Tommy Waller, founder of Hayovel, has made a gruondbreaking statement about Christian-Jewish relations. (Screenshot)
In a watershed video released on Monday, Christian Zionist leader Tommy Waller made a groundbreaking proclamation calling for an unequivocal end to centuries of replacement theology and Christian missionizing.
The announcement, released on Monday just prior to the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, is intended to catalyze the theological changes necessary to allow Christians and Jews to, as one prominent rabbi put it, be “partners in the Great Redemption”.
“Any agreement with replacement theology is disagreement with God, who identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the God of Israel,” Waller states firmly in the video, which is captioned in Hebrew.
Replacement theology is a Christian doctrine which holds that Christians “replaced” Jews in the Biblical covenant with God. Waller’s declaration comes a month before Reformation Day, commemorating when Christian reformer Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517.
Luther expressed antagonistic views towards Jews, writing that Jewish homes and synagogues should be destroyed, their money confiscated, and their liberty curtailed. These doctrines, along with his imperative, adopted by mainstream Christianity, advocating conversion of Jews, have tainted relations between the two religions for centuries.
Waller’s unambiguous plea that Christians completely abandon the centuries-long practice of missionizing Jews represents a major break with what many believe is a basic tenet of Christianity and the sole reason for Christians to reach out to Jews.
“Please stop any missionary attempt to take away Jewish identity from those whom God chose to carry his name,” Waller requests from his Christian viewers.
Waller left a position in the upper management of Federal Express to found Hayovel, a growing Christian Zionist organization which brings thousands of Christian volunteers from all over the world to Israel to serve Jewish farmers in Judea and Samaria. In conjunction with their practical, grassroots efforts, Hayovel headed a delegation that, in a significant first, brought Knesset Members to Washington last January to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Waller is dedicated to realizing the Biblical prophecy expressed in Jeremiah.
Again shalt thou plant vineyards upon the mountains of Shomron; the planters shall plant, and shall have the use thereof. Jeremiah 31:4
Hayovel’s Christian volunteers harvest vineyards in Samaria. (Facebook/Hayovel)
Waller admits that when he first started his work he was under the impression that Jews “needed to be saved,” but the reality he discovered in Israel led him to abandon that belief.
As a Christian, Waller laments the harsh treatment of the Jews throughout the history of Christianity.
“Like most Christians, I was unaware of the horrible history many Jews experienced at the hands of Christian over the last 2,000 years,” Waller explains.
Turning to Jewish viewers, Waller asks forgiveness for Christianity’s crimes. The appeal comes during the ten-day period of repentance between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
“Please forgive me, and please forgive my forefathers, for the crimes they committed against you,” Waller bids, vowing, “With every fiber of my being, I am committed to supporting you in the fight for the restoration of Israel.”
Waller aims not just to change the minds of Christians, but to change the very basis of Jewish-Christian relations, calling for a new three-part “Restoration mandate” to replace replacement theology. He asks that Christians take on three basic beliefs about the Jewish people:
Hayovel became aware of the need for a strong statement defining their relationship with Israel and the Jewish people when, over the course of recent months, the organization began “receiving more resistance from some Jewish groups in Israel who were concerned that our goal was missionary,” Luke Hilton, marketing director of Hayovel, explained to Breaking Israel News.
“That is not entirely unusual or unexpected but we wanted to clarify that once and for all what our mission is, and that it is not directed at changing who the Jews are.”
As a group of Christian Zionists, Hayovel acts as a bridge between the two religions in a totally unprecedented manner, which can be challenging.
“We walk this fine line between the Jewish community and the Christian community,” Hilton explained. “It is difficult to do that without angering or offending one side or the other. We felt that by making our mission clear, we could help the two sides come together by being a solid bridge.”
Tommy Waller (center left) with MK Yehudah Glick at President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C., January 20, 2017. (Facebook/Hayovel)
The statement, Hilton said, is “a call to the Christian community to totally and completely replace anti-Semitism and replacement theology with unconditional support for Israel and the Jewish people without trying to change who they are.”
Precisely because of the difficult history between the two religions, including persecution and proselytizing, many Jews are reluctant to accept offers of friendship from the growing Christian Zionist movement. But Hayovel has something most Christian organizations don’t: halachic (Jewish law) endorsement from major Israeli rabbinic figures.
Understanding the reluctance of many Jews to work with Hayovel, the organization saw that rabbinic approval was necessary. They turned to Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, spiritual leader of the community of Har Bracha in Samaria, the community where Hayovel does its seasonal harvesting.
