Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christian Aid adopts the Palestinian narrative and Replacement Theology


Cranmer has been asked by the Anglican Friends of Israel to bring this matter to the attention of his readers and communicants, and he is delighted to do so. There is perhaps no more subtle manifestation of anti-Semitism than Replacement Theology, and for a Christian charity to propagate it, whilst no surprise, constitutes the perpetuation of a religio-political deception which goes back almost 2000 years. The Church, both Roman Catholic and Protestant strands, has historically maintained that due to the fact the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God saw fit to pour out his wrath upon them in AD70, destroying their temple and extinguishing their nation, leaving them to exile and oblivion. St Augustine was so persuaded, as was Origen, Tertullian, Eusebius, Ignatius of Antioch, Jerome, John Chrysostom - the Council of Nicea in 325AD purposely changed the celebration of the Resurrection from the Jewish Feast of First Fruits to Easter in an attempt to disassociate it from Jewish feasts. The Council stated: 'For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people...'

Replacement Theology is therefore seen to have an enduring heritage. But it is insidiously anti-Semitic. And it is concerning that the otherwise laudable charitable efforts of Christian Aid should be tarnished with the belief that, because of their rebellion against God in their rejection of Jesus, God has replaced Israel with the Church, and so the Church now inherits all of the blessings promised to Israel. The Anglican Friends of Israel respond:

The poor have much cause to be very grateful for Christian Aid.

It has transformed the lives of millions of needy people in desperate situations by helping them to help themselves. It is renowned for partnering with organisations in the developing world and for its campaigns which raise awareness of injustice and oppression.

This year, over Lent, Christian Aid drew attention to Palestinian suffering much as it has during past Christian festivals. Many people support the work of Christian Aid, but this campaign was explicitly aimed at Christians, taking the form of a ‘virtual pilgrimage’ through the Holy Land and unfolding daily throughout Lent.

Each daily reflection upon a location or subject concluded with Christian prayers and several Christian clergy contributed, including Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham and Canon Naim Ateek of Sabeel. It was expedited expertly, and professionally.

But many of the messages conveyed during the journey were jarringly at odds with Christian notions of justice and with the Scriptures upon which they were ostensibly based.

‘Pilgrims’ met Palestinians both Muslim and Christian as well as Israelis both Jewish and Arab. As Christian Aid told their story it gradually materialised into the version of events that has become known as the ‘Palestinian Narrative’.

In this version of the conflict, the Israelis, far from wanting to live in peace with their Arab neighbours, are hungry only for Palestinian land: Palestinians are miserable victims of sufferings caused solely by Israel; heroic Palestinian ‘Davids’ resist the Israeli ‘Goliath’ armed with video cameras and ‘accompaniers’, only resorting in extremis to weapons and suicide bombings; and Christian Palestinians emigrate solely because of Israeli (rather than Islamist) oppression.

Such a narrative requires selective reporting to justify it, and, sadly, Christian Aid obliged. For example the ‘pilgrims’ were shown Palestinian homes destroyed by Israel, but told little about the destruction produced by the suicide bombers who had lived in them, and nothing at all about the thousands of dollars paid by Iran’s agents Hamas and Hezbollah to the bombers’ families in compensation for having a ‘shaheed’ (martyr) in the family.

Christian Aid showcased marvellous work being done for children traumatised by violence in Gaza. But Israeli actions alone were cited as the source of violence.

Why did Christian Aid not condemn Hamas’ reign of terror? And why was the indoctrination of Palestinian School children to hate and murder Jews not cited as a traumatic factor in the children’s mental development?

Heaping blame only upon Israel as the source of Palestinian suffering scarcely reflects the justice which Christian Aid champions so effectively. And can it really be right – especially given the dark history of Christianity in relation to Jews – to invite Christians worldwide to place the blame solely upon the world’s only Jewish state for a conflict in which there are many players?

Christian Aid’s skewed presentation of Israel’s security measures also made uncomfortable reading. Wrenched from the context of Arab terrorism, Israel’s actions were presented as malicious attempts to humiliate Palestinians. For example, Christian Aid criticised the inconvenience caused to Palestinians at checkpoints without mentioning that terrorist-bound weapons and explosives are regularly intercepted there.

The legitimate land disputes created by Israel’s security fence were highlighted, but the huge reduction in terror attacks against Israeli civilians since its construction was ignored. Apparently, Palestinian inconvenience and humiliation concern Christian Aid’s contributors more than threats to Israeli lives.

Even more troubling is Christian Aid’s account of recent Middle East history. Israel’s acceptance of the UN resolution 181 – which robbed her of half the land promised the Jews by the League of Nations mandate – is ignored, as is the Arab rejection of it and their subsequent attack on Israel in 1948 whilst the world looked on. Instead, Israel’s foundation is presented solely in terms of Palestinian dispossession.

We hear much from Palestinians who lost their homes when Israel became a nation, but not about the tragedy of many Palestinians who – duped by leaders who assured them that they could return after the Jews had been ethnically cleansed – abandoned homes in Israel only to find that they had lost everything when Israel won the war.

There was such a profound imbalance that only a few posts looked at the suffering of Israelis. A father mourning his child, killed in a suicide bombing, and the battered town of Sderot and its beleaguered inhabitants, merited just one entry. No mention of the tyranny of falling rockets that Israelis endure daily.

Christian Aid lets pilgrims down in this respect. Such omissions and imbalances subtly undermine Israel’s legitimacy, feeding the anti-Semitic discourse found in the Arab press, left-wing newspapers and chattering-class drawing rooms. Pilgrims were led into the mists of obfuscation. They deserve better than that.

Of course, Israel does not get everything right in respect of its Arab citizens or citizens of the Palestinian Territories. Christian Aid quite reasonably highlights some injustices and deplorable incidents. But in focusing solely upon Israel’s actions whilst resolutely ignoring key causes of Palestinian misery – for example, the systematic corruption of Palestinian leaders, the chaotic government, the billions of squandered aid dollars and Arab dedication to Israel’s destruction – Christian Aid betrays their Christian pilgrims – not to mention those Palestinians who need every friend they can get to speak honestly into their situation.

Crucially, in the short address which forms the climax to Christian Aid’s virtual pilgrimage, the Bishop of Durham tells ‘pilgrims’ that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection have nullified the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants over the land we now call Israel – the Replacement Theology thinly cloaked throughout the pilgrimage now surfaces.

In Replacement Theology, the restoration of Israel becomes not a fulfilment of an overarching Scriptural discourse, but an irrelevance at best, and, at worst, a terrible mistake: the return of the Jews to their ancient land is not a sign of God keeping his promises but an illegal assault of colonial interlopers.

In the context of Christian Aid’s rejection of the scriptural discourse of the Covenant between Abraham and God, the reasons for their embrace of the Palestinian narrative become clear: it is the only one which fits their theology. But the distortions and imbalance necessary to sustain this narrative, together with the abandonment of a key scriptural theme – the faithfulness of God’s promises – demonstrate the shortcomings of Replacement Theology.

It is disappointing to see Christian Aid leading its Christian supporters down such a destructive and deceptive path. Indeed it makes the organisation part of the problem rather than the solution.

93 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree entirely with you. In my view Christians and Jews are on one side of the current battle, against muslims on the other. Christians should be helping their friends, not giving sustenance and succour to our enemies.

18 April 2009 at 08:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

Your Grace,
The liberal theologians who embrace Replacement Theology are consistent in their denial of the truth of the scriptures.
It is evident, as you compare historical evidence with biblical prophecy and promise, that the Abrahamic covenant still stands. Whereas the Mossaic covenant was conditional on the obedience of the Jewish people, the Abrahamic covenant was not.
Before their very eyes the Abrahamic covenant is being fulfilled, yet there are none so blind as those who will not see. When the armies surround Israel, prior to their divine destruction, whose side will Durham and his ilk be on?

18 April 2009 at 09:58  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

I have just been in the garden with a cup of tea and watching some ants enjoying the warm sun. There was a seagull on the roof which seemed to be oblivious to most of the things swilling around in my head. Nothing has really changed for these creatures, nature and the world is still the same, and yet I am supposed to give a shit about all the this Israel - Palestinian - Christian Aid - psychological twaddle.

