By Steve Barry / 11.10.2011
I have previously written on the topic of Dominionism and then subsequently on a specific “brand” of Dominionism in the past. After reading an interview between Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches and Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania called Beyond Alarmism and Denial in the Dominionism Debate I felt compelled to write a big, huge monstrosity of an article outlining the main Christian Dominionist “sects” in America as best I could. For clarity. And apparently because I am masochistic nerd that likes to do research. So I am just going to roll into this and touch on the basics of these Christian theological movements, explain how they fit into Dominionism, and make connections where appropriate, outline distinctions, and correct some misconceptions. This will be broken up into a series of separate articles otherwise you, my faithless readers, may become bored. They will be posted as follows and the distinctions will hopefully become apparent as you read them.
There may be subsequent additional posts beyond those listed above and Part 1 will act as a “table of contents.” Keep checking back here and I’ll link to this list. No matter how long this series of articles may be they are—admittedly—superficial. To treat any one of these topics and groups with anything less than a book or even a series of books is only skimming the surface. Go forth and read for yourselves. Post links in the comments. Start your own blog. Write a book! Also, if anyone reading this feels I am in error please point it out in the comments. I make no claims to expertise. After all, theology is a convoluted mess on its own. Mixing it with politics is even worse.
I would also like to reiterate, per the Talk2Action article by Rachel Tabatchnik and as I have said in previous posts that Dominionism is not some secretive, veiled conspiracy. Despite the duplicitousness and cowardice of some its leaders in denying its existence; it is out in the open. The majority of Americans just simply do not pay attention, do not care, or are not willing to confront Christian extremism. The “mainstream” media shies away from investigative and critical journalism that involves religion in general, but especially American Christians. Even when superficially critical stories of religion are aired Christians—of all stripes—cry persecution and exhibit their innate martyr complex. At this point that tactic has been extraordinarily successful in scaring off most people from really investigating, evaluating, and educating on these groups and their movements, let alone religion. It’s really quite amazing.
Part 1: Dominionism, Dominion Theology, and Theonomy vs. Theocracy
“Dominionism” is the religious belief that Christians are mandated to influence and control the government (more accurately over everything) based on God’s Laws within the Bible manifested as political philosophy and subsequent machinations. In short; Christian laws and people should be present within facet of the culture and “secularism and pluralism” should be eradicated. There is a central belief that Christians are inherently superior to secular and non-Christian laws and people.
Christian Nationalism: The belief that the Unites States of America is a Christian Nation and was explicitly founded as such. This whole “Separation of Church and State” concept is a trick by godless, liberal secularists working for Satan. Probably Marxist Nazi Islamic Atheists.
Christian Religious Supremacy: Obviously they do not hold other religions, or the lack thereof, in high regard. Christianity is the only true religion. The rest are evil, wicked, and infected with demons sent by Satan to corrupt. This belief in corruption extends to other sects of Christianity that do not share in their beliefs.
Christian views on Biblical law should be reflected in or usurp secular American law: This could range from something fairly innocuous like a vague wish to return to idealized 1950’s Americana to a complete theocracy; in which Biblical laws are carried out to the point where homosexuals, adulterers and blasphemers are stoned to death.
It is best to think of these beliefs on a spectrum. Christians that hold these beliefs have varying levels of what I’ll call “severity” as to how this worldview should be accomplished and carried out. The following section is from my Dominionism in the 21st Century post:
In his article The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy – Part Two, Chip Berlet states that it is “a tendency among Protestant Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists that encourages them to not only be active political participants in civic society, but also to seek to dominate the political process as part of a mandate from God.”
Berlet divides the Dominionists into two subgroups:
Soft Dominionists are Christian nationalists. They believe that Biblically-defined immorality and sin breed chaos and anarchy They fear that America’s greatness as God’s chosen land has been undermined by liberal secular humanists, feminists, and homosexuals. Purists want litmus tests for issues of abortion, tolerance of gays and lesbians, and prayer in schools. Their vision has elements of theocracy, but they stop short of calling for supplanting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Hard Dominionists believe all of this, but they want the United States to be a Christian theocracy. For them the Constitution and Bill of Rights are merely addendums to Old Testament Biblical law. They claim that Christian men with specific theological beliefs are ordained by God to run society. Christians and others who do not accept their theological beliefs would be second-class citizens. This sector includes the Christian Reconstructionists, but it has a growing number of adherents in the leadership of the Christian Right.
I think many, if not most people in the Christian Right movement during the recent cultures wars fit into the Soft Dominionist movement as described above and they would not have an objection to this description. While in direct opposition to secularism and liberalism, they are still basically within mainstream America. Not that they aren’t a threat, but at this point we are used to them.
The Hard Dominionists, however, are a major threat to the United States of America, its Bill of Rights, the Constitution, education, science, and our tradition of secular government. Some would balk at this notion, but the point is they do not see the United States of America as having always been a secular nation. They would balk because they see the nation as having always been a nation created by God and has since been undermined and overtaken by liberals, socialists, atheists, homosexuals, etc. We are the enemy and we should be destroyed. It is God’s will. Think about that mindset for moment. Does that sound like you want these people anywhere near the leadership of our country?
What I was trying to emphasize in this older post, and I now understand even better than when I first wrote the above, is that Dominionism describes the political philosophy and machinations that many conservative Christians hold, but there are varying degrees in which their goals and methods would go. Obviously, not every Christian is a “Dominionist.” In some respects it is not that useful a descriptor for groups and especially individuals. Your typical Sunday morning, church-going granny could be labeled a “Dominionist” if asked certain questions, but what does that really tell you? Not much. Granny probably wouldn’t even know what you are talking about if you asked if she was “Dominionist.”
This doesn’t mean I am falling into the trap of dismissing Dominionism, its leaders, and their threats to liberty. Far from it. All I am saying is that those of us (antitheists, atheists, freethinkers, secular humanists, agnostics, and some progressive Christians) that oppose these ideas and movements need to know what—exactly—we are talking about. Dominionism is not “also called” Christian Reconstructionism (I am happy to report that RationalWiki has updated their page since I first wrote this article). Christian Reconstructionism is a type of Dominion Theology. The easy answer to why this has become a common point of confusion is that Christian Reconstructionism has been around for a few decades and had been a kind of progenitor for the Christian Right movement that gained momentum in the 1970’s and 1980’s. More on that later. This may seem like nitpicking, but there are significant differences between some of these groups and, in fact, they (various Dominionist and non-Dominionist Christian theologies) find the others heretical, dangerous, or fake. Of course they do…
We are used to people that believe America was founded as a Christian nation, that Christianity is “The Way”, and that America’s laws should be based on the Bible. That is par for the course. The real challenge is to place these beliefs on a spectrum from the mistaken and annoying to unmitigated threats. As far as groups and beliefs to keep our eyes on…we need specifics. Let’s dive in and drill down.
