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Supersessionism is the traditional Christian belief that Christianity is the fulfillment of Biblical Judaism, and therefore that Jews who deny that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah fall short of their calling as God's Chosen people.

Thus, according to supersessionism, the Jews are supposedly either, no longer considered to be God's Chosen people or, their proper calling is frustrated pending their acceptance of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.

Critics of a complete replacement theory, the first alternative just mentioned, might reason that, the "chosenness" of the gentile believers in the messiah is an engrafting into the promises made to Israel. If the Jews can be rejected, then the chosenness of the Church is also reversible, since its basis is in the former. The election of the Christian Church is not reversible, and therefore neither is its basis, in the election of Israel.

Traditionally, all Western Christian sects and denominations have held this belief. Since The Enlightenment a growing minority of Christians have questioned this doctrine. In the 20th century the Roman Catholic Church issued a number of theological position papers which appear to reject this concept outright, and affirm that the Torah is a valid path for Jews to achieve salvation, and that their covenant with God is still valid, and that the Jews of modern times are a direct unbroken continuation of the ancient Children of Israel. This view is not unanimous, and other leaders in the Catholic Church have since issued other official proclamations which reject this view, and affirm that worship of Jesus Christ is the only way for a human being to achieve salvation.

Several liberal Protestant Christian groups have formally renounced supersessionism, and affirm that Jews, and perhaps other non-Christians, have a valid way to find God within their own faith. In addition, many fundamentalist Christian groups, including conservative evangelical protestants and anabaptists, have renounced supersessionism, though these groups still hold that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to God (citing usually John 14:6). Other Christian groups, including almost all Charismatic groups, still hold supersessionism to be valid, however, and the debate is continuous.

Conservative Christian groups that reject supersessionism usually believe in dispensations and hold that at a future time God will return his focus to the Jewish nation, citing Romans 11.

External Links:

The Jewish Christian Relations center for religious dialogue
The Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies