One of the principal reasons I reject the contemporary expression(s) of Replacement Theology and anti-Zionism espoused by Christian leaders in our generation is because of how contradictory in spirit and attitude their theology, speech, and conduct is to the tender (Is. 40:1-2), prayerful (Rom. 10:1), and sacrificial (Rom. 9:1-3) solidarity that we read about about in the writings of the prophets and apostles.
When relating to wayward and prodigal Israel, the Hebrew messengers of old spoke openly and plainly about the guilt of the nation and the surety of covenantal vengeance for their disobedience. But as they set their face as prophets against Israel, they stood as brothers with Israel.
Seeing this loyal identification rooted in the theology of the “everlasting covenant,” Christians through the centuries took a similar stance toward their brother Jacob. From nearly every theological persuasion and denominational perspective through history, affectionate Christians articulated a tender (yet honest) and Gospel-centered approach to their relationship with unbelieving Jews (i.e. M’Cheyne, Wesley, Tregelles, Bonar, etc.).
The anti-Zionists and Replacement Theologians of yesterday and today bear little resemblance to these faithful witnesses.
To help explain what I mean, picture a round-table with a dozen or so men seated around it.
Imagine that Hosea, Isaiah, Jesus, and Paul (all Jews), met up with Charles Haddon Spurgeon (a Baptist), J. C. Ryle and Stephen Sizer (both Anglicans), Martin Luther (a Reformer), Kenneth Gentry, Bruce Waltke, and Albert Pieters (modern theologians) to discuss the issues of the Jewish people, the Land of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem.
Read their words. Compare and contrast what they believe. And then imagine how their theology would compel them to act and relate to Israel.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD. (Hosea 2:14-20 ESV)
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:1-5 ESV)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:37-39 ESV)
…do not be arrogant toward [Israel]. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you…So do not become proud, but fear…As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:18-29 ESV)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
“There is the day…when Israel shall be restored to its own land, when its country shall be called no more desolate, but Beulah, and no more forsaken, but Hepzibah shall its name be, for the Lord delighteth in it. There is specially the day of the Second Advent, that day of days for which methinks all other days that went before were made, that day which shall be the summing up, the total of all ages, for the fullness of time shall come, and Christ in the fullness of his glory shall reign among the sons of men.”
J. C. Ryle:
“I am determined to believe everything that God says. I know it will all prove true at the last day. I read that He says in the text before us this day, ‘He who scattered Israel shall gather him.’ It must be true, I feel, whatever be the difficulties. Israel shall be gathered I steadfastly believe….
…it is a duty incumbent on all Gentile Christians to be specially careful that they take up stumbling blocks out of the way of Israel, and too that they do nothing to disgust them with Christianity or hinder their conversion. This is a matter which is expressly mentioned in Scripture. There we find Isaiah bidding us, ‘Take up the stumbling blocks out of the way of God’s people’ (Isa. 57:14). Truly the Prophet might well speak of this. No man can look round the Gentile Churches and fail to see that he had cause.”
[Jews] will not fall, like other humans, heathens and all the others, into sin and death, not up in Hell, nor in the middle of Hell but in the pit of Hell, as one cannot fall deeper…
Perhaps, one of the merciful Saints among us Christians may think I am behaving too crude and disdainfully against the poor, miserable Jews in that I deal with them so sarcastically and insulting. But, good God, I am much too mild in insulting such devils…
“There are certainly churches in Israel/Palestine that side with the occupation, that side with Zionism. One of my burdens is to challenge them theologically and show that they’ve repudiated Jesus, they’ve repudiated the Bible, and they are an abomination.”
“In His divorce of Israel God disestablishes her.”
“[It is a] hard fact that national Israel and its law have been permanently replaced by the church and the New Covenant.”
“God willed that after the institution of the New Covenant there should no longer be any Jewish people in the world—yet here they are! That is a fact—a very sad fact, brought about by their wicked rebellion against God.”
The Christian anti-Zionism of today’s peace-time will be the Christian anti-Semitism of tomorrow’s wartime.