Saturday, 17 May 2014

Is Supercessionism true? a response to cbd94 and others

I have come underfire for denying supercessionism or replacement theology by some users on Paltalk and desire to respond to some of objections that were raised by cbd and other individuals.

cbd94 is a Roman Catholic on Paltalk. margesimpson1 I think is an Eastern Orthodox, though I could be mistaken

Let's deal with some of the passages brought up, Firstly I direct people to my article on Romans 2:28-29: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/one-who-is-jew.html

If the Jews were cut off because of their disobedience, the Church can also be cut off and in Romans 11 we read this:
"13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!"

Gentiles only replace unbelieving Jews, but this is not an automatic proof text for supercessionism. One may say "Oh but that is talking about INDIVIDUALS not the whole group". Ok... Well even if only a GROUP of Jews is cut off and thus the Church is the continuation of Israel, well why isn't the church cut off? If the Jews can be cut off for their disobedience, the church can logically be cut off because of their disobedience. Take a look at most countries, Europe and the USA have by in large fallen into apostasy and false teachings and no Matthew 16 where it says the gates of hell will not overcome the church is not a counter against my point:

"17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.”"

While the church is grafted into the olive tree, that doesn't automatically turn them into spiritual Israelites or spiritual Israel. Israel refers to the Jews who believe in Jesus. Does this prevent Gentiles from getting into heaven? No certainly not.

Replacement theology or supercessionism, call it what you want, be it from the church or false cults like Islam and Mormonism, is inconsistent with the Bible and is internally inconsistent. If God replaced the Jews with another people, there is no guarantee that God will not do the same with another group. How does cbd know that someone else may come along to replace the church as the New Israel? Do you see why replacement theology in all forms is ridiculous?

On a side note: margesimpson1 brought Matthew 5:17-19 about Christ coming to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, which quite frankly I don't eve get how that is a proof for hers and cbd's positions.

Going back to Romans 11, it is stated by Paul at the beginning: 
"11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace"
The Jews have not been rejected as Gods chosen people and throughout history the Jewish people have been brought to faith in the Messiah and grafted back in which is later on mentioned in the passage. While Rabbinic Jews may oppose the Gospel like other groups, God still loves the Jews and desires to restore them. He doesn't abandon them as a whole due to their wickedness:

"Leviticus 26:40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. 44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”

46 These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the Lord established at Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses."

The covenant that God made with the Jews isn't revoked because of the Jews disobedience and in Jeremiah 31:31-34, a new covenant is made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, the covenant made by Christ at the Lord's Supper and inaugurated after his death. The church doesn't have a covenant of it's own, nor did it have a covenant made with them, but the church IS grafted into the New Covenant that was made with the Jews. Jews need to be born again to be recipients of the covenant despite the covenant being made with them and Gentiles need to also be born again in order to be grafted into the covenant.

If Matthew 16 refers to the true church not being overcome, which is true, then Leviticus 26 is also true that the Jews are preserved as God's people, despite their disobedience are not kicked to the side and as said before, if the Jews were rejected because of sin and disobedience, The church would also fall. I am not saying that Jews who deny Jesus are automatically saved, but I am saying the Jews are still God's chosen people even in unbelief, but need the Gospel in order to be saved.

In fact even at the beginning of Romans 9 we find:
"9 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[b] 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[c]"

Both covenants belong to the Jews. The covenants that weren't made with Jews only but with the human race as a whole would be The Adamic and the Noahic covenent. The Mosaic, Davidic and Messianic Covenants however were made with the Jewish people and the Church are only recipients of the covenant by faith in Jesus, not because the covenant was made with them and I have already pointed out the issue of the Jews needing to be born again to be in the New Covenant.

Galatians 3 was brought to the table and let's take a look:
"7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[d] 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith."
The context suggests nothing of the church becoming Israel, all it mentions is we become part of Abraham's spiritual seed by virtue of faith in Christ and even Galatians 6 wouldn't prove cbd's assertion. In fact funnily enough, Catholics for Israel have stated the following here on Galatians 3 and 6. The objection to which they respond is presented in italics:
"To be a real son of Abraham is not be belong to the nation or people of Israel but to have faith in Jesus Christ.  Sonship to Abraham is seen only in spiritual, not national terms: "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:29).

Rebuttal: While this is a wonderful inclusionary promise for Gentiles, this verse does not exclude the Jewish people from their original covenant, promise and blessing as the natural seed of Abraham. This verse simply joins Gentile Christians to what God had already started with Israel.

The Church is allegedly the "Israel of God": "As many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, [and] upon the Israel of God" (Gal 6:16).

Some translations (e.g. RSV) omit the Greek word kai (and) that is found in the original text.  This is a serious ommission, because without the kai the verse would imply that all who "walk by the rule" - that is, all Christians - are the Israel of God.  But when the kai of the original text is preserved, the verse implies that there is a distinction between "those who walk according to the rule", the Christians, and the "Israel of God" - the remnant of natural Israel who have accepted God's promises in Christ."

They also have said:
"The Covenant with Israel is indeed fulfilled in the New Covenant, but this does not mean that the former is abolished or dissolved.  The Church is indeed the "New Israel" (LG 9), but this does not imply that Israel "in the flesh" has been dispossessed of their divine election and promises.  The New Testament never claims that Israel's special role should come to an end after the coming of Christ.  On the contrary, it affirms the permanent validity of their covenant with God.  Neither do we find a confusion of identity between Israel and the Church in the New Testament; the two remain distinct although closely related." (http://www.catholicsforisrael.com/en/resources/faqs/102-what-is-replacement-theology)

Another text that was brought to me was 1 Peter 2:9-10 by peace 4 ever_1 which says the following:
"9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
While the church is made a holy nation, this is only by virtue of Christ and again I don't see how this proves the church is the New Israel, let alone a continuation of it. I am aware Israel in Exodus 19 are called a priesthood and a holy nation, but the church being called this wouldn't undermine Israel's purposes. Also:

"Romans 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[m]"

Even though the people of Israel didn't get receive the righteousness of Christ that comes by faith, There were some in Israel who did and Paul even says at the beginning of Romans 11 as his letter continues:
"11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace."

The Jews are still God's people and will continue to remain as such, but only those who are Jews inwardly and outwardly may be saved and remain a part of Israel. The same principle goes back to the TANAKH that those who refuse to believe in YHWH and repent, would be cut off.

Feel free to be Bereans and check my words with the scriptures.

Answering Judaism.

3 comments:

  1. I wish you PM'ed me that you had written this article, I just discovered it now. I will be writing a response and uploading it later tonight, God willing

    Grace to you,

    cbd94

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://cbd94.blogspot.com, it is my first post.

    Grace be with you

    ReplyDelete