Has The Church Replaced The Nation Israel?

 Replacement Theology



Replacement Theology, an Introduction

Daniel E. Woodhead, Ph.D.

There is a heretical concept within Christianity accepted by many so-called “Christian” groups. It is characterized as heretical because it is nowhere to be found in Scripture and contradicts Scripture. Heresy is defined herein as those who are in error [1] and are so through “intentional distortions or denials of that truth”[2] as they “place their own desires above the fellowship of the church” (see Gal. 5:20; Titus 3:10).[3] This is not to suggest that all who embrace replacement theology are in the type of heresy that makes them unbelievers in Christ. Indeed there are believers in Christ that are biblically ignorant and consequently do not see God’s divine purposes and providence in protecting the Nation of Israel. But a normal reading of the Bible shows us there are verses in the Old Testament clearly testifying that God loves the Jews (for example Leviticus 26).Nevertheless it is important to understand how it worked as an impediment to their return to the Land as well as setting the expectation, for some that their return to the Land would never happen. Some thought it would happen perhaps in the Millennial Kingdom but it was generally thought that there would be no return to a sovereign Jewish State before that time. Those that do not accept a Millennial Kingdom, even though it is clearly stated six times in Revelation chapter twenty, reject the Jews ever having a homeland. Replacement Theology and its general hatred of the Jews gave rise to significant persecutions culminating with the Nazi Holocaust. In the end, this actually provided the impetus for them to have a homeland again.

Both Jews and Gentiles populated the early Church for the first two hundred eighty years while the headquarters was located at Jerusalem. James, the Lord’s half-brother, was the first bishop of Jerusalem and presided over the first worldwide Church Council. At that time the issue of Gentiles coming into the Church gave rise to a dispute over whether the Gentiles needed to become Jewish first and then accept Christ. This, of course, would require the males to be circumcised and keep the Law. It was decided that the Gentiles did not have to keep the Law and therefore neither did anybody else in order to experience the salvation that Christ provided. It was further determined that the freedom that was in Christ provided for one to follow the Law, keep the Jewish holidays, and in general follow the Jewish Temple culture if they desired to do so. It was not obligatory, just optional.

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