James Jacob Prasch

Brother Andrew and Light Force

The Sorry Saga of a Has Been

Former "OPEN DOORS" Bible smuggler Brother Andrew has written a new book with Al Jannsen called Light Force, published by Hodder & Stoughton (whose religious division publishes books by professed Evangelical Christians who combine a particular brand of evangelicalism with left wing political/economic ideologies such as Ron Sider).

In the book Brother Andrew bemoans the plight of Bishwar Arad of Bethlehem Bible College (brother of a Palestinian Arab political activist) who lost family land to the Israelis, but ignores the Jewish villages in the West Bank and Gaza lost to the Moslems in the 1920's and 1930's and the destruction of the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem and forcible eviction of Jews from Jerusalem followed by the Islamic desecration of their cemeteries. He also of course ignores that Bethlehem, once a Christian town, has been taken over by Moslems and that the Church of the Nativity was invaded by armed terrorists who ransacked it and held the Christian clergy hostage at gun point. Brother Andrew writes of the suffering church " “ by which he means the Arab churches -a minority of which are Evangelical, and not the Jewish church (according to the New Testament, the original church) which is almost exclusively Evangelical. Such biases are called by Stephen Sizer "The Way of The Cross"  in his review.

What disappoints me most about this imbalanced book is that Brother Andrew wrote it. I am not as offended by such a biased specimen of political propaganda masquerading as a religious book of some description because I believe Brother Andrew does genuinely desire the salvation of Israel's enemies, whom Stephen Sizer calls "so-called" terrorists. Having watched a Hamas suicide bombing blow up a bus Jerusalem murdering 17 innocent people, including children, I have no idea what else such murdering savages can be called.

Most of the Arabs killed by the Israelis in the intifada have been terrorists or active collaborators, bomb makers etc., while most of the Israelis killed by the Moslems have been civilians. Moreover, any Arab civilians killed by the Israelis were the result of collateral damage. The Israeli civilians killed by the Moslems have been the targets.

Neither am I mainly troubled as a Christian supporter of Israel. Rather, I am mainly disturbed as a former supporter of OPEN DOORS who prayed for that ministry daily for years and proudly wore the clip of barbed wire as an emblem of identity with the persecuted church in communist countries that OPEN DOORS used to send to their contributors.

I ceased my monthly support of OPEN DOORS long ago and switched to the support of BARNABAS FUND which assists persecuted Christians in Islamic countries. Brother Andrew is out of his depth, his gifting, and his calling, and his book reveals that he is not knowledgeable of the Middle Eastern affairs either politically or theologically.

More than this, Brother Andrew supported by OPEN DOORS president Carl Moeller who endorses the book, joins the Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge chorus of turning a deaf ear to the persecuted Christians in the surrounding Islamic countries to instead stupidly focus on the one nation in the region fully protecting the human rights and religious liberty of Arab Christians " “ Israel.

In a work of bias he fails to address the true measure of the suffering Palestinian Christians at the hands of their own corrupt leadership and compounds his hypocrisy by ignoring the upwards of 300% ‚  increase in living standards of West Bank and Gaza Arabs in everything from increased longevity to higher employment levels to lower infant mortality under the Israelis prior to the intifadas as reported by the World Health Organization of the UN.

The legacy of Brother Andrew seems to have sadly become one of a "has been" , finding his talents as a Bible smuggler into formerly communist Eastern Europe obsolete. Instead of adopting his talents and experience to other mission fields such as anti-Christian Saudi Arabia or Iran, he instead jumps into a political-cum-religious fray beyond his background and expertise and points his finger at the nation hated by Christian beheading Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Born again Arab Christians are articulate and intelligent individuals who are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. ‚  Christians would well serve the cause of Christ, the Arab people, and themselves better by reading ex-Moslems who have become saved Christians (and who now support Israel) such as ex-Palestinian Arab terrorist Walid Shoebat and Simon Altef, or Arab Evangelicals such as Yosef Fara and Anis Shorush " “ the Palestinian Arab Evangelist. These brethren actually know first-hand what they are talking about and are well worth hearing and reading, instead of subscribing to the biased agenda of non-Arabs like Brother Andrew whose lame and biased perspective proves that he really does not know what he is talking about .

Now that the Iron Curtain has gone it is tragic to see a veteran of the era of getting Bibles into formerly Communist Eastern Europe not now investing his abilities in doing the same by getting Bibles into the Islamic countries that prohibit them, but instead going into Middle East politics with a biased agenda in the name of Jesus Christ. In fact a very Jewish Jesus Christ who said the Jews must be in their God-given land and capital for Him to return (Luke 21:24, Matthew 23:37-39, Zechariah 12:1-10), He is also the same Jesus Christ for whose name believers are butchered alive in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Thank God the Israel Brother Andrew helps his fellow theocrats gang up on don't persecute our Arab Christian brethren for their faith in Jesus. As a former supporter, I can personally in good conscience no longer give as much as a dime or a six pence to OPEN DOORS.

It is not easy when role models you once held as heroes as a young Christian go off beam. I have experienced this with Jack Van Impe, and Billy Graham with their ecumenism, John Hagee and his dual covenant heresy, and now even Brother Andrew. ‚  With the gospel now legal in Eastern Europe Brother Andrew had an opportunity to do something new and dynamic building on his laudable past. The legacy he bequeathed the Body of Christ should have been that of a Jim Elliot or a Richard Wurmbrand. ‚  Instead he has relegated himself to the sad status of a pathetic "has been" with nothing better to do than write pseudo-spiritual books about a situation he clearly does not understand either biblically or historically.

Jacob Prasch