Jim Burroway: “Christian Dominionism Is Not a Myth“
These are not the people within the broad spectrum of Christianity, nor are they even those within the outer 10 percent of its fringes. We’re not talking about the Pat Robertsons, the Joel Osteens, the Albert Mohlers or the Rick Warrens. No, we’re talking about people who are far, far more fringe than anyone whose name immediately comes to mind whenever most people think of Christian evangelicalism. … When [Michelle] Goldberg says, “If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding dominionism isn’t optional,” that advice applies to mainstream evangelicals as well. I suspect most of them don’t understand dominionism either. …
Pretending that the so-called New Apostolic Movement and Seven Mountains Theology don’t exist or that those influenced by the Kansas City Prophets have not gained influence among particular presidential candidates here at home and political leaders abroad doesn’t make them go away. … And when they are identified as close advisers credited for a big win in Iowa, or when they act as main speakers and moderators at a huge televised rally for a candidate’s benefit, the proper response is to ask hard questions of what they want for the country, not whistling and quickly walking away.
See also Burroway’s “Dominionism Is Not a Myth (Cont’d.)”
Warren Throckmorton asks, “What Would Dominionists Do With Gays?“
The answer to that question, Throckmorton suggests, can be learned from observing what American dominionist groups have been pushing for in Uganda, where for years now they have promoted a bill making homosexuality a capital crime.
In late 2009, I noted that the Seven Mountains teachings had adherents among those in Uganda who were strongly pushing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill there. If passed as is, the AHB will make homosexuality a capital offense. Because of his association with AHB promoter in Uganda, Apostle Julius Oyet, and his teaching on reclaiming the Seven Mountains of culture, I asked Atlanta pastor, Johnny Enlow, what he thought about laws criminalizing homosexuality. Enlow’s reply leaves room for criminalization but stops short of calling for the death penalty. …
Jason Pitzl-Waters: “Just Because You’re Paranoid, Don’t Mean They’re Not After You“
If a politician builds up a proven track record of hostility towards non-Christian faiths, or associates without qualm with those who do, as I believe Michele Bachmann has, then there is great risk in allowing these figures to lead a secular multi-religious nation.
These debates over how much influence figures from various extremist Christian groups truly have isn’t simply an academic matter for those who don’t benefit from Christian privilege. Even if someone like Rick Perry isn’t a true believer and is cynically hitching his wagon to the horses he thinks will help win him the race, the tide of an elected president raises all boats, and we would see figures who believe that Pagans are demonically controlled suddenly granted new levels of access to power. That’s scary, because as the recently-released West Memphis 3 can tell you, Satanic panics are nothing to laugh off.
Matt Barber of Liberty University School of Law called [dominion theology] a “scary Christian monster that lives under liberals’ beds,” despite the fact the Liberty University School of Law sponsored [Theonomist Gary] DeMar’s conference last year, called “2010 Sovereignty and Dominion conference — Biblical Blueprints for Victory!”
In fact, the Communications Director of Truth In Action Ministries, which until recently was called Coral Ridge Ministries, claimed that “dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right,” even though prominent dominionist Janet Porter was once the head of a Coral Ridge Ministries affiliate.
So if domininionism doesn’t exist and is merely a construct of the left, then why was Porter fired by two conservative Christian radio stations for promoting … “dominionism”?
Those conservative critics include far-right factions like Brannon Howse’s Worldview Weekend network, self-appointed heresy hunters and anti-“cult” groups (pretty much any organization with “discernment” in the name) and premillennial dispensationalists appalled by the dominionists postmillennial beliefs. Criticism of dominion theology by such groups goes back years before there was any such thing as a liberal blogger.
Religion Dispatches: “Beyond Alarmism and Denial in the Dominionism Debate“
Sarah Posner and Anthea Butler discuss “Ricky Perry, the New Apostolic Reformation, and the recent brouhaha in the press about how much importance to accord to right-wing religion.” This is from Butler:
The NAR isn’t in a vacuum and more powerful than other movements, but it should not be dismissed either. I am more than annoyed with articles by Lisa Miller, Ralph Reed, Charlotte Adams and others attempting to blow off dominionists or NAR just because they don’t think it exists. … Yes, not every conservative Christian is a Dominionist, but to say a movement doesn’t exist, without even being able to say what it is in an op-ed is just irresponsible.
What I believe has happened … is that evangelicals have gravitated to the worst aspects of the secular articles — namely, the underlying fear of any type of religious presence in the public arena and the ignorance of the complexity and diversity of evangelicalism — to dramatically underplay the legitimate concerns over Perry’s and Bachmann’s religio-political vision. The Christian writers I mentioned … are either focusing too narrowly on specific errors in the secular media (Groothius, Allen do this I believe) or too broadly on the question of religion and public life (Miller, Gerson and McKnight do this). What they are missing is the mountain of serious scholarship and thoughtful writing that is the foundation of genuine concerns over the types of ideas and spiritualities that have had, according to Bachmann and Perry themselves, a significant influence on them and their staff.
See also Greg Metzger’s “More of the Same?”
Wagner is the “apostolic ambassador” of the New Apostolic Reformation, the group at the center of what I’ve described as “the creepy Pentecostal wing of dominion theology.” This “urgent message” here is his response to the public regarding recent criticism and concerns about his group and its ties to candidates Bachmann and Perry.
Wagner explains what he means by “dominionism” — a word he’s quite comfortable using to describe himself, despite the assertion by several recent writers that no one uses this word except paranoid liberal bloggers.
Wagner also claims, contra Joe Carter, et. al., that he actually does exist. I’m prepared to accept his word on that, if not to trust much else of what he has to say in his “urgent message.”
Chip Berlet: “Straw Jeremiads and Apologists for Christian Nationalism“
Berlet surveys a spate of recent op-ed columns denying the existence or the significance of dominion theology and responds to their arguments.
That was in 2007. Talk to Action just reposted Berlet’s piece because the same exact thing is happening again. The very same dominionism-denying columns are being written, again, and sometimes by the very same people. Some of the people today claiming that they’ve never even heard of dominionism until recently were claiming the same thing in 2007.
This was not an accurate claim then. It is not an honest claim now.
Most Americans have never heard of the Reconstructionists. But they have felt their impact through the Reconstructionists’ profound (if indirect) influence over the wider (and vast) evangelical community.
Take Michele Bachmann. She is a Reconstructionist schooled – literally – by some of that obscure movement’s leading thinkers, including my father.
The evangelicals have shaped the politics of a secular culture that barely understood the religious right, let alone the forces within that movement that gave it its edge. The Americans inhabiting the wider (and more secular) culture just saw the results of Reconstructionism without understanding where those results had come from—for instance, how the hell George W. Bush got elected and then reelected or why Michele Bachmann was into home schooling long before she was into trying to become president in order to turn America into a homophobic theocracy. …
The Reconstructionists have been like a drop of radicalizing flavoring added to a bottle of water: They’ve subtly changed the water’s flavor. And even though most evangelicals, let alone the general public, don’t know the names of the leading Reconstructionist thinkers, the world we live in—where a radicalized, angry government-hating religious right has changed the face of American politics and spun off into movements such as the Tea Party—is a direct result of that “flavoring.” …