18 April 2009 at 10:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your point regarding Christian Aid is well made. Over a number of years it, together with many other aid agencies, have become increasingly politicised with aims that decreasingly match their names or original aims. A quick flit around CA's website and their trustees will verify this. A recent two year tenure with a NGO really brought home to me that many people in the field work to self-invented morals and ethics that bear little resemblance to those commonly accepted and recognised.

As a staunch Christian, I have given up on CA. They are uniquely privileged to benefit from a fundraising week in a large and broadly welcoming constituency, yet recently they have abused it to promote political or environmental messages that are hugely emotive, and in the latter case unproven by science. Their shameless handout on CA Sunday in 2007 regarding rising sea levels in Bangladesh was a shameful example. If they insist in continued promotion of politics and policies that, in common with other agencies, focus on human cause from a particular policital bias, rather than on God's boundless love, grace, patience and purpose for his world, they should have the honesty to remove the word "Christian" from their title and replace it with something that reflects the secular, political organsation they have become.

18 April 2009 at 10:45  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace. Replacement theology is a man made load of non scriptural tosh, todays blog highlights the point that some organisations & churchmen should read the Bible more often & assimilate what it teaches. ALL men have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God, the Jew & the Gentile, which means all of us, the Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Christian, etc. This attempt to villify the Jews is just another anti Semitic attack by people who should know better. Certainly the Jewish nation is composed of the good, the bad & the ugly, just like every other Nation on Earth, including our own, they need the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to atone for their sins, God chose their race to produce the Messiah, without Who we would all be lost. God does not make mistakes or break His promises, Abraham was promised that His offspring would be a blessing to all nations & Paul states in Romans 1: 16 ' I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew then for the Gentile'. He clarifies it further in the whole chapter of Romans 11.
I would further point out to the supporters of replacement theology that claim to be Christian that the Christian faith is openly persecuted more by Islam, than by Judaism. Time will tell, but the time to wake up & check out scripture is now because ' Now is the day of salvation'.

18 April 2009 at 10:48  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Your Grace , amid all the corruption and simony of the socialist left this little gem seems to have slipped unnoticed under the door. Perhaps because in the circles of the it is north of the Watford Gap it is considered of little import but I prefer the theory that the MSM friends of the labour party prefer to keep a lid on an event that contributed to a former Labour MP Alice Mahon resigning from the party

From the Yorkshire Post:

EXCLUSIVE: Cherie Blair's stepmother was embroiled in a political storm last night amid accusations of voting irregularities in her successful bid to become a would-be MP in Yorkshire.
Supporters of the defeated candidate Susan Press are demanding an urgent investigation into the selection process after Steph Booth swept to victory with a landslide win when postal votes were allowed to decide who would stand for Labour in the Calder Valley seat at the next General Election.

Mrs Booth lost a vote on the night by 35 to 22, but when the postal votes were added she won with a huge majority – 95-52.

Calder Valley branch secretary Paul Clarke is writing to the regional Labour party demanding a full investigation following claims that supporters of Mrs Booth approached party members and helped them fill in their postal voting forms, which is against party rules.

All this coincidently fits very nicely with yet another Labour scandal where the Labour candidate selection ballot box 'tampered with' in the Erith and Thamesmead constituency, south east London. It would appear that the ballot box was taken over by the central party which has led to complaints that non-local candidates were being favoured over local candidates. Its endemic with these socialists, these people are a disgrace they have only contempt for democracy, this country, its institution and its heritage.

Your Grace could do worse than to investigate the lack of interest in this story.

18 April 2009 at 10:54  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

In his books on theology, such as The Resurrection of the Son of God (which I haven’t finished but hope to before long), N.T. Wright, the Bishop of Durham, writes with intelligence, humanity, and wit. He conveys to the reader a clear sense that he has familiarized himself thoroughly with his subject matter and takes the trouble to present every side of an argument. When the same N.T. Wright gets on his high horse about Israel and the Palestinians, all that flies out of the window. He has quite obviously made no attempt to acquire any more than a superficial acquaintance with his subject matter. His remarks reflect no intelligence at all but rather a blind stupidity. He forgets his humanity, having no compunction about endorsing the worst forms of fanaticism and intolerance.

18 April 2009 at 12:05  
Blogger Microcosm said...

Granted Christians and Jews may have common interests at times, only I add that its in the Jews interests to stop persecuting any and all Gentiles that dare stand up to a Jew, the anti-semetic slogan has become tiresome.

Gentiles see it for what it is now, a gilt edged gaurantee to ride roughshod over our rights.

Standing up for onesself is not anti-semetic, some time back the English may have been concerned for the plight of the Jews, only looking at them now and the lack of concern they have for the plight of the English, it has become evident there is no two way street in caring for Jews.

How long must the Christian Gentiles give, when their percieved friend does nothing but take, take and take some more, until we have nothing left to give.

Gandhi made some statement about the whole world being blind if we take an eye for an eye, I now warn the Christians they shall all end up toothless if they keep turning the other cheek.

To Turn the other cheek is meant to offer someone a second chance, to come to their sences. Not allow them to carry out a Larry, Curly and Mo routine across your fat dozy chops.

18 April 2009 at 12:19  
Anonymous Huldah said...

Hank

I couldn't agree more with your praise of +Tom's academic books, many of which adorn my shelves. Reading them when I was preparing students for theological exams was a pleasure and a revelation.

However, his projection of a Jesus (Jesus and the Victory of God) who saw His ministry, death and resurrection as the embodiment of Israel's purpose in the world, fulfilling and superceding the ancient covenant of blood, territory and Torah was always wrong.

+Tom, mistakenly in my view, elides the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, arguing that both were superceded by Jesus' sacrifice, when Paul makes clear in Romans 9-11 that the Abrahamic covenant still stands. This is FAR too big a subject to raise in a post, so I'll stop there.

But I'd also want to say that +Tom is a gracious and beloved brother in Christ. Lichfield Cathedral was a beautiful and gentle place to sing in when he was the Bishop. His devotional sermons are cracking, and I'm always pleased to hear that he's on the radio or TV or whatever.

It's a shame he has a blind spot on this particular vital subject. But people can change their position and I pray that he will.

18 April 2009 at 12:27  
Anonymous Huldah said...

Microcosm

I expect you DO read the words 'anti-semitic' a lot if you regularly write anti-semitic comments like that one.

What a loathsome post.

18 April 2009 at 12:31  
Blogger Christian said...

Replacement Theology is unScriptural? It is liberal? What!? St Augustine is a liberal... right. It has been universally held from the earliest days of the Church that the Christian Church inherits the mantle of Israel (as a direct continuation). Hence we use psalms constantly referring to Israel. Israel has always been taken to mean the Church. Never has it been taken to mean modern Judaism.

The whole narrative of salvation relies on the fact that Our Lord gave a perfect sacrifice on the cross thus superseding the temple sacrifices. The non-Christian Jews were taken to have abandoned their ancient covenant with God because of their rejection of the messiah and that ancient covenant was now only held with those Jews who accepted Christ.

This is all very very basic Christian theology. I challenge Cranmer to prove that the real Cranmer did not believe this. Indeed, every orthodox Christian since Christ has believed this.

PS: I object to the name "replacement theology" anyway. That name is just a recent invention made up by the heterodox to describe the traditional belief of the Church because they somehow feel that Christianity is responsible for the eugenicist-pseudoDarwinian beliefs of the National Socialists.

18 April 2009 at 12:34  
Anonymous len said...

Romans 11:25
Lest you be wise in your own conceits,I want you to understand this mystery brothers:a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

18 April 2009 at 12:49  
Anonymous len said...

Romans 11:26,
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written
" The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will banish ungodliness from Jacob,
and this will be my covenant with them, when I take away their sins."

18 April 2009 at 12:54  
Blogger Sir Walter Scott said...

You can disagree with 'Replacement Theology', but it used to be called creedal, orthodox Christianity. It has a very respectable theological heritage and many simple portions of the Bible to back it up (Romans 11 is the classic nuanced exposition of it, entirely avoiding anti-semitism on the one hand, and entirely avoiding the heresy of calling those who vigorously reject the Trinity chosen sons and daughters of the Trinity).