Tommy Waller (right) with Rabbi Eliezer Melamed. (Facebook/Hayovel)
An internationally respected authority on halacha, Rabbi Melamed has worked closely with Hayovel since the outset. In his psak halacha (Torah decision) supporting Hayovel’s mission, the rabbi calls pro-Israel Christians “righteous Gentiles” and describes love of Israel as “the litmus test in this world for morality, truth, and faith”.
When it comes to Christians who believe that God chose Israel, and that all of the good prophecies should be realized within Israel, and they are not working to convert us, God forbid, rather, to strengthen us – then all the severe things mentioned about Christians do not apply to them. On the contrary – great corrections are being made by them, they are righteous Gentiles, and God will reward them.
In his ruling, Rabbi Melamed cited Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, whose philosophy is still a major influence on Jewish theology today. Rabbi Kook wrote that the problems with Christianity and Islam lay, not in their religious beliefs, but in their “cancellation of the [Jewish] nation’s hope in relation to its complete revival”.
After meeting with Waller several times over the course of many years, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safed and a prominent Torah authority, also issued a halachic ruling in June in favor of Hayovel, referring to them as “partners in the great redemption”. Rabbi Eliyahu quoted the Prophet Isaiah as a Biblical precedent for the work Hayovel does.
Strangers shall stand and pasture your flocks, Aliens shall be your plowmen and vine-trimmers. Isaiah 61:5
In his letter of support for Hayovel, Rabbi Abraham Gisar, the Rabbi of the city of Ofra, referred to the Jewish tradition as stated in the Talmud (Brachot) that Jews are forbidden from being entirely happy until the other nations recognize God’s greatness via the Jewish people. This is based on Psalms.
“Our mouths shall be filled with laughter, our tongues, with songs of joy. Then shall they say among the nations, “Hashem has done great things for them!” Psalms 126:2
Rabbi Gisar emphasized that the “unprecedented” Christian love for Israel epitomized by Hayovel is based on Jewish Biblical prophecy and “brings a great blessing on Israel”.
You May Like
Top of Form
Subscribe to our mailing list
Bottom of Form
Ads by Revcontent
You May Like
1 22Email 162Share
Breaking Israel News offers news from Israel from an Orthodox Jewish perspective to both Jewish and Christian readers. We encourage open dialogue and welcome respectful questions. However, since we are an Orthodox Jewish site, our content is meant to stay focused on our shared heritage of the Hebrew Bible, and not Christian Scripture. We ask that our readers follow these guidelines when commenting on our site:
Any comments that do not comply with these guidelines may be removed from the site. Repeated violations of the guidelines could result in users being banned from commenting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz is a features writer for Breaking Israel News. He made Aliyah to Israel in 1991 and served in the IDF as a combat medic. Berkowitz studied Jewish law and received rabbinical ordination in Israel. He has worked as a freelance writer and his novel, The Hope Merchant, is available on Amazon. He lives in the Golan Heights with his wife and their four children.
BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ
IDF Aid Team Heads Home From Mexico in Time for Yom KippurSeptember 29, 2017 , 7:30 am
Netanyahu Celebrates 50 Years of Judea and Samaria, Vows “No More Evictions”September 28, 2017 , 1:30 pm
Anti-Semites at UK Labour Conference Compare Israel to Nazis, Question HolocaustSeptember 28, 2017 , 8:30 am
Christians Aghast as Fashion Designer Displays Pentagrams, Satanic Drag Queens in London ChurchSeptember 27, 2017 , 5:14 pm
Israel Stung as “State of Palestine” Admitted Into InterpolSeptember 27, 2017 , 1:30 pm
VIRAL ISRAEL VIDEOS
Breaking Israel News offers a fresh and Biblical perspective on the latest news from Israel and the Middle East. Our bias is not liberal nor conservative – just Biblical.
We would love to hear from you.
Advertise with BIN
Reach our growing audience of staunch Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel. Inquire about our rates.
Contribute to BIN
If you are passionate about Israel and interested in featuring your thoughts on our site, contact us for more information.
© Copyright 2013 – 2017, All Rights Reserved
Share with friends:
Share75 Tweet25 Email22 Share162
Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/95392/watch-christian-zionist-leader-calls-unequivocal-rejection-replacement-theology-missionizing-jews/#ITYkUwQZoDdSM5Yf.99
A common but mistaken reading of the current strategic situation in the Middle East presents the region as approaching the end of a period of instability. The “return of the Arab state” is one of the more arresting refrains that this perspective has produced.
According to this view, the wars in Syria and in Iraq are drawing to a close. The defeat of the Islamic State in these countries represents the eclipse of the political ambitions of Salafi jihadi Islamism for the foreseeable future. Assad is set to restore his repressive but stable rule in Syria. In Iraq, the firm reaction by the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to the Kurdish bid for independence has ended prospects of the imminent fragmentation of the country. In Lebanon, attempts by Sunni jihadis to export the Syrian war have failed, and all is quiet.
