Written by: Annie Viljoen
Article source: JOY! Magazine

The harrowing effects of replacement theology

Encountering our own ignorance can be a transformative journey, requiring courage and vulnerability. As a Christian with a deep love for Israel, I found myself delving into church history amid the recent surge in anti-Semitism. This exploration aimed to understand the presence of Jewish atheists in academia, some of whom seemingly harbour anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments.

Facing scrutiny for beliefs
Regrettably, I had neglected to contemplate the stark reality that the Holocaust’s six million Jewish victims faced their fate in Christian Europe. Sleepless nights prompted reflection on how followers of Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, allowed such evil. Questions lingered about the failure of many Protestant and Catholic churches during that dark period, leaving the responsibility to individuals like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller. Even prominent figures like Martin Luther, Saint John Chrysostom, and St. Augustine faced scrutiny for their stance on Jews, possibly influenced by Romans 13:1, emphasising submission to governing authorities.

The rise of replacement theology
The revelation unveiled a theological culprit: replacement theology. This perspective suggests that the Christian Church replaced the unique status once held by Jews. According to this theory, the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus by the Jews led to their replacement by the Christian Church. Despite scripture refuting it, replacement theology dominated Western nations for an extended period. Thankfully, a shift occurred as many Christians embraced dispensationalism, which emerged from the teachings of John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren in 1827. This perspective gradually replaced the anti-Semitism inherent in replacement theory.

Traces of scepticism
However, traces of scepticism persist, particularly in the West, where some Christians dispute the Jewish people of Israel as the true heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This scepticism often manifests in a defence of entities like Hamas, expressions of sympathy for Palestinians, and disdain for Jews worldwide.

Heed the scriptures
In light of my deep appreciation for the Judeo-Christian Bible, I find alignment with the term “Christian Zionist”. Rooted in my Christian faith, my love for Israel and the Jewish people propels me to heed Psalm 122:6, praying for the peace of Jerusalem. This prayer is not to prosper but stems from recognising Israel as the apple of God’s eye (Zech 2:8). A latent affinity for the Jewish people and a secret desire to be a bloodline descendant of Abraham coexist with my commitment to preserving Christianity.

Israel deserves our support
As these words take form, my hope is that Christian churches, especially in times of crisis, delve into historical teachings. Israel, a friend in the Middle East, deserves our unwavering support. To stand tall, we must actively seek knowledge, fostering growth in our faith and understanding of God’s intricate plan for Israel and the world.

Replacement theology argues that the Christian Church replaced the special status once held by Jews. According to the theory, the Jews rejected and killed Jesus and in turn, Jesus rejected the Jews and replaced them with the Christian Church.

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Date published: 14/03/2024

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  1. I agree with your article. It is imperative that contemporary Christian believers first of all read the Bible for themselves, from Genesis 1:1 to the last verse in Revelation. A problem with many in this generation is that the Old Testament has been largely neglected and/or removed altogether from both personal and corporate bible study. This is due to the promotion of a widespread, unbalanced, erroneous, perverted “grace” teaching over the past few decades. This teaching implies that the Old Testament (Covenant) is no longer relevant and that the Jewish people, heritage and nation require no special regard from the Christian culture. That opinion amounts to gross deception. Believers should become well acquainted with Christian History, Jewish culture and history and their own national history so that they can understand current events in the proper context.


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