Whereas “Dominionism” is the descriptor for the political beliefs and the goals of some Christians; “Dominion theology”, as the name implies, is a specific set of religious beliefs. It is the religious basis of the movement that influences or “mandates” the political side. This mandate is inspired by and interpreted from a passage in Genesis.
And God blessed them [Adam and Eve] and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have Dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” —Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
One of the reasons I started to look into this topic in more detail was that I have seen various different definitions of Dominionism or confusing the different theological beliefs within Dominion Theology. Many writers state that all Dominionists believe that Jesus didn’t fully defeat Satan while on the cross and therefore it is up to the Church to defeat the forces of evil so Jesus can return. I have found that to be true of the Kingdom Now theological adherents (Part 3), but I am not sure that the Christian Reconstructionists (Part 2) believe this. Not exactly anyway. For example, using the two main “branches” of dominionism I will discuss in this series how we can see the slight theological similarities and differences.
Christian Reconstructionism = Kingdom of God on Earth was established at the crucifixion, but it is incomplete. It is progressing and Jesus will return at the culmination of a Christian world.
Kingdom Now Theology = The Church needs to create Kingdom of God on Earth so Jesus is able to return.
While the differences are subtle, they have implications for how these theologies manifest in the people that follow them. While Christian Reconstructionists still have to work at making the world Christian, the Kingdom Now Theologists believe they have a greater role in this due to their beliefs in the charismatic power. This is just one example. I am not going to dive into the plethora of incorrect information. Much of the confusion originates from other Christians who are critical of Dominion Theology and find it heretical (and secular writers have often cited these writings) . They have a tendency to…misrepresent for their own theological underpinnings.
Conversely, a major theological theme shared by these groups is that God lost control of the Earth to Satan after the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. I use this core belief as the central definition of Dominion Theology. It is as follows: Dominion Theology is the belief that Christians are mandated by God to reclaim dominion from Satan’s control, in order to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth for the eventual return of Jesus Christ. To be clear, this is my interpretation of everything that I have read from secular critics, religious critics and the Dominionists themselves. It removes specific beliefs of particular groups that are are mistakenly applied to the whole or that do not perfectly align with others. I welcome a discussion in the comments if anyone disagrees or has a better core theological belief for them.
Within this definition is contained some significant information about the worldviews of the people that adhere to them. First, it is representative of the good/evil duality of an Abrahamic religious universe. Nearly everything that has happened since Adam and Eve were to have bitten the apple has been the work of the devil. This world we live in, anything “worldly,” is Satanic. It sets up everything external to Biblical teaching as wrong, bad, or evil. Science? Satanic. Secularism? Satanic. Religious Pluralism? Satanic. Homosexuality? Satanic. Public Schools? Satanic. No-theocratic government? Satanic. It is a wholly insular worldview that is perfectly suited to protect the meme of religion.
Secondly, within this definition is the simplest premise of Dominion Theology’s eschatology (End Times beliefs). While there are differences between the groups they all share the belief and goal that the Earth must be prepared for the (post-millenial) return of Jesus Christ. This is not related to The Rapture, by the way. Dominion Theology largely disavows that concept.
So how does Dominion Theology instruct Dominionist political agenda? A word from a leader in one of the movements:
Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership. Dominion has to do with authority and subduing and it relates to society. In other words, what the values are in Heaven need to be made manifest here on earth. Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings. It says in Revelation Chapter 1:6 that He has made us kings and priests – and check the rest of that verse; it says for Dominion. So we are kings for Dominion. – C. Peter Wagner (emphasis added)
I emphasized the two sentences to point out the theme. The Dominion they wish to seek is to establish their brand of Christianity as the ultimate authority on Earth and they will accomplish this by taking over society. The “head and not the tail” reference is from Deuteronomy stating “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be beneath…” (Deuteronomy 28:13 NASB) noting that God will bless His people and they shall rule over the Earth (provided they keep the Covenant). This is a clear catchphrase or battle cry for Dominionists. Aside from Genesis 1:28, this may be one of the best Biblical passages to describe their mindset. They are commanded to rule the Earth under God’s law.
Theonomy vs Theocracy
We need to define a few things here for clarification since these two concepts are often confused. Actually, I would venture a guess that they aren’t confused so much as mistakenly thought of as the same thing.
Theonomy: God’s Law. The state of an individual or society that regards its own nature and norms as being in accord with the divine nature.
Theocracy: government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.
This is a necessary distinction especially in light of the splitting of hairs that Dominionist’s have begun to do when defining their goals as more and more media attention has brought them into the light. If we wanted to get into a strictly theological debate about what this means we could go on and on, ad nauseum. In short, theonomy is the Christian opposite of the concept of autonomy. There is no “self” as the basis for ethics. Just Divine Will. Only God’s Laws, as they are revealed in the Bible, are the basis for ethics. These “laws” should be used as the basis for civil law. In my opinion, theonomy is to theocracy as Dominion Theology is to Dominionism. One is a theological concept regarding basic personal and universal worldview and one is the political application of that worldview. Now, it can be easily argued that theonomy, since it is a “law system” applied to civil law is political and that would be correct as well. However, the point here is that one is required for the other to exist. Theocracy is not going to happen without theonomy. As mentioned above, this is relevant since Dominionist (especially Christian Reconstructionists) have attempted to muddy the waters with theological speak of theonomy as if it doesn’t have an end game.
The Bible gives the foundation for a true theocracy as a bottom-up, grassroots effort that begins in the hearts of the people. It can never be imposed from the top down.…We can deceive ourselves into thinking that the people of the United States would be willing to echo the sentiments of the desert-wandering Israelites, accepting the terms of God’s covenantal rule, or we can get to work locally, making change at the top inevitable. Voting for this sort of top-down change without doing the hard work of the bottom-up is exactly the sort of theocratic thinking that Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris accuse Christians of having. We need a theonomic revolution in the hearts of the American people (and the rest of the world), not a theocratic one. Politics and presidents can’t save us, only Jesus can. And when the Church serves her true King in obedience and action, the theocracy will come—not through elections, but through people—one heart at a time.
American Vision “Theonomy vs. Theocracy”
Theonomy, drives theocracy. Many observers and writers view Dominion Theology as a subset of Dominionism with the differing types of specific theologies nested underneath. This concept works only in the sense that “Dominionism”, as a term, is useful to denote the similarities and act as a catch-all, umbrella term. My problem with this however, is that it puts the cart before the horse. Dominionist political action does not drive the theology. Theology drives the “mandate” for political action. In the next several posts I will continue with primers on movements within the movement and how the varying religious beliefs influence their political actions.