It really is as simple as "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." (1 John 2:23)

So it deserves much better than such shabby, poisonous treatment as being labelled 'insidiously anti-semitic'. Think whose bidding you do when you slander traditional Christianity and the very words of the Holy Writ.

Christian Aid is so obviously broken, vicious and lunatic to require no such nonsense in exposing it.

18 April 2009 at 13:01  
Blogger Microcosm said...

Huldah said...
"Microcosm

I expect you DO read the words 'anti-semitic' a lot if you regularly write anti-semitic comments like that one.

What a loathsome post."

And there was I hoping someone could prove me wrong, Mo!

Thanks for another smack in the chops, do you suppose I am crying ooch when I attack another, now theres a novel idea, level playing field and all. :0)

Romans 9-11 now thats a number to conjure with. Pray do tell.

18 April 2009 at 13:08  
Anonymous Huldah said...

Christian

Few believers, I think, would argue with your assertion that Christ is the perfect sacrifice and atonement for sin, thus rendering temple sacrifice redundant. The letter to the Hebrews seems to make that clear.

However the covenant with Abraham is a different matter. St Paul himself argues that Jewish people are beloved because of the Patriarchs. Both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures insist that both the land and people promised to Abraham will play a part in the fulfilment of God's overarching plans for the world's judgement and redemption.

Departing from this truth led directly to the institutional persecution meted out to Jewish people by the Church over the centuries, Christians that ignored Paul's instruction 'Do not boast against the branches' felt that their status in Christ gave them the right to despise and ill treat Jewish people.

It's astonishing that amidst all the 'right on-ery' in Church ranks, so alive to the institutional racism which, it's claimed, underpinned 19th century Christian missionary work, there is such collective blindness to the lingering effects of the anti-semitism which was officially taught by the Church for centuries.

To suggest that all those who accept Replacement Theology are anti-semites would be absurd and unjust. But the proposition that Replacement Theology lies at the root of all Christian anti-semitism seems reasonable to me.

18 April 2009 at 13:18  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Thank you, Huldah, for your comment lending your academic (and presumably clerical?) weight to my layman’s view of N.T. Wright’s self-contradictory behaviour. As far as his theological statements concerning Jesus and Judaism go, you lead me into deep waters where I wouldn’t presume to follow. I would like, however, to refer you to a recent (three years ago) statement by a leading Catholic theologian on what he calls supersessionism, which I take to be an alternative name for “replacement theology”:

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=256

Cardinal Dulles seems to have found it necessary to tie himself in intellectual knots in order to reach the conclusion that supersessionism is wrong while at the same time acknowledging the authority of the early Councils and fathers of the Church. What his conclusion boils down to, it seems, is –- to put it in blunter language than Dulles himself cares to use –- that God doesn’t go back on his promises. He has never revoked, and would never revoke, his covenants with Abraham and Moses.

18 April 2009 at 13:26  
Blogger cottus said...

I do believe this is a clear case of "follow the money". Somewhere a calculation has been recalculated, a switch has been thrown, and the 'correct' path to minimal cost of providing crude oil from the mid - east no longer lies with supporting Israel. I for one take a look at the management of the areas under Palestinian control and those under Israeli control and must conclude that this new calculation is short sighted at best.

18 April 2009 at 13:31  
Blogger Microcosm said...

Thanks for more clarity on your stance Huldah but just consider this point!

Several hundred years after prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Hosea had denounced the sacrificial slaughter of animals, Jesus carried out what is euphemistically called the Cleansing of the Temple. It was just before Passover and he disrupted the buying and selling of animals that were being purchased for slaughter. And because Christian scholars and religious leaders continue to ignore biblical denunciations of that bloody worship, they would also try to obscure the reason for Christ's assault on the system.

They have done this by focusing on the moneychangers, although they were only minor players in the drama that took place. It was the cult of sacrifice that Jesus tried to dismantle, not the system of monetary exchange. In all three gospel accounts of the event, those who provided the animals for sacrifice are mentioned first: they were the primary focus of Christ's outrage.

18 April 2009 at 13:34  
Anonymous Huldah said...

Sir Walter Scott

As an orthodox Christian I agree with your points on Salvation Theology, and could add a few texts of my own (though how the Almighty judges people is His business and we might get a few surprises on that day!). This teaching, although understandably unpopular with members of other faiths, is not intrinsically anti-semitic, any more than it's anti Sikh, Hindu or Muslim.

But I feel you miss the point. Those of us who reject the Replacement position do so, not because we reject the uniqueness of Jesus as the Christ, but because we distinguish between the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants.

They are NOT the same. The Abrahamic covenant is eternal, sealing a relationship between the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with their God for all time, for good or ill. There is judgement as well as blessing embodied there.

This is where the land is first mentioned, and that eternal tie is referred to throughout the Hebrew writings and in crucial places in the Christian writings. Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles until their season ends, says Our Lord. Angels proclaim that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives as Messiah to the Jewish people.

Now none of this necessarily pre-defines what Israel's current borders should be, nor does it excuse any injustice or oppression carried out by Israel or its citizens. (Although the Israelis I know are very unhappy that so much of their time and energy needs to be spent defending themselves in ways which cause hardship to Palestinians.)

But it does mean that the re-emergence of the nation of Israel in its ancient homeland is a sign of God's faithfulness to His promises, and is a call to a rebellious world to turn from its rebellion towards the God of the Bible and take his commands seriously.

How good would it be if that were to happen!

18 April 2009 at 13:46  
Anonymous len said...

God promised Abraham,
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant".( Genesis 17:7)

Replacement Theology is unbiblical and has undoubtably led to anti-semitism, christians should be ashamed if they have given place to replacement.
Theology.
It is time for christians to discover the jewish roots of their faith.
I believe heaven will be a very difficult place for anti-semites.
I am a christian and am amazed at the anti-semitic attitude.

18 April 2009 at 13:49  
Blogger Christian said...

Microcosm, I am afraid that your comments show you to be quite ignorant of pre-Christian Judaism. Animal sacrifice was thought by ALL to be both good and necessary. The logic behind Christ's sacrifice on the Cross was the same as the logic behind the temple sacrifices - except that Christ's sacrifice was perfect.

This leads be onto the flaw in Huldah's argument. I, and ancient Christianity, would not claim that the old covenant had been suppressed. Of course God does not go back on his promises. It is, however, fulfilled in Christ. It is superseded by the new covenant because the old covenant was largely based around the value of sacrifice. After Christ's final sacrifice these sacrifices were no longer necessary. The reason why most Church historians have read the destruction of the temple in AD70 as a divinely ordained event is because it does seem to be very convenient timing.

It is quite possible that "replacement theology" has lead to anti-Semitic persecution in the past but I would say that the blaming of the Jews for the execution of Christ was far more important. Furthermore, all minorities in a pre-modern, homogeneous society tend to be persecuted. Since 1789 the revival of Christian anti-Semitism is (in my historical opinion) almost entirely down to a general perception that the Jews had benefited greatly from liberalism and were strongly loyal to liberalism for that reason. Given the almost hysterical anti-liberalism of most 19th century Catholicism it is unsurprising that the aforementioned perception lead to fear and hatred of the Jews.

18 April 2009 at 13:50  
Blogger Christian said...

PS: "The Church acknowledges that God does still have plans for the Jews as a unique people. Paul clearly indicates this in his writings, especially in Romans 9–11, where he indicates God continues to fulfill his promises about the Jewish people by preserving a remnant of Jewish believers in Christ (11:1–5). This indicates a special place for Israel, for no other people has a promise that there will always be a believing remnant. God also has future plans for the Jewish people: One day the Jewish people as a nation will return to Christ, and this will be one of the signs of the Second Coming and the resurrection of the dead (11:12, 15).

