Three Troubling Theologies

In a recent vision meeting for the staff of Jewish Voice, President and CEO Jonathan Bernis offered these three challenges to Messianic Jewish ministry. Each of these theological stances hinders the introduction of Jewish People to their Messiah Yeshua, and each of these has found prevalence in the Christian church at some point in history. We list these to make you aware of some philosophies that may be creeping into your places of worship that should cause concern.

Replacement Theology—This is the doctrine that Jews have been replaced by the Church—that God no longer is interested in saving Jewish People, nor does He have a plan for them—because of the idea that Jews originally rejected Jesus. While the majority of the first century church was composed of Jews, it was the Jewish leadership that rejected Jesus. Because of this, replacement theology says that the promises originally meant for Israel have now been transferred to the Church. References to Israel are simply spiritual, and no longer refer to a people or a Land. To believe in replacement theology makes God out to be a liar and unfaithful. Simply put, He is not!

Dispensational Theology—This theology is adopted by many Christians in the Church who love Jewish People and Jewish things and support trips to Israel but believe that salvation for the Jews is for an appointed time in the distant future, not now. This philosophy hinders telling Jewish People about their Savior, because the appointed time is still yet to come. Scripture clearly teaches that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. To believe in dispensational theology condemns Jewish People to hell who are born outside of the theoretical appointed time for the Jewish People’s salvation. This is completely unscriptural.

Dual Covenant Theology—Typically embraced by Christian Zionists, dual covenant theology started among liberal (not evangelical) denominations after the atrocities of the Holocaust. Many were so deeply moved by the suffering Jewish People endured throughout history, they deemed it absolutely dishonorable to ever offend a Jewish People, and that meant keeping Jesus under wraps. Though those who support dual covenant theology have a great love for the Jews and all things Jewish, it is taken to the extreme. Not only is introducing the Jewish People to their Messiah seen as conversion to another religion and wrong, but there is also a belief that no conversion is truly necessary. Jewish people have Judaism and the Mosaic Law as their means to eternal life. Christians have Jesus. We can coexist, without threatening either religion, which is very politically correct. Naturally, this philosophy is not biblically supported.

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Jewish Voice Ministries International

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  1. Hello friend,

    You appear to be sadly mis-informed about dispensationalism. Please accept that we most firmly believe that the Gospel message today is for all people, Jew and Gentile. In fact, every dispensationalist I know is deeply concerned and prayerful for Jews to be saved and gathered into the Church, and would hurt to think that we would in any way hinder Jewish people hearing about the Saviour, the Messiah. I have never heard of any dispensationalist condemning Jewish people to Hell who are born outside the future time, and the very thought appals me. Please, consider doing some further research, which I am sure will back up what I write, and also consider retracting what has been written.

    The distinctive aspect about dispensationalism is that we firmly believe that God still has many promises to be fulfilled through the Jewish people in the future, after the church has been called to heaven at the rapture. There will be a great national turning to Christ and blessing will encircle the earth through recognising the Messiah and through their testimony of Him then (although they will have to face the time of tribulation too – along with the Gentile world and all false religion).

    Of all the various strands in the Christian evangelical community, I truly believe that dispensationalists have a lot more in common with most Messianic Jews than almost any other group.

    Yours in the gospel of our Saviour and Lord,

    A brother in Christ.

  2. I too subscribe to dispensational interpretation of the Bible, and definitely believe that salvation is through Christ alone…The Jewish people need their Saviour just as much as the gentile believers do! However, I’m sure there are those who adhere to dispensational theology and are mistaken, as this post references. I think the caveat here is that we are to make sure that the idea that Jewish people do not need to hear the gospel does not take hold in our churches or in our thinking.

    • Laura for Jewish Voice Ministries International

       /  December 20, 2010

      Thank you for your comments. We appreciate your input!

  3. I’m a Dispy but I’ve never heard of any such teaching as not to evangelize Jews, except by a few very misguided teachers that can hardly claim to be official spokespersons of the view. Dispensationalism says nothing as a system against evangelization, and I would reject any system that did. FWIW, I think these broad-brush statements should at least be supported by some kind of evidence that the definitions of those systems necessarily teach against evangelizing Jews.


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