The Apostle John warned us; “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…they are of the world: therefore they speak of the world, and the world heareth them…hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)
If we saw a billboard or a bumper sticker with the slogan, “Reclaim America for Christ”, probably most of us would shout “Amen”, and rightfully so, because we would agree with it. Who among us is not grieving at the moral collapse of our nation over the last 30 years? Who among us is not concerned about the evil influence our children and grandchildren are being drenched in daily? Who among us would not want to see the truth of God’s Word being respected once again, and the Name of Jesus Christ exalted, and given the glory He deserves?
However, it is time for a serious discussion among Bible believing Christians as to how much we, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, are to be actively involved in the culture in our attempts to make a difference in the culture. My concern is that many Christians are buying in to a movement that looks good on the surface, because it is in agreement with their desires for America, but in reality is a part of the devil’s plan that will ultimately create a one-world religion designed to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth! That movement is “dominionism”, a Reconstructionists Theology derived from a gross misinterpretation of Genesis 1:28-30 where God granted mankind dominion over the earth. “And God blessed them, 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 foul of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth!”
The Dominionists interpret that to believe God has called Christians to take “dominion” over every aspect of the culture and to use them to create God’s kingdom on Earth in order to bring about the return of Jesus Christ. Their method for gaining dominion is through what they call the “Seven Mountains Mandate,” which seeks to place Christians as leaders of the seven distinct spheres that shape our culture: Business, Government, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Education, Family and Religion. Those who promote dominion theology believe God has given believers a mandate to establish the rule of the law of God over all matters, including human affairs – to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost!
The book that spawned this concept of society is entitled: “The Institutes of Biblical Law”, by R.J. Rushdoony. It was released in the 1970’s as his concept of God’s way out of the morass our nation was in at that time. The concept was fueled, to some degree by the teachings of the Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer, and later more strongly promoted by his protégé, Nancy Pearcey, then by Chuck Colson and Bill Bright, as they launched a massive campaign to teach God’s people how to establish and operate their lives from a Biblical world view!
The thesis of the book, “How Now Shall We Live?” co-authored by Colson and Pearcey, is that Christians must continue to operate from a Biblical world view in every area of life, regardless of how it conflicted with the secular world view. Pearcey wrote: “If the system is not built on Biblical truth, it will be built on some other ultimate principle, and the systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will always fail!”
I was taught this concept of developing a Biblical World View during my days at Columbia International University, and I still believe it is what the church needs to be teaching in small-group discipleship classes and parents need to be teaching their children at home; how to live their lives as John Stott described: “the Christian-counter-culture” to the secular culture they are being exposed to every day and in many ways! I believe this is what Jesus meant by saying we would be “witnesses unto Him” in the world!
Having read his books several times, and having taught his material over the years, I believe this is exactly what Francis Schaeffer envisioned: Christians serving as the Counter-culture to the secular and humanist world view being taught and used in every area of society. In his book, A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer did make the case for what he termed “civil disobedience”. He said, “the basic principle of civil government and therefore, law, must be based on God’s law as given in the Bible. Since the ruler (government) is granted power conditionally, it follows that the people have the power to withdraw their sanction if the proper conditions are not followed! In my opinion, his call for “civil-disobedience” was to state that Christians are free to disobey the government, and indeed must disobey the government when it commands us to do something that is contrary to the Word of God, or forbids us to do something the Lord commanded.
But what I see today is not “civil” disobedience! The leaders of the emergent church, partnering with the leaders of some para-church organizations, and now with the full endorsement of some of the major political candidates, have co-opted the intrinsic agenda of discipleship proposed by the above teachers and authors, and they are turning it into an extrinsic agenda of political, if not militant activism to “Take Back America!” Applied to the corporate world, what they are proposing and promoting is a “hostile takeover” of the six major world systems – using Christianity or Biblical Law in the same way the Muslims are using Sharia law in their communities.