On the other hand, along with covenant theologians, we must acknowledge that the Church is spiritual Israel or the "new Israel". This too is indicated in Paul’s writings: In Romans 9:6 he says that "not all who are of Israel are Israel." This indicates the existence of two Israels. One—"all who are of Israel"—indicates the ethnic people, not all of whom believe in Jesus. The other Israel, the context reveals, does not include those who have rejected the Messiah. This new Israel, founded by Messiah, exists in spiritual continuity with the Old Testament saints and so counts as a "spiritual Israel." It includes Gentiles who believe in the Messiah and so through baptism are spiritually circumcised (Col. 2:11–12) and are reckoned as spiritual Jews (Rom. 2:26–29)."

18 April 2009 at 14:01  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Excellent post Your Grace and as usual thought-provoking comments.

One thing about oil in the middle east...there is a prophecy in scripture (can't remember where, you theologians might be able to tell me) that foretells of a time when Israel has her own oil. The balance of power will surely undergo a complete change then!

18 April 2009 at 14:09  
Blogger Microcosm said...

"I believe heaven will be a very difficult place for anti-semites."

len I don't believe such bully boy tactics will get beyond the old pearly gates my friend, such comments leave me with a heavy sadness.

"Microcosm, I am afraid that your comments show you to be quite ignorant of pre-Christian Judaism."

Christian my ignorance could be due to the fact there is no biblical reference to Judaism in the whole of the Old Testament.

To my knowledge.

18 April 2009 at 14:37  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Anguished Soul, it's not scripture in the usual sense, and it's natural gas rather than oil, but here's a brief reading from the Book of Reuter:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssEnergyNews/idUKLB36262820090211

18 April 2009 at 15:30  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

All this talk of anti semitism makes me feel like telling them to get out of my face and shut up with it all. I mean, they really have been the object of persecution for thousands of years, its quite astonishing. I would seriously have to deed poll myself another identity, I just don't have that sort of commitment to sadomasochism. There is simply no pleasing them. There are even anti semitic Jews, work that one out! Jews do not usually even enter my mind space except when other people wank on about them.

Hitler was a maniac that wanted to gas them all, but I do not see how anyone can devote such energy to people who are their own worse enemy with regards to functionality. I don't find them offensive, just boring. And I know this makes me anti semetic, but do I care: No I do not care at all because it is all irrelevant nonsense. I do not care how holy the desert is, I would not live there, especially more so when it is populated by savages. They come here and spout off about this redundant piece of savage desert that your average bloke in the pub would not give the energy it takes to re-adjust his trouser belt.

How in the name of hell did it become our problem in the first place? And who is it that, come hell or high water, with the energy of dragging wild horses backwards, make bloody dam sure that it continues to be our problem? The very friggin semitic pains in the arse that insist the whole rest of the world is anti semetic.

18 April 2009 at 15:58  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Tens of millions of people died in WW2. For various reasons and objectives. This is something which needs to be put in firm perspective. World War 2 was a holocaust of big proportions, it was big, lots of people got wasted, and in hindsight, for no apparent reason that would really have any last change for the better. We all lost relatives somewhere down the line. It was bad days. It was sad and terrible times.

18 April 2009 at 16:09  
Anonymous len said...

Microcosm,
Heaven will be a difficult place for anti- semites.
First you will meet, The Lion of Judah,Jesus ,( a jew) Then the patriarchs( all jews) Going all the way through biblical history (all jews.)
I think the Jews have very good reason to be sceptical of christians, who have a bad record of persecuting Jews.
The jewish people will recognise their Messiah.
I think you anti- semites need to repent!

18 April 2009 at 16:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Britain is now closer than it has ever been to being a fascist police state. Never before has humanity been subjected to such high levels of surveillance and control. If there has been a time of greater or equal proportions then maybe someone can point that out to me. Nearly every aspect of your life is governed, monitored, audited and controlled. And we do this to ourselves. And the religious among us say we have free moral agency. Where is the choice? What we have is activity placements similar to what we give chimps in the zoo when we stick honey coated ants down a hole and give them sticks to dig them out with.

18 April 2009 at 16:46  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Actually Len, most of that is highly debatable. The Jews are mostly from the tribe of Judah. The covenant was made with Israel. The Lion himself was from the Davidic line, not to mention the fact that He was also God, Who, to all intents and purposes, was not particularly impressed with them Himself. We are not really going to gain too many favours in heaven by apologising for our faith to the very people who God wishes to poke His finger at. If we are to believe what we are to believe, then the Jews 'feelings' on this subject are not relevant.

But I know basically where you are coming from. They are the chosen people, all be it somewhat in the dog house. Keep groovin Len , but stay focused.

18 April 2009 at 16:58  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The more I am forced into thinking about this, the more I feel insulted.

I once read somewhere that each individual life that is lost is an individual tragedy which cannot be increased in magnitude by another death in close proximity, or at the same time. Ten deaths is ten individual deaths, not one death to the power of ten. Obviously, the more people who die from one community in one event becomes increasingly difficult to come to terms with for those who have to grieve from the family, or close friends.

Like I have said, tens of thousands of people died during WW2, but for me to try and grieve on a personal level for each of them is absurd.

But we fought the war to defend our nation. Churchill did not ever say he was 'saving the world'. He said 'we will fight them on the beaches'. We fought for our nation, but the tragedy is that we have allowed much of what they died for to be frittered away on some foolish whim, by a capricious gang of disrespectful twits.

But the insulting part, which relates to much of the comment in here, is that we can somehow be labeled ant semitic, like some kind of gas murdering Nazi, because we wish to respect some of the values which our own people sacrificed their lives for during the war. Basically, you can stick your anti semitism where it fits.

18 April 2009 at 17:32  
Anonymous len said...

Unfortunately, throughout many centuries the professing Christian Church has often been guilty of propagating flagrant anti- semitism.Yet the Church owes every spiritual blessing she claims to those who have been her victims: the Jewish people .Without the Jews, the church would have had no apostles, no Bible, and no saviour.

18 April 2009 at 18:22  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Yikes! I think I'll stay out of this one.

18 April 2009 at 19:17  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Spot on Len. God is mysterious and wonderful. Its called cultivation. Think of us as tomato plants ( he he!)

18 April 2009 at 19:50  
Anonymous Preacher said...

I feel the fault lies with the idea that the Old & New testaments are not connected, ie that plan A failed so plan B was instituted instead. This would mean that God who is omniscient was ignorant of the outcome of Israel's failure to fulfill His will, which of course cannot be. The prophecies of the Messiah in the books of Isaiah & Zechariah alone show clearly that it is a continuous story from Alpha (Genesis) to Omega (Revelation), granted there is a gap (400 years) between Malachi & Matthew, but this is I believe like reading chapter 1 of a book, then putting it down for a time, then resuming chapter 2 of the SAME STORY later.

18 April 2009 at 20:11  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

Replacement Theology is a simply a term that dispensationalists and their ilk use for Biblical, orthodox,historic, Christianity.

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) would, I suspect, have regarded the writer of this blog as decidedly heterodox.

And of course, he would have regarded Christian Aid as completely apostate.

18 April 2009 at 20:21  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Gnostic

What is there to stay out of?
When it comes to defending the Jews from Islam, I am in there with the Jews. But if by being Christian, and not willing to apologise to Jews over Christ, somehow makes me anti semitic, I will defend myself.

The term anti semitic packs a heavy blob of mud, and its a label that puts you in the same pond as Nazi gas murderers, and it needs to be clarified and distinguished. If believing that Jesus is the Christ and that the Jews need to believe this also, and this somehow upsets the Jews, it does not give them the right to create some broad spectrum term which puts me in the same pond as Nazi gas murderers. Its a ridiculous notion. They wield this term like some kind of human insecticidal remedy in order to silence irritating gnats. And for some reason, we oblige by adopting all the symptoms of dying wasps in a conservatory.

Being Jewish does not equate to being anti Christian; a Jew is not an anti Christ any more than I, as a Christian am an anti Jew. Christian Aid, I suspect are just ministering to suffering Palestinians. This should not mean that they are to be submerged into the pond of anti semitism also, with all its bloody dark connotations. As Christians, we may feel at odds with Islam, but hatred for the Palestinian people is not a precursor.

Israel has every right, now, to defend herself, but do not forget that there are genuine innocent victims on all sides of a politically motivated war being driven from many orifices of deception around the globe. A war which we are all victims of, in ever increasing severity. I suspect that ordinary Jews, ordinary Muslims, and ordinary Christians are all oblivious to what the hell is really going on.

