Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rafael Cruz Preaches Seven Mountains Theology, Tells Activists To 'Stop Electing The Village Idiot' | Right Wing Watch

And God blessed [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)

[This response is adapted from a two-part radio program I did two years ago.  Not much has changed in that time.]

Who would have thought that this one little verse, tucked away in an ancient text could cause so many issues. This is the crux of what Cruz preaches, although many theologians do not agree as to what is meant by the word DOMINION many within the extreme interpret this verse as meaning that God gave humankind responsibility over ALL the Earth (the lady folk included).

Let's look at the broader concept of Dominionism and try and avoid the confusion of Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism which are subsets of the of the broader whole. Let's focus on the belief that many adherents are pushing, "that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns".

Altho there are adherents on both side of the political spectrum this ideology has become sort of the rallying point for the Right. This notion became very apparent in 2001 when Alabama's Chief Justice Roy Moore installed a granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama state courthouse in Montgomery:
"When Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court, installed a two-and-one-half-ton granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama state courthouse in Montgomery in June of 2001, he knew it was a deeply symbolic act. He was saying that God's laws are the foundation of the nation; and of all our laws. Or at least, they ought to be.1 The monument (wags call it "Roy's rock") was installed under cover of night – but Moore had a camera crew from Rev. D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries on hand to record the historic event. Kennedy then sold videos of the installation as a fundraiser for Moore's legal defense. They knew he would need it."

The story of Roy's rock epitomizes the rise of what many are calling "dominionism." It is a story of how notions of "Biblical law" as an alternative to traditional, secular ideas of constitutional law are edging into mainstream American politics.
According to Clarkson's article, which by the way is one of many as he has been following the Dominionist trend for 15+ years, the following characteristics are shared by all forms of dominionism:
1. Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe that the United States once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.

2. Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity. [The Us vs. Them.]

3. Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, insofar as they believe that the Ten Commandments, or "biblical law," should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.
Dominionism is very simple yet also very complex. Leah Burton of "Gods Own Party" explains the basics and sums up what Dominionism is very well in her blog piece "What IS Dominionism?" [Regretfully Leah's site is not available, I am hoping this is only temporary. I will have to find an alternative citation at some point.]
From Evangelical Preacher George Grant:
It is a growing movement supported by political Christians who teach that America is a nation built on a singular religion, Christianity – and all citizens are to be subject to laws and rules that are in accordance with their Dominionist version of reality.

“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest.

That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less…

Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.” (From The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action by George Grant, published in 1987 by Dominion Press.)
This notion of having to “reclaim” something that they truly believe they lost is pervasive. In order to understand that they must convince you that we always were a Christian Nation and now it must be reclaimed by them in order to save our country from moral decline.
From Gary North…
“So let us be blunt about it: 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 be get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”
NOW do you see why public prayer/invocations at governmental meetings, or school sponsored prayer are an issue. Now do you see why "10 Commandment" monuments are and issue. What many fail to see is this ideology is also at the heart of many of the current social issues in the news: Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, Turn the Gays Away legislation (mRFRAs), abortion, minimum wage, poverty issues, the teaching of creationism or the "war on women." These are all RELIGIOUS LIBERTY issues in the minds of the dominionists (why I call them the Reich) and fall under the purview of SOCAS.

As John Suggs notes, dominionism is not only a theology but also an ideology and has its "modern" foundational roots in the works of Francis Schaeffer, specifically his 1981 book A Christian Manifesto.  This was a concerted and well developed counterattack to the growth of "humanist secularism." [Some attribute the growth of the Christian Right to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, others say McCarthyism of the 50s and some go back further to the 1925 Scopes trial.]
Christians needed to take bold action to restore biblical principles and erase divisions between religion and civic life. To ignite the movement, Schaeffer mapped out a battle campaign—a crusade against abortion, which, he said, “would be worth spending much of our lifetimes to fight against.”
The cause was later taken up by presuppositionalist Rousas John Rushdoony:
All issues are religious in nature, he posited, and people don’t have the right or the ability to define for themselves what’s true; for that they must turn to a literal reading of the Bible. His defining tome, the 800-page Institutes of Biblical Law, was published in 1973,,, At the heart of Rushdoony’s argument were two biblical passages. Genesis 1:28 commands men to have “dominion” over “every living thing.” And in Matthew 28:18-20, the “Great Commission,” Jesus commands his followers to proselytize to the world. Thus was born dominion theology,,, In this worldview, the mandate for Christians is not just to live right or to help their neighbors: They are called upon to take over or eliminate the institutions of secular government.
This is not some fly-by-night, fringe "movement" only supported by extremists.  The dominionist movement is actively trying (and in some case suceeding - Citizens United comes to mind) to destroy not only the long standing structure of government, but the capacity of the federal courts to protect the rights of all citizens. They are seeking to "restore" the Constitution "to the original intent of the founders". Their views are anti-democratic and not based on the rights of the individual.  It is a worldview based on their notion and their interpretation of biblical law.

And just to be very clear, are you the "right" kind of Christian? I can guarantee you are not!!

Rafael Cruz Preaches Seven Mountains Theology, Tells Activists To 'Stop Electing The Village Idiot' | Right Wing Watch

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