When I wrote the first edition of A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays in the late 1990s, I enthusiastically took a copy to a homeschoool vendor. She said something like “Oh this will never sell in the homeschool market?” I was so surprised and immediately objected. I said something like, “How can something so rich in Bible study showing Jesus in the Old Testament be rejected by Christians?”
She explained to me that 90% of homeschoolers are Reconstructionists and would have serious problems with anything to do with Israel because Israel was replaced by the church. She also explained the five leading “pillars of the homeschool community were Reconstructionists. This was all news to me.
During those years our family traveled extensively to homeschool curriculum fairs around the country. I began asking homeschoolers if they were Reconstructionists or familiar with the term. I asked a lot of people and never found one person aware of Reconstructionistism.
What is Replacement Theology?
Replacement Theology (supersessionism) teaches that the Church has replaced the Jewish people and is now the “new Israel.” Those who believe in replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.
Those promoting this theory believe God rejected the Jewish people because of their rejection of Christ. This doctrine is embedded in many Christian denominations.
It is critical for Christians to understand that we do not replace natural Israel in God’s plan. God did not made a mistake in creating Judaism and then in utter exasperation send His son to correct it 4,000 years later.
This doctrine has been at the forefront of anti-Semitism, Judeo-phobia, and has fully provided fuel for catastrophic historical events such as the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic Crusades, and the holocaust.
What Does the Bible Say?
In the Bible the church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two are never to be confused or used interchangeably.
Genesis says that the covenant between God and Abraham is an everlasting (unconditional) covenant. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:7). In this covenant God promises Abraham and his seed: the land, great blessings, and numerous offspring. Abraham only needed faith to accept the covenant.
The covenant God made with Moses was an extension to the covenant He made with Abraham. (Exodus 19-24). This extension was the instructions on how to please God (keep the Torah) in the covenant relationship.
The Messianic covenant was a further extension of His covenant (when Christ died on the cross for our sins.) “For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28) Gentiles were invited into the new Covenant that Jesus made with Israel (Romans 9:22-33) as full fellow heirs of all the promises of God. The word “new” in the Greek and in the Hebrew sometimes means “renew.” The old did not replace the new. The new was an extension.
The New Testament mentions Israel seventy-four times in the Bible. Seventy-one times out of those seventy-four, it is clearly talking about Israel as a Nation, and a people. This proves the Hebrews are the promised people. The covenant was never revoked or replaced. To believe in the doctrine of replacement theology, one cannot study the Bible literally. Terms like, Zion, Temple, Jerusalem, Promised Land, have to be replaced by synonyms for the “church”.
- The Roman Catholic Church
- Presbyterian Church
- United Methodist Church*
- Evangelical Lutheran Church*
- United Church of Christ
- Jehovah Witnesses
- Episcopal Church
* NOTE: According to Jewish Journal: The Episcopal Church dealt with the issue of with the issue of supersessionism and the validity of the Jewish covenant in a resolution in 1988; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 1994; the United Methodist Church in 1996.
Keep in mind that these churches as a whole subscribe to the doctrine of replacement theology. Not every member subscribes to it. Here are a few pastors you probably heard of teach replacement theology.
- John Piper
- Chuck Colson
- James Kennedy
God is Not a Liar.
He said, “Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; For I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord” (Lev. 26:44-45).
God still kept His covenant with Israel even when they were in sin. He promises in His word that He will always be with them in their time of need, and this was a definite time of need for them.
We see this in Isaiah 43:1-7:
“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
God was with them always in spite of all they had done. What a picture of God’s mercy. This should give all children of God hope.
The Lord did not reject His people and Paul confirms this in God’s word. Paul said in Romans 11 “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew… in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (Rom. 11:1-2, 25-27). Paul he was an Israelite himself. He knew that the Lord would not forsake Israel.
In the end, the people of the Lord will be restored both physically and spiritually. The Lord says that He will restore Israel in his word… “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” (Amos 9:11,14,15) . They are to be planted upon “their land,” the land which God says he had “given them”, the land which he promised.
We know this is a true and everlasting covenant. God tells us in Genesis… “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger– all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” (`Gen. 13:14-17; 17:8`)
Dr. Morgan explains, If God was through with the Jew, and the church was now the “true Israel of God” then there is no need to have anything to do with them let alone need to provoke them to jealousy. The fruit of the doctrine that the Church has replaced Israel has been
The sin of rejecting the scriptural command not to be arrogant toward the natural branches
The sin of actually becoming arrogant toward the natural branches, that produced
Centuries of sinful spiritual darkness in the church and the horribly sinful persecution of the natural branches.
In short, rather than a jealousy provoking testimony of the Gospel this doctrine produced hatred; in the church for the Jew, and in the Jew for the church.
Danger in the Homeschool Movement!
The Road To Holocaust by Hal Lindsey
Hal Lindsey’s bestselling expose of a dangerous movement in the church is a book every homeschooler should read because the many authors in homeschooling are Reconstructionists– covertly teaching the same errors that brought catastrophe to the Church and Dark ages and lead to the Holocaust.
When I began homeschool our Bible studies lead us to in-depth studies on Israel’s history and culture and God’s promises to Israel. When I shared my excitement with a leading homeschool vendor I was told I better watch out—90% of homeschoolers were Reconstructionists and would have serious problems with anything to do with Israel.
I was completely ignorant about the term Reconstructionists, I had been writing for and speaking to homeschool audiences for many years and didn’t know one Reconstructionists. I set off to find out more. I search and searched and became more and more confused. The main thing I found out about Reconstructionists is that they are all confused about what they believe.
When I found this book by Hal Lindsey I was thrilled! I finally found a book that explained who Reconstructionists, what they believe, and their history. I still don’t know the percentage of homeschooler that are Reconstructionists but I do know there are many are in churches and homeschool groups teaching this false doctrine.
Reconstructionists are often keynote speakers at major homeschool conferences and authors of best selling homeschool books—but you rarely hear their true motivations from a podium or books. If you homeschool you need to be aware of their false doctrines and its dangers!
Do the reasrch for your self. Look up Christian Reconstructionist, Christian Dominionism, and R.J. Rushdoony.
Footnote: According to Soulen’s book The God of Israel and Christian Theology there are three categories of Supersessionism. For Soulen there are three types of supersessionism:
- Economic: whereby the Jews are no longer needed in the divine plan for humankind.
- Punitive: whereby the Jews are seen as rejected by God because of their rejection of Jesus as the Christ.
- Structural: whereby the true relationship with God is between God and humans per se and not between God and a singular people.
More on Replacement Theology
- Evangelicals seeing the error of ‘replacement theology'( Jerusalem Post)
- Israel and the Church (Hebrew4Christians.com)
- TorahClass Genesis 48 Audio and Transcript
- The Error of Replacement Theology ( Clarence H. Wagner, Jr.)
- Replacement Theology – Its Origins, Teachings and Errors
- Three Categories of Supersessionism
- Danger of Replacement Theology (Others Centered Blog)
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