Televangelist John Hagee and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, whose Cornerstone Church and Rodfei Sholom congregations are based in San Antonio, told The Jerusalem Post that Falwell had adopted Hagee’s innovative belief in what Christians refer to as “dual covenant” theology.
This creed, which runs counter to mainstream evangelism, maintains that the Jewish people has a special relationship to God through the revelation at Sinai and therefore does not need “to go through Christ or the Cross” to get to heaven.
Scheinberg said this has been Hagee’s position for the 25 years the two have worked together on behalf of Israel and that Falwell had also come to accept it. Falwell sent a representative to the San Antonio launch of Christians United for Israel in early February, as did popular televangelist Pat Robertson.
Scheinberg said he had worked with Hagee since 1981, when the pastor first broached the idea of organizing a night to honor Israel, which has become an annual event.
“He came to the Jewish community and of course they were skeptical, they were a bit suspicious, anxious about whatever agenda he might have,” the rabbi recalled. “He took public positions against proselytizing the Jews, which some of his own colleagues at that time criticized him roundly for; for example, Falwell was at that time very critical of his nonconversionary statements regarding the Jews. But that’s not the case now though. Falwell has changed his position,” he said.
Hagee has been consistent in this theological position, Scheinberg said, and this was reflected in both the declared policy of CUFI and at the public launch of the organization last month.
“It seemed there was a great deal of unity – not unanimity – on nonconversion, a nonproselytizing agenda, that the Jews have a special covenant, and this was stated over and over,” the rabbi said.
“It was stated in Hagee’s opening speech, in his opening statement, and then repeated again. And when there was a question period later, no one asked about this. It seemed to be understood that any hidden agenda, any attempt at conversion, would undermine all their efforts, would be counterproductive, and that’s not what they are about.
“There was always concern on the part of the Jewish community that there’s a hidden agenda now, to convert now, to proselytize now. And regarding that, Hagee was very strong in saying no, we are not proselytizing,” Scheinberg said.
(Source: Falwell: Jews can get to heaven, Jerusalem Post, Israel, Feb. 28, 2006)
Dual Covenant Denied
Pastors John Hagee and Jerry Falwell have both denied a report in The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that they embrace the “dual covenant” theology, which holds that Jews are saved through a special relationship with God and so need not become Christians to get to heaven.
In a statement to the Post, the Texas-based televangelist Hagee said that neither he nor Southern Baptist pastor Falwell “believe or teach Dual Covenant.”
Hagee added that he had “made it a practice for 25 years not to target Jews for conversion” at any “Night to Honor Israel” events. If Jews “inquire about our faith at a later time, we give them a full scriptural presentation of redemption.”
He stressed that “regardless of the response from the Jewish person, we remain friends in support of the State of Israel as required by scripture.”
Falwell, meanwhile, posted a statement on his website to the effect that he believes “all people – Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc.” must accept Jesus in order to enter heaven.
(Source: Hagee, Falwell deny endorsing ‘dual covenant’, Jerusalem Post, Israel, Mar. 2, 2006)
Denying a Jerusalem Post story that said he had embraced a “dual covenant” theology, Southern Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell said March 1 that he believes all people, including Jews, “must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to enter heaven.”
“I do not follow this teaching of ‘dual covenant’ theology and I believe it runs counter to the Gospel,” Falwell said in a statement posted on www.falwell.com. “I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to ‘dual covenant’ theology.”
Rejected by orthodox theologians, dual covenant theology holds that Jews are saved through a special, unique relationship with God and need not trust in Christ for salvation.
“Dr. Hagee called me today and said he never made these statements to the Jerusalem Post or to anyone else. He assured me that he would immediately contact the Jerusalem Post and request a correction. Before today, I had never heard of Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg or had any communications with him. I therefore am at a total loss as to why he would make such statements about me to the Post, if in fact he did.
“In this age of political correctness and diversity, the traditional evangelical belief that salvation is available only through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is often portrayed as closed-minded and bigoted. But if one is to believe in Jesus Christ, he must believe in His words: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by Me’ (John 14:6). I simply cannot alter my belief that Jesus is The Way to heaven, as He taught.
“Again, I do not follow this teaching of ‘dual covenant’ theology and I believe it runs counter to the Gospel.
“I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to ‘dual covenant’ theology. In fact, Dr. John Hagee has indicated to me, as recently as today, that he likewise does not accept ‘dual covenant’ theology.
(Source: Jerry Falwell denies Jerusalem Post story, says everyone, including Jews, needs Christ, Baptist Press, Mar. 1, 2006)
Docs: I watched a video last week on youtube by Dr. Michael Brown as he debated with Dr. Gary Demar. In the course of the debate Dr. Brown said specifically that he asked John Hagee to his face about dual covenant theology and he was told to his face by Hagee that he (Hagee) did not believe in dual covenant theology nor had never taught it.
I'm not trying to be an antagonist to anyone but where are the actual quotes from Hagee as he teaches a dual covenant theology? There seems to be a large difference in supposedly not evangelizing Jews and not evangelizing them openly at dinners etc. held to honor Israel. Again, I'm not trying to be antagonistic but I've believed for a while that these common accusations against Hagee may need a deeper investigation as to what really is what.