To end Part 1 I will leave you with this.
While most Dominionists would say they favor the U.S. Constitution, and merely seek to restore it to the original intentions of the founders, in fact, their views are profoundly anti-democratic. The Dominionist worldview is not one based on the rights of the individual as we have come to know them, but on notions of biblical law…Indeed the Dominionist movement and its allies in Congress are actively seeking to eviscerate the capacity of the federal courts to protect the rights of all citizens. Developing a coherent understanding of the ongoing role of Dominionism in the dynamic growth of the Christian Right movement will be integral to any effective counter strategy in this, one of the central struggles of our time. Political Research Associates “The Rise of Dominionism”
Part 2: Christian Reconstructionism: The Template for Modern American Theocracy
Christian Faith As Politics
Christian Reconstructionism is in many ways the forerunner of the modern American politico-religious movements. Although it is influenced by Calvinist/Presbyterian theology, and the other main competing Dominionist group (the New Apostolic Reformation or NAR) evolved from Pentecostal/Charismatic theology, much of the political machinations of the more recent NAR can be directly attributed to Christian Reconstructionism. As I mentioned in Part 1, many religious and secular critics on the subject have conflated Dominionism with Christian Reconstructionism as if they are the same thing. While incorrect, this is understandable. Christian Reconstructionism is a type of Dominionism. For three decades Reconstructionism was easily the most influential dominionist brand of Christianity active in the U.S. It is directly responsible for the religious homeschool movement which other Christian groups have picked up on. The rise of the Christian Right as we know it today in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s is directly attributable to Reconstructionist theological and political influence. Some writers attribute Reagan’s re-election to the Recons. Reconstructionists have been guests on Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club and other high profile Christian media. To be sure, they have been highly influential across the spectrum of conservative, right-wing Christianity and politics.
If the New Apostolic Reformation (next article in Part 3) is the charismatic, loud, gawdy and out in the open new kid on the block; Christian Reconstructionists are their subdued, serious, dour older siblings. And that older sibling doesn’t like little brother.
The goal of Christian Reconstruction, as the name implies, is to reconstruct the United States, and eventually the world, into a theocracy based on the Old Testament laws from the Pentateuch and added laws in the New Testament. In order to accomplish this they need to infiltrate and take over the government or to eliminate the institutions of secular government altogether. As highly influential Recon theologian Gary North wrote in his book Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism:
“The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly…must be denied citizenship.” Gary North via Mother Jones
Christian Reconstructionism began with Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony. In 1973 he published Institutes of Biblical Law which is 800 pages of analysis and commentary on the Ten Commandments and the Biblical ”case law.” Rushdoony and the Reconstructionists, as believers that everything is based on God’s Laws as put forth in the Bible, have no love for democratic, secular, civil law.
”The only true order is founded on Biblical Law. All law is religious in nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion.”
”Every law-order is a state of war against the enemies of that order, and all law is a form of warfare.”
Theological Basis of a Reconstructed World
Reconstructionists, like other Dominionist brethren, base the concept of Dominion on various Biblical passages. Of course the infamous passage of the Bible we have already discussed is the basis for much of this thought:
And God blessed them [Adam and Eve] and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have Dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” —Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
Additionally, Reconstructionists state that the following verse is Jesus’ command to take dominion as a restatement of the Genesis command from God to Adam.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power been given unto me in heaven and in earth.” —Matthew 28:18 (KJV)
As discussed in Part 1 A Primer on Dominionism and Dominion Theology, theonomy is the Christian recognition that God’s Laws are the basis of all ethics. Theonomy, as a concept, is the basis of all Reconstructionist logic. To them, any rejection of these laws and ethics is sinful, Satanic and evil. Once theonomy is the basis for all thought, it is not a far leap to subscribe to “presuppositionalism.” This is an Christian apologetic stance which states that since the universe was created by God, everything is religious in nature and man is unable to determine truth on his own. Rev. Mark Rushdoony (R.J. Rushdoony’s son) explains: “Rationalism says man’s mind, his reason, can determine and know truth. Presuppositionalism says man’s reason is so dependent on his creator that knowledge must begin with God’s revelation of Himself.” By extending that logic; reason, intellectualism and seeking evidence is to actively work against God. This is why a literal reading of the Bible is crucial and any rejection of this concept is to reject God. Since all issues and all truths are religious, Man must submit to Biblical law. There is no choice. Even the concept of “faith” is seen as weak. You simply must believe and you must submit. It is a damn fine mechanism for thought control and the preservation of the religious meme.
Another important feature of Reconstructionism, which breaks from the majority of Fundamentalist Christians who believe in premillennial (Rapture) End Times, is a belief in postmillennial eschatology which states that Jesus will return after the 1,000 year “millennium.” This is a non-Rapture belief and it describes a lot about their dominionist theology. Recons, and some other movements, believe that in order for this “golden millennium” to occur, the Church has to work towards building a Kingdom of God on Earth in order for Jesus to return. This is a major influence on how and why dominionist thought manifests itself. They are mandated by God to create His Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Failure to do so is to let Satan continue to rule and therefore Jesus cannot or will not return.
“World conquest. It is dominion we are after. Not just a voice… not just influence…not just equal time. It is dominion we are after.” George Grant
A Decentralized Theocratic Movement
Reconstructionists adhere to three forms of government after the “self” based on their interpretation of the Bible.
…family government, church government, and civil government. Under God’s covenant, the nuclear family is the basic unit. The husband is the head of the family, and wife and children are “in submission” to him. In turn, the husband “submits” to Jesus and to God’s laws as detailed in the Old Testament. The church has its own ecclesiastical structure and governance. Civil government exists to implement God’s laws. All three institutions are under Biblical Law, the implementation of which is called “theonomy.” —Frederick Clarkson Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence
Education is the responsibility of families and the Church. Public schools would disappear and only Christian schools and homeschooling would occur. In fact, Christian Reconstructionists were integral in starting the American homeschool movement. They have written, published and distributed thousands of texts for home school education. They are the ones you can thank for those squirrely kids that think evolution is from the devil.
