations from Holocaust deniers neo Nazis and anti Semites Higton Tony A Response to Stephen Sizer s criticisms of CMJ and ITAC Church s Ministry Among Jewish People Archived from the original on 7 March 2006 Retrieved 7 April 2009 I have to conclude that Stephen s paper is ill researched rather unscholarly and very prejudiced As such it should not really be taken too seriously Tony Higton A Critique of Christian Zionism p 18 Phillips Melanie 4 March 2009 Beware the new axis of evangelicals and Islamists The Spectator Archived from the original on 9 March 2009 Retrieved 6 April 2009 Alderman Geoffrey Disturbing Turns in Pulpits and Theses The Jewish Chronicle 2004 07 09 p 23 ed Not available online without subscription but quoted at 1 Dr Sizer s thesis struck me as little more than his own religious prejudices dressed up in academic guise Baty Phil 6 August 2004 Zionism thesis stirs up a storm Times Higher Education Supplement London Retrieved 7 April 2009 Professor Alderman told The Times Higher Middlesex has permitted its highest research degree to be awarded in respect of a work of propaganda Abramson Aaron Aaron Abramson s dissertation critiquing Sizer s book Christian Zionism Road Map To Armageddon Jews for Jesus Retrieved 7 April 2009 permanent dead link Prasch Jacob Stephen Sizer amp The Sons of Menelaus Moriel Ministries Archived from the original on 2 February 2010 Retrieved 7 April 2009 a b c Dysch Marcus 5 January 2012 Bishop anti Zionist vicar no antisemite The Jewish Chronicle Retrieved 31 March 2018 A Church of England vicar has been backed by his diocesan bishop after promoting a website which supports Holocaust denial and warns of a Zionist conspiracy controlling the world a b Shaviv Miriam 31 October 2012 UK Jews complain to Church of England over anti Semitic vicar The Times of Israel Retrieved 31 March 2018 a b Howard Nick January February 2012 Web Only The Asymmetry of Racism Awareness Standpoint a b c Dysch Marcus 19 April 2012 Sizer I am ready to meet the Board of Deputies any time The Jewish Chronicle Retrieved 20 August 2015 Reverend Stephen Sizer posted a link from a website which supports Holocaust denial and warns of a Zionist conspiracy controlling the world Paul Jonny 2 November 2012 Group Says Church of England Vicar Anti Semitic The Jerusalem Post Retrieved 31 March 2018 Ferrer Richard 23 October 2013 The sorry tale of Reverend Stephen Sizer Jewish News Retrieved 31 March 2018 For the complaint by the Board of Deputies of British Jews see Archived copy PDF Archived from the original PDF on 6 November 2013 Retrieved 11 July 2014 CS1 maint archived copy as title link Dysch Marcus 1 November 2012 Antisemite vicar in Board of Deputies complaint The Jewish Chronicle Retrieved 31 March 2018 Vicar Stephen Sizer has no regrets after Jewish complaint BBC News 24 October 2013 Retrieved 31 March 2018 But Sizer said his criticism of some Israeli policies towards Palestinians had caused offence to those who want to justify those actions I don t regret what I said he added a b Bingham Nick 6 October 2014 Church of England vicar denies backing anti Semitic hate fest in Iran The Daily Telegraph Retrieved 31 March 2018 a b Lewis Jerry 6 October 2014 UK Vicar Attends Tehran Zionist Lobby Conference The Jerusalem Post Retrieved 31 March 2018 a b Dearden Lizzie 30 January 2015 Vicar investigated over Facebook post linking to anti Semitic article 9 11 Israel did it The Independent Cohen Justin 29 January 2015 Show me evidence Israel wasn t behind 9 11 asks vicar Stephen Sizer Jewish News Retrieved 29 January 2015 Bingham John 29 January 2015 Vicar investigated over 9 11 Israel did it posting The Daily Telegraph Statement on Rev Stephen Sizer retrieved 29 January 2015 Vicar sorry for 9 11 Israel Facebook post BBC News 31 January 2015 Retrieved 31 January 2015 A statement of apology from The Revd Dr Stephen Sizer retrieved 30 January 2015 Board condemns Sizer for 9 11 posting Board of Deputies of British Jews 30 January 2015 John Bingham Church bans 9 11 Israel conspiracy priest from using social media Daily Telegraph 9 February 2015 Elgot Jessica 9 February 2015 Vicar Stephen Sizer Banned From Social Media After Israel 9 11 Conspiracy Post The Huffington Post Vicar faces social media ban over Facebook post linking 9 11 to Israel The Guardian Press Association 9 February 2015 Wyatt Tim 9 February 2015 Not anti Semitic just stupid Stephen Sizer ordered offline to save his job Church Times Board welcomes Church s swift action over Sizer Board of Deputies of British Jews 9 February 2015 Dysch Marcus 2 November 2016 Stephen Sizer warned after attending anti Israel meeting The Jewish Chronicle Retrieved 2 November 2016 Sizer set to end Clergy career under cloud The Board of Deputies of British Jews 2 November 2016 Retrieved 2 November 2016 Israel The Mystery of Peace by Julia Fisher Archived 27 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine A Book Review for Evangelicals Now May 2004 See also Barak and the Bulldozers of Bethlehem A series of interviews with Christians in Palestine with an evaluation of the recent Israeli elections published in Evangelicals Now August 1999 Benny Morris for Third Way Israel The Revised Version A Review of Righteous Victims A History of the Zionist Arab Conflict 1881 1999 Archived from the original on 18 May 2007 Annapolis Optimism Vs Pessimism An article for Sojourners Magazine PDF Sizers org January 2008 Retrieved 2 October 2012 American Apocalypse Why are some Christian s anxious for Armagfeddon Archived 11 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Published in Plain Truth May June 2007 Travelling through the Holy Land by Donald Bridge Archived 16 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Book review published in Al Aqsa Journal Vol 1 No 2 April 1999 Sugarman Daniel 10 March 2017 Board of Deputies disappointed as Church allows controversial vicar last hurrah The Jewish Chronicle Retrieved 31 March 2018 External links EditPersonal Website Christ Church Virginia Water International Bible Society Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding Amos Trust Ecumenical Palestinian Liberation Theology Centre Friends of Sabeel North America Voice of the Palestinian Christians Living Stones Magazine Middle East Window Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Stephen Sizer amp oldid 1015507063, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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