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Saturday, October 22, 2011


'Replacement' theology is, to put it with downright indelicate truth, a crock of s**t. True, some would think that by now this is merely stating the obvious. I would to God (literally) that they were right. Too many prelates and theologians are preaching it again. A British theologian recently quoted in the Jerusalem Post, the Roman Catholic bishop of Israel and another Catholic prelate of the Middle East, not to mention the Coptic Pope Shenouda III and other Eastern and Orthodox prelates.
Nothing in Scripture says that God has abrogated His Covenant with the Jews or indeed with the Hebrews at large. (I'm thinking of the 10 'Lost' Tribes here) There is nothing in Scripture that needs to be so interpreted. On the other hand, Paul says in no uncertain terms in his letter to the Romans that God has NOT forsaken Israel, nor will He ever do so! And, indeed, had God done so, we Christians might be in serious trouble too. For if God drops Israel, what about us? Listen, you lunkheads: there's a direct connection between how a country behaves toward the Jews and how much resistance it has and will have to Islamization. For if God ever forsook the Jews, then who's next? Can anybody reading this not see the connection between 'replacement' theology and thinking, maybe the Muslims are the next real thing--and then, quite literally, it's downhill all the way! And is it a coincidence that the most heavily Muslim-beleaguered sections of Christendom are also the ones with the worst opinion of the Jews? I don't think so-o!
So how did 'replacement' theology get off the ground and become so persistent? Well, I'm not sure but I'll venture some ideas: as the first Christians were also Jews, they struggled with other strands of Judaism to be the dominant one. Also, because it was flattering to the Gentile proselytes to be considered 'true' Jews. We all like to think Dad loves US best, don't we? But that spirit can only be called ungodly when it comes to judging the 'correctness' of other people's relationships with God. It is against the Christian spirit, it's also against the Hebrew prophetic spirit! God is not a man that He should change His mind!
Maybe the idea acquired additional wings when Theodosius made Christianity the Empire's state religion and into the Middle Ages. Certainly the Crusades rooted this syphilitic idea deeper. But through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance and Reformation and on into the Enlightenment, God smiled on those realms that treated the Jews better than others. Sultan Bajazet II knew his empire was enriched by the Spanish refugees and the New World's gold and silver only passed through Spain and created inflation all over Europe. John Sobieski of a relatively tolerant Poland saved Vienna from the Turks in 1683. After Oliver Cromwell reopened England to the Jews in 1655, we have first an agricultural revolution and then the Industrial Revolution, not to mention the growth of Britain's colonies and the opening of North America to those colonists. And everyone knows how other Iberian Jewish refugees enriched Holland around the same time!
Part of this pernicious idea is whining on the score of 'what business has anyone calling themselves 'chosen'?' Well, the Jews were not chosen in order to think themselves better than anyone or because they were better than anyone. If there's any 'reason' Jacob was chosen, I'll suggest two: first, God admires the quality known as chutzpah, despite all efforts by parents, teachers, clergy and temporal rulers to convince us otherwise! Second, Jacob had another trait God loves: we now call it 'thinking outside the boxes'. No, the Jews were chosen to be God's first people and to share God's light (and the lights of earthly knowledge) with as much of the rest of the world as possible. Which they have done and are still doing, to a very considerable extent. Most Jews seem to know and understand this better than we do.
No, I'll stand with the theologian Franz Rosenzweig. He died too young in 1929, but during his lifetime he did some sterling work and he also made this all-too-true observation: "When the pagan within the Christian soul rises in revolt, he vents his fury on the Jews." I defy anyone to show me this is mistaken!
'Replacement' theology is like saying the new ingrafted branches replace the old. It's like saying Illinois replaces New York, or Arkansas replaces North Carolina when we're all the same country whether we live in a 'new' state or one of the original thirteen! I plead with all who call themselves Christians to throw 'replacement' theology out the window and leave it behind--or know that, by holding onto it, you render yourselves horrifically vulnerable to Islamism swallowing you up!