What would the the state or civil government actually do in a reconstructed society? The Church would be the more powerful government at local levels and would be tasked with all the things they do not want the civil government responsible for. Any civil government should not be involved in social welfare programs, unemployment insurance, environmental regulations, business regulations, and public school as mentioned above. Reconstructionism advocates for a laissez-faire capitalist economy that is only hindered or regulated by principles in the Bible. Obviously unions are gone. Not only do they hinder unfettered capitalism, but they are perceived as closely associated with communism. They hate that (Christian Reconstructionists have close ties to the John Birch Society). The civil government should be relegated to some dispute settlement, infrastructure maintenance and national standards in weights and measures (gold and silver money, of course). Also, non-local law enforcement. Gary DeMar in Liberty at Risk states that the state or civil government is “God’s minister, taking vengeance out on those who do evil.”
The military is to be used for defense and when necessary, spreading the Word of Christ. Recon theologian David Chilton has stated that the Christians are to devote themselves to the “universal development of Biblical theocratic republics.”
“The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God’s law.” —David Chilton
Capitol punishment would be widely used as a deterrent to any number of Biblically-based crimes including blasphemy, heresy, apostasy (only Christians), witchcraft, assaulting ones parent(s), females (only females) guilty of premarital sex, repeat juvenile delinquency, adultery, incest, sodomy, homosexuality, astrology, blogging (not really), and of course kidnapping, rape, and murder. Let me know in the comments if I forgot anything.
R. J. Rushdoony was not a big fan of pluralism as he stated “In the name of toleration the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions.” I get the feeling he wouldn’t like me much. According to Reconstructionist theologian Greg Bahnsen, other religions could be practiced “in the privacy of your own home….But you would not be allowed to proselytize and undermine the order of the state….every civil order protects its foundations.”
4. At this moment of history, all humans on earth, whether Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, private person or public official, are OBLIGATED TO BOW THEIR KNEES to THIS King Jesus, confess Him as Lord of the universe with their tongues, and submit to His lordship over every aspect of their lives in thought, word and deed.
5. Biblical evangelism according to the Great Commission of Matt. 28:18-20 is not truly accomplished unless that message of Christ’s lordship from point #4 above is given to the person being evangelized SO THAT THEY KNOW that an attempt at PERSONAL NEUTRALITY BEFORE KING JESUS IS SIN and TREASON in this universe…. —Jay Grimstead
The Christian Right, which includes the Tea Party movement, is highly influenced by Reconstructionism, but they distance themselves from being labeled “Reconstructionist” due to the many extremist beliefs that even they can’t (publically) associate with. For example, in Rushdoony’s Institutes, he denied the Holocaust occurred or that it was inflated. He also defended segregationist views and the concept of slavery. As William Martin stated in his book With God On Our Side:
It is difficult to assess the influence of Reconstructionist thought with any accuracy. Because it is so genuinely radical, most leaders of the Religious Right are careful to distance themselves from it. At the same time, it clearly holds some appeal for many of them. One undoubtedly spoke for others when he confessed, “Though we hide their books under the bed, we read them just the same.”
In order to accomplish the task of subtly influencing politics the Reconstructionist use two main methods: Revisionist history and a healthy dose of anti-statist Libertarianism. Starting decades ago, Rushdoony and his successors began the process of rewriting American history to suit their ends. They have misquoted, misrepresented and outright lied about major concepts in the founding documents of the United States of America to set up this alternate history that would seem to favor their theocratic vision. The oft repeated claims that we all know and hear from the religious and political right and their propaganda machines include, but in no way are limited to: the myth of the separation of Church and State, the myth that America is NOT a Christian Nation founded by Christians for Christians, all the Founding Fathers were Christian (and when some enterprising historian points out this fallacy they basically erase them from history books), so on and so forth. Two major revisionists that come out of Christian Reconstructionism or are influenced by Reconstructionism are Gary DeMar and David Barton (*shakes fist*), respectively.
“The State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardize the preaching of the Word of God…must be opposed by civil government.” —Gary DeMar
The other method that the Reconstructionists have used is to advocate for small government, Libertarianism. They have generally taken an anti-statist view as can be seen in their three-part government of family, church and civil; when the civil is the smallest and weakest. The Reconstructionists frequently use the cover of democracy and Libertarianism to further their goals, but they will quickly shed both when the time is right to further their theocratic goals.
We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. —Gary North
Part 3: Kingdom Now Theology & The New Apostolic Reformation
As discussed in Part 1: Dominionism: A Primer on Mixing Christian Theology & American Politics; there are definite differences between Dominionist Theologies and lumping them together is incorrect and leads to confusion. In Part 2: Christian Reconstructionism: The Template for Modern American Theocracy I outlined the Christian Reconstructionist movement and quickly discussed how this has influenced the Religious Right in America. This includes the New Apostolic Reformation. There are different theological and political beliefs in both camps and they are both, perhaps unsurprisingly, not too fond of the other.
The more recent line of dominionist theology called Kingdom Now Theology is growing fast and relevant to the recent news cycle regarding the American political scene. Most of the 2012 GOP Presidential candidates that are under the Dominionist tent fall into this category. These include Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and perhaps surprisingly to some, Newt Gingrich. Herman Cain, while very much a conservative Christian, doesn’t appear to be influenced by this theology. Rick “Frothy Mixture” Santorum is Ultra-Catholic so technically he is not in this line of theological thought since it is decidedly Protestant (and they consider the Catholic Church the Whore of Babylon controlled by SATAN!), however, it is not impossible for Catholics to be involved in charismatic movements nor would Santorum disagree with many of their beliefs and goals. Mitt Romney and John Huntsman, as Mormons, are out since Mormonism is considered a cult by the majority of Kingdom Now adherents. Ron Paul is not a part of this movement, but I still think he has far right Conservative Christian tendencies which don’t always square with personal liberty. Frankly, I think Ron Paul is a closeted Reconstructionist.
So, what is Kingdom Now Theology?
Kingdom Now Theology is a set of religious concepts that evolved out of Pentecostalism/Neo-Pentecostalism and the Latter Rain Movement of the mid-20th century. It’s core belief is that Satan has been in control the Earth since the Fall of Man and that God is waiting for the Church (followers of Christ) to be powerful enough to help God defeat Satan and restore Paradise on Earth. The three core beliefs are:
- Satan gained control of the Earth from God after the Fall of Adam and Eve.
- Jesus did not fully defeat Satan on the cross. It is up to “The Church” to rise up as an instrument of God and finish the job by defeating Satan here on Earth.
- Only when Heaven has been established on Earth via the Church’s control of government and secular institutions will Jesus return.
In the interest of fairness I should note that many Christians, even including Evangelicals and other Pentecostals, find these beliefs heretical. Not that I have a concern about heresies and theological Jenga games, but I want to point out that these beliefs are very much not universal or sometimes even tolerated in conservative circles. Not that I care, but as someone with an interest in Christian theology…I have to agree. The theology simply doesn’t make sense since it means a) Jesus didn’t defeat Satan on the cross and is therefore less important, and b) God cannot be seen as omnipotent if “He” cannot defeat Satan whenever “He” chooses. I’m just saying it’s pretty inconsistent. I love it!
