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The Jewish People: Rejected or Beloved? (Part 2)
By Nathan Jones
Did you know that many Christians today teach that God has replaced Israel with the Church, so that the Church has inherited all of the blessings originally promised to Israel and Israel has kept all of the curses?
I asked this questions and many others on the television program Christ in Prophecy of Dr. David Reagan, author of one of his newer books titled The Jewish People: Rejected or Beloved? Join us as Dr. Reagan dispels many of the myths surrounding God’s ongoing plan for the Jewish people.
An Evil Doctrine
Nathan Jones: Dr. Reagan, in Chapter 5 of your book you state that Replacement Theology is “evil.” The chapter is actually titled, “The Evil of Replacement Theology.” Wow, “evil”, that a pretty direct accusation! What then makes Replacement Theology evil? Because most churches today hold to Replacement Theology, that being the teaching that the Church has replaced Israel and taken on all the blessings God has promised them, their pastors will likely bristle at your claim.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, it’s true, and they will. But, first, let’s go into a little more detail concerning just what Replacement Theology is before I tell you why I think it is so evil, and it is indeed very evil.
Replacement Theology is a Church teaching that God has “washed His hands of the Jewish people” because they were guilty of deicide, which is a word that means “the killing of God.” The Jews historically have been blamed for the killing of Jesus. As a result, God then replaced the Jewish people with the Church, giving to the Church all the blessings He had ever promised the Jewish people, and leaving them with all the curses. So, the Church gets all of God’s blessings, the Jews all the curses.
This view developed very early in the history of the Church. As you well know, when the Church was first founded, everyone in it was Jewish. The Early Church was 100% comprised of Jewish people.
Nathan Jones: Even Dr. Luke probably?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, likely even Luke. Messianic Christians wrote the Bible. The Early Church was founded on Jewish writers, Jewish members, and Jewish leaders. But, early in the first century, the Church began to grow very rapidly among Gentile believers, and before long Gentiles believers were 10 and even 100 times more prolific than their Jewish brethren. The Gentile believers actually began to turn on the Jewish believers, and began to denounce them. This is a very interesting situation, because early in the Church it was the other way around — the Jews predominated. When the Gentiles started joining Christianity the Jews had been very gracious to them. The Jewish leaders agreed, “No, you don’t have to be circumcised. You don’t have to follow the Law of Moses. You don’t have to become a Jew in order to be a Christian.”
And yet, within a very short period of time, say within less than a hundred years, the Gentiles began dominating the Church. Soon they were suddenly saying to Jews, “You can’t be a Christian and remain a Jew. You’ve got to become a Gentile. You’ve got to put aside all your Jewish practices and everything that has anything to do with Judaism.” Then the Gentile believers began to put this monkey on the back of the Jewish people by saying, “You really don’t have any rights at all because your people killed God.”
Who exactly killed Jesus? Acts 4:27 reads, “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.” How interesting that the book of Acts reveals just who killed Jesus Christ — it was the Romans, it was the Jews, it was the Gentiles, and, of course, you and me. All of humanity holds the responsibility for the death of Jesus. He died for our sins and the sins of the world.
Despite the biblical fact the everybody killed Jesus, not just the Jews, the Church has always focused on the Jews, denouncing them as being “Christ killers.”
Nathan Jones: Jesus in John 10:17-18 declared, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” So, ultimately, it was God Himself who was behind His Son’s death, providing the only sacrifice for the sins of the world.
The Church Persecutes the Jews
Dr. Reagan: True! And, so, this false teaching that the Jews alone were responsible for Christ’s death began to build over the centuries. By the time the Church reached the Middle Ages, this became the accepted doctrine of the Church, and so the Jews were to be hated and the Jews were to be persecuted, because they were the “Christ killers.” This lie was actually taught by the Church — it is your responsibility to persecute Jews. And, so, they were terribly persecuted.
