There is an alarming trend in Christianity to spread an age-old false doctrine and tradition called replacement theology. This heretical doctrine suggests that since the Jews denied Christ, the covenant promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants now belong to the church. That is why during the Holocaust, many Christians turned a blind eye to the Nazi death camps. Many believed the Jews were the Christ killers.
On this edition of Focus on Israel, Father Sam Clark speaks of his passion for Christians to learn the truth and counter the rise of a new anti-Semitism. He is an ordained Anglican minister who has served two congregations, but his primary gifting is teaching the Word of God with particular emphasis on the Hebrew roots of Christianity. In 2007, he was invited to serve as the first executive director of the newly established Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum and Memorial in Jerusalem.
In looking back at the beginning of the Christian faith, Clark concludes it was distinctively Jewish. Jesus and his apostles were all Jews, participating in the daily temple life as well as Jewish traditions and feasts. The early church was actually a sect within Judaism, known as the “people of the way,” Jews who believed Jesus was the Messiah while still participating in all the biblical feasts. They never planned to start a new religion, but following Jesus within the Jewish community soon resulted in persecution and suffering.
The gap between early believers in Messiah and the Jewish community has widened through the decades. Clark states that, in truth, the church is not separated and hasn’t replaced the Jews, but is like an olive branch grafted in and very much a part of Israel today. He concludes that many Christians today are experiencing a spiritual awakening and a renewed heart of love for the Jewish people.
Another scholar that weighs in on this important issue is John Garr, who has pioneered research, writing and teaching on the Hebrew foundations of the Christian faith.
Garr is convinced that understanding the importance of Israel, the Jewish people and Judaism is foundational to the Christian faith.
He states, “Once Christians come to know that their faith is inherently a Jewish faith, it becomes impossible for Christians to hate Jews or separate as in previous times. Instead it becomes imperative for them to love the Jewish people and Israel, with no strings attached.”
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