As this line of Dominion Theology was heavily influenced by Pentecostalism it shares many of their “charismatic” traits. In Pentecostalism, and now among various Christian sects, the term “charismatic” refers to being “filled with” or “baptized in” the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit manifests itself in humans by speaking in tongues (glossolalia!), the translation of said speaking in tongues, faith healing, prophecy, laying of hands, etc. They also practice what is known as Spiritual Warfare; which is a type of exorcism of demonic spirits via prayer. They don’t call it that, but that is exactly what it is. I’ll discuss that more below. There are certain buzzwords one might hear that give away this practice such as “prayer warrior.” This was famously brought to mainstream attention when Thomas Muthee prayed over Sarah Palin in her church for witchcraft protection. This is where a shield of protection is believed to be placed around a believer from those who wish evil upon them.
Another major component of Kingdom Now Theology is the Fivefold Ministry. This is a belief that the five offices of the Church are to be reinstated in order to continue the work of the Twelve Apostles. It is based on Ephesians 4:11 which states “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers.” These five groups of leaders of the Church correspond to apostles as messengers, prophets with the gift of Divine prophecy, evangelists as “converters,” pastors as shepherds, and teachers as…well…teachers. All this is carried out via divine, charismatic gifts. The most prominent and quickly growing movement to have evolved from Latter Rain and the Kingdom Now Theology is the New Apostolic Reformation.
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
C. Peter Wagner is the de facto “founder” and the one who “named” the New Apostolic Reformation movement (the power to “name” something or someone has significance since that was Adam’s original task). Wagner is highly influential in the various Pentecostal movements of which this movement was born. The New Apostolic Reformation, also known as the NAR, borrows heavily from Kingdom Now Theology in that it holds most if not all of the beliefs in that theology, but it is highly influenced by the Fivefold Ministry. The NAR, as the name implies, relies heavily on its apostles and prophets (i.e. “change agents”) to restore and guide the church to create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
In an interview with NPR, Wagner spoke about a wide range of topics involving the New Apostolic Reformation.* Integral to the NAR movement is the belief in modern apostles and prophets with divine powers where God has chosen specific people with the gift of prophecy. Wagner explains that God does nothing without revealing his plans to His prophets first (which is pretty convenient for the prophet). God speaks to them and through them to provide guidance.
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servant the prophets. (Amos 3:7 NASB).
God is guiding the people or the Church via the prophets. These prophecies are “known in part, prophecy in part.” A Prophet “speaks in language that different people interpret differently.” They must be judged and discerned to be true. The entire NAR movement cannot be judged by a single prophet’s words or statements because they may not be true. This seems…convenient. It’s a great way to distance themselves from prophecies that are obviously false or to insulate them from public scrutiny. The apostles, meanwhile, have a larger spiritual authority as individuals than anyone since the original Twelve Apostles.
The NAR operates differently than other Pentecostals and Dominion theologies because they subscribe to “Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare.” In the NPR interview, C. Peter Wagner plainly states that demons inhabit and influence people all over the Earth. I am not exaggerating. This is a literal—not allegorical—belief that demons are actively sent by Satan to interfere in the lives and affairs of people. They are among us and they are here to do evil. Living, breathing demons are everywhere and demon-casting is serious business.
“This is a society of a large number, a couple hundred, of Christian ministers who are in the ministry of deliverance. Their seven-day-a-week occupation is casting demons out of people. And they have professional expertise in this…”
C. Peter Wagner plainly stated that he and his wife have conducted, and continue to conduct, “exorcisms.” He is quick to state that they are different than Catholic exorcisms (because that would be crazy!). They believe people become “demonized”, not “possessed.” It is more like the demon and human become one, but the human still has control and is simply influenced. My guess is that this “influence over possession” belief evolved in order preserve the concept of free will and sin. If you are possessed by a demon you have no control. Whatever heinous act you commit isn’t really your fault. Demons influencing people, however, allows for the preservation of free will, sin and potential absolution provided you are born again. This is important. It isn’t some moot point about what some “crazy Christians” believe that can be easily dismissed. They believe demons inhabit people and actively work for Satan against God. These “demonized” people are everywhere. They are in the government (both parties), in schools, at your work, and even in the church.
The NAR has rejected the typical Pentecostal End Times scenario and does not believe in The Rapture. This branch of Dominion Theology influenced by the Latter Rain and Kingdom Now theologies describes a post-millennial End Times where the believers stay on Earth to fight and prepare for the return of Christ. They believe there is a demonic move towards a “One World” religion where all the religions come together with the claim that all paths lead to God. This religious pluralism and tolerance is a set up by the Anti-Christ to usurp this One World conglomerate religion. Hence all the other religions (including moderate, liberal and progressive Christian denominations) are heresies filled with Satan’s demons. This is why they need to take dominion of the Earth in order to purge it and prepare for Heaven on Earth. It isn’t too hard to see that this creates a different mindset for religious-politico activism. This creates an imperative for activism in their collective mindset. They must prepare the Earth for Christ’s return.
For example, Mr. Wagner was very earnest in his statement that as Americans, the NAR “honors” every religion; however other religions are considered to not be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven. They are a part of the Kingdom of Darkness (and therefore Satanic and infected with demons). It should be noted that converts to Christianity were previously infected and had the demons of their old religions cast out. Wagner and the New Apostolic Reformation want to convert people to Jesus Christ, not kick them out of America. This actually fits with their eschatological goals of requiring a certain number of people to be converted to Christianity in order bring about the return of Christ. To Mr. Wagner’s credit he says not all NAR want mosques banned. He plainly states that religious intolerance is not patriotic or pluralistic; which is something Americans should stand for. Although, this is to be taken with a grain of salt. Even light research into his past words and the other major players in the NAR one can see disdain, fear, and disgust with other religions. While they don’t wish to eradicate the adherents of other religions they wish to convert them. especially the Jews as is common with those who wish to bring the End Times to fruition.
Israel, of course, is a large part of these End Times and the Kingdom of Heaven. C. Peter Wagner stated that Jews are People of God that lost their way. They need to be brought back into the fold, if you will. Some versions of this narrative require a certain number of people and/or Jews to convert to Christianity in order for Jesus to return. The NAR has a close relationship with Messianic Judaism, of which the group “Jews for Jesus” belong. The groups that fall under Messianic Judaism are people who accept Christ as the Messiah, but retain their Jewish culture, heritage and identity. The NAR sees them as integral in their work to convert as many Jews as possible since it is generally believed that the Messianic Jews have a better chance of converting Jews in Israel and elsewhere than an American Christian Evangelist.
