Dominion Theology: How a false doctrine has seeped it’s way into the fabric of the church (A Conspiracy Theory that’s actually true):

“Charismatics say that God can heal bodies and does.  They say that God can heal churches and families, and does.  They say that God can heal the whole world, but won’t.  Why not?  Is there something the matter with God?  Or is there something the matter with premillennialism?” [1]

These were the words of Gary North in his open letter to Charismatics appealing for them to ditch their long held traditional Christian belief of premillennialism for postmillenialism.  Little did these Charismatics know that Gary North and others saw Charismatics as sitting ducks that were the perfect targets for their pseudo-religious political agenda.  They realized the liberal and casual approach that Charismatics often took to scripture, and looked for ways to cease on their growing movement.  At the time, non-denominational charismatic churches were growing by leaps and bounds.  Their zeal for spreading a fresh word from God, and the fast growth of their movement was fueling their entrance into mainstream media.  They were buying TV time and their televangelist were growing fast in popularity by reaching wide audiences over the airwaves.   As that was taking place Calvinists like Gary North saw an opportunity at hand.  They wanted to a platform just like the Charistmatic’s had to disseminate their own message.  You know the old saying, right?  If you can’t beat em’ join em’, and that’s just what they set out to do.  Yet, their ultimate goal was to win them over with new doctrinal beliefs, so that their message would travel the world.  Now, hang with me here on this blog.  Because, to be frank, this for many of you is going to sound like a Christian conspiracy theory.  It will read like something out of a fictional novel.  But, trust me, it’s pretty much all true.  People may have different perspectives on it, but if you follow my trail here you’ll see hints in modern day Christian culture of how Gary North and company succeeded in their covert operation.  And, it ain’t pretty 😉

Doctrine 101 – And why Paul wasn’t lying when he said that doctrine was important:

To be honest I used to see the two sides debate this issue and scoffed from the sidelines, mainly because I thought, “Why in the world does it really matter”.  I still think that.  But, at least this time around, I have a deeper understanding of why doctrinal differences like premilleniaism vs. postmillenialism do have an affect on shaping our view of God, and in a more practical and personal way how it shapes our views on our role in the world now, as a believer and follower of Christ.  We all generally agree on being salt and light in a broken world, but where we disagree is on how that should play a role in society?  We are called to love our neighbor, but how do we do that?  We are called to share the gospel, but what methods should we use to communicate that?  I’ll get to this in a moment, but prepare for alot of reading below.  This may very well become my longest blog post yet 😉  I have much to say on this issue, because it’s close to my heart, and I honestly feel that God has really shown me so much in this area that I feel compelled to share with people who are willing to listen.  HaaHaa!

If I was 100% honest with myself, I would have to admit that up until very recently when a preacher or a pastor would mention words like doctrine or theology I cringed on the inside.  Why?  Well, I would say that my background and previous experiences shaped that reaction.  You see, my Charismatic roots ingrained in me for well over 25 years that too much doctrine and theology resulted in dry and parched religiosity.  And in many ways they are/were right.  It’s taken me 2-3 years of wrestling with this very issue to reach the following conclusion.  There are two extremes that tend to exist in the modern church.  There are those who are so hog-tied with doctrine and theology that their faith has become stagnant like old pond water.  Drink that bitter and stagnant water for years and years and before you know it, “you’ll know it all”, but you’ll struggle to turn all that knowledge into real active faith.  As I like to say, it’s all head no heart.  You know all about the love of God, but can’t love people.   You talk about faith, but don’t really believe that prayer changes things.  Ultimately, it’s doctrine that lives in the head, but not in the heart.  On the other extreme, one can be so overindulged in things like experience, getting a fresh “rhema” word from the Lord, addicted to spiritual highs, or the next big move of God, that your whole Christian existence becomes all about a feeling and personal experience.  Ask this person about God and the likely answer you with something from their personal experience.  Ask them about love, and you’ll get  personal story about what God said to them about the real meaning of love.  In other words, they’ll talk to you until blue in the face about a personal experience with God, but they don’t know much about biblical doctrines (core beliefs of Christianity), Jesus or God.  When the storms comes they’re often devastated, because their personal feelings can no longer sustain their faith.

I say all of this to explain why doctrines should not be a scary word in churches.  It should be celebrated.  We need sound doctrine, because it forms the very foundation on which we stand.  If we have sound doctrine, then we’ll know the boundaries of what our experience should look like.  We’ll know what a healthy experience should look like in the context of what the bible says, and our doctrinal beliefs will shape our view of how we are to be a salt and light to the world.  When the rubber meets the road, our faith, which is based on sound doctrine, will result in good deeds (see James 2).  When your light does shine, men will see your good works, and it will cause them to glorify our father in heaven  (Matthew 5).  In other words, good works are a result of sound doctrine.    Therefore, we really can’t have one with out the other.  It’s not either or, it’s both.

Dominion Theology:  A brief history lesson –

Dominion Theology, Christian Reconstructionism, Theonomy, Theocracy, Kingdom Now Theology, all of these terms have distinctly different meanings, but all are related.  The press often confuses them and uses them interchangeably, but they are not all equivalent.  For the sake of time, and general interest, I’m also going to take some license to refer to them all under the umbrella term of Dominion Theology.  What is it?  Dominion Theology is the belief that society should be governed strictly by God’s Law and not by secular law.  If that sounds good to you already, you’ve probably been drinking the kool-aid.  LOL.  The teachings are largely credited to the writings of Rousas John Rushdooney who coined the teachings in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Please keep in mind from the definition above that when I say laws of God it literally means the laws that God gave to the Israelites in the Old Testament.

Postmillenialism vs. Premillennialism –

It’s not often mentioned but Rousas John Rushdooney was a staunch Calvinist.  Calvinism in the most basic sense means that God preordained certain people (the elect) to receive salvation (predestination), and that men/women don’t have a tangible choice in receiving salvation.  Note: It means much more than this, but I don’t think the other parts fit well with the context of this blog.
In addition to Rousas John Rushdooney’s Calvinist teachings was postmillennialism.  The belief that Christ will come back to rule the earth (IN A FIGURATIVE SENSE) for 1000 years (millennial reign) before his second coming to earth.  Pleas notice the bold letters in parentheses in the last sentence.  It’s key to understanding things later.  The term Millennial Reign refers to a 1000 year Golden Age or period of peace during which “Christ will reign” on earth prior to the final judgment.

Now, let’s contrast those views with the the more commonly held beliefs today in Westernized Christianity.  Aminianism (Methodists, Lutherans, most Traditional Baptists, Non-Denominational, etc..) and Premillenialism.   Arminian: in the most basic sense is the belief that God desires to save all men, and that all men have the ability to choose salvation in Jesus Christ.  That belief formed the very foundation for  another doctrine that Arminans have generally held to –  Premillennialism.  Premillenialists believe that before things go horribly bad on earth (the great tribulation – that is talked about in the book of Revelation), that Christians will be raptured.  They believe that only after the great tribulation takes place will Christ return to earth for the Millennial Reign.  In other words, Arminians believe that they will witness the tribulation from the comfort of heaven, while Christ (LITERAL not FIGURATIVE) rules on the earth for 1000 years (millennial reign).

[1] http://www.narwatch.com/2011/08/15/the-rise-of-charismatic-dominionism-updated/

Advertisements