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  • A participant asking a question at the second ‘Train the Trainers’ Christians for Israel Asia-Pacific Training and Leadership Conference in Indonesia | Photo credit: Christians for Israel
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Paradigm Shift on Understanding About Israel

Chan Siew Fong - 7 October 2019

The second ‘Train the Trainers’ Christians for Israel Asia-Pacific Training and Leadership Conference in Indonesia kicked off in Surabaya on Thursday 19 September in a local restaurant with 75 pastors eager to learn about Israel. All of them received an Indonesian copy of the Why Israel? study guide cum workbook; some of them were seen poring over the pages even during break time.

Team members’ interactions with some participants revealed concerns about whether a new doctrine or denominational position was being advocated. Reverend Cornelis Kant soon put these concerns to rest, teaching on Replacement Theology, anti-Semitism and Theses I, II, V and IX of “The Twelve Theses of Faith on Israel”, followed by Reverend Dr Conrado Lumahan’s nine of twelve reasons for standing with Israel. The ‘Train the Trainers’ segment, to equip pastors to cascade teaching on Israel to their congregations using the workbook, was conducted by Christians for Israel Asia Regional Trainers, Chan Siew Fong (chapters 1 to 5) on Day 1 and Chan Kuen Yoon (chapters 6 to 10) on Day 2.

The most gratifying part of the conference was the Q- and-A session at the end of Day 2. Questions like how churches worldwide could be brought together to declare their repudiation of Replacement Theology evidenced the paradigm shift the team had worked to achieve. However, a question about the extent to which the return of the Jewish diaspora to the Middle East had contributed to the conflict there suggested a need to incorporate, even in brief, the history of the rebirth of Israel in 1948 in future training programmes.

At the end of the conference, every participant was presented with a certificate of appreciation.

The power-packed organising team behind this conference consisted of Pdt. Dr M Ferry H Kakiay (Deputy Bishop of Gereja Bethel Indonesia), Pdt. Brigjen Harsanto Adi, M.Th (President of Indonesian Pastors’ Association), Pastor Henoch Budiyanto, Hizki Laluyan and Christians for Israel Asia Director, Reverend Dr Wilson Ng working in concert with the ever-cheerful Pastor Petrus Soebyantoro, the local, on-the-ground coordinator and his amiable line-up of pastors, worship team, ushers and support crew.

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