True Replacement Theology
Source: WHTT |
When we at We Hold These Truths present our concerns on the dangers and un-biblical nature of Christian Zionism to churches that are hosting a Christians United For Israel (CUFI) event, we are often dismissed as being adherents of a teaching known as “Replacement Theology”. These attacks are usually presented as follows: “Those who are against our (CUFI’s) message, believe that the Church has replaced the Jews and are just like the anti-semites of the past.” Usually what follow is a recounting of a litany of anti-Jewish actions by the Church over the last two thousand years, and then, a commitment by CUFI to not let such anti-semitism happen again.
So what’s wrong with CUFI’s assessment of the anti-zionist message of We Hold These Truths? First, this is a straw-man argument. They misrepresent what true replacement theology is, and then show why it is wrong. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about what is replacing what. In the book of Hebrews (written to Jewish followers of Christ) we find in Hebrews 8:6-13:
But as it is, Christ[b] has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
So what we read above, is that which is being replaced is the Old covenant with a New covenant. NOT the Jews by the Church! In fact, the early Church was composed mostly of Jews who had embraced Jesus as their Messiah.
In Rob Dalrymple’s excellent book, These Brothers of Mine: A Biblical Theology of Land and Family and a Response to Christian Zionism, on page 96, he states:
To read the OT as though the NT did not exist is to deny the very essence of the Scriptures––namely, that the Scriptures are about Jesus. One cannot completely understand the OT without the NT.
He devotes a complete chapter of his book to the subject of Replacement Theology, in which he explains that it really the Christian Zionist position that truly wants to differentiate between Judaism and Christianity as two separate peoples of God.
The New Testament clearly states in:
For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
When talking to Christian Zionists, I like to point out that the people of God have ALWAYS been the people of faith and those obedient to God.
Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Craig believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness too! And also to anyone else who calls upon the name of the Lord. (see: Genesis. 15:6, Galatians 3:6, James 3:23)
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
The old franchise with Judaism was made obsolete with the death and resurrection of Jesus, with the final blow being the destruction of the temple, with all of its associated sacrifices, in A.D.70.
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”.