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patricius
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« on: November 18, 2002, 09:08:57 PM »

I keep running into the term "replacement theology" online, and have to admit that I am only slightly familiar with what is being described.  I gather that what is referred to is the idea that the Church is the continuation of Israel of the past.  Is that close?  And, what exactly is the position of Orthodoxy in general regarding Israel?  Did the new covenant replace the old?  Thanks in advance for the help.

Patrick
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OrthodoxyOrDeath
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2002, 09:51:28 PM »

Patricius,

The new law most certainly replaced the old.

There was a time when the law was useful and necessary, but now it is fruitless empty. All who run to Christ are saved by His grace and His grace alone. Those who find justification by continuing to practice the old law fall from Grace. They will not be able to enjoy the Love of God because they are striving to gain salvation by their own efforts; they will draw down on themselves the curse of the Law because from the works of the Law flesh will not find justification.

This is why St. Paul says: "If you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you." People who strive to gain salvation from the works of the Laws have nothing in common with grace.

Paul also says: "If justice be by the Law, then Christ died in vain." And again: "You who are justified in the Law are fallen from grace."

This is also why, as Seraphim Reeves pointed out in another thread, that even extremism today is a useless endeavor by itself. Tradition is only beneficial in so far as it leads man to the love and rule of God; this vs. the love of “correctness”.
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OrthodoxyOrDeath
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2002, 11:41:00 AM »

Now that I have some time I would like to add a few more notes...

The Church is the new Israel, the new Ark of Noah, and Christ is the new Adam; in the new Israel, all can know God. This is why St. Paul teaches "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus". (Gal. 3:28)

He also wrote: “...For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children... That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” This means that genetic ancestery has nothing to do with the new Israel.

Now with regard to your encounter with “replacement theology”, might I point out that the new-calendar “authority” on Church tradition, Kallistos Ware, has succeeded in providing an ample specimen. He attacks the Holy Fathers on some very key conclusions regarding the old Israel, which is summarized above. He is simply the most spectacular circus act on wheels demonstrating how to twist the tradition of the Church while appearing to maintain it, and all for the obviously apparent reason of appealing to modern “ecumenical” efforts and modern sensitivities.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2002, 12:04:19 PM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
patricius
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2002, 09:06:53 PM »

OrthodoxyorDeath:

Many thanks.  So, you would say that what is commonly called 'replacement theology' is the position of the Orthodox Church?  I understand some doubts surrounding particular men like Bishop Kallistos, but I am trying to understand the teachings of the Church.

Also, what does this mean the position of the Church is regarding Israel right now?  Recently the Catholic Church has thrown around some language which seems to indicate a very soft position regarding the need to evangelize the Jewish people.  Do the Orthodox feel that the Jewish people should be evangelized?

By the way, I should mention that I am not asking leading or baited questions.  I do not have a position which I am trying to find is synced up with.  I really am just curious about what the position of the Church is.

Many thanks again,

Patrick
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OrthodoxyOrDeath
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2002, 11:35:51 PM »

Patrick,

I was unfamiliar with the term 'replacement theology' so I looked it up.

Drawing on the definitions I could gather, “Replacement Theology” (RT) is the term which says the New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant, the old laws are annulled and salvation is unattainable using the Old Jewish practice.

Then there seems to be another term called “dual covenant theology” (DCT), which is used by theological liberals who take the position that the Jews do not need Jesus. Their argument seems to be that the Jewish people have their own way of salvation. In other words, God has one covenant for the old Jews and another for the Gentiles (new Jews). This view of course reduces Jesus from a universal Savior to a Savior for the Gentiles only.

Based on this, RT is clearly the ageless teaching of the Church (see my above posts). People are not saved by sincerity. If they were, then Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses could constitute the Church. The only hope any person has is true faith and love in Jesus through a life in His true Church.

Since Orthodoxy maintains the Jews will be converted in the last days, they still have a role to play. This doesn’t mean we need to evangelize them, rather, they should accept the truth with great repentance.

I take exception to the recent perverted sentimental love, “dual covenant” proclamations coming from Rome (and even revisionist “Orthodox” sources), it seems almost everything they write these days is worth a bit less than cheap art deco wallpaper. It seems there is nothing Rome will not do or say to persuade people to kiss the popes ring.
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patricius
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2002, 10:21:18 AM »

OrthodoxyorDeath,

Many thanks for the very helpful responses.  I must admit that this is territory I have never really even addressed regarding the Roman Church because I never really came across it before.  I will admit that some of the language coming from Rome has been a bit vague and difficult to understand.  I appreciate your assistance.

God bless,

Patrick
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2002, 10:59:23 AM »

OrthodoxyorDeath, you get credit here — you're right, except one can't dogmatize that everybody outside the visible church is hellbound (such a God would be a monster). ISTM RT is the orthodox and Orthodox view.
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