What ever what church has done down through he centuries is out of my control, very much like they are out of control now. It shouldn't and doesn't affect what I am supposed to believe though. You can get your anti semitism spray out, but I will put my Christian gas mask on.

18 April 2009 at 20:30  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The work that Christian Aid is doing in Palestine and Israel.Replacement Theology?

18 April 2009 at 21:04  
Anonymous theresa said...

Guys,

I think there is a very simple way of looking at what is happening in Palestine. It's this; what the Jewish people are doing to the Palestinians is wrong. They did take their land. They are oppressing them. They are destroying their crops. They are displacing their people into neighbouring countries. They are in short, taking something which does not belong to them and going by the Ten Commandments, 'Thou shalt not steal' and 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods', they are doing something wrong. I don't know what is so difficult about acknowledging that. If there is going to be any peace in Israel, both sides need to admit what they have done wrong and taking sides on ethnicity or religion doesn't cut it; as Christians we have to judge the morals of the matter and without justice, there is going to be no peace in Israel.

18 April 2009 at 21:31  
OpenID jamestheless said...

Thank you, Christian. I have to admit that until I read your post I was completely puzzled by this strange "heresy" that I had never heard of, and which did not sound the least bit heretical to me. In fact, I was seriously starting to wonder if I had completely misunderstood the Patristic teaching on this subject.

I wonder which tenet of mainstream Christianity will be the next to receive this treatment. Will those who hope for eternal life be patronised as "Pie in the sky Theologians"? Or perhaps belief in God will be dismissively referred to as "Irrational Theology"?

18 April 2009 at 22:30  
Anonymous Huldah said...

Theresa

Whilst I'm sure you are correct to say that both sides in the dispute need to admit wrong-doing and get talking if there is to be peace, the reality is far more complex than your post suggests.

This is why so many of us are disappointed when the conflict is presented to Christians as 'Good Guy/Bad Guy' - whichever side is assigned as 'Good Guy'!

18 April 2009 at 22:48  
OpenID jamestheless said...

Theresa,

You seem to be suggesting that what the Palestinians are doing to the Jewish people (and everyone else who lives in Israel) is acceptable, because the Jews stole their land. If this is what you believe - and it appears inconsistent with the last sentence of your post, which I fully agree with - then I would respectfully urge you to re-read His Grace's post, paying particular attention to the critique of Christian Aid's viewpoint.

Disputes always appear very simple if you ignore one side of the argument. I hope this is not the case here.

18 April 2009 at 22:51  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) would, I suspect, have regarded the writer of this blog as decidedly heterodox.

And of course, he would have regarded Christian Aid as completely apostate
....and there are those who deem His Grace to have been an heretic. And to 'of course' any of his regards is a manifest presumption.

18 April 2009 at 23:15  
Anonymous Huldah said...

It seems to me that two important strands of Bible teaching are being confused in the Replacement Theology debate.

The first is Salvation Theology (Soteriology), and the second (much neglected) is the theology of Israel.

The Church teaches that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfilment of all that the Jewish sacrificial system foretold - deliverance from God's judgement on sin and death and more beside. Thus Jesus' life, death and resurrection makes obsolete the system of atonement and forgiveness by animal sacrifice, and through it all people gentile and Jew are invited into the Body of Christ, the Church. In this sense, anyone in Christ is 'Israel', because Christ is the fulfilment of the mitzvot.

But we are not physical Israel; there remains a covenant with Abraham's descendants, as Paul suggests when he speaks of three people groups, the Jews, the Nations and the Church. (1 Cor 10:32) Under this covenant God promised Abraham a relationship, a people and a land.

This covenant is not about personal salvation. It is about God's dealings with a people whom He sovereignly chose, and whom he will not abandon, but will bring back to Himself, as Romans 9-11 suggest, along with the Hebrew prophets.

Some of us see the restoration of Israel and the return of diaspora Jews as a sign that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is doing just that. In fact Jewish people are recognising Jesus as their Messiah in unprecedented numbers (including thousands of Israeli Jews).

Replacement theologians assert that, far from fulfilling this covenant (as He did the Mosaic covenant in Christ) God broke it, and transferred all the privileges to the Church. This flies in the face of all that the Church has taught about God's faithfulness.

The established churches are beginning to recognise this, hence the convoluted statements from the Catholics about God not having rejected his ancient people etc. And about time too. The arrogant 'boasting against branches' which has emanated from the Church over the centuries has done appalling damage.

18 April 2009 at 23:28  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

I know what Christian Aid do, but apart from whining, what exactly is the purpose of Anglican Friends of Israel? Have they got people on the ground, or is it another website wonder group? I notice they announce the inclusion of Labour Friends of Israel to their list of links. This alone is enough for me to reach for the air freshener, the name smells Blairish to me.

18 April 2009 at 23:47  
Anonymous mckennzie said...

THE PLOT THICKENS

We have added Labour Friends of Israel to our list of weblinks. LFI is a long-established organisation within Britain's Labour party and we encourage you to visit their website.

Whoops! AFoI have just sank to the bottom of the smeargate ocean.

18 April 2009 at 23:55  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Huldah, thank you for your last post (yesterday at 23:28). If I have understood you correctly, you are tacitly including N.T. Wright in the number of the replacement theologians who “assert that, far from fulfilling this covenant [with Abraham], God broke it, and transferred all the privileges to the Church. This flies in the face of all that the Church has taught about God's faithfulness.”

On a more personal note, if I may, I have stood on the recently excavated steps and looked up at the gates that bear your name. It had never occurred to me until now to wonder what “huldah” meant. I see that it means “mole” and I would hazard a guess that the gates were called that because they led into passageways that reminded people of moles’ underground tunnels. But why . . .?

19 April 2009 at 00:16  
Blogger Microcosm said...

"len said...
Microcosm,
Heaven will be a difficult place for anti- semites.
First you will meet, The Lion of Judah,Jesus ,( a jew) Then the patriarchs( all jews) Going all the way through biblical history (all jews.)
I think the Jews have very good reason to be sceptical of christians, who have a bad record of persecuting Jews.
The jewish people will recognise their Messiah.
I think you anti- semites need to repent!"

Welcome to lens version of Jew heaven, I am sure you have no place in there for anyone else.

Damien Green only found the threat of life imprisonment absurd.

19 April 2009 at 00:35  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The view that Israel and the Church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. In this view, the Church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two are never to be confused or used interchangeably. We are taught from Scripture that the Church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the Day of Pentecost and will continue until it is translated to heaven at the Rapture (Ephesians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). The Church has no relationship to the curses and blessings for Israel. The covenants, promises, and warnings are valid only for Israel. Israel has been temporarily set aside in God's program during these past 2,000 years of dispersion.

The Word of God clearly intimates that Israel would lose their identity, their land, their language, their religion, and their name, that they would be lost to themselves, and to other nations lost. ‘I will scatter them into corners, I will make the remembrance of them to cease from among men’ (Deut. 32:26). ‘The Lord hideth His face from the House of Jacob’ (Isa. 8:17). He was not any more to speak to them in the Hebrew tongue; but ‘by another tongue will I speak unto this people’ (Isa. 28:11). They shall no more be called Israel, He will call them by another name. ‘And thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name’ (Isa. 62:2). ‘The Lord shall call His servants by another name’ (Isa. 65:15). ‘The name Israel shall be no more in remembrance’ (Psa. 83:4) . ‘And ye shall lose, or leave, your name, and the Lord shall call His servants by another name.’ ‘Why sayest thou, O Jacob! and speakest, O Israel! my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?’ (Isa. 40:27).

"‘For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee’ (Isa. 54:8).

"In Hos. 1:4, 7 the Lord says, ‘I will cause to cease the kingdom of the House of Israel. . . . I will no more have mercy upon the House of Israel, but I will utterly take them away. . . . But I will have mercy upon the House of Judah.’ Israel is to be called Lo-Ammi, for ‘ye are not My people, and I will not be your God’ (Hos. 1:7)."

Psalm 83 is an impassioned cry to God for His interposition and deliverance of His people from a confederacy of Gentile nations, who are gathered with the determined object of utterly destroying them as a people.

