Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Dominioinism -- American authoritarianism in religious garb
13 red flags of a dominionist church.
Posted on July 22, 2018 by luckyotter
[Image: angry-violent-god.jpg?w=640]

I’ve written about Christian dominionism before, especially as it relates to our current political situation here in America, but what exactly is it, and how can you tell if your church has gone dominionist or has dominionist tendencies?
What is dominionism?

First, we need to define dominionism.  What exactly is it anyway?  Basically, it’s a postmillennialist theology that was started by Rousas Rushdoony in the 1960s, with the publication of his tome, Institutes of Biblical Law.  It has its roots in Calvinism, and is in fact Calvinism on steroids.   It’s a form of theonomy, or theological totalitarianism, that teaches that God has mandated humans to prepare the world for Christ’s return by “christianizing” the “7 mountains” of society: government, family, media, education, religion, entertainment/arts, and business.   They seek to do this by installing only Christians (specifically, dominionist evangelicals) into the top echelons of each of these seven “mountains”  who will then work on changing them.   One of the tasks of the people mandated to transform the “government” mountain is replacing the Constitution with Old Testament biblical (Mosaic) law.   In fact, they’re busy doing this right now, which is why there are so many dominionist Christians in the Trump administration.  Dominionists (and many “normal” evangelicals also)  believe that Trump has been “anointed” by God as a “wrecking ball” to help bring about God’s kindgom on earth.   Many people have compared dominionism to ISIS and the Taliban, two extremist factions of Islam that also don’t recognize the separation of religion and government and have made laws based on the Q’uran (sharia law) the law of the land in some Middle Eastern countries.

Dominionism isn’t a denomination.  It’s an authoritarian theology that has infiltrated a variety of Christian denominations in America, mostly evangelical, fundamentalist, or pentecostal (you’re pretty safe from it if you’re in a mainline or liberal Protestant or Catholic church — for now).  Dominionism has flown under the radar for years and has gone under several different names:  New Apostolic Reformation (NAR),  Manifest Sons of God, the Latter Rain movement (an early incarnation from the 1970s), Kingdom Now,  Kingdom Theology, Joel’s Army, and other names.    It’s actually a fascist and nationalist political agenda wrapped up in Christian piety.  As a post-millennialist doctrine, it has a different eschatology from “normal” evangelicalism, which is traditionally pre-millennialist and therefore teaches that the Tribulation and Rapture will occur before Christ returns.   “Normal” evangelicals (and mainline Christians who believe in the Second Coming) adhere to the biblical teaching that we have no way to know when Christ will return, and there is no way to “prepare” for it, since God’s kingdom is not of this world.

Dominionism is heretical for many reasons but mostly because it says Jesus can’t return until the planet is “Christianized.”   For Americans, this means a installing a theocracy based on Old Testament laws.   If that sounds a lot like radical Islam to you, that’s because it is.  Their agenda is eventual world domination (dominion) and a One World Religion.  This is unbiblical.  We were never called to force certain religious beliefs on others, only to spread the Gospel.  To force a religion on society by way of its laws negates the concept of free will.  It also corrupts both the religion and the government.   This is why the Founding Fathers were clear about the separation of church and state.
The Bible also never says that only Man can change the world for Christ.  In fact, we cannot facilitate Christ’s return ourselves because we can’t even know when He is returning (Mark 13:32).

God’s kingdom, according to John 18:36, is not of this world.   But dominionists believe it very much is and to be pleasing to God, the world must be changed to Jesus’ liking.   Dominionism is also extremely authoritarian and very cult-like.    Many survivors of spiritual or religious abuse came from churches that embraced tenets of dominionism and reconstructionism.

Here’s an excellent (and scary) description of dominionism from a political research website:
Dominionism Rising: A Theocratic Movement Hiding in Plain Sight

Dominionism has been working its dark magic within American evangelical churches,  and even some charismatic Catholic churches.  Now that it’s infiltrated our political system, it threatens the integrity of our Constitution and our freedom.  Many of the current GOP in high level positions, and some members of Trump’s staff are actively trying to install dominionist doctrine into our laws.   Here are 13 red flags to look for.

(The rest will be paraphrased).

Comment: Dominionism is American authoritarianism in religious garb. I suspect that you are safe if you are Jewish or Eastern Orthodox, too.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

Warning signs:

1. Military symbolism or style. (I exempt the Salvation Army, which has social welfare through personal renovation as its objective, and is very conventional Christianity, and the use of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers as used in the Churchill-FDR jihad against the demonic Axis powers). Dominionist churches use military-style regimentation and such heraldic devices as guns and swords. That is God as a drill sergeant, but over everyone. You think as you are told to think and believe what you are told to believe.

