Strange bedfellows indeed (Cont’d from part 2)
So how did Postmillenial Calvinists coerce Pentecostals, Charismatics and so many others to join them? I think it can be explained by the large numbers of Christians that desperately want to see social transformation. The bias of Pentecostal, Charismatic and Nondenominational seeker sensitive style churches favors the adoption of ideas (true or false) that lean toward experience Postmillenials were giving many Charismatics and Pentecostals a way to see the fruit of their labor immediately. The main thrust of the postmillennial cause was to see the law of God touch every sphere of society and on the more extreme end of the spectrum were, Reconstructionists, who want to bring all of society into submission of Old Testament law. That idea appealed, not surprisingly, to the missions minded premillennialists. They wanted to “see” a move of God. There is an ever-elusive pursuit, in the hyper-Charismania world, to find the next ‘big thing” that God is doing. The unfortunate thing is that some of the next “ big things”, I believe, that were originally of God, often become man-manipulated and manufactured over time. Postmillennial teachings in terms of the end times appealed to that. It removed the sole responsibility of ushering in God’s kingdom from God’s control and placed part of the responsibility into the hands of mankind. On the surface, the idea seems very appealing, however it is potentially very dangerous. That’s exactly why I wanted to write this blog, to explain why it’s so dangerous and how alarmingly quick that I’ve seen the belief spread.
Don’t get me wrong, very few lay people are familiar with Dominion Theology, Reconstructionism, or Kingdom Now Theology, much less whether they are premillennial or postmillennial. Most evangelicals are innocent victims of teachers and leaders who understanding (partial or in full) these doctrinal beliefs, but are rarely willing to share what they are teaching with their flock for fear of rejection. If people knew that they were being taught ideas that were far outside of traditional Christian doctrines they may grow suspect and leave their church.
Hints of Dominion Theology in Christianity and the World
While the spread of Dominion Theology in society may not be obvious to people who are unaware of it, it is certainly there. Now prepare, because some of this is going to sound again like I’m conspiracy theorists, and I don’t have time to explain the history behind each point, but hang in there with me for a minute.
1) The home school movement –
Ever notice how popular home schooling has become amongst Christians these days? Rousas Rushdooney (father of Reconstructionism/Dominion theology) is often credited as the inspiration of the Christian home school movement in America. He was a huge proponent of the idea on the grounds that the public school system was intentionally secular. The same skepticism of the public education system still exists today, especially in the American Christian homeschool culture. I have no problems or concerns with people who choose to homeschool their children. I just find it interesting that people often don’t realize that they are the byproduct of larger beliefs or movements, and those movements often influence their perceptions of the outside world.
2) The “moralization of society” –
There is presently a push in Christian dominionist or dominionist influenced political circles to “reinstitute”, as they say, God’s law back into civil law. This goes far beyond the normal culture wars to end the legality of abortion for instance, and spills over into even the most minute areas of society. For example, recently a group of US legislators have been pushing to have the Ten Commandments placed in plain view for civilians in public buildings. Although this is relatively harmless, it does show the effects of the Reconstructionist/Dominionist mindset.
In terms of culture wars, in America, I doubt that very few would not recognize that there has been a significant and obvious rise in the tensions taking place between Christians and other secular groups. We’ve seen these often bitter debates taking place over science – like global warming and creationism, or over the government’s role for example – in taxation. Although a plethora of scientific data suggests that the world on average has increased in temperature, which has resulted in the inevitable melting of glaciers at a historically faster than normal rate, those who subscribe to a postmillennial/Dominionist mindset suggest ideas to the contrary.
They claim that the idea of global warming is a secular humanist lie. They believe that the government is seeking to use the global warming crisis as a front to manipulate the world into an eventual one world government system. They also hold very tight to the idea that God created the earth with enough resources to last until his return, and thoroughly reject the idea that making could actually run out of resources beforehand. Although, as you may have guessed postmillennials do not believe in the biblical idea that their will one day be an Anti-Christ, in the form a single man that deceives the nations. Instead, to make their doctrinal stance work, they assume that the anti-christ is a spirit only and not an actual man or government leader.