"O God, keep not Thou silence:
Hold not Thy peace and be not still, O God; for lo, Thine enemies make a tumult:
And they that hate Thee have lifted up the head:
They take crafty counsel against Thy people, and consult together against Thy hidden ones.
They have said: Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel be no more in remembrance."

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a premillennial / dispensational understanding of God's plan for Israel. The strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1-7, where it says, six times, that Christ's kingdom will last 1,000 years. The Church has not replaced Israel in God's plan. While God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role for the nation He has chosen (Romans chapter 11). The New Testament emphasizes the new covenant. It is a covenant of grace, not race. It is a covenant God made in his great love for all peoples. It is a covenant that does not distinguish between color of skin, facial features, shape of skull or ancestry. That covenant is the one we celebrate.

Blessed are the peace makers!

19 April 2009 at 01:04  
Blogger Theresa said...

Huldah, Jamestheless,

I do not believe that the conflict in Palestine is simple or one sided; there are faults on both sides, but I do think most of the fault lies with the Jewish people. They emigrated to Israel and took it over. They took land off the Palestinians. They do destroy their crops. They harry pregnant women at checkpoints and don't let them through. And Israel created Hamas, by pursuing a policy of assassination of more moderate Palestinian leaders that they might have been able to deal with. They have noone to blame for that except themselves and they have earned the hatred of the surrounding countries because so many Palestinians have been displaced into them and created huge economic and political problems. It's also got a rather neat line in nuclear military hardware. And nobody cares. When 9/11 happened, it was worldwide news, but in Palestine that year, 4000 people had already died and three quarters of them were Muslim.
I wonder how many of us, if we were invaded, our land taken off us and our people killed, would not take up arms to defend ourselves. Btw, I have friends who are neutral observers at Israeli checkpoints, so I do know something about what is actually going on. You should not focus on Hamas. What you should ask yourself is; what has gone wrong, that Hamas is attracting the support of the moderates in the Palestinian camp? And what can we do to make people turn away from Hamas? Start asking that and you might get somewhere.

19 April 2009 at 02:08  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Theresa, your version of recent Middle Eastern history is so distorted as to be almost indistinguishable from the deliberate fabrications of the Hamas and Hizbollah propaganda machine.

19 April 2009 at 02:23  
Anonymous not a machine said...

it appears your grace the CofE has liberal wing and its having a go at dr nazil alli , how errr liberal of them ???

i shall have a go at this post this grace but i am weak on the structural supports and arguments that span the centuries , i just prefer that jesus is the savior , but i can see the consequences of what you are saying .

as was pointed out on the cahnnel 4 program on christianity jesus was jew in that he attended the temple and would have known the torah , i wasnt brought up particulary thinking that the jews rejected jesus full stop , more the jews of the temple in the cruxifiction event and that jesus is a kind of stumbling block for them in that they cannot get past the ordinary becomming the son of god, and see that there is a path of salvation for all in the work of christ.

given that isiah predicts the comming of the messiah , i have never quite understood in jewish theology if this has occured yet or not , or if freedom from the "law" is what a messiah would achieve.

i cannot believe that the great rabbis have not studied jesus over the centuries and reached a theological conclusion and cannot go any further.

perhaps it would mean a sort of cultural collapse if jesus was the messiah and as i see the the story of christ , they would have to accept his crowning achievement and change there practice .

but would it ??, can the bible be understood by the new testament alone?? as christians we read the torah pretty much as christ would have in that the first five books of the old testament is universal to all three abrahamic faiths.

it may well be that the old testament resonates , and the jews cannot escape it , it may also be that they act as a foundation to a living story of the church.

if the temple was destroyed it appears the glory of god departed some time before if Ezkeil 10 is to be accurate , and with christ crucifixion we know that the curtain around the holy of holies was rent apart and the altar split.

what is missing here is the represenation of good jewish study into what happened aroung the life and time of christ , i dont expect an argument , but I know little of why they stop where they do and it would be usefull some day on here to know this from one of there learned scholars , without any loss of illumination or disgusts if possible

19 April 2009 at 03:12  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

If the entire jewish race is held responsible for the execution of Christ then why are the Italians left off the hook as Pontius Pilate the collaborator was Roman?

19 April 2009 at 04:48  
Anonymous Huldah said...

not a machine

The subject that you raise is a fascinating one and extensive work is in progress on the subject by top Jewish and Christian scholars. At Jerusalem Perspective

http://jerusalemperspective.com/

Jewish scholars as David Flusser, David Bivin et al work with Christian scholars like Brad Young and Dwight Pryor on a reassessment of Judaism in the second temple period and the place of Jesus within it.

You might also try Dr R T Kendall and Rabbi David Rosenberg's recent book 'The Christian and the Pharisee' in which they discuss Jesus' credentials (or lack of them) to be the Messiah whom religious Jews still expect.



Hank (and anyone else interested in the theology of Israel) a small booklet by Dr Pryor called 'A Different God' challenges the commonly held Christian view that Israel and the Jewish people disappear from redemptive history after the Easter events. I believe it is available from Christian Friends of Israel.

19 April 2009 at 08:43  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

not a machine and Huldah

What you are suggesting is most definitely Replacement Theology.

Neither Christians, nor Jews have anything to apologies to eachother for. We are both on track with regards to the scriptural programme. The Jews have been having a rough time of things, and we are fast heading the same way, but as it has been pointed out, these things are destined to take place.

Our job is to be Christian and do Christian things. The Jews can either be Jews or see the light, that path is an open invitation to all. But any ideas about Judaism being the real and new/true Christianity is daft. So the Christian Friends of Israel can keep their leaflet.

19 April 2009 at 09:34  
Anonymous len said...

Theresa,
God said
On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abraham saying"to your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river of Euphrates" (genesis 15:18.
You don`t seem to agree with that?

19 April 2009 at 10:13  
Blogger Gnostic said...

mckenzie

My Yikes did not signify that I believe Israel should not defend itself. Everyone has the right to defend themselves especially if they have been provoked. If it's my opinion you want on the Israeli/Palestinian/Lebanese situation then I think that no resolution will be found while Hamas or Hizbollah lunatics run the Islamic asylum.

Having read all of the posts on this thread I simply decided that anything I have to add to this discussion would be both uninformed and irrelevant. While I can and do shoot from the hip on subjects I know something about there are some bloody great big howitzers deployed here. All I'm going to do is cower in my foxhole and let the rest of you debate the pros and cons of Replacement Theology, something on which I have no informed opinion other than His Grace's post and the comments.

It's all very interesting though and certainly the most heated discussion for quite some time.

19 April 2009 at 10:23  
Anonymous len said...

THE MYSTERY OF ISRAELS SALVATION.
As regard the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy.
For God has consigned all to disobedience , that He may have mercy on all.
( Romans 18-32)

19 April 2009 at 10:40  
OpenID seismicshock said...

Christian Aid is part of a very large problem when it comes to anti-Jewish Christian bigotry, including Friends of Sabeel UK, whom Michael Langrish and John Gladwin of Christian Aid are patrons of:

http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/trojan-horse-theology/

19 April 2009 at 10:48  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Perhaps being a Palestinian Christian will involve a degree of resentment. I would never dream of going there for any reason what so ever, but I can imagine that Christian Aid is something they probably appreciate. Being Christian and being involved will ultimately mean being bigoted. I make no apologies for being Christian and supporting the work that Christian Aid do.

"action springs not from thought
but from a readiness for responsibility.
"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

19 April 2009 at 11:27  
Anonymous Leslie said...

If God has broken his everlasting covenant with Israel,and the Jewish people,might he not break his promises to the Church too?
What sort of God is that?

19 April 2009 at 14:05  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Do you get it Cranmer? Or would you like to add anything?

19 April 2009 at 14:17  
Anonymous len said...

Leslie,
God hasn`t broken His covenant,
God keeps his covenants ,We are the covenant breakers.

19 April 2009 at 14:41  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 April 2009 at 18:20  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

The old covenant is superseded by the Christian covenant. God did not make the promises unconditional. Jews have been broken off the vine of Christ "because of their unbelief” (Rom. 11:19-20).

