Guest Blogger : Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz
Shalom and Regards, RRW
Roots Of Evangelical Support For Israel
by Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz
Note: This article appeared in the August 31, 2007 edition of The Jewish Press.
The full article is available at http://www.jewishpressads.com/pageroute.do/23613
...For many centuries Christianity fostered an essential religious principle - replacement theology - the Jewish refusal to accept the Nazarene as Messiah resulted in the Church taking upon itself the mantle of the new Israel. In consequence the Prophetic promises of G‑d's benevolence to Israel were reserved for the new Israel, the Christian Church. It is to replacement theology, the nullification of the Jews as G‑d's chosen People and its natural extension of ascribing to the Jew every form of evil including deicide, that Christian anti-Semitism owes its beginnings and nurturing down through the centuries. Even in recent decades when most mainline Churches claim to have disavowed this significant source of anti-Semitism and replaced it with what is commonly referred to as covenant theology (Jews and the State of Israel enjoy no special theological status) they have tremendous difficulty dealing with the reality of the Jewish People.
As expressed by the Presbyterians, "The continued existence of the Jewish People and of the Christian communities elected by God is as the Apostle Paul expressed it, a mystery. We do not claim to fathom this mystery, but we cannot ignore it." The fertile soil of anti-Semitism or, at the very least an ambivalence toward the Jews and the Jewish State, is still present in covenant theology.