Some time ago, we wrote the article Replacement Theology – Has the Church replaced Israel? in which we outline the Biblical case that God has special plans for the Jews when the “times of the Gentiles” is fulfilled (see Romans 9-11).
What we did not cover in any detail were the effects of replacement theology and how this has contributed to some horrific abuses of the Jews over the centuries. This can still be clearly seen today with much anti-Israel sentiment in the church in the UK.
Dave Reagan talks about his own experience as a young believer where he would ask his Pastor the meaning of Zechariah 14:1-9 and get the reply, “Son, I don’t know what this passage means, but I can guarantee you one thing — it doesn’t mean what it says!” This understandably led to real confusion and left Dave with only one conclusion as he comments, “I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had been introduced to the allegorical interpretation of Scripture. The official position of my church was that everything in the Bible means exactly what it says unless it is talking about the Second Coming of Jesus, in which case it never means what it says!”
How sad that this approach to the Bible is so very prominent across the evangelical landscape today. Are you going to a church that dumbs down an array of straight forward passages and justifies this by hiding behind the guise of “allegorical interpretation”? Not only does this lead to incorrect theological positions, but it also damages our confidence in Scripture and really results in a “pick and choose” approach where anyone can make the Bible say whatever they want by simply “spiritualising” difficult or inconvenient passages! Worse still, there is an increase of churches taking an overt anti-Israel stance on events in the Middle East – this seriously concerns us, as many Scriptures warn that this is dangerous provocation from God’s perspective. The churches that are not vocally anti-Israel are usually completely silent on the unconditional promises God made to Israel in the Bible and are therefore partly complicit in failing to defend the Jewish people. We need to look no further than the deafening silence of the church during the holocaust – where was the church when six million Jews (and many other’s) were murdered?! History will repeat itself (see Zechariah 12-14) and we fear the church community will quite likely turn a blind eye as it did during the holocaust.
We sincerely believe that God means what he says and says what He means through Scripture – as such, when we read the prophetic passages in the Bible, we try to receive them as a child would. When symbolism is used in Scripture, the reader is informed of this the vast majority of the time (eg. the parables). God does not attempt to trick us with Bible Prophecy – it is a powerful authenticity of Scripture and we can gain much encouragement by surveying the signs of the end times as detailed throughout the Bible and being reminded that Jesus’ LITERAL return will be very soon!