“But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and the house which I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight; and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone passing by it will be astonished, and will hiss; and they will say, `Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?' Then they will say, `Because they forsook the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore the LORD has brought all this evil upon them.’” (1 Kings 9:6-9).

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/zionism.html

http://brotherandre.stblogs.com/2008/01/28/the-heresy-of-dual-covenant-theology/

19 April 2009 at 18:21  
Blogger Theresa said...

Huldah,

Which part of my post is untrue? The part that says Israel has nuclear weapons? The part that says they destroy crops,(chopping down olive trees). The part that says they harry pregnant women at checkpoints? The part that says they displaced the Palestinians into Syria, Jordan and the surrounding countries? The part that says that they took land that didn't belong to them? I'll be interested to know, and as I say, I get my info from people working in Palestine. They are pretty unpleasant to Christians as well; every year our church has Palestinian Christians coming over to sell wood carvings and the like to try and make some money to keep body and soul together.

Len, I do not deny that the Jews are the chosen people. They were the first to hear the Word of God and they are our elder brothers in Christ. But I also think that interpreting prophetic scripture to mean that its alright for the Jews to go on a land grab in Palestine and oppress the people there, is a dangerous game. God has given nobody permission to sin, not Christians, Jews or anyone else. And don't get me wrong; we are responsible as well because it was us that drove the Jews out of Europe during Hitler's time, but two wrongs don't make a right. They should not oppress the Palestinians, and if you do that to people, you can't expect them to be nice back.

19 April 2009 at 19:43  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

**The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (2006), states explicitly:

“ The covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them. ”

The Church's references on the matter are in Nostra Aetate. John Paul II spoke of Jews as "our elder brothers in faith".

The Apostolic Decree in the Book of Acts (15:19-29) appears to advocate a form of Dual-covenant

However, the part of the U.S. Catechism quoted above is in dispute and the US Bishops have voted to change it.

Franz Schmidberger, a leader in the Society of Saint Pius X, rejected the dual-covenant theology of John Paul II and declared that "for as long as they do not distance themselves from their forefathers' guilt through the avowal of Christ's divinity and baptism, they are complicit in the deicide"

The following is a sourced wikiquote of Protestant evangelical Jerry Falwell:

"I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to dual covenant theology... I simply cannot alter my deeply held belief in the exclusivity of salvation through the Gospel of Christ for the sake of political or theological expediency. Like the Apostle Paul, I pray daily for the salvation of everyone, including the Jewish people."

**United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006).


It seems that heresy abounds and the pond is teeming with life. Hopefully, there will be no inquisition and mass burnings!

19 April 2009 at 20:13  
Anonymous len said...

Theresa, So you are a pacifist?
You don`t believe in defending yourself?
Is that what you are saying.?
You would accept missiles and suicide bombers?

19 April 2009 at 20:15  
Anonymous len said...

Theresa, have you read the Balfour Declaration?
Also do you know how many rockets hamas has fired into Israel? how many rockets would have to fall on your house before you responded?

19 April 2009 at 20:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know how many believers are prepared to accept infantile murder and rampant homosexuality, yet cannot find it in their hearts to accept the idea that God might still be watching out for the Jews.

Len
If Israel is also making Palestinian Christian's lives hell, then I don't know about you, but I have a problem with that.

19 April 2009 at 20:34  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Theresa - I can see you don't have a lot of time for reading but, if you can spare a minute, there are a couple of good late posts back on the God is Dead strand. They might help expand your horizons and give more substance to your arguments.

19 April 2009 at 21:10  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Watch THIS VIDEO and then maybe we can all have a more balanced and substantiated opinion. Simplistic, generalist and sweeping comments are easy for us bloggers sitting in the safety of home.

The real truth is that the whole situation is complex and messy (which is a rather simplistic, generalist and sweeping - hah!).

19 April 2009 at 21:49  
Blogger Theresa said...

Len,

What I believe is quite simple. I believe that you should do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Which means that you should not invade their country, destroy their crops, displace them into neighbouring countries and then claim that God is on your side. And I see many people reproving me here for what I'm saying, but noone yet has actually said that what I say is untrue.

I do not like militant Islam. But what gets me about this whole argument, is that those alleging to be on the side of the Jews, are not. It's just that they hate Muslims more. It's a political position, not a moral one. My creed is that you judge people on their merits and I'm afraid that the Jews in Israel are scoring very poorly on that front at the moment.

19 April 2009 at 22:33  
Blogger Theresa said...

Regarding the Balfour declaration, len, I have to say as a Scot that it is something I am ashamed of. It was a piece of politial chicanary made by us when we were in a country that we had no business to be in. But even the Balfour declaration says this;

"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Note the bit where it says that 'nothing shall be done to prejudice the civil rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.'

Now, in your opinion Len, do you think that nothing has been done in Palestine to undermine the existing non-Jewish communities?

19 April 2009 at 22:45  
Anonymous Huldah said...

Theresa

I have no doubt that Palestinians endure hardship and suffering, partly caused by some Israeli government policies and deplorable behaviour on the part of some Israelis. However I cannot accept your implicit suggestion that Palestinians are helpless victims nor that 'the Jewish people' are the principal source of their problems.

For instance, the security fence which causes so much heartache was constructed only after appalling Arab terrorism. If Israel could believe that this terrorism would cease then the barrier could come down.

If Palestinian leaders had prepared their people for statehood with the billions in aid dollars that have been poured into Palestinian coffers by building infrastructure and medical services instead of squandering it in bribes, weapons and indoctrination of children to reject the existence of Israel, then we might even now be seeing two states co-existing to everyone's benefit.

Neither was the conflict begun by Jewish people. All the modern Middle Eastern nations came into being after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. Jews are indigenous to the Middle East with a continual presence in the Holy Land dating from 2 millenia before Christ, and their right to self-determination on their ancient homeland was recognised first by the League of Nations and later on the UN.

In 1947 Jewish representatives accepted the UN partition of Mandate Palestine enshrined in Resolution 181 while Arab countries did not. It was from the failed attempt by Israel's Arab neighbours to wipe out the Jewish state in 1948 that the whole land dispute begun.

After the 1967 war Israel offered to withdraw from ALL territories gained if her neighbours were prepared to recognise her right to exist. The response from the Arabs? - "no recognition, no negotiation and no peace!"

I repeat, the situation is far more complex than your post suggests and recounting Palestinian grievances as though they had no history or context, and as though only one side were responsible seems to me utterly misleading.

19 April 2009 at 23:02  
Blogger Theresa said...

Huldah,

I am of Irish origin, like many people in Britain. But I think the native Irish might have a problem if I and everyone like me, decided to go back to live in Ireland and made a claim on Donegal because that's where our people come from. And we only left Ireland 100 years ago - the European Jews that are in Israel now, left there 1960 years ago after the destruction of the Temple and the diaspora.

'Neither was the conflict begun by the Jewish people.'

Don't be ridiculous.

20 April 2009 at 00:45  
Blogger Theresa said...

McKenzie,

If those ants are still enjoying the sun tomorrow, I think I'll go watch them, and consider their ways, like have we all not got homes and work to go to?

20 April 2009 at 00:47  
Anonymous len said...

Theresa,
Exodus 3:31-33
"And I will set your border from the Red sea to the sea of the Philistines( Palestinians), and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with their gods.They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.

The Israelites are following a direct command of God by inhabiting the land, as far as I am aware God has never revoked this command.

20 April 2009 at 07:39  
Anonymous len said...

Theresa,
I also have irish /scottish ancestry and am proud of what the Balfour Declaration stood for.
It is a pity the British government didn`t honour it, the decline of The British nation, I believe, can be traced back to that point!

20 April 2009 at 07:47  
Anonymous Huldah said...

An informed understanding of the birth of Modern Israel is crucial to a balanced approach to the conflict.

In recent years the 'Palestinian narrative' described above has become the faulty foundation upon which the fiction of Israel's Jewish citizens as colonial intruders and their nation's illegitimacy has been built. (and that the Middle East situation parallels that between Ireland and Great Britain, for that matter)

But the facts do not support the Palestinian narrative. Anyone interested in researching the events which led to Israel's foundation in 1948, might begin their investigations here.

