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Carol Swain

Carol Swain’s Ignorance On Church History

Christian Post is on a tear publishing cringeworthy articles, and an article last week from former Vanderbilt University professor turned Conservative Inc. speaker Carol Swain defending bad theology with an even worse reading of church history is something to behold.

The article titled “My ignorance of Jews and church history” is aptly named yet conveys the opposite of its intention of narrating Swain’s journey of learning.

I am a Christian Zionist who was ignorant of church history. Ignorant, that is, until the recent rise in antisemitism on American soil that compelled me to dig a little deeper into church history and to seek an understanding as to why there are so many Jewish atheists in academia, some of whom come across as antisemitic and anti-Israel. Why?

Carol Swain ponders why there are so many atheist Jews in academia. Yet, nothing in the article attempts to answer this question begging for a thesis in a brief column.

Silly me never took the time to really contemplate the well-known fact that the 6 million Jewish deaths under the Holocaust occurred in Christian Europe. I have laid awake wondering how followers of Jesus Christ, a Jewish Messiah, have allowed such evil to take place around them. Why did the majority of Protestant and Catholic churches fail the Jews? Why was it left to Dietrich Bonhoffer and Martin Niemoller to sound the alarms? Why did Martin Luther, Saint John Chrysostom and even St. Augustine fail the Jews? Was it because of the language of Romans 13:1 (NIV), which states: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”?  

The Zionist views the Holocaust as the preeminent event in human history, rather than one of many tragedies of the 20th century and the Second World War. And thus all of church history is viewed through this lens of leading to an event while ignoring the biggest factor that led to the Holocaust which is Bolshevism.

It turns out that the culprit is and was “Replacement Theology.” Replacement Theology argues that the Christian Church replaced the special status once held by Jews. According to the theory, the Jews rejected and killed Jesus and in turn, Jesus rejected the Jews and replaced them with the Christian church. Although the theory was fraught with scriptural contradictions, it became the dominant view in western nations for far too long. Fortunately, most Christians have rejected “Replacement Theology” and have instead embraced the theory of dispensationalism that holds an opposite view.

After starting by exemplifying Godwin’s Law, Swain blames Christians for the Holocaust occurring in a rapidly secularized nation. She blames the whole of church history for being wrong until John Nelson Darby came around. On a side note, she makes the claim that the majority of Christians are dispensational premillennial, and while that may be a perception, it is more likely the plurality than the majority.

Dispensationalism grew out of the teachings of John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren, a movement that started in 1827 and gradually replaced the antisemitism inherent in Replacement Theory. Yet there remain Christians in America who argue that the Jews of Israel are not the heirs of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Those who reject Israel are quick to defend Hamas and express sympathy for the Palestinians and disdain for the Jewish people wherever they reside.

This is a fairly reductionist view of history, as it lauds Darby as a hero that he frankly is not, as he was a schismatic man. Swain’s argument is also predicated on the premise that Modern Israel is the heir of Abraham which she does not cite any Scripture to support.

To that end, I find that I qualify as a Christian Zionist since my love for Israel and the Jewish people grows out of my appreciation for the Judeo-Christian Bible. It is my Christian faith that encourages me to love and pray for the Jewish people. We are told in Psalm 122:6 (NIV) to “Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.” I pray not to prosper but because Israel is the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8) and deep down, I have always had an affinity for the Jewish people and a secret desire to be a bloodline descendant of Abraham if I could do so and preserve my Christianity.

As I write these words, I hope that more Christian churches will become historical in their teachings, especially at this moment of great crisis. Israel is our friend in the Middle East, and we must stand with her. To stand tall, we must seek knowledge and grow in our faith and understanding of God’s plan for Israel and the world.

At the end of the day, Carol Swain is a Zionist first, and her theology is built around maintaining her political idolatry. Thus she believes that she is “historical” in her Christianity despite holding fast to a theology that is less than 200 years old.

This article showcases how Zionism has a low view of Christianity and a dishonest view of church history. Carol Swain is slightly better than John Hagee who wrote an entire book filled with dishonest historical claims, in that she kept it brief.

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