Several authors have tried to tease out the differences between the evangelicals supporting Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Jon Ward did a nice job on this topic for Yahoo News, noting that Ted Cruz followers enthusiastically consider America a Christian nation while Rubio’s followers are not as convinced.
Now, Messiah College chair of History John Fea has written a piece identifying Ted Cruz as a seven mountains dominionist. I think the evidence is there and because of that I believe political reporters should be asking Cruz some questions about the implications for public policy.
Here is a little of Fea’s article.
Cruz’s approach to politics is inseparable from this theology. His goal is to lead a Christian occupation of the culture and then wait for the Second Coming of Christ.
He’s also a good politician. He knows the theological affirmations of his father, Barton or Huch might be too much for some Americans to swallow. He does not use the terms “dominionism” or “seven mountains” when he is campaigning. But it is also worth noting that he has never publicly rejected these beliefs.
Cruz’s campaign may be less about the White House and more about the white horses that will usher in the God’s Kingdom in the New Testament book of Revelation, Chapter 19.
Read the rest of Fea’s op-ed here.
Anyone who has studied seven mountains dominionism knows that Fea is on target. I would add to Fea’s analysis that Christian Reconstructionists see themselves as different than apostolic dominionists. Joel McDurmon writing on behalf of American Vision denies that Christian Reconstructionists want to rule in a top-down government. After agreeing that reconstructionists believe all of life should be governed by the Bible, he describes how seven mountain dominionism is at odds with his brand:
With these things—generally stated—I wholeheartedly agree. But there is much to be concerned with in the 7MD version of Dominion Theology. For this reason, we must announce clearly and maintain a stark distinction between 7MD and the traditional Christian Reconstruction movement, or traditional Dominion Theology.
The First and most concerning point is that the 7MD version does what critics of traditional dominion theology have falsely accused us of doing the whole time: planning to grab the reins of influence through whatever means necessary, usurp the seats of political power, and impose some tyrannical “theocracy” upon society from the top down with a “whether you like it or not, it’s for your own good” mentality.
We have responded, consistently, that our blueprint is about the rollback of tyranny, not the replacement of it—the removal of unjust taxation, welfare, warfare, government programs, etc. We favor privatization, local control of civil and criminal law, hard and sound money, and private charity for cases of poverty, all led by families, businesses, and churches—not large, centralized, top-down solutions. Yes, we would properly recriminalize sodomy, adultery, and abortion, but in a decentralized world like we want, you could leave easily if you didn’t like that.
We have also said, consistently, that such a world will never exist without successful evangelism ahead of it. If there is no personal revival and recourse to God’s Word, there will be no free society, no Christian Reconstruction, no godly dominion in the land.
We have said all of this, mostly to no avail in the ears of even our closest kin-critics—Reformed Christians like the boys at the White Horse Inn, and prominent evangelicals like Chuck Colson, and others—who continue to imply and sometimes openly state that we theonomists and donimionists desire to grab power and execute everyone who disagrees with us. This is utterly false and slanderous.
There is no doubt, however, that the 7MDs do have a goal of top-down control of society. This is explicit in their literature in many places. The exception to this is when they are in PR mode: then they downplay and even completely deny that they believe in dominion. But otherwise they give our old critics the ammunition they need to continue their slander.
I think Fea is correct that Ted Cruz is appealing to the seven mountain dominionists.
With this in mind, I think Cruz should be asked if he agrees with his father that he has been anointed to be a king apostle to rule in the political sphere. Does Cruz believe that adultery, unruly children, and homosexuality should be recriminalized? Does Cruz believe that civil law should reflect and restate his interpretation of biblical morality? Does he believe in an “end time transfer of wealth?”
Since Cruz is using his religion as a facet of his appeal to voters, we have a right to know what the implications would be for his public policy positions as president. Political reporters might find those questions difficult but, as Fea suggests, such questions would get at the heart of what the public needs to know about Ted Cruz and those animate his campaign.
More on dominionism:
Information on dominionism, information for dominionism deniers, recriminalizing violations of Mosaic law, what dominionists want, and an NPR piece on the difference between dominionists and evangelicals.