The Bible is so chock-full of references to Israel and its central role in God’s plan of redemption that rejecting the prophetic nature of the Jewish state’s modern rebirth should be an immediate red flag for faulty theology.
Sadly, today’s “progressive” Church has largely abandoned a literal reading of the Word of God to the point that something so miraculous as Israel’s restoration after millennia of exile and in near-perfect accordance with the words of the prophets can be brushed off as irrelevant by many Christians.
This has been going on for some time, and is really just a natural progression of the centuries-old theologies that insisted the Gentile “church” had replaced the Jews as God’s “chosen people.” It’s to be expected of those who subscribe to a post-biblical brand of Christianity.
What is still jarring is to hear proponents of this contemporary Replacement Theology go one step further and reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it’s laid out in the New Testament.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
In Ephesians 2:12, Paul suggests that not only are all men lost without Jesus, but that joining with (rather than replacing) Israel is part and parcel of accepting the salvation He offers: “…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
But many Evangelical Christians are now adopting a more “inclusive” view of salvation that turns the “narrow gate” of Matthew 7:14 into a gaping portal. Nowhere is this universalist theology more evident than among the politically-correct, social-justice crowd that likewise rejects those passages of Scripture affirming Israel’s continued unique calling.
It was this manner of post-scriptural adaptation of God’s Word that was on display when the Academic Dean of Bethlehem Bible College, Rev. Dr. Munthar Isaac, told the Christ at the Checkpoint 2018 conference: “When Jesus said, ‘I am the way’…I do not believe that Jesus meant this to be a dogmatic statement… He did not mean to say that Christianity is right, and all other religions are false. He meant that His way is the sacrificial way to God.”
Dr. Isaac made these incredible remarks against the backdrop of a projector screen displaying the above passage from John 14:6, a passage that he does not believe Christians should take literally.
Later at the conference, Dr. Isaac echoed his earlier remarks in submitting that “there are two kinds of Christians today”: Those who see the Gospel as putting us in right standing with God, and those who view it more as a “lifestyle” teaching on how to properly suffer (and thus gain heaven). Bethlehem Bible College is apparently in the latter group.
But that begs the question, of what eternal value is a “good” and sacrificial lifestyle if one is not first right with God? Similarly, are they proposing that Jesus didn’t come to save by His own power, but rather to provide an example of how to live that we might be saved by our own efforts? This might make sense to the universalist, but to the Christian who takes God’s Word at face value, it should be very concerning.
More and more of the Church is abandoning Scripture as the foundation of faith. Rejection of Israel’s prophecy-fulfilling rebirth was the first sign, but that was too easily explained away by (misinformed) humanitarian concerns. Now that the core component of the Gospel is also being tossed out the window in the name of cultural and political expediency, hopefully more Christians will wake up to the true spiritual danger of the situation.
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