So how does one drive the demons out of whole communities, cities and nations in order to save them? “Spiritual mapping” is a large scale version of the Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare and a large part of the NAR battle against demons to bring Heaven to Earth. It is not just evangelizing individuals, but going into entire communities and cities to drive out demons from these specific geographical areas in order to convert the the people. It should be noted that these larger, non-individual demons; particularly city-wide demons are higher up on the hierarchy (of demons… O_o). They aren’t as easy to drive out as the smaller, individual demons (of course). As mentioned above in Wagner’s quote regarding the casting out of demons, there are specialists within the NAR movement that can weaken and bind demons. Something to keep in mind, just in case you need one.
Wagner comes off as a nice guy. He simply believes this stuff. To expand on that point, Wagner claims that taking “dominion” is not meant as a theocracy. He claims that the movement wants to work within existing branches of government and culture with as many “Kingdom-minded” people as possible to restore the Earth to Paradise as preparation for Jesus’ return. He says they do not want a theocractic state as might be seen in some Islamic countries (to be honest I do not think he didn’t meant this is some paranoid Islamophobic way). A couple of points about this. First, I don’t believe him when he says this. In 2004 Wagner stated that:
“These apostles in the workplace are the ones that are going to come into the picture and with them we’ll be open these gates…Because it takes a government to overthrow a government.” —C. Peter Wager, Arise Prophetic Conference 2004
Now, they will likely claim that this is wordplay or a metaphor for the “offices of the Church” (the Church government) being so successful that everyone (or most everyone) converts to Christianity and therefore it’s not a violent or forced takeover. In doing a lot of research I frequently saw that rationalization and I may touch on it more in a future post dealing with the public denial of Dominionism even though it is very much out in the open. The fact is that C. Peter Wagner, as nice of a man as he seems, is only the “de facto” leader of the NAR. Many, if not most of the leading apostles and prophets within the movement, very much want a controlled Christian theocracy. Some of the highest profile Apostles/Change Agents such as Os Hillman, Lance Wallnau, Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs rarely hold back on the dominion as takeover; with Engle even go so far as to talk about martyrdom. Second, the entire idea that the world is evil which requires the culture to be converted and that the government should be filled with “kingdom-minded” people to prepare for Christ’s return is theocratic. What are these people supposed to be doing in government? They aren’t there to be placeholders. They are there to steer the culture via the government towards their brand of Christianity by basing the government on Mosaic Biblical Law and Christianity. This is where you will hear a lot of various kinds of dominionists split hairs on whether something is a theocracy or not. They will say that they only wish to live as examples, or to change the hearts and minds of people to bring them to Christ. Remember in Part 1, I discussed theonomy vs. theocracy. They will claim the “soft stance” of theonomy, that their goal is to live as examples via God’s Divine Laws. However, as I explained, theonomy is like an internalization of, or the grassroots version of, a theocracy. I think the quote from Part 1 that stated “Politics and presidents can’t save us, only Jesus can. And when the Church serves her true King in obedience and action, the theocracy will come—not through elections, but through people—one heart at a time.” is a nice representation of this concept. Some of the Dominionists realize that a top down takeover is unlikely if not impossible. They want a theocracy, but it will come from the bottom up. This is why I have trepidation about small government politicians with anti-Federalist political philosophies. By neutering the Federal government and giving more power to States and local government there is no balance of power to ensure individual rights over establishing little theocracies everywhere (as discussed in Part 2). That would be just the start.
The NAR very much has a “Tea Party” mindset and have been influenced by Christian Reconstructionism. They desire small government, privatized schools, no social welfare programs and a laissez-faire capitalist economy. Why? Government, and any benefits it could provide (outside of security), is an infringement not on liberty or individual rights, but on the power of the Church. They want the Church to be the government, to be the educators, to be the media, to be the safety net. All the things that the Church used to do. Before the Enlightenment when Christianity ruled supreme.
“Kingdom solutions sometimes need stealth solutions so that the secular world can accept them.” —Os Hillman, President of Marketplace Leaders and a leader in the NAR
So how does the NAR attempt to manifest this Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in preparation for Christ’s return? As the above quote implies a need to infiltrate the secular world and if they have to resort to lies and tricks then so be it. They talk about the six kingdoms of secular culture that need to have Kingdom-minded people within to influence and control. These kingdoms are arts and entertainment, media, education, business, family and the the government. There is a seventh kingdom which is the Church or religion. These kingdoms are also known as spheres or mountains.
… I believe God was waiting for the biblical government of the Church to come into place under apostles and prophets. But this happened in 2001, when, at least according to my estimates, the Second Apostolic Age began. What more? I now think that in order for us to be able to handle the wealth responsibly, we need to recognize, identify, affirm, and encourage the ministry of the apostles in the six non-Religion mountains. They may or may not want to use the term `apostle’ but they will function in Kingdom-based leadership roles characterized by supernaturally empowered wisdom and authority. We have more work to do here. —C. Peter Wagner
Part 4: A Brief Comparison of Christian Reconstructionism & the New Apostolic Reformation
This is just a quick discussion of the relationship between and differences of the two main Dominionist movements within the United States of America: Christian Reconstructionism (Recons) and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). After writing the first two parts I am really tired of typing out their names so for this post they will be known by the above acronyms. Brevity people!
As a starting point it is fair to say that the Recons have had a significant influence on the NAR. As the name of Part 2 implies, Christian Reconstructionism is the template for modern American theocracy. They weren’t the first to integrate right-wing Christianity into American politics, but their modus operandi has served them, and now others, well during the past 30-40 years. Recons take the concept of a Christian Nation founded by and for Christians to an extreme and bolster these beliefs with demonstrably incorrect revisionist history and political propaganda. They implemented a movement and created a structure with thousands of materials for Christian homeschooling in order to teach this revisionist history and ignore scientific fact. The Recons have subtly influenced the “mainstream” Religious Right whether the “mainstream” knows it or not. Modern right-wing political rhetoric such as small civil government, the revisionist history of the founding of America, the dismantling of the wall of separation, obsession with free market capitalism, fear of anything labelled “Socialist”, homeschooling, etc., have much of their basis in or are propagated by the Recon movement. Of course, these concepts have existed before and an individual that holds these beliefs is not necessarily a Recon, but the coming together of these concepts in the Religious Right is largely attributed to their influence.
