Mar 26, 2013
Is “replacement theology” becoming the newest fad among Christians? Lately I run across more and more Christians who claim the Church has replaced Israel as God’s people. The sad thing is that most of them don’t know why they believe what they claim. As I dig deeper speaking with these individuals, they all share the same defect – they are sadly deficient in their knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures.
For those who teach Israel has been replaced by the Church, Romans 9:6 is an essential verse in their arsenal. On the surface, the verse can be confusing. The verse reads, “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” It’s like saying, “Not all players wearing a LA Dodger uniform on the field at Dodger Stadium and sitting in the dugout are really Dodgers.”
The replacement theologian would say, “Not all Jewish people who are wearing the Jewish uniform and sitting in the Jewish dugout are really members of the team. In fact, the real Jews consist of members of the Church who have placed their faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah.”
Replacement theology can be very confusing. If you follow their line of thinking, in some passages “Israel is the Church” and in other texts, “Israel is the Jewish nation.” Israel keeps switching leagues. Sometimes they are in the National League; then at other times they are in the American League. I don’t know who to root for because I don’t know who is who.
Jun 22, 2012
Jews for Jesus Director David Brickner has an online conversation with John Piper, author and pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and speaker at Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. This online conversation centers on the Jewish people’s divine right to the land of Israel. ScriptureSolutions highly recommends to its readers to check out these articles and read the Christian ZIonism side represented by Brickner and the anti-Christian Zionist side purported by John Piper.
God Doesn’t Keep Jews in a Pickle Jar | Christianity Today.
This is part three of a four-part discussion between Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor John Piper and Jews for Jesus executive director David Brickner on the relationship and attitudes American Christians should have toward Israel. See Brickner’s initial letter and Piper’s first response.
Thank you for your insightful comments on a number of the issues brought up in my first letter to you, many with which I happily agree. We both uphold the need and priority of Jewish evangelism as integral to world mission. We both affirm the ongoing election of Israel (the Jewish people) and God’s faithfulness to his covenant people and his promises. We both look forward to the second coming of Jesus and his glorious restoration of all things, including his people Israel. I do want to take issue with two of your comments before voicing my main concern.
Jun 1, 2012
In my previous blog I introduced the Kairos Palestine Document (KPD). KPD,written by an ecumenical group of Palestinian Christians, was released publicly on December 11, 2009. This manifesto was released by the PCUSA to let the world know what is taking place in Palestine, according to Palestinian Christians.
The KPD was previously mentioned on a CBS 60 Minutes segment called “Christians in the Holy Land” aired in March 2012. In the segment’s attempt to demonstrate that the Christian population in the Holy Land is shrinking due to Israeli policies, the KPD was mentioned as a “good faith” example of how Arab Christians are attempting to practice non-violence in the face of IDF pressure and duress.
As mentioned in a previous blog about the KPD, the document portrays Palestinian Christians as peaceful and steering away from any form of revenge of terrorism in dealing with Israel. Once again, here are the words introducing the KPD from the 60 Minutes transcript:
In 2009, this group of Christian activists did something unprecedented. They published a document called Kairos, criticizing Islamic extremism and advocating non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation which they called a sin against God. It was endorsed by the leaders of 13 Christian denominations including Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican. (more…)
May 24, 2012
In the 60 Minutes report “Christians in the Holy Land” in March 2012, CBS correspondent Bob Simon attempted painted Palestinian Christian leaders with as non-violent brush towards Israel especially the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Simon’s goal was to pin a “I support Martin Luther King” button on Palestinian Christians and portray Israelis as evil ” segregationists” standing in the way of Palestinian civil rights. Nothing could be further from the truth once we delve outside the small box of the 60 Minutes report.
Here are the words from the 60 Minutes transcript:
In 2009, this group of Christian activists did something unprecedented. They published a document called Kairos, criticizing Islamic extremism and advocating non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation which they called a sin against God. It was endorsed by the leaders of 13 Christian denominations including Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican.
The CBS correspondent continued to explore the Kairos Palestine Document by interviewing Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem:
Mitri Raheb: They [the Israelis] are fearful of this document because they are afraid this might influence the Christian world
Reverend Raheb, who helped write the document, says it’s anything but anti-Semitic.
Mitri Raheb: This document is– doesn’t ask for violent. It doesn’t ask for revenge. The most powerful thing in this document actually is that asking for hope and love and faith.
But is this document merely asking for “hope and love and faith”? How much do we as Christians in the Western World know about the Kairos Palestine Document? (more…)
Apr 25, 2012
From the 60 Minutes report “Christians of the Holy Land” last Sunday night [April 22, 2012) moderated by CBS reporter Bob Simon, the viewer was fed the idea that Palestinians started Christianity and gave faith in Christ to the world.
Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian and a Lutheran minister from Bethlehem accurately claimed, “Christianity started here.” Then Raheb adds, “The only thing that Palestine was able to export so successfully was Christianity.” Yet no where in the New Testament is name “Palestine” is ever used. The closest we come is in Matthew 15:22 where a Canaanite woman came to Jesus seeking healing for her daughter, “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
According to Wikipedia, “The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BC Ancient Greece. Herodotus wrote of a ‘district of Syria, called Palaistinê” in The Histories, the first historical work clearly defining the region, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.”
In the Bible Palestine is never mentioned as another name for Israel or the original name of Israel prior to the Jewish exiles from Egypt entering the land under Joshua around 1400 B.C. We read, “The Hebrew name Peleshet (פלשת Pəlésheth)- usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible more than 250 times. The Greek word Palaistinē is generally accepted to be a translation of the Semitic name for Philistia; however another term – Land of Philistieim was used in the Septuagint, the second century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, to refer to Philistia. In the Torah / Pentateuch the term Philistia is used 10 times and its boundaries are undefined. The later Historical books include most of the biblical references, almost 200 of which are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel, where the term is used to denote the southern coastal region to the west of the ancient Kingdom of Judah.”
Getting back to Mitri Raheb, he has the nerve to say, “Christianity has actually on the back a stamp saying, “Made in Palestine.” Raheb could not be more mistaken.
Given the tenor of the entire article, it appears that Arab Christians are the original followers of Jesus in the Holy Land. I find it odd that Bob Simon did not interview the other Christians living in the Holy Land – Jewish people who have embraced Jesus as the Messiah aka messianic Jews. (more…)