INTRODUCTION PAGE 1
When it comes to the relationship of Jew and Gentile, the major thrust of all traditional Church theology is separation. (It is also the thrust of all traditional rabbinic theology.) God's major thrust, on the other hand, is reconciliationóto take two and form them into one new creation. As in the marriage of a man and a woman, so in the Biblical joining of Jew and Gentile, God's purpose is neither subjugation nor the annihilation of the individual, but rather mutual strengthening, service, and fruitfulness.
Theology that sets "the Church" in opposition to "the Jews" is "anti-Judaic" theology. Anti-Judaic theology arose as a response to the "chosenness" of the Jewish people.
There was an anti-Judaic tendency that began very early. Paul addresses it in his letter to the Romans. We will examine his comments in detail later. The Council of Nicea, in 325 C.E., was a distinct turning point in the history of the Church. Since that time, all accepted Church theology has been built upon an anti-Judaic foundation. The theological changes embraced at Nicea made it impossible for the Church to be faithful to its God-given mission. These institutional changes were fundamental and monumental. They were sevenfold:
1. The rejection of the literal meaning of Scripture in its context.
2. The subjugation of Scripture to the authority of a Church hierarchy.
3. The determination that Church doctrine and practice would be in opposition to the Jews.
4. The establishment of compulsory conformity in practice.
5. The acceptance of the State and the sword as the means of maintaining purity in the Church. (The cross was transformed from a means of victory over sin for the individual to a means of victory over sinners for the society.)
6. The acceptance of the sword of the Stateóinstead of the Sword of the Spirit, the blood of the Lamb and the blood of the believersóas the means of triumph in the world.
7. The acceptance of State support of the Church in exchange for Church support of the State. (The Church surrendered its own prophetic message toward the State.)
These are not insignificant alterations. They are major adulterations. The Church became the Imperial Church of Constantine, rather than the Messiahís congregation.
The theological shift that took place was basically this: The Church became identified as the "new Israel," replacing the Jews. As the "new Israel," the Church itself was equated with the kingdom of God, since it was the kingdom of Israel that God had promised to restore. Because God had entrusted the sword to the kingdom/nation of Israel, the "new Israel" also picked up the sword.
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The Problem with Interpreting the Scriptures Backward
The Book, the Law, or the Covenant?
Paul the Jew
Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles
Are Non-Jews Without Law?
The Alien in the Land
God's Law in the Days to Come
Differences between the Covenants
The Ethiopian Eunuch
The Debate in Jerusalem