2. The Church dictates your vote. To be sure, all churches expect members to contemplate the teachings of the Bible, although most politicians are hybrids and cannot get endorsements. The anti-abortion dream of the Catholic Church is often contrary to the Church on economic issues. A Dominionist church expects one to vote for Donald Trump because one is a member of that church. Beware the church that sees great wrong in "greed, pride, pedophilia, poverty, racism, human rights abuses, adultery, dishonesty, or cruelty" that one might see wrong in Donald Trump.

3. Isolation from relatives  and old friends. You are impressed upon the need to shun non-believing loved-ones. The Church of $cientology (which, strictly speaking is not a Dominionist church but is a dangerous and destructive cult that has analogies to Dominionist churches) does this. After all, outsiders might be in league with Satan -- you know:

[Image: 220px-President_Barack_Obama.jpg]

Some people are predestined to Hell, and one does not want to be associated with such people.

4. Seeking of signs and wonders. Miracles and other supernatural phenomena (like spontaneous healing) allegedly demonstrate the power of faith. But this is standard fare of Pentecostal churches that have existed before Dominionism. Dominionists often use New Age phenomena somehow grafted onto Christianity, with pastors even having claimed to have visited Heaven or Hell, if not both. If the practice does not have Biblical justification, then beware.

5. Highly-selective 'anointing' by God -- and guess who is anointed! The pastor as cult-leader, of course. Disobedience to this self-claimed prophet, apostle, or Holy Man is evil -- and if critical thinking runs afoul of this, then critical thought must be abandoned as a demonic practice. Furthermore, if the cult leader does exploitative acts (like insisting upon sex with the wives of male members), such must be excused. 

6. Demand for uncritical obedience. Who could possibly disobey God or his anointed One? Only an evil, back-sliding sinner! Consider that even the military has its rules, and it has defined such things as 'illegal orders'... and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) specifically prohibits war crimes. But if the Anointed One demands that one keep one's children in a burning building, such must be obeyed.

7. The Prosperity Gospel. Note well that much of Jesus' ministry was the teaching that luxuriant excess was itself sinful, and craving for it was evidence of debasement of one's precious soul. Because most non-inherited prosperity is the result of a work ethic, skill, personal thrift and investment, and service, trying to get rich through the Blessing of the Almighty is suspect. The prosperity gospel offers wealth and income -- and luxuries that people seek -- on the cheap. Beware. Something for nothing is the appeal of most con-artists.

8. Emphasis on tithes and offerings. Remember that the Catholic Church has a vow of poverty for Catholic priests, monks, and nuns -- and that the vast majority of Protestant preachers live in near-poverty. But dominionist churches elevate the idea of God causing true believers to prosper after the appropriate sacrifices are made in tithes and offerings to the Anointed One who lives very well and is proud of it. If your pastor is living well for reasons not related to a side job, then beware; you may be getting fleeced in a profitable enterprise.

(to be continued)
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

9. Subjection of women. These cults are clearly anti-feminist, with women consigned to subordinate roles to male followers.Typically women are for winning the war against the 'sinful' (rest of the) world through their ability to reproduce.

10. Sexual abuse of women. Because it is their lot to obey husbands or other male authorities, women and girls are told to suffer it in silence and to not resist -- which is more difficult if one has helpless children (especially daughters).

11. Disdain for professionals in the provision of mental health. Dominionism shares this with $cientology. Dominionism will alienate one from the normal joys in life and destroy one's ability to make rational choices. Thus a gay person is told to accept 'conversion therapy' instead of accepting homosexuality. (Were I a preacher and someone asked me how to deal with a personal discovery that one is homosexual -- I would say "God made you gay/lesbian; accept that God loves you, and that you can witness for God in a holy life through your actions -- and that He demands that I bless homosexuality the same way that I bless heterosexuality"). People in the mental health profession tell people to accept their homosexuality, and that it is people who cannot accept the homosexuality of loved ones really need help.

12. The church lashes out at the vulnerable. Thus the poor are at fault for being poor, God chose to inflict disabilities upon disabled people, and that such diseases as AIDS and cancer are warnings from God that one is not blessed. In no way is a Dominionist church charitable except for public relations.

I advise people to read the Sermon on the Mount to determine what Jesus says of the afflicted.

13. People do weird stuff. One must admit that the "Most Anointed of God' can be quite imaginative in getting followers to do strange stuff. Even the creepy $cientology Stare can appear.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)