While obviously similar, the differences between Recon and the NAR are definitely there. Both groups have the same wish for Dominion, the same wish to implement God’s Laws on Earth, the same wish to rule the 7 Mountains (though the NAR has picked up on that concept and run away with it), the same wish to Christianize the world to enable Christ’s return (postmillennialism), etc. They probably differ more than I can discern (inside joke to anyone who has read as much of this stuff as I have) as an outsider, but I think three areas are worthy to point out. The three areas where I think they differ on a fundamental level:
1) Differences in postmillennialism beliefs
2) The NAR deals in mixing the charismatic with politics vs. the Christian Reconstructionist pure politics
3) Theonomy vs. Theocracy
There is a quirk in the postmillennialism belief of the NAR that the Recons do not adhere to. The NAR, based on Kingdom Now Theology, believe that Christ did not defeat Satan on the cross and this is why Satan currently rules the world and the church has to actively take it back. Conversely, Recons believe that Christ did defeat Satan on the cross and the Kingdom of God was established on Earth. They just have to finish the job.
The NAR relies on apostles and prophets to guide the Church. The Bible is important, but as the name New Apostolic Reformation implies, they are reforming Christianity and the world through the new apostles. They do this through charismatic gifts of prophecy, faith healing, and spiritual warfare. The Recons do not operate in this manner and are more of a politically minded movement within Dominion Theology.
Both Recons and the NAR want to control the U.S. and eventually the world to prepare for Christ’s return. The differences between the two movements is how to accomplish this and the end result, in many ways, is a diametrically opposed political systems to implement dominionism over the Earth. The NAR wants to take over via the Seven Mountains Mandate where they infiltrate, influence, and reign in the seven kingdom of culture. This is a power grab from the top down. Recons have similar language and goals, but would do it from the ground up. The Recons say they wish to operate within the laws of the United States and they mean it…until they don’t need to; which is the goal. This is clearly articulated in the following quote:
We must use the doctrine of religious liberty…until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. —Gary North
They are only using democracy and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause as a cover. Once they can discard it they will and then they will dismantle it. All of it.
Basically the NAR wants to be a Christian pop culture version of America with big budget Hollywood movies, mega-churches, CreationFests, and Republican Jesus on the American Flag. The Christian Reconstructionists want to be the The Scarlet Letter.
Both are profoundly anti-democratic.
Part 5: The Seven Mountains Mandate
The Seven Mountains Mandate is the prevailing strategy of the New Apostolic Reformation. The goal is to install “change agents” (i.e. dominion-minded Christians) at every level of society to gain influence, use that influence to Christianize the nation and eventually the world to create a worldwide theocracy. This is to be accomplished by purging all aspects of society of secularism and anything deemed “not Christian” since these things are the work of the Anti-Christ and possessed by Satan’s demonic agents. This worldwide dominion by Christians is necessary to in order to create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and prepare the world for the return of Jesus Christ.
I am going to limit this discussion to my nation of the United States of America where they blatantly lie and employ revisionist history to eradicate the secular foundations of the government so they can establish a Christian United States of America. In effect, they are actively striving to make America the “Kingdom of God” based on Biblical law. That is before setting their sights on the world. The reason why I find the American strain of this Dominionism more threatening than others (Australian, Nigerian, Ugandan, etc.) is that American fundamentalist Christianity and nationalism are on the rise and if any nation has the political, economic and military power to instill this disgusting theocracy on others is it the U.S. This is not hyperbole. It is not an exaggeration. It is clearly and openly stated as their goals as you will see below. What makes this even more dangerous is that it is not a small, isolated and toothless movement. It may be unknown to the general public, but there is a large network of preachers, political and private organizations, businesses, and support from prominent politicians. This is militant religious imperialism. They are not to be ignored.
I am not going to discuss or define general Dominionism, Dominionist Theology or its history here. If you are interested in that you can read Part 1 of this series called Dominionism: A Primer on Mixing Christian Theology & American Politics. While the Christian Reconstructionists (Part 2) talk about the Seven Kingdoms, spheres or mountains that must be conquered by Christians, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has adopted it as their chief strategy and they have a plan. This post is about that strategy. To learn more about the basic theology and beliefs behind the Seven Mountains Mandate please read Part 3 in this series titled Kingdom Now Theology & the New Apostolic Reformation.
Seven Mountains Dominionism has a plan to defeat the forces of Satan, attain the goal of a Christian theocracy in America and eventually the entire world in order to prepare the world for the return of Christ. As the name implies, there are seven sections of the culture that are targeted for infiltration and to be overtaken to further their ends. These seven “mountains” are: government, education, media, arts & entertainment, religion, family, and business.
- Government: “where evil is either restrained or endorsed”
- Education: “where truths, or lies, about God and his creation are taught.”
- Media: “where information is interpreted through the lens of good or evil”
- Arts & Entertainment: “where values and virtue are celebrated or distorted”
- Religion: “where people worship God in spirit and truth, or settle for a religious ritual”
- Family: “where either a blessing or a curse is passed onto successive generations”
- Business: “Where people build for the glory of God or the glory of man”
Government “where evil is either restrained or endorsed”
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (Romans 13:1-4).
The current government is evil and “hand-picked by Satan” since it is secular and not dictated by Christian principles and laws. Proponents of the 7M Mandate do not recognize the separation of church and state and indeed want there to be no distinction. They completely ignore even the most conservative view of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and want to establish a Christian church-state. For example they believe that “The only government that will never have any corruption is the theocratic Kingdom of God.” Currently, the closest nation to have similar goals and distinctions is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mmmm…sweet, delicious irony!
It should also be noted that the United States Military is infested with evangelicals, at every level of hierarchy, and they do not try to hide it. Frighteningly enough, their infiltration plan is working.
Education “where truths, or lies, about God and his creation are taught.”
Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
It isn’t too much of a leap to understand they want to teach religion (rest assured only their religion) and worldview in schools. Indeed, in the video above you can clearly see God crossed out and “evolution,” “humanism,” “atheism,” and “pro-choice” written on the chalkboard in a classroom. This is what they think of the public education system (or more accurately what they want everyone to think). Their control of education will amount to Jesus Camp-style schools, rampant anti-science and anti-intellectualism, discrimination, and the end of human progress. If you pay any attention to recent American politics and the “funding crisis” you will notice that the massive cuts to education. Since they have not been entirely successful in infiltrating the education system they will be happy to destroy it. Republicans, Tea Partiers and Right-Libertarians want to defund schools and abolish the Department of Education. Why? A public run, secular educational system teaches actual history, objective science, art, literature and, hopefully, civics. The opposite of what they want. First, you have to dismantle the infrastructure that made America a bastion of higher education. A populace ignorant of the most basic knowledge about how reality is known to operate is much easier to control and feed doctrine. No one will challenge the absurd supernatural worldview if they don’t know any better. Regardless of whether higher education correlates to an increase in atheism/agnosticism/non-theism, it sure as hell correlates to a decrease in the likelihood of believing fundamentalist nonsense and allowing your community to be run by dogmatic and oppressive theocrats. It just won’t happen.
