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Monday
Jun092008

Does Your Church Teach "Replacement" Theology?

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According to a recent email from the "Jerusalem Prayer Team," here are the questions to ask so as to determine whether or not your church teaches "replacement theology."  (h.t. Rich Barcellos).

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Why the Church Should Support Israel

Many Christians ask me, “How do I know if my church is a Bible-believing church that doesn't teach replacement theology, progressive dispensationalism or supersessionism?”

Ask yourself some questions:

  1. Does my church pray for the Jewish people, the peace of Jerusalem, and Israel?
  2. Does my church give offerings of compassion to comfort them?
  3. Does my church preach on Israel and its Biblical significance?
  4. Does my church take tours of Israel?
  5. Is there an Israeli flag in my church?
  6. Does my church teach on the significance of Church’s Jewish roots?
  7. Does my church have a Night to Honor Israel or Jerusalem Prayer Summit annually?
  8. Does my church ever preach against replacement theology, progressive dispensationaism, or supersessionism?

If the answer to these questions is “No,” then you may be a member of a church that refuses to believe the Bible, and rejects God’s Eternal promises to the House of Israel. If your church seems powerless, and appears not to be blessed by God, perhaps this is the reason.

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These eight questions are taken from Mike Evan's book Why Christians Should Support Israel.

Hmmm . . . How does Christ Reformed stack up in light of these eight questions?

1).  In one sense, we pray for the Jewish people every Lord's Day in our pastoral prayer.   "We pray first for your benediction on your holy Gospel, that it may be faithfully proclaimed and the world filled with the knowledge of your truth. To that end, please send workers into your field to plant, water, and harvest a people for your name. But frustrate the work of those who would sow weeds of heresy and discord. Pull down all of the strongholds of Satan in this world and establish your kingdom throughout the earth. Please give fatherly attention to your servants who suffer persecution for the sake of the Gospel and strengthen them in mind and body by your Spirit through the means of grace. "

We also pray this collect every Good Friday:  "MERCIFUL God, who has made all people, and hates nothing that you have made, nor do you desires the death of a sinner, but rather that they should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all who know you not as you are revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and have mercy upon your ancient people Israel.  Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word; and so bring them home, blessed Lord, to your fold, that they may be made one flock with us under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. "

2).  Not sure what that means . . .  I hope we'd be compassionate to all people . . .  I take Paul's words to heart in Romans 10:1; 11:17, 28.

3).  Yes, we teach and preach about Israel's significance.  We talk about Jesus Christ--who is the true Israel--every Sunday.

4).  No tours of Israel.  I've been to Israel and would love to go again, but no, we don't take tours to Israel.

5).  Sorry, there are no flags in our sanctuary--no Israeli flag, no American flag, no Christian flag.

6).  Yes, we teach about the church's Jewish roots and we show how all the Old Testament types and shadows are fulfilled in Christ.

7).  Nope--no nights devoted to praying for the Jerusalem Prayer Summit.  But, see number one above.  We do pray together for the conversion of Israel at least once a year (every Good Friday).

8).  Do we teach against replacement theology?  I'll have to think about this one (smile) . . .

So, are we teaching "replacement theology"? 

Absolutely not!  We don't teach "replacement theology" because we don't believe the church "replaces" Israel (but that's another story for another time).

OK . . . so how does your church stack up?  Do you go to one of those "powerless" churches that isn't blessed by God because it doesn't agree with Mike Evans and the Jerusalem Prayer Team? 

 

Reader Comments (20)

" 2. Does my church give offerings of compassion to comfort them?
3. Does my church preach on Israel and its Biblical significance?
4. Does my church take tours of Israel?
5. Is there an Israeli flag in my church?
7. Does my church have a Night to Honor Israel or Jerusalem Prayer Summit annually?
8. Does my church ever preach against replacement theology, progressive dispensationaism, or supersessionism? "

Wow!

I'm part of the non-premil "loyal opposition" in my church, biting my tongue when discussion or teaching gets around to Revalation or eschatology. Most people are the evangelical default Hal Lindsay type dispensationalist. Yet, we don't do _any_ of this stuff. We must be lost.

An Israeli flag? <gaaack>
June 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlee n. field
Saying that what we believe is "Replacement" theology is like saying that my sister's adopted children replaced her natural ones... or that a vinedresser's grafting of new branches replaces all the old ones.