The Church’s persecution of the Jews during the Middle Ages was absolutely horrible. They came up with the Passion Plays which the people thought were wonderful plays about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They were to some extent, but they were also plays fueled by anti-Semitism. All of the Jewish characters wore big hook noses. When they “Jews” came up onto the stage the audience would boo and throw things at them. The play was actually designed to keep the hatred of the Jews going.
Then there were all those myths circulated during the Middle Ages claiming that the Jews were polluting the wells of the Gentiles. The people accused the Jews of kidnapping Gentile kids and draining their blood for use in the Passover. The people even blamed the Black Plague on the Jews because the Jews didn’t die as much as the Gentiles. Why? Because the Jews followed strict hygienic rules from the Law of Moses.
Dr. Reagan: So, this persecution of the Jews by the Church went on and on over the centuries. Finally, at the Reformation, Martin Luther called Christians to get back into the Word of God. With this call back to biblical over Church teachings, the Jews thought that at long last the persecution was going to finally end. The Christians would get back into the Word of God, and all this anti-Semitism would stop.
In the beginning, Luther wrote some documents in which he said that he thought that the Jews were very intelligent, and the reason that they had not come to the Gospel was because the Church had perverted the Gospel. Now that he had restored biblical Christianity, the Jews would convert to Christ in big numbers.
Nathan Jones: Luther didn’t hold to that view for very long, did he?
Dr. Reagan: Not at all. When the Jews didn’t convert to Christ in large numbers, Luther turned his wrath against them. In fact, what most people don’t know is that Martin Luther, one of the great heroes of the Christian faith, was a man who ended his life writing some of the worst things that have ever been written about the Jewish people. For example, he called them “a miserable and accursed people,” “stupid fools,” “miserable, blind and senseless,” “thieves and robbers,” “the great vermin of humanity,” “lazy rogues,” and “blind and venomous.”
Nathan Jones: And this is the Father of the Reformation?!?
Dr. Reagan: Yes. Luther he even wrote a document, and all you have to do is get on the Internet and type “Martin Luther Jews” and you will discover that he wrote a document in which he said point blank: “Their synagogues and schools should be burned. Their houses should be destroyed. Their Talmudic writings should be confiscated. Their rabbis should be forbidden to teach. Their money should be taken from them, and they should be compelled into forced labor.”
The Church’s Contribution to the Holocaust
Nathan Jones: Luther’s anti-Semitic views provided the foundation for one of the biggest anti-Jewish movements of the twentieth century, right, one that wiped out six million Jews in the Holocaust?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, Luther’s anti-Semitic writings became the fuel for Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. Hitler said that he considered Luther to be a great warrior, a true statesman, and a great reformer. In fact, at the Nuremberg War Crime trials after World War 2, Nazi leaders claimed, “All we were doing is what Luther told us to do.”
Most Christians do not understand that the Jews consider the Holocaust to be a Christian action, that it was something that the Christians waged against the Jews. Well, of course, the Nazi’s were quoting Luther. Most of the Nazis were members of churches. They would even celebrate Christmas at the concentration camps. All this ethnic cleansing of the Jews was done in the name of Christ. No wonder that Jews today have such a negative attitude toward Christianity and are very suspicious of any Christian who wants to share the Gospel with them, all because of the terrible way in which they have been treated. The Holocaust was really the culmination of almost 2,000 years of Christian anti-Semitism.
I document this fact in great detail in my book. I record century by century what Christians said about the Jewish people and how they were so horribly persecuted, all because they were called “Christ killers.”
Nathan Jones: No wonder the Jews today still hate the Church so much, because we have a reputation and a history of persecuting them so much.
Dr. Reagan: After WW2 anti-Semitism sort of calmed down, but it is reemerging in force today, especially in the name of anti-Zionism. Anti-Semites used to say that the Jews couldn’t live in our countries, now they’re saying the Jews can’t even live in their own country. Anti-Zionists provide some of the most virulent anti-Semites on the scene today, many of whom remain Christian spokesmen.
In the third part of my interview of Dr. David Reagan concerning dispelling various myths and blatant falsehoods concerning the Jewish people, we will look at the tragedy of Dual Covenant Theology.