Pastor Charles Stanley declines Jewish National Fund Award

Pastor Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Atlanta and a best-selling author, has pulled out of an event during which he was to be honored.

According to Jewish National Fund spokesman Adam Brill, Stanley informed the Jewish National Fund ” that because of his deep love for Israel, and his reluctance to be a point of controversy and conflict within the Jewish community, he has declined to be recognized at the Jack Hirsch Memorial Breakfast in Atlanta, on Thursday.”

Criticism had mounted from some members of Atlanta's Jewish community concerned about his stance on homosexuality.

The Atlanta event will still honor Yedidya Haroush, a representative of Halutza with the Cantor Isaac and Betty Goodfriend Community Service Award. Haroush’s civilian community withstood repeated rocket attacks during Operation Protective Edge in order to protect Israel’s borders, the statement said.

“JNF looks forward to uniting all of Israel’s supporters on the country’s 67th anniversary with the JNF spirit, drive and accomplishments that gives all generations of Jews everywhere a unique voice in building the future of the modern state,” according to the statement.