We cannot even SEE the kingdom of God unless God opens our eyes.
June 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMark
So do these things mean that only John Hagee will make it to heaven?
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDB
No Mr. Hagee, we don't support the secular state of Israel with one of the most liberal abortion policies (up to 3 free abortions for women in service). We do pray for TRUE Israel whenever we pray for Christ's church.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Sanger
Nope, don't believe in "Replacement Theology" but I do believe in "Fulfillment Theology." I also believe in the people of God who are those who came to God in faith from Abraham to the last Christian Martyr before Christ's Return. Yep, I believe the Bible!
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Smith
That list is just plain nutty.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDJ Cimino
Kim, I am very thankful for un-Biblical, powerless, blessing-free churches like yours. :)
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPeter
Yikes! Very scary list, indeed. As one growing up as a child under the law of Judaism, I am very grateful to have been set free by grace through coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ almost 6 years ago. It saddens me to realize how prevelant these heretical teachings are. May God have mercy on their souls, and open their blind eyes.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie Jean
Should believers in Christ have a prayerful concern for unsaved Jews? Of course! Like Paul we can say that the desire of our heart and the prayer of our heart to God is for their salvation (Rom. 10:1), and that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes - to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16).

But Israeli flags in our churches and trips to Israel? Amazing!

At least I preach and teach against progressive dispensationalism, since I preach and teach against any dispensationalism... (I.e., against any view that overlooks the ongoing unity of all believers --Jews or Gentiles-- in Christ, or proposes salvation in any way other than through faith in the one and only Messiah and Prince of peace who died for our sin to reconcile us to God: Jesus!) It's time believers understood passages like Ephesians 2/3 and Galatians 3:28 and I Corinthians 12:13 ... as well as John 4:19-26.

This "support the present state of Israel at all costs" theology is just plain wrong-headed ... and scary.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWayne Rohde
I just happen to be working my way through a book entitled "Whose Land? Whose Promise?" written a few years ago by Wheaton College prof. Gary Burge. The folks who prepared the above list would do well to take a look at Dr. Burge's publication (he's been to Israel numerous times, often for lengthy stays).

Israel is by no means innocent when it comes to the atrocities that have been committed in the Middle East. In fact, a group of loosely affiliated organizations known as the Israel Peace Coalition has been very outspoken about the abuses carried out by their own soldiers and want nothing to do with a government that condone such violence.

Those who support Israel in the name of faulty eschatology ought to think twice about it.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
In our church, Israel only comes up as types and shadows, and historical narrative.

Our pastors never talk politics, except to pray for our nation.

However, sports is always talked about!!!! (Law, Gospel and sports.)
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
"If your church seems powerless, and appears not to be blessed by God, perhaps this is the reason."

Oh, the many colors, shades and hues of propserity gospel.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Peter, I don't know about you, but every Sunday I am blessed that I hear God's Word taught form the Bible using the Bible. Also knowing that I can take communion because of Christ perfect works, as I would never be worthy to take communion based on my own works.
As for Replacement Theology I never heard of a church, or at least any that I have attended, that teach the Church replaces Israel. I get tired of hearing accusations when people find out I go to a Reformed church who believes in the Almillennialism view of the end times.

Is it once or twice in our lifetime that we need to go to Israel, oh wait that is Islam requirments, traveling to Meca once in your lifetime.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiminator
As a reformed believer of Jewish background, I wonder when these people will learn that eschatology is NOT the center of the Scriptures, but Jesus Christ is, who by the single offering of His flesh and blood has made all His elect part of His body, the church. Charlie.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
Charlie,

I couldn't have said it better myself. That's the bottom line, truly.
June 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie Jean
Timinator, I couldn't agree more.
June 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPeter
Charlie, Way to sum up to main point od God's Word
June 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiminator
Let's hope that when the current wave of Dispensational figureheads are gone that this 'Israel or bust' mentality dies with them, or at least looses some of its undeserved time in the national spotlight. I say that not to sound crass, but simply because I don't see any of the popular Dispy defenders (Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, Jack Van Impe, etc.) grooming their successors. The worst part of it is that the media seems to assume that all American Christians read Scripture through Dispy lenses.
June 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNeal P.
Dr. Riddlebarger,
Thanks for this short segment on replacement theology. I had no idea what it was until a co-worker informed me about a man who is Reformed Baptist, who wrote about the "ills" of Willowcreek. He wanted me to read it. I haven't yet. But he stopped by today to tell me that he read another article of the author and discovered that he is a "replacement theologist", and explained what he believed replacement theology to be. I need to read more, but it sounded like those opposed to RT are dispensational. I don't think that OPC teaches RT....;o)

Greetings from Wheaton, IL Go Bulls!
April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Cerny
I am a Student at Western Seminary in Portland, Or. and I just finished a class on Islam and current events, one of the textbooks was "Whose Land? Whose Promise?" that was mentioned by George. This is such a timely subject and one that needs to be repeated loud and clear. God wants His Gospel to be presented in an unbiased manner to the Muslims as well as the Jews. How can we present the Gospel to Muslims when we treat them as intruders in their own land?
I personally believe that "Replacement Theology" is a straw man built by dispensationalists to bolster their own theology.
June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Valnes

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