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2008/05/israel-at-60.html

20 April 2009 at 08:05  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Huldah

I just read that link going back to one of Cranmer's posts. I agree with most of it. I also see that Israel has a right to exist peacefully, but they never will, no matter how upsetting it will be for you there will never be man-made peace in the middle east.

I still stand by what I say about how the Jews love to whip out the anti Semitic spray and use it on anyone who voices the slightest criticism: and that will never change either.

Johann Hari might have a point though Cranmer, if they are pumping raw sewage into Palestine, its not that far away and Israel will inevitably stink of shit.

20 April 2009 at 09:52  
Blogger J.A.Evans said...

For the last twenty years my work has involved giving lectures and making sure those who heard me had a balanced view of the Palestinian and Israeli problems in the Middle East. I am not so foolish as to assume Israel is white as driven snow. Her politicians make the same stupid mistakes UK politicians do. I have had the privilege of being behind the scenes and meeting many influential Israelis. I have also taken politicians and media people to Israel to see the situation for themselves. They have met Palestinians of all persuasions and Jews of all persuasions and Issraeli Arabs. My greatest reward is when they have said on return 'This is very complex'. Christian Aid also takes people and they meet Jews and Palestinians but only those who endorse their own views. You know this because they come back and are vituperatively anti Israel.They don't acknowledge the complexity. They asume they know the truth.
Half truths are lies and the Lenten Pilgrimage was full of half truths. When I , a Christian and a Jewish friend , tried to add balance ,even when quoting Palestinian Moslem journalists, the comment was removed and I was told there had been many complaints about me as I had offended people. So I said sorry and asked exactly what it was that had offended . I was blanked.
Christian Aid has taken sides against Israel and any Relate counsellor will tell you that once you do that you can wave goodbye to any attempt at reconciliation. But Christian Aid is not in the business of peacemaker or reconciliation, just the blame game of Israel. I suppose this is justified in that if a really black picture is painted of Israel then people will feel even more sorry for the Palestinians and more money will flow into Christian Aid's accounts. Never mind that whole swathes of Christians from all denominations now raise angry hands against Israel . That is a responsibility to have before God. I don't see their actions as related to Replacement Theology. That is gracing them with too much . I hope money is why they do this as any other motive is too terrible to contemplate . I hope too they drop the Christian from their title, it already is eclipsed in the logo by AID. It galls me that they receive tax payers' money. my money, from the Department of International Aid with which to promote their propaganda . I support Action Aid and Tear Fund and John Humphry's Kitchen Table charity . They do not use political propaganda , just ask for money for worthy causes. I hope that soon we will not need to anguish over them on a Christian site because they will no longer claim to be Christian

20 April 2009 at 21:07  
Anonymous Huldah said...

J A Evans

I appreciated the comments you were permitted to post on Christian Aid's site, and am sorry that they didn't have the courage to post more of them.

20 April 2009 at 21:53  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Thank you J.A Evans for your clear insight & revelations about a very complex situation from an insiders viewpoint. I hope this clarifies the point that it is the untenable position of Christian Aid that is in dispute & not the rights & wrongs of one side or the other.

20 April 2009 at 22:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jean Evans and Cranmer

Jonathan

20 April 2009 at 22:45  
Blogger McKenzie said...

What a load of twisted genderless crap.

21 April 2009 at 01:57  
Anonymous len said...

Thank you J A Evans for your Insights ,I pray that you work will continue despite the inevitable opposition!
There are many christians praying that Gods will be done as regards Israel.
Thank you Your Grace for presenting these articles.

21 April 2009 at 08:14  
Anonymous Brendan said...

Hurrah for Microcosm!! Please also note that theological matters such as the Christian dogma that the Old Covenant has been superseded by the New and Eternal Covenant of Christ have NOTHING WHATEVER to do with stupid, anti christian racial theories.

21 April 2009 at 09:08  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Credit where it is due. I have been waxing poetry in here about Jews spraying accusations, but there is one who I have to admit commands my deepest respect, while at the same time irritates the hell out of me: Melanie Phillips.

The irritating part is I know where she is coming from even though most of the time I hate the way she goes on about things, but she is a real champion for her cause and her pen is mighty.

This article HERE is a must read, although off topic, but related in respect of who she is and what she stands for.

21 April 2009 at 10:47  
Anonymous len said...

"For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
And I will enter into judgment with them there,
On account of My People, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations,
They have also divided up My land"
( Joel 3, 1-2)
The implications of these revelations are far-reaching and frightening. Our attitude towards the return of Jesus is revealed by two things: our concern for world evangelism and our concern for the re-establishment for the Jews in their own land.

21 April 2009 at 20:44  
Anonymous C Darc said...

Just back from representing my feminist NGO in Geneva at the Durban Review Conference.
The hatred and the venom that I heard from nearly every single Muslim state there, vigorously supported by China, Cuba, South Africa, Russia, the Sudan et al puts this Replacement theology poison into context.
Sadly, it would seem indeed that the world simply cannot stand any kind of autonomous existence for any Jewish state ever or at all.

The original Palestinian mandate, foolishly given to Britain, was first reduced by them unilaterally and illegally to 20% of its territory to create the Hashemite Emirate of Transjordan (later the Kingdom of Jordan).
Not content with this, the UN then reduced it further by its November 1947 Partition Plan which, despite its apparent non-viability, was accepted by the Jews who felt that a few crumbs were better than no bread at all. It was of course rejected by the whole of the Arab world, supported by many other countries. That small area was immediately invaded by Arab armies, including the best trained force in the region, the Arab Legion, trained and led by Major John Glubb “Pasha”, a Brit. The Jews, fighting for their very lives, managed to win and ever since then, they have been subjected to accusations of having “stolen” “Arab land”! It does seem more than a bit unjust, does it not?
Add to that the Replacement Theology and the wide-spread acceptance of the Palestinian narrative version, and one really cannot help seeing an inability to accept Jews as anything other than a downtrodden people who should simply accept whatever others want to deal out to them: pogroms, genocides, terrorism, propaganda poison, whatever. Unfortunately for the world, the Jews seem to have decided not to go along with that any longer. They have their country, the only democracy in the whole of the Middle East by the way, and they want to keep it. Yes, their successive governments have made mistakes, as have all of ours, but that did not call into question our right to exist. For Israel, it does.
Those who wrote on the blog that pilgrims to Israel deserve better that the nonsense they are fed are right.

27 April 2009 at 11:04  
Anonymous Jew With A View said...

Being Jewish, I've read this great article, and the responses, with considerable interest.

Firstly, thank you so much for publishing this article. I found your site via the Anglican Friends Of Israel.

It is indeed upsetting and frustrating that Christian Aid has adopted these views. Sadly, they are not in the minority. The Arab Propaganda about Israel is now accepted as the official narrative of the Israel/Arab conflict EVEN though it promotes downright lies.

To the person who referred, bizarrely, to the Jews indulging in a 'land grab in Palestine' - er, hello? Reality calling!

Israel = 0.01% of the Middle East.

Anyone who has so much as looked at a map can barely SEE Israel, she's so tiny!

This 'land grab' doesn't exist.

There are already 22 Muslim states.

Arabs own and control 99.9999% of the Middle East.

We have seen from what happened when Israel left Gaza that a TWENTY-THIRD Muslim State would become nothing more than a base for increased terrorist attacks on Israel.

Perhaps the person referring to the 'land grab' would care to read the HAMAS CHARTER?

It openly cites the Quran and the belief that the hour will come when ALL Muslims must KILL ALL JEWS.

And of course, Christians are also suffering terribly in Muslim lands and also in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Many Christians have lived in these areas, peacefully, for a long, long time. Now they are fleeing because of Palestinian terrorism and pressure to convert to Islam.

Re 'replacement theology' - there's a lot I'd love to say on this topic but I've taken up enough space as it is. I find Jewish-Christian dialogue very rewarding and am going to pen something on replacement theology in the near future. I hope anyone who is interested will feel most welcome to visit my blog and join in with the discussion :)


And again - THANK YOU for this fab article.

25 June 2009 at 10:23  

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