Yes, we are to have influence, and yes we are to exercise every legal means to affect change in all of these systems, for we would all agree they are the seedbeds of corruption and they are poisoning the minds of our children. But unless the heart of a person is changed, there can be no residual effect, and therefore no lasting change. Changing the systems of the world to operate by God’s laws will never bring about God’s kingdom upon this earth, because lost people are not saved by “movements” or by elections! True saving faith comes “soul by soul” as they hear the true proclamation of the Word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit freedom to do His work in their hearts. The church’s agenda is not to usher in the Kingdom of God, but to lift up the name of Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and to proclaim that blessed Name ‘till He comes!
Perhaps the main issue is that Christians cannot connect what is done politically to save our nation as being equal with the spreading of the Gospel to save the lost! God did not tell us to use the systems of the world to spread His Word – He said it was and is by the foolishness of preaching that the gospel is to be proclaimed. And the second issue, according to Revelation 1:7, there is coming a day when Jesus Christ will return physically to this earth, and the Bible says every eye shall see Him – even those who pierced Him! And contrary to our prayers, when Jesus comes again, the world will not be at peace with itself or operating by godly laws, but rather He will come to a world that is at war with itself, totally chaotic and totally reprobate with no plan for its redemption.
I applaud every effort to reclaim the culture for Christ, and I believe Christians not only must be involved in every area of culture, but they should be such good workers at their place of employment, that their managers, even though they may not be Christians, will see how God blesses them and causes their work to be effective, and they will be elevated to positions of leadership. That happened to Joseph and Daniel, and God used them as His witnesses to an evil empire! However, if this movement is advanced to the level I am hearing about, and includes the number of religious organizations and Christian groups they are expecting, not only is this a heretical mindset that is totally contrary to the Word of God, it is a dangerous path that will lead many, many thousands away from Biblical truth, to embrace an ecumenical faith that will eventually lead to the One-world religion and the one-world government.
Remember, Satan always has a counterfeit to true Christianity! When this concept is pushed to an extreme not approved in Holy Scripture, thousands upon thousands of people will be deceived into believing that the Kingdom of God is taking over the world. This unbiblical concept will be presented under the guise of “Restoring America back to its Christian roots”, or “Reclaiming America’s Heritage” – phrases we might agree with, because we do not like the concept of life we are living in. But if it is pushed to the extreme that it is being reported, it is outright heresy; it is using the Bible or the concepts of Christianity to accomplish a political agenda. Such “call for action” can only end in legalism – the kind of Pharisaical legalism in Jesus’ day!
This is not the same thing as being salt and light to preserve a nation so the life of the people is spared and the gospel can be shared. This is not the same thing as fulfilling the Great Commandment to make disciples of all nations! This is nothing more than what Judas wanted Jesus to do to free the Jews from Roman oppression – insurrection! This desire for worldly power is totally contrary to the concept of ministry our Lord modeled to us. Rather than speaking about humility and suffering and changing lives through true discipleship, the advocates of this new movement talk about ending the humiliation and the slighting of Christians, even if they profane the name of Jesus in doing so! These men are not interested in serving as the “counter-culture”, because they have so compromised with the culture that they are now a part of the culture – the culture of deception! But they are the ones being deceived, and because they have rejected the truth of God’s Word, God Himself “shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
It is clear that the Dominionist theology carries with it the ultimate goal of creating God’s kingdom on Earth so as to create the conditions needed to bring about Christ’s return, and what is amazing is that just about every major Religious leader has now officially embraced this idea – it is as though they can’t wait upon the Lord or for the rapture of the Church – they have to force His kingdom upon the earth by their own works. Some of the people involved in this movement include: Todd Bentley, Mike Bickle, John Crowder, John Dawson, Joy Dawson, Jack Deere, Francis Frangipane, Lou Engle, Ted Haggard, Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Johnson, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, Patricia King, George Otis, Jr., Dutch Sheets, Ed Silvoso, Chad Taylor, Richard Twiss, C. Peter Wagner, YWAM And some of the major political candidates that have linked with this movement include: Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry. Governor Rick Perry renewed the Dominionists controversy when he attended a prayer rally in Texas, partially sponsored by The New Apostolic Reformation, one of the leading proponents of the Dominionists movement.
