Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chris Pinto on John Hagee, Extreme Dispensationalism versus Replacement Theology

I just have to keep thanking the Lord for Chris Pinto. I've been struggling through my own understanding of Replacement Theology recently, against arguments from both sides that hit me as wrong in many respects even if right in some respects.

I've been bouncing around in Chris Pinto's long list of radio shows -- sure wish he had a search feature -- hearing whatever happens to grab my attention by its title, and just came across his shows on John Hagee, who is an extreme dispensationalist, quite the opposite of Hank Hanegraaf whose Replacement Theology was the subject of my previous post. They both make the same error, however, not making a distinction between Israel of the flesh and Israel of God.

And here I find Pinto saying clearly and simply what I've been struggling to get into focus and say myself. This has happened recently with other subjects as well: I discover that he's said the same thing I've been saying, but more clearly. And he's corrected me in some areas and strengthened me as well in areas where I've been vacillating and spiritually flabby.


Unbelieving Israel is the enemy of the Church. The idea that Christians should treat them as worthy of our special care because they are Jews is a denial of our Lord and a twisting of the teachings of His apostles, but this is what John Hagee teaches, and to a less extreme extent some other teachers I've heard. Religious Jews are identical to the Pharisees of Jesus' day, and Paul's day. Apparently Hagee misapplies Romans 15:27 to call on the Church to supply the needs of these enemies of Christ, although its true reference is to the BELIEVING Jews of Jerusalem in Paul's day. Our call is to support the people of God, not the enemies of God (although we are of course to show kindness and mercy to all just as God does).

Nevertheless national Israel does fulfill prophecy and on a political level should be defended. This is a completely different level from that of the identity of God's people. God said He would make Jerusalem a "cup of trembling" to the whole world and that is certainly happening as Israel is surrounded by implacable enemies and the war to end all wars appears to be just on the horizon. But "not all Israel is Israel." Out of that war and out of the other sufferings coming on the earth as the end times unfold many Jews will come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

A related subject Pinto touched on in another show I recently heard was the accusation of Martin Luther as an anti-Semite because of his writing, the Lies of the Jews. I haven't written on this in this set of blogs but I have argued it in the past on various message boards. Maybe I'm a coward and avoid it now because of all the hatred that came against me for my arguments before. Luther was no anti-Semite, and was for a long period very generous toward the Jews -- until he found out what they teach against Jesus Christ, especially in the Talmud, the curses they bring against Him, the accusations of His birth to an adulterous woman or a prostitute and other calumnies -- which RIGHTLY offended Luther, although we might take issue with his recommendations for their punishment. It is certainly the reason GOD has punished them and is going to punish them more in the "time of Jacob's trouble." While we aren't to treat them as equal to the Israel of God which is the Church, we also aren't to mistreat them. For us to leave them in their blindness is far from a blessing, we must pray that God will open their eyes to the truth that they may repent and come to Christ and be spared what is coming both in this world and the next. Through Paul we do learn from scripture that God will save many in the end, and the Reformers also taught that.

This post is mostly just to say this much: Thank You, Lord, for Chris Pinto. Please make his work more generally known to the Body of Christ, and protect him and his family and helpers from all the enemies of the truth that are multiplying like rats these days. Amen.

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