Media “where information is interpreted through the lens of good or evil”
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me, to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).
What better way to control information than to control the media? Media is the “spin machine” of a culture. Influence over the media gives 7M Dominionists one loud voice in which to proclaim their power, their worldview, and their religion. All opposing viewpoints, conflicting opinions, and contradictory information will be banned. Actually it will be a sin.
The right-wing spin machine has been decrying the “leftist, liberal” media for decades, but where is this evident? Fox News is the top rated news channel. Even so-called “liberal” news channels employ right-wing bigots like Pat Buchanan. Nine of the top ten syndicated radio programs in the country are conservative shows. This “liberal media” claim is a scare tactic and propaganda to further make Christians and right-wingers feel “oppressed” even though they are not. Obviously it’s working.
Art & Entertainment “where values and virtue are celebrated or distorted”,
And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place…and the Levites who were singers…stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets- indeed it came to pass, when the trumpets and the singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord saying; For He is good, For His mercy endures forever, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God (2 Chronicles 5:11-14).
Similar to the Media; the Arts & Entertainment is a more subtle influence on culture. To use the LGBT movement as an allegory (ironically) we can see how groups can become accepted and even influential by their exposure and popularity in this realm. With 7M Dominionists influencing this mountain they can have all Christian music, movies, TV, novels, art, etc. Anything not Christian or by non-Christians will be marginalized or banned. Free expression will die.
Religion “where people worship God in spirit and truth, or settle for a religious ritual”
If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow Me (Matthew 16.24).
I love the need for this mountain since it is not only a decree against atheists, agnostics, non-theists, non-believers, etc., but it is an attack on every other religion and even other sects of Christianity that do not mesh with their totalitarian Kingdom of God. We all know they hate Muslims, but liberal/progressive Christians would be against the wall soon enough. If you do not think that liberal Christian theology will be eradicated like the rest of us then you are in denial. It would happen. They detest it as “easy believism” and a heresy. Satan also operates in the Church don’t ya know.
Family “where either a blessing or a curse is passed onto successive generations
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation, God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity (Psalm 68: 5-6).
Feminism, LGBT equal rights, pro-choice, etc. Kiss it all goodbye. Marriage will no longer have a secular, legal basis. How will divorce be handled? Will it be legal? Will “inter-faith marriage” be legal? I would also imagine domestic violence incident reports would go down and there wouldn’t be the need for women’s shelters, restraining orders, etc. since the instances will not even be reported. After all, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24). Who needs domestic abuse laws and women’s shelters when the church is your support group? Never mind that any theonomic/theocratic society will not only ignore abuse but encourage it in many instances.
Business “Where people build for the glory of God or the glory of man.”
Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth (Deuteronomy 8.18).
And if you have any doubt that right-wing American Christianity has been corrupted and usurped by capitalism or vice versa then this last mountain is for you. Regarding the Business Mountain: “And the one mountain they all depend on. The mountain that fuels and fund all the other mountains. The Mountain of Business. Where people build for the glory of God or the glory of man. Where resources are consecrated for the Kingdom of God, or captured of the powers of darkness. Those who lead this mountain influence what controls our culture.” The discussion of the business mountain goes on and on. This is the focus. They understand that in order to conquer people in the 21st century you need to own them. Own the businesses and you own everything else. Including people. Money controls everything.
These are the Seven Mountains (kingdoms, spheres, etc.) that they are currently infiltrating. It is happening slowly and with almost no reporting by the media outside of blogs and alternative news sources. I’m not crying that the sky is falling because they have a long ways to go, but they are further along than you would think. Popular religious and political proponents within the New Apostolic Reformation and the Seven Mountains Mandate include, but are not limited to C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs1, Lance Wallnau, Ed Silvoso, Lou Engle, James Dobson, Jack Hayford, Jim Garlow, Rick Joyner, David Barton1,2,3 (*shakes fist*), John Hagee, Newt Gingerich, Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Sam Brownback, Sen. Jim DeMint, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, Fmr. Half-Term Gov. Sarah Palin, Fmr. Gov. Mike Huckabee, Congressman Randy Forbes, Congressman Trent Franks, Congressman Louis Gohmert, Congressman Steve King, Congressman Cliff Stearns, and untold others. The infamous “C Street House” in Washington D.C. is owned by “Youth With a Mission of Washington D.C.” which is an organization run by one of the founders of the Seven Mountains Mandate, Loren Cunningham. Members of the C Street House include Fmr. Congressman Bart Stupak, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Chuck Grasserly, Sen. Mark Pryor, Fmr. Gov. Mark Sanford, Sen. Jim Inhofe and others.
If it is deemed appropriate to judge Barack Obama on the church he attended (seems fair to me) then it is equally fair to judge any of these politicians on their religious leanings, affiliations, and how they affect or shape their political goals. During the June 2011 CNN/GOP debate, Michelle Bachmann made a statement that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. She said: “We are the head and not the tail.” This quote is from Deuteronomy 28:13 which states “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail.” I have been reading up on this subject for a while and it immediately caught my attention. This is a “battle cry” for the Dominionists. Not to say that I am surprised she said it, but still…it was creepy. I think the fact that she said it without blinking (crazy eyes aside) it illustrates how ingrained it is in her mindset and she is not alone.
Dominionist Christians cannot accept a diverse, pluralistic world. They are forbidden from doing so. That world is the work of Lucifer and his minions. This sounds ridiculous to you and I, but they really believe it. Any difference or dissent is deemed to be “work against God.” There is no such thing as compromise, and democracy is only a tool to use until it can be shed. Conformity to their religion with its theocratic ideals and totalitarian morality are paramount. Unsurprisingly, 7M advocates are very influential with anti-LGBT Evangelical Christians in Africa including the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda as can be seen in the above linked video for Ed Silvoso.
The walls of separation between Church and State will be removed in order to establish a church-state. There will be no distinction between the two. Scripture will be the basis of everything and they will fight anything and everything that runs counter to their worldview since Satan is seen as the master of everything that runs counter to their beliefs. Apostasy? Sin. Homosexuality? Sin. Unrestrained scientific inquiry? Sin. Secular government? Sin. Secular education? Sin. Not Christian? Sin. Not the right kind of Christian? Sin. The list could go on and on. This is how they preserve and propagate their beliefs. This is how they want to control yours.