According to C. Peter Wagner, “The second apostolic age began in the year 2001”, where the lost offices of “Prophet” and “Apostle” were claimed to be restored, in this age.
While the movement uses the Bible and the church within the context of its ministry, its concept is to get “beyond the walls” to claim the city, the state, the nation – to show forth the power of God through miracles and healings and personal prophecies. While it began primarily through the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, it is being spread to other denominations, through ecstatic worship and the display of miracles.
- It promotes the “prosperity gospel” to its ultimate goal – earth ownership – the lust for power, prestige and pride!
- It blurs the division between Israel and the Church – Replacement Theology – Commands God made to Israel for a specific reason and a specific time are misinterpreted to apply to the Church, as in “take the land of promise!”
- It blurs the separation between Church and State – theocratic rule as opposed to a pluralistic society with the freedom of faith!
- It replaces the cross with a social gospel – Liberation Theology – every time this has been tried the end result was more “social” than “gospel”!
- It distorts the assignment of the Holy Spirit – true transformation works from the inside out – not an outward obedience to a set of religious rules established by a God Squad!
While it may sound great to have the nation ruled by the authority of the church, the fact is every time the church has tried to partner with the government in trying to hold back the tide of sin, the church has had to compromise its convictions to maintain its relationship with the government – which is not supposed to take a stand regarding ANY religion! The government must remain ecumenical – all faiths being equal. But a lot of evangelical groups and now some political groups are joining forces regarding the dominion agenda – each with their own ideas and expectations of what it will look like and how it will operate when it is all complete! They truly believe they are “building an actual PHYSICAL kingdom here on earth through THEIR efforts – through political action as opposed to Biblical proclamation and spiritual influence, but they are being deceived, and they are deceiving thousands of others.
The Bible says the closer we draw to the second coming of Christ, the worse the state of the world will be in. Rather than “evolving” into perfection, mankind is disintegrating, because of man’s rejection of Jesus Christ as the Savior sent from God. Revelation 12:9 says the day will come when Satan will “deceive the whole world” with his lies, and this may be one of his last!
The true calling of born-again believers is to preach the Gospel, make disciples, and contend for the faith. And we must never compromise by embracing agendas and joining forces with those whose goals and ambitions are contrary to the Christian commission given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must ask if a militant, dominionist agenda is what we really want to support! Is it what we want to serve?
We all are saddened by the moral collapse of our society! But this corruption did not occur because we didn’t have Christians in high places of government leadership, or in the educational institutions, or even in the media. This corruption was caused by the failure of Pastors to “preach the Word” and the failure of the Church to “make disciples”- concepts the contemporary church abandoned more than 30 years ago! We cannot correct that lack of obedience with more disobedience! We cannot cover the lack of doctrine with religious activism! We cannot save the lost by trying to Christianize the culture! We cannot recover from the lack of biblical teaching in the past by embracing the false teachers of today, simply because they may be drawing crowds. The truth is they may be drawing the crowds because they have been so “dumbed down” doctrinally, they don’t have the discernment to know they are being deceived!
When God’s judgment begins to fall on this nation, it will not be upon the Whitehouse or the Courthouse, but it will be upon the Church House, for its failure to “keep the faith” and proclaim that faith to each generation! Jesus made it very clear about how we are to view the world, behave in the world, and reach out to the unsaved, and that did not include forming associations with those promoting spiritual deception in order to establish a kingdom on earth. On the contrary, Jesus said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19) “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence!” (John 18:36) In 2 Corinthians 6:17, the Apostle Paul said: “Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing!”
Sadly, all this is going to do is to blaspheme the name of Jesus even more, and hinder the true effectiveness of the church it is real mission to get the gospel to the ends of the world! For rather than establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth, in that blessed hope of the return of Christ, these false teachers and preachers are enlisting the help of the undiscipled and undiscerning church members to prepare the Apostate Church for the reception of the Antichrist! God help us! – wje
By Wayne J. Edwards – Mature Ministries, Inc.
Dedicated to the diminishing remnant of the faithful! Keep Looking Up!