3) Christian Libertarians –
As I mentioned before, the debate of the government’s role in taxation has even reached a fever pitch amongst evangelicals over the past few years. Much of this comes from the sudden and swelling growth of “Christian Libertarians”. I purposefully placed that term in quotes, because I believe it’s a biblical oxymoron. Roushas Rushdooney, was a purported Christian Libertarian. It should not come as a surprise then that there are a growing number of Christians that are now joining the Libertarian movement. To put it briefly, Libertarianism is a political belief that the government’s role in terms of size and power should afford it’s citizens the maximum amount of personal freedom. It’s the belief that individuals should be able to express, in society, and at all times, the maximum amount of freedom possible without infringing on other people’s personal freedoms. See, a problem yet with that secular notion and the gospel? Don’t believe that this a real phenomenon? Go on the internet, google it, and you’ll find tons of Christians who are excited to have joined the Libertarian movement. Believe me, it’s nothing new, but to a many Christians it seems that way. Again, one of the strangest things about many of the postmillennial ideas of dominionism is that many of the principles are in direct conflict with one another. For example, is it really possible to be a true Libertarian that wants to maximize personal liberty for all, while simultaneously working to establish God’s law as civil law, or to institute biblical principles in all spheres of society? Would that not be an infringement on other’s personal rights?
In fairness, I have read some of Rushdoony’s own comments on Libertarianism, and he was critical of it’s many secular ideas on personal freedom. I wonder how many other professing Christian Libertarians really give their newfound beliefs that much thought though.
The idol worship of politics –
See this past blog – https://psalmfiftyone.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/beware-of-the-leaven-of-herod/
Where do we go from here? (Concluding thoughts)
I talked a lot about doctrine in this series and I want to make one thing abundantly clear. I love sound doctrine and appreciate it, but I will never view it as a substitute for love. There is a growing movement in Christian America right now that is making a push toward the restoration of strong doctrinal teaching. Although I value the movement and think it has merit I and many others are already witnessing signs of it’s limitations and shortcoming when doctrine is for instance elevated above Jesus himself, or when love takes a back seat to knowledge and understanding. Don’t get me wrong, doctrine is important to the growth of a believer, but, “Doctrinal purity and loyalty can never be a substitute for love” – Gerorge Ladd (via Mark Driscoll on Facebook). Again, I’ve witnessed the pitfalls of both extremes. Pay little attention to biblical doctrines and you’ll find yourself willing to believe in things that are untrue. On the contrary, pay too much attention to doctrine for the sake of being “right or knowledgable” and you can find yourself being a student addicted to information but uncommitted to personal transformation, which really defeats the whole purpose.
So, whether someone is postmillennial or premillenial doesn’t have much meaning to me. No one knows with 100% certainty which is right or whether the detailed beliefs of each are 100% correct. Instead, what we do know is that God is 100% in control and that he does not necessarily need man’s intervention is all circumstances to accomplish his will. So the real question about the dangers of Dominion Theology in my mind are this…..
How does Dominion Theology or the belief in it affect your ability to trust in God 100%? Is God really bound to human sin and imperfection? Is his promise to come again, inevitably bound to what we do? Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Can you really accept that God is in control of all things while simultaneously believing/teaching that needs human intervention to usher in his kingdom? Proverbs 16:9 – “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
How does Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology change your heart towards non-believers? Does the great commission look more like Billy Graham, and Greg Laurie, or Gary North and Rousas Rushdooney? I will leave it at that….. LOL
How does Kingdom Now Theology, cause you to view things like sickness here on earth? What type of affect has Dominion Theology/Kingdom Now teachings had on your eternal mindedness? Are you desperately groaning for your new body, storing up your treasures
where moth and rust cannot destroy, or are you more excited/focused on this life now that is but a vapor? 2 Corinthians 5:4 – “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Colossians 3:2 – “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Matthew 6:19 – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” In other words, can you really have an eternal mindset when you are overly focused on the things of this world. Sure, we can be healthy and wealthy, but can man really serve two masters?
Okay, I’ve had enough with this whole subject, but hopefully you got something out of it……