In July 2016, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria (pictured in front at center)—the leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church—hosts Ignatius Aphrem II (left), patriarch of Antioch and All East of the Syriac Orthodox Church, and Aram I, head of Lebanon’s Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
While Christianity traces its birthplace to the Middle East, that region has been arguably the most hostile area for the religion in recent years. A new report by the Christian charity group Open Doors has found that most of Israel’s neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories, are among the world’s most dangerous places for Christians.
Kingdom says Jerusalem agreed to pay compensation over deaths of three people, in order to end diplomatic standoff
Jordanian protesters wave national flags and chant slogans during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017, calling for the shutting down the of the embassy, expelling the ambassador, and canceling the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. (AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI)
Israel is paying $5 million in compensation to the families of two people shot dead by an Israeli embassy guard last year, as well as a Jordanian judge killed in a 2014 incident, diplomats in Jordan told the al-Rai newspaper Saturday.
Ultra-Orthodox women and children attend a ceremony to welcome new Torah scrolls in a neighborhood of Jerusalem, Oct. 1 2014.
Reuven K., who is about 30 years old, is an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic man who lives in Betar Illit, one of Israel’s most prominent ultra-Orthodox localities. Reuven studies in a yeshiva, a Jewish school for Talmudic learning, but works half of each day as a wholesale merchant selling religious ritual supplies. His wife, Bracha, works as a bookkeeper in a governmental institution.
Palestinian boss Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Israel is “a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness.” Moses, King David and thousands of years of Jewish history would disagree. Israel and the Jews are part of the story of human civilization. Over 50% of the human race has a holy book that tells of the Jewish journey to Israel. That includes Mohammed’s own copy of the Koran.
Israel isn’t a “colonial enterprise.” Palestine is.
Anyone who wants to find out where the name Israel comes from can open the Book of Genesis 32:29. The story even appears in Islamic hadiths. But where does “Palestine” really come from?
It may not be a shooting war. For the most part. (Though don’t tell that to some Republicans at a charity game practice who were targeted by a Bernie Sanders supporter.) But it’s a war all the same.
The war is still being fought with paper and protests. But it’s based on irreconcilable differences between parts of the country. Much like the ones that brought on the war between brothers.
This is a topic that I’ve written about quite often over this past year. Rush Limbaugh saw fit to read and promote some of those pieces. And now I’ll be giving a talk on the subject at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. It’ll take place from Jan 20-22. I’m scheduled to speak on the 21st, but there are plenty of other great speakers there.
The speech was loud and clear. It wasn’t just the “may your house be demolished” curse that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fired at the leader of the strongest world power. It was the utterly delusional ideology, with false claims that only make the Palestinians sink deeper into a path of delusions and collapse.
The reactions were predictable: We have to understand him. He’s under a lot of pressure. He has no political horizon. The Palestinians are desperate. He didn’t really mean it.
A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum held in Moscow, detailed how over the past 10 years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80 percent and warned that unless current trends are reversed Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, whereas today there are only 100,000, roughly a 93 percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”
Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has delivered a speech triggered by his rage at the President of the United States Donald Trump, going so far as to hurl the most bitter curse in the Arabic language at the POTUS: “May your house be destroyed.”
This imprecation does not merely relate to someone’s present home, but to all the members of his family being thrown into the street to lead lives of destitution, humiliation, and shame. Only someone familiar with Middle Eastern culture understands the real significance of this curse.
The 1964 presidential election was the second in which I voted. Lyndon Johnson who had succeeded John Kennedy was running against Barry Goldwater. I didn’t like either candidate: Johnson’s personal characteristics were obnoxious, though he had achieved much, especially in the area of civil rights; Goldwater’s personal characterizes seemed fine, but I disapproved of his conservative political views.
I was shocked to read an article in Fact magazine, based on interviews with more than 1,000 psychiatrists, which concluded that Goldwater was mentally unstable and psychologically unfit to be president. It was Lyndon Johnson whose personal fitness to hold the highest office I questioned. Barry Goldwater seemed emotionally stable with excellent personal characteristics, but highly questionable politics. The article was utterly unpersuasive, and in the end, I reluctantly voted for Lyndon Johnson. Barry Goldwater went back to the Senate, where he served with great distinction and high personal morality. Lyndon Johnson got us deeply into an unwinnable war that hurt our nation. The more than 1,000 psychiatrists, it turned out, were dead wrong in their diagnosis and predictions.