Porter Speakman Interview from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.
Porter Speakman shares about his new film “With God on our Side” For more information see withgodonourside.com
“With God On Our Side takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole.
This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.”
The title for our film, “With God on Our Side” was inspired by the verse:
…while Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword. Joshua stepped up to him and said, “Whose side are you on—ours or our enemies’?” He said, “Neither. I’m commander of God’s army. Joshua 5:13-14a (The Message)
We believe this verse is still true today, that God does not take sides with certain people groups, nations or agendas. Rather He is for all people. Throughout history, those who have claimed God was on their side have used it to justify atrocities done in the name of Jesus. We believe once again certain Christians are approaching the people in the Middle East claiming God is on their side in a way that disregards human rights and gives unilateral support to a secular State, elevates one people group over another while using the Bible as justification. We believe there is a better way, a way of justice, peace and love for Jews and Palestinians. One that is inclusive, not exclusive. That is the heart of God.
The issues surrounding the situation with Israel and Palestinians whether they be Historical or Political bring up very passionate displays of support and activism on all sides. However, it has been my experience that when theology, whether it be Islamic, Judaic or Christian is mixed in with these issues, these passions spill into a new level and becomes a “holy war” in itself.
I also saw that once people understood the political and historical consequences Christian Zionism has on people in the Middle East, they began to question some of the things they have always just taken for granted.
There are several purposes for making this film:
To bring a different perspective to some of the historical, political and theological viewpoints we just taCase for granted involving Israel and the Jewish people.
To look at the consequences Christian Zionism has on the local people in the Middle East, especially Palestinian, who are most directly influenced by Christian political support for the State of Israel and it’s policies, which are then defended using the Bible.
To raise awareness that there are Palestinian Christians, and these consequences affect them as well Muslim Palestinians.
We believe there is an alternative approach to Christian Zionism. An approach that sees both Jews and Palestinians as equal in God’s sight and one that promotes reconciliation, justice and peace.
We recognize that most people who adhere to a Christian Zionist theology have the best intentions in mind. They love and support Israel and the Jewish people out of sincere hearts and what they feel is the Biblical approach to this situation.
We also recognize that being “Pro-Israel” in the minds of most Christian Zionists is not synonyms with being “Anti-Arab”. However, this is why it is important to look at what we believe alongside with how it affects people. Good intentions can still have devastating effects. Some of the most tragic events in history have occurred from a bad interpretation of biblical texts and understanding of who God is. Any approach to the Middle East must be one that sees the needs of all people, not just one, because at the heart of who God is the God of love who commands us to love one another, whether that be our neighbor or someone we consider our enemy.
These are not easy issues to look at and we are all continuing to learn. However we feel it is important to ask questions and we believe no topics are off limits, when the goal is truth.
The “Key Issues” section of this site has some general information on Christian Zionism, History, and Current Events. These are just small snippets of information on subjects addressed in our film. For those who want to learn further, we strongly recommend looking at our resource page for further studies. We also strongly recommend that books from people offering differing perspectives be read.
Porter Speakman, Jr.
Director / Executive Producer “With God on Our Side”