By David Lazarus, Israel Today—
The following first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine. Dr. Michael Brown will tomorrow participate in the 5th biannual Christ at the Checkpoint conference, so we have decided to republish the interview here in full.
Dr. Michael Brown is a radio host, author, professor and a noted proponent of Messianic Judaism. His nationally-syndicated radio show, The Line of Fire, airs throughout the United States. Dr. Brown spoke to Israel Today’s David Lazarus about his participation in the upcoming Christ at the Checkpoint conference.
Israel Today: Most Messianic Jews refuse to participate in the anti-Israel Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (CatC). Why did you accept the invitation?
Dr. Brown: I am aware of the controversy and division among the leadership in the Messianic body in Israel on this issue, and I want to be sensitive. However, when the CatC people invited me to speak they said, ‘We disagree with you strongly, but we want you to come.’ I saw this as an opportunity to get my views out. I am outspoken and not afraid of confrontation.
Israel Today: Are you concerned that CatC will exploit your presence for their own propaganda, trying to show that Messianic Jews are also involved in their agenda?
Dr. Brown: I have a louder voice than they do. My public relations network is louder than theirs. If there is anything duplicitous in what is said in the conference, we will shout it out for the whole world to see and hear. We plan to live stream the event, and our Facebook page has over 550,000 followers. If there is any dishonesty, I will confront them publicly.
Every CatC report I have seen on their Facebook page is bashing Israel. I am going to directly challenge them to speak out openly about the horrible things being done by the Palestinian Authority, which is complicit in terrorism. I have written to them to be honest about their goals, because from what I read on their posts, it looks like their goal is to call Christians to stand against ‘the demonic State of Israel.’ I will explain that they will never be blessed by God unless they acknowledge that He has brought our people back to the Land and still has promises for the people of Israel. One of their leaders, Munther Isaac, is saying that the spirit of Jesus is contrary to the spirit of Zionism. I will not stand for that.
Israel Today: Israeli authorities view CatC as extremely problematic. How will it look to them if you, a Messianic Jew, participates in such an event?
Dr. Brown: I certainly do not want to be part of an adversary to Israel. But look, the Israeli government says they reached out to CatC, but without success. I now have an open door to speak to them publicly, and in private. Some of the participants are Christians, and I will confront sin publicly and privately. If all fails and the conference is my worst nightmare, we will shout it out for the world to see. That’s something I can only do by being there. If the government is watching, they will see me as a champion, they will be smiling and give a thumbs-up.
Israel Today: Why do you think you will be successful where other Messianics have tried without bringing any change to CatC?
Dr. Brown: I am different than others. I have huge radio, TV and social media audiences. I have already engaged in a massive campaign to expose CatC for what it really is, even before the conference. Others have not. I will explain to them that there is a reason why other Messianics don’t come to their conference, even though they work closely with many other Arabs in the Land. It is because they don’t find that you are of the same spirit. They need to understand that there is a reason Israel has checkpoints. It is to keep out murderers. I will never be complicit with Israel-bashing. I can be confrontational.
I also plan to squarely place responsibility for Christian persecution on the Palestinian leadership, Hamas and radical Islam, and not on Israel, as CatC often does. They will be called to account before the Lord and before the whole world, unless of course they ban me at the last minute.