In Bible/Theology, Blogs by Ty Perry4 Comments

I t’s funny how styles come and go. The horn-rimmed glasses my grandparents’ generation wore, and that my parents’ generation laughed at, are now in vogue with my generation. The bell bottoms and shag hairstyles my parents had, however, are a fashion “no-no” for most young people today.

Even within the church there are fads. The impact they have, however, is far greater than that of horn-rimmed glasses or shaggy hair. It affects not only the present, but eternity as well.

At one time, it was a given that evangelical Christians were supportive of Israel. Today, however, a new generation of evangelicals has arisen, which calls into question such support, due largely in part to the resurgence of Replacement Theology, a way of thinking that replaces the nation of Israel with the church in God’s plan.

Replacement Theology, though not held to by the predominantly Jewish church of the early first century, began creeping into the mainstream of church doctrine and practice early on in the church’s history. Unfortunately, this view is in vogue once again.

For example, in his 2004 message, “Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East,” John Piper, then pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, said, “Israel has broken covenant with her God and is living today in disobedience and unbelief …Therefore, the secular state of Israel today may not claim a present divine right to the Land…”

While Piper is correct in saying that Israel broke God’s covenant (the Mosaic and Land covenants) and is living in unbelief today, his statement that the modern State of Israel has no divine right to the land is unbiblical.

God has not destroyed Israel. In fact, He promised He never would (Jeremiah 31:35–36).

The Abrahamic Covenant, in which God gives the Land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting possession, is a unilateral, unconditional promise. That is, all the promises made in this covenant were made by God, and are therefore dependent upon the character of God, who cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). Not only that, God Himself showed Ezekiel that Israel would be back in the land in unbelief prior to her salvation (Ezekiel 37:1–28).

In their book, The Reduction of Christianity, Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart state, “In destroying Israel, Christ transferred the blessings of the kingdom from Israel to a new people, the Church.”

Of course, there is a problem with this statement: God has not destroyed Israel. In fact, He promised He never would (Jeremiah 31:35–36).

As with all systems of thought, there are consequences to these views.

In 2014, for example, The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) voted to divest from companies that assist in Israel’s “occupation” of biblical Judea/Samaria (the West Bank). While the rationale behind this decision was allegedly humanitarian in nature, the denial of the clear declarations made by God in Scripture betrays a fatal flaw in the theology of those who voted for the measure.

Not only does Replacement Theology lead to negative political action, it also hinders the witness of the church.

In Romans 1:16, Paul declares that the gospel is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” But when a well-meaning believer seeks to tell his Jewish friend about his faith in Jesus, a wall goes up. It is a wall that’s bricks are labeled: “Christ-killer!” “forced baptism,” “Crusades,” “blood libels,” “Holocaust”.

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Is it any wonder that many Jewish people believe all Christians hate them? Should it come as any surprise to us that the Christian message is not well received?

No matter what strain of Replacement Theology a person holds to, the end result is the same: God has no future, distinct plan for the nation of Israel, and the promises He made to the Jewish people of a literal, Jewish-centric kingdom in the land of Israel, will not be realized by national Israel, but by the church.

This view has proven to lead to persecution, Holocaust, political action against the Jewish state, and a major hindrance to the gospel.

As believers, we should be committed to keeping Jacob in his rightful, biblical place in God’s plan, and to speak out against all attempts to steal Jacob’s chair.

About the Author
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Ty Perry

Ty is the Assistant to the North American Director for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. He assists with strategic planning, organization, and growth of the North American Ministries department. He also ministers to the Jewish community by building relationships through volunteer work with various pro-Israel/Jewish organizations, a Bible study with rabbis, and care for Holocaust survivors. Ty also speaks in churches and at Christian colleges about Israel and the Jewish people. Ty resides in the Metro-Detroit area with his wife, Lissy, and their two children. You can support Ty's ministry online here.

Comments 4

  1. I support Israel in the land and Jewish people worldwide. They were and are Gods chosen instrument for worldwide redemption. Thank you Yeshua.

  2. Thank you for standing up to expose the insidious lie of Replacement Theology and the damage it is causing in evangelical churches. Believing that God has abandoned national Israel puts all of God’s promises to us in jeopardy. If God can revoke His eternal promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, why should we expect His promises to us today to be certain? How can we have faith in such a vacillating and arbitrary Lord? No, His promises are true; His word is settled. The nation of Israel is proof to all the world that God keeps His word. Israel is proof that we are chosen not on the basis of our intrinsic value to God or our obedience to Him, rather we are chosen simply by His grace. We are His people because the Lord (as with Israel) chose to love us in spite of our disobedience and unworthiness. May we live up to the high calling with which He has blessed us.

  3. Great series Ty! You put this crucial topic into a succinct and understandable way so that anyone reading it could grasp it. As a pastor, I am seeing and hearing how the “mood” of some in the church is shifting away from Israel. Continue to “hold fast” my friend!

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