Replacement theology, also called supersessionism or fulfilled theology, is an interpretation of Bible doctrine that says in essence, that God can both change and that God can lie.
The proponents of this worldview don’t specifically say that, but it is the only way that it can work. There are a lot of branches on the replacement theology tree, but they shoot off from two main trunks.
- Israel’s role as the people of God was completed when the Messiah came 2,000 years ago. A transition took place at this point and the Church became the people of God. This is called economic supersessionism.
- Israel forfeited its place as God’s Chosen people as a Divine punishment for the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. This view is called punitive supersessionism.
In both cases, all the promises made by God to the Jews have been passed to the Church. The ethnic Jews of modern Israel have no more of a spiritual connection to the Land of Israel than the Irish do.
Replacement theologians claim all of the Divine promises made to Israel were passed on to the Church. However, I’ve never heard one teach that the Church also inherited the curses and judgments God pronounced on Israel for her apostasy.
Last week we addressed the question, “Are you a Calvinist?” If you are a Calvinist, then you are also a proponent of replacement theology. Calvin’s Reformed, or Covenant theology is closely associated with amillennialism, a spiritualized method (rather than literal-historical) of interpreting prophecy.
There are so many problems with replacement theology that one hardly knows where to start. The concept is so foreign to the writings of the Apostle Paul that some scholars actually attempt to separate Paul as unreliable.
Replacement theology is the root and branch of Christian anti-Semitism. I found a blog posting proclaiming it was “Refuting the Replacement Theology Argument of the Christian Zionist” in which he explains the discrepancies away by quoting the “Jewish Apostle Paul.” (All the Apostles were Jewish!)
Reading through it, I can’t tell if it was written by a Christian or by a member of Hamas. In the end, both worldviews argue that God favors the destruction of Israel.
“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)
Replacement theologians claim this verse really prophesied the persecution of the early Church.
Ironically, Jesus is prophesying the persecution of the Jews by Christians blinded by replacement theology. Christians don’t go to synagogues. Jesus was addressing His disciples – all of them Jews.
In these last days, the Church is divided into three major theological groupings, Catholic, Protestant and heretic. Heretics were invented by C.I. Scofield, Margaret Macdonald and J.N. Darby. I’m not exactly sure how, but I think it had something to do with actually reading a Bible.
Heretics believe in something called Dispensationalism which espouses a doctrine of progressive revelation. Dispensationalism is a system of theology that sees God working with man in different ways in different dispensations. Three key examples would be Conscience, Law and Grace.
I can’t find any Biblical support for God breaking His promises to the Jews, but I can find plenty of support for Dispensational truth.
“For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” (1st Corinthians 9:17)
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:” (Ephesians 1:10)
“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:” (Ephesians 3:2)
“Whereof I am made a minister, according to thedispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God” (Colossians 1:25)
If we’re using the Bible as a guide, the true heresy is therefore replacement theology.
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”(Romans 11:29)
A Vatican synod on the Middle East in 2010 ended with the Catholic bishops calling for an end to the Israeli “occupation.”
While the bishops condemned terrorism and anti- Semitism, they laid much of the blame for the conflict on Israel. They listed the “occupation” of Palestinian lands, the West Bank security barrier, its military checkpoints, “political prisoners,” demolition of homes and disturbance of Palestinians’ lives as factors that have made life increasingly difficult for Palestinians.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded: “We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best tradition of Arab propaganda.
In the very best traditions of replacement theology, the bishops demanded that Israel accept UN resolutions calling for an “end to its occupation of Arab lands” while fully aware that what they were really calling for was Israel’s national suicide.
The bishops warned Israel against using the Bible to justify “injustices” against the Palestinians. The Pope took up their theme in his Sunday homily;
“Peace is possible. Peace is urgent. Peace is an indispensable condition for a life worthy of the human person and of society. Peace is also the best remedy to avoid [Christian] immigration from the Middle East.”
The theme of the synod was that Christians are fleeing the Middle East in droves. Bethlehem’s Christian population has dwindled from 85% down to single digits in the last twenty years. The Vatican found a way to blame that on Israel.
Except that Israel’s Christian population has increased. The exodus of Christians in the Middle East is from areas under Muslim rule.
Christian persecution of the Jews is legendary. By Catholics. Bymainstream Protestants. (They don’t get a pass on this one.)
The list of Protestant churches that have divested from Israel or otherwise worked against her existence includes practically every single mainstream Protestant denomination from Lutherans to Presbyterians and beyond.
These are the fruits of replacement theology. Anti-Semitism. Spiritual warfare against the Jews. At the risk of repeating myself:
“They shall put you out of the synagogues yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
In contrast, Dispensationalist Christians are derided by their critics as “Christian Zionists” because they believe that Israel’s restoration in 1948 was a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Since God miraculously restored the Jews, opposing Israel’s existence is opposing the Plan of God.
The Bible says, “by their fruits ye shall know them.”
The next time somebody accuses you of being a Calvinist, remember that the fact that they had to ask means they don’t know what in the world they are talking about.
That way, you’ll know not to use big words in your reply.
Originally published: October 25, 2010