This lecture/sermon was the third in a series after MacArthur preached Why Every Self-respecting Calvinist should be a Premillennialist at the 2007 Shepherd’s conference. Here is an excerpt:
“Augustine even likened the Jewish people to Cain, the first criminal recorded in biblical history who had murdered his own brother and merited death but instead had been condemned to wander unhappily ever after.” Augustine saw the Jewish people like Cain, alive but dispossessed, a perpetual wanderer. “The Jews,” Augustine said, “might deserve to be eradicated for their crime, rejecting Christ, but Augustine preferred that they would be preserved as wandering witnesses until the end time.” Witnesses to what happens when you reject the truth. Augustine did suggest, however, that they would turn to Christ at the last judgment. The canonical legislation of the church in the thirteenth century fully institutionalized the reprobate status of the Jew and the doctrine which the church called Servitus Judae Oram(???), the perpetual servitude of the Jews. The Jews then had to be subordinate to Christians. They could exercise no position of authority and Christian society had to be originally protected from contamination through living, eating, or engaging in any sexual relationship with a Jew. That was church law.
The Lateran Council, thirteenth century, the year 1215, codified this to segregate the Jews. And in the thirteenth century, the Lateran Council segregated the Jews by requiring them to wear distinguishing dress. In Germanic lands they wore a conical hat and what they called a Jew-badge, usually a yellow disc sewn into their clothing whose color symbolized Judas betraying Christ for gold coins. That’s what was done to them in Latin countries. The effects of the badge required to be worn and the conical hat were to make the Jews more visible and vulnerable to attack which reduced their ability to travel. And so they formed ghettos, twelve hundreds. The German Reformation a few hundred years later under Luther’s guidance led to a very unfavorable direction for the Jews, seeded hatred sewn deep, Luther did nothing to remove it. It eventually found its full flower in the Third Reich with Hitler. And the German Protestants showed themselves amazingly receptive to Nazi anti-Semitism, it was so ingrained for so many centuries. You can go back to the Council of Nicaea in 325, a council which was debating the nature of Christ, came up with the right understanding of the nature of Christ. But in the documents of the Council of Nicaea, Jews are called “that odious people.”
This attitude stuck and it stuck throughout the Middle Ages. They were mostly resented, hated and often killed. In the fourteenth century, Jewish books were burned. At the end of the thirteenth century they were expelled from England by Edward I and allowed to come back 350 years later under Cromwell. In 1144 in Norwich, England, the Jews were charged with killing their babies to drain the blood to use in the Matsos, the unleavened bread of Passover. Of course in the sixteenth century, the time of the Reformation pervasive anti-Jewish attitudes pervaded in Europe. Hikel(?) Overman writing in a book, The Roots of Anti-Semitismsays, “Hatred of the Jews was not an invention of the sixteenth century, it was an inherited assumption.” And sad to say, the Reformation didn’t change it. Sixteen forty-eight, the Ukranian Jews were butchered and it is a strange and sad thing to say that in the last sermon that Luther preached before he died, he called for all Jews to be driven out of Germany. He was fighting on another front, never really got around to dealing with that issue which was so ingrained in the culture. This…this led to this Amillennial Replacement Theology and it became so ingrained. Interesting further study that Barry Horner points out, the CRC, which is the Christian Reformed Church, Dutch Reformed Calvinism, squelched all pre-millennialism. And interestingly enough, they…they would not tolerate anybody believing in a future kingdom for Israel. Anybody who did was placed under investigation. You could find that in their own history. They actually went so far as to forbid preaching or discussing premillennialism.
Wystricks(??)says in his book, Anti-Semitism, The Longest Hatred, “The Augustinian theology reinforced the notion of the Jews as a wandering, homeless, rejected and accursed people who were incurably cardinal, blind to spiritual meaning, perfidious, faithless, and apostate, their crime being one of cosmic proportions merited permanent exile and subordination to Christianity.” One writer, W.J. Greer writing in the most…in the momentous event, said, “The power of Augustine is best seen in the fact that he removed the ghost of premillennialism so effectively that for centuries the subject was practically ignored.”
Now this actually continues to be an issue today. In our modern world, our tolerant world, a world that embraces everybody and everything, there is still this subjective sort of impositional pre-suppositional anti-Judaism, if not anti-Semitism, not necessarily racist but this anti-Judaism mentality. Melanie Philips, a Jewish columnist for The London Daily Mail, wrote a really amazing article about the Anglican Church hostility toward Israel. This is some of which she said, “The church’s hostility has nothing to do with Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians.” And she wrote this after she went to a conference of the Anglicans discussing Israel and the Palestinians, the current situation. This is what she wrote, “The church’s hostility has nothing to do with Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians, this was merely an excuse. The real reason for the growing antipathy was the ancient hatred of Jews rooted deep in Christian theology and now widespread once again, a doctrine,” she wrote, “going back to the early church fathers, suppressed after the Holocaust, has been revised under the influence of the Middle Eastern conflict. This doctrine is called…this is a Jewish writer…Replacement Theology. In essence it says that the Jews have been replaced by the Christians in God’s favor and so all God’s promises to the Jews, including the land of Israel, have been inherited by Christianity.” That is Replacement theology.
You can go to websites like Christian Zionism.org, and other websites and find many Anglican leaders that are pro-Palestinian, think Israel has absolutely no right to the land. Christian anti-Judaism is strong in the U.K., very strong, much to the delight of the two million Muslims that now live there. It’s interesting to find the quote/unquote Anglican church taking their view of Israel. One writer, Colin Chapman, an Anglican who wroteWhose Promised Land?, question mark, says, “Israel is responsible for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” He is supported, by the way, by such notable scholars as N.T. Wright who says, “Israel doesn’t mean an ethnic people, but it means a worldwide family.” To support his own view, Chapman says, “The Old Testament is not the inerrant Word of God, it is simply a very ethno-centric interpretation of Israelitish history.”
This is the charge in MacArthur’s in Why Every Calvinist Should be a Premillennialist, Part 3.