Part I: Excerpts from UMJC 2012 Conference lecture by Boaz Michael (FFOZ)
What follows are select transcribed excerpts from the lecture titled One Law and Supersessionism given by FFOZ President Boaz Michael during the July 2012 UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) International conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This is only a small portion of the whole speech.
I would like for you to consider that everyone of our theological positions puts us on a particular trajectory, a certain course. And while we may feel or think that you are doing something good or right for the Jewish people, identifying with them, connecting with them, in reality, if our theology is wrong, it puts us on a course or it could put us on a course of potential destruction of the Jewish people. So I ask – what if what you believe today and practice today would be harmful to the Jewish people? What if your Torah practice, the way that you apply the commandments of G-d to your life, what if your Torah practice hurt the Torah, rather than establish it?
We are trying to inspire Gentile individuals that have connected themselves to this movement, to this understanding, to do something great for the Kingdom of Heaven. And for most people, that’s not to leave the Church and go be part of some small fractured little home group, but rather to stay within the framework of that community and be agents of change and work against Supersessionism and Replacement Theology.
There is a movement that embraces Supersessionism, that embraces Replacement Theology, and it’s far more subtle, and it’s far more dangerous. This Replacement Theology comes from individuals wearing a kippah and a tallit, waving Israeli flag and proclaiming that the Jews are G-d’s unique chosen people. Yet in reality, this movement strips Jewishness of every single one of its unique and defining attributes. It rips the Torah out of the hands of the Jewish people, and in many cases even denies them their unique right to the Land of Israel. Just like Christian Supersessionism, this movement replaces Israel with a multinational body of believers. The difference is that the resulting body is not called “the Church”. Instead, it takes on the name “Israel” and proclaims that it is functionally identical with the historic Jewish people. This theology has come to be known as the “One Law” theology, and I am deeply familiar with this theology because I helped create it, nurture it and teach it for several years…We thought we were doing Israel a favor, we thought we were encouraging believing Gentiles to come alongside the Jewish people, to strengthen them and provoke them to be more observant to the covenant. But that has not happened and that’s not what happened. Instead, we’ve damaged the relationship with the broader Jewish community, with Messianic Judaism and Yeshiva-believing Jews, and we’ve hurt the apostles’ teachings that they so valiantly fought to establish.
Not only is One Law theology unbiblical (can’t be sustained by scriptures), but represents the most grievous form of Replacement Theology. It is easy to identify your opponent when they are so clear about it – they make blatant statements. But when you have a friend that really is not your friend – that’s grievous.