The Gnostics believed Christ was not the son of the creator or the fulfillment of the creator’s scriptures

The Gnostics believed Christ was not the son of the creator or the fulfillment of the creator’s scriptures

Supersessionism has been rejected by the Roman Catholic Church , particularly with a document at Vatican II in 1965

Rather, the higher God sent Christ on a rescue mission to infiltrate the physical realm and share with the elect few the secret knowledge necessary to escape into the invisible spiritual realm.

Christianity as it survived asserted that Christ is the Son of the creator God and indeed is the instrument of creation (Nicaea: through him all things were made). The one true God created all things both visible and invisible. As the Jewish scriptures say, all that God made is very good. The human body is indeed the image of God, and God became human flesh, proving the goodness (or potential goodness) of the human body.

Although full-blown Gnosticism died out, like Marcionism, traces of Gnostic-like attitudes pop up from time to time in Christian history. One errs in the direction of Gnosticism if one thinks of the Old Testament and Judaism as earthly and the New Testament and Christianity as spiritual (and therefore inherently superior). One errs in the direction of Gnosticism if one thinks of Jesus as rescuing us from Judaism or opposing the Old Testament. In a very different way, one errs in the direction of Gnosticism if one says, “I hate my body.”

4.3.4. Supersession and deicide

As far as Marcion was concerned, Judaism was a completely different religion from Christianity. If he had his way Christians today would have no more concern for the Israelites or Judaism than we would have for the ancient history and religion of China. In rejecting Marcion, Christianity asserted itself as related to the Israelites and Judaism. Christianity asserted itself as the true Israel, in contrast to the fleshy, misguided Jews who departed from being God’s people. In a sense Christianity navigated a path between the need to distinguish itself from Judaism, and the position of Marcion that Judaism is irrelevant to Christianity. One unfortunate consequence is to present Christians as the model followers of God and Judaism as the model rejecters of God, despite every opportunity. If Christians define themselves (or Jesus) as the opposite of Judaism, then attacking Judaism is the same as elevating Jesus and Christianity.

The term supersessionism refers to the idea that Christianity replaces Judaism as God’s people . Judaism is that which is old, obsolete, no longer relevant, having been completely replaced by something new and better. The covenant that God once had with the Jewish people has been abrogated (cancelled), and now they have no God and God has no care for them, except for them to convert to Christianity.

Some Christians continue to hold this view in some form. The current Catholic position is that God does not break God’s promises. God can offer something better through Christ, but that does not end the possibility of the Jewish people continuing to live under the terms of the existing contract. To be clear, Catholicism does not embrace relativism (the idea that any religion is as good as any other), but one can believe that one’s own way is best without denying goodness or holiness in other ways.

Figure 3. If you get your information from Mel Gibson you might think that every Jew’s idea of a good time is proceed the link now killing some Jesus. Stop thinking that.

Supersessionist theology also comes with an explanation of how it is that the covenant between God and the Jewish people has been cancelled. God broke the covenant with the Jewish people because they killed God’s Son. The term “deicide” means “God murder” (compare homicide, fratricide, suicide, etc.). The accusation is that all Jews in every time and place are responsible for killing Jesus and rejecting God. The only way to repent of that sin is to convert to Christianity.