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For those who teach Israel has been replaced by the Church, Romans 9:6 is an essential verse in their arsenal.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 27, 2012
Why Israel Exists ‘for the Palestinians’—and the Rest of the World | Christianity Today.
I am including the final installment of the dialogue between Jew for Jesus head David Brickner and Pastor and author John Piper regarding Israel’s divine right to the land. This four-part article has been helpful to lay out the issues on the table even though many aspects of this discussion left much unsaid. Today Piper attempts to maintain the exclusivity of God’s promise to the Jewish people and yet also hold to the position that the whole world will inherit Israel as well. Though the Gentile world enjoys the blessings of the land of Israel during the messianic kingdom, the prophecies in Ezekiel make it clear that the land of Israel is divided among the twelve tribes of the elect nation.
Pastor John Piper
Piper displays the confusion among Reformed theologians who try to affirm Israel as the object of God’s blessings and at the same time extend those blessings to the world while maintaing Israel as a unique chosen nation. Somewhere in the theological mix as explained by Reformed theologians, the elect status of Israel is lost in the universal blessings God promises to the world. Brickner’s words still stand true, “ ”You are taking away with one hand what you give with the other.”
This is the conclusion 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 parts one, two, and three. (more…)
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 22, 2012
I was enjoying a friendly discussion with a Christian at a local coffee hangout. This well-learned and articulate believer quickly let me know that she holds ot the Reformed position – another way of telling me she believes the Church has replaced Israel. We engaged in a friendly conversation for a brief period. One statement she shared has stuck with me when I asked, “What do you do with all the prophecies made concerning Israel in the millennial kingdom after the Second Coming?” and she replied, “All those prophecies are fulfilled in Christ.”
Galatians 3:16-17 is one of the major passages that is used by replacement theologians to support the idea Jesus has become the “greater Israel” and all those who follow Jesus are now the true Israel. Some Christians might call themselves “spiritual Jews.” I usually cringe when I hear my fellow Gentile believers make this statement and beg them not to tell any Jewish people.
Imagine if God chose to work with Africa as His chosen nation and in the New Testament age, Africa was replaced by the Church. Then we would experience Christians telling others, “We are the new Africa. We are ‘spiritual blacks.’” That is how ridiculous it sounds when Christians make statements that have no roots in the Word of God but are based on misguided theology or by people who have not dealt in depth with the passages they use to broadcast their beliefs.
Galanatians 3:16-17 says:
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
From Galatians 3:16-17 we are to conclude, according to replacement theologians, that the Abrahamic promises were not spoken to the nation of Israel, but God’s commitment to Israel find their fulfillment in the one true seed of Abraham – the Messiah Jesus – rather than the nation.
Seed of Abraham
Since believers belong to Jesus, then Christians are the true seed of Abraham through the one true seed-Jesus of Nazareth. If one reads this passage without asking questions or checking out the surrounding context of Galatians 3, I can understand this conclusion. However, upon deeper investigation, the student of the Bible discovers Paul’s intention was not to teach that the Church has replaced Israel or that Jesus is the true Israel. (more…)
Jun 13, 2012
Christians are confused about the place of Israel in the New Testament. Some believers are not sure if God has a plan for Israel as He did in the Jewish Scriptures. Others think the only plan God has for Jewish people is their salvation and nothing further. Still some Christians do not think Israel is a legitimate entity, having been replaced by the Church aka replacement theology.
Fact it, Christians are confused because their pastors are confused and pastors are confused about Israel because their seminary professors are confused.
God’s Promises to Israel Are Not Cast Aside in the Face of Israel’s Unfaithfulness
The assumption of many anti-Christian Zionist advocates is that Christians who believe God has promised the Jewish people the land of Israel as their homeland also maintain the government of Israel can do no wrong. As one anti-Zionist advocate told me, Israel seems to think since God gave them the Ten Commandments they can now make up any law they want . . . . Most of this comes from fear which they need not have since American is their number one protector and God is also on their side, according to Christian Zionism (paraphrased).
It is the belief of anti-Christian Zionists since I believe God promised the Jewish people the land of Israel that no matter what they do, God will always back Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The nation is still accountable to God.
When the Bible student reads through the Jewish Scriptures, he discovers the Lord God of Israel never ignored the sins of Israel. Even in the face of the Lord’s commitment to give the title deed of Israel to the Jewish people, He also removed the people of Israel from the land on many occasions due to their transgressions. In spite of the Assyrian Captivity in 721 B.C., the Babylonian Captivity in 586 B.C. and the conquest of Jerusalem and Israel in 70 A.D. by the Romans, there is no place in the First nor the Second Covenants of the Bible where the God of Israel revokes His promise to the Hebrews to give them the land and to expand the nation as stated in the covenant He made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. ” (more…)