Replacement theology – the idea that the contemporary Christian church has replaced the Jewish nation in God’s covenants – is causing damage to the message of the Gospel around the world, according to the author of a popular book about the relationship between Christians and Jews.
Such beliefs could bring about the literal destruction of the Jewish nation, he contends.
Pastor Victor Styrsky, author of “Honest to God-Christian Zionists Confront 10 Questions Jews Need Answered,” was interviewed by WND while attending the Christians United for Israel seventh annual national summit in Washington, D.C., for whom he serves as eastern regional coordinator.
Styrsky told WND that replacement theology – based on the presumption that when Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, God then rejected the Jewish nation with whom he had covenanted for generations – is dangerously prevalent across many segments of the contemporary Christian church.
He estimated fully half of Christian organizations hold such beliefs.
“When you do that and don’t see the Jews as beloved of God, and don’t see God as a promise-maker and a promise-keeper, then Israel occupies [the land], and they are not inheritors.”
That’s why denominations such as the Presbyterian Church USA have adopted a position of boycotting goods made by Israelis in the Palestinian Territories, Styrsky said.
“When someone adheres to a specific faith view of the Scripture, it is near impossible to break them free from that. When your theological view is accurate … it can be life-changing in a wonderful way. When it’s inaccurate … if you’re using the Bible in a wrong way, promoting something against true theology, [it's damaging],” he said.
Styrsky pointed out adherence to replacement theology puts Christians in the position of supporting the demand that 5 million Palestinians be given the “right of return” to Israel.
But acceptance of that demand, he said, would bring out the end of Israel as a Jewish democracy.
“Because in one election, if you allow 5 million Palestinians back into Israel, there’s no longer a democratic Jewish nation in Israel,” he explained. “Since the Arab Spring, every single group has voted in radical Islamists, Shariah-law compliant Islamic leaders.”
Styrsky has been a pastor, music director and pro-Israel activist in Northern California for more than 25 years. He has been a Christian Zionist for over 30 years.
He’s been a frequent speaker on college campuses, at Zionist Organization of America events, Eagles Wings, the Israel-Christian Nexus and for other pro-Israel organizations across the nation.
In 2007, Styrsky addressed the 25,000-person rally outside the United Nations in protest of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance.
See the interview:
Christians United for Israel's mission is to "provide a national association through which every pro-Israel church, parachurch organization, ministry or individual in America can speak and act with one voice in support of Israel in matters related to biblical issues."
Holocaust survivor Irving Roth, director of the Holocaust Resource Center at Temple Judea in New York, earlier warned attendees that after defeat of the Nazi forces, "the capital of anti-Semitism moved to Cairo and Damascus."
He also noted that revolutions in Arab countries are bringing Islamists to power – including the recent election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's newest president.
Roth raised concerns about the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Students Association on American college campuses. He warned that the goal of the organization is to turn the minds of future American leaders against Israel.
Speaking in the opening session of the summit, John Hagee, pastor of the San Antonio megachurch Cornerstone and chairman of Christians United for Israel, or CUFI, celebrated the organization's rapid growth.
From a group of 400 leaders meeting in 2006, it has exploded to include more than a million members.
CUFI also measures its reach in social media. Its Facebook page has received more than 755,000 likes, which, Hagee noted, is more than the 300,000 viewers who reportedly watch CNN during the day.
Every month, CUFI holds more than 40 pro-Israel events across the country. Hagee touted the success of the group's hundreds of "Nights to Honor Israel," events that promote Christian solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people.