By Sarah Leslie
Conspiracy theorizing about the Christian Right’s supposedly “secret” agenda involves highlighting the hate-mongering and bizarre ideas of a handful of Christian Right players while neglecting the broad popularity of dominion theology.
Sara Diamond, “Dominion Theology:
The Truth About the Christian Right’s Bid for Power,”1
American churches are to a large degree defined by what they choose to rebel against. The Christian right has set itself in opposition to liberal, secular government and, as a political consequence, declared itself a buddy of big business.”
Russ Rymer, Mother Jones, Dec. 20052
The ambassador's words seemed prophetic a couple of weeks later, when a Dream for Africa draft plan found its way into Swazi newspapers, turning public opinion sharply against Mr. Wilkinson. Under the headline “British Colony or Dr Bruce Colony?” one op-ed writer in the Swazi News wrote, “Why can't he simply tell us that he wants to be given the whole country so that he can gloat to his friends overseas that he owns a modern day colony in Africa called Swaziland?”
Michael M. Phillips, “Mr. Wilkinson Hits Wall Trying To Push 'Orphan Village'”,
Wall Street Journal, 12/19/053
For the past several decades the political Left has focused attention on the Christian Right’s political activism in America. Particularly, the Left has been highly critical of a select group of dominionists called Reconstructionists, whose aggressive verbiage, extreme Calvinist theologies, and religious political agendas have made it an ideal target for outrage. But, as Leftist researcher Sara Diamond has astutely observed, “the Reconstructionists’ religion of Calvinism. . . makes them unlikely to appeal to most evangelicals.”4 Indeed, few Reconstructionists would consider themselves to be evangelicals. Nevertheless, their influence has been considerable over the much larger group of patriotic evangelicals.
There are two other dominionist sects within evangelicalism that have escaped in-depth scrutiny from the Left. These dominionists have been able to function virtually incognito for several reasons: 1) They have been deeply embedded within the evangelical subculture; 2) They cloaked their dominionism with new terminologies and doctrines over a period of thirty years; and 3) They figured out how to package dominionism using sophisticated mass marketing techniques. Also noteworthy: these two other dominionist camps have been operating in a dialectical fashion – while one group appealed to the TBN charismatics with all of its emotional excesses, the other group carefully managed its more intellectual public image to conform to traditional evangelical standards.
This paper is a brief overview of the three main dominionist movements operating inside evangelicaldom and examines how all three of these sects are now converging around a global “kingdom” agenda. This paper is not a treatise on doctrine, nor is it an historical record, nor is it a thorough analysis of the multifarious streams of evangelical dominionism. This paper does not cover the broader issue of dominionist sects within other world religions, except for a few brief noteworthy mentions. To examine the totality of the individuals, the organizations, and their cross-linkages would require an exhaustive study which is beyond the scope of this brief synopsis. Even so, every point made in this paper could be validated by dozens, sometimes hundreds, of pieces of documentation. The inquiring reader may check out the footnotes and references.
Only a small handful of Christian discernment and apologetics ministries, of which this writer is a part, have been paying attention to the intersection of the dominionist streams. The apologetic ministries fulfill a Scriptural role to examine and expose false doctrines and teachers, and to warn other believers of heresies (Jude 3, 2 Peter 2:1). Increasingly, over the past two decades, many apologists have become seduced by dominionism, blunting their ability to critically examine the roots and fruits of this rapidly rising new church era.
Dominionism in brief
Throughout the 2000 year history of Christianity there has always been a vein of dominionism embedded in the strata of doctrines. This seam has ebbed and flowed for 20 centuries, sometimes submerged, sometimes exposed. Whenever out in the open, it has given rise to horrible abuses done in the name of Christ. In the early 21st century, once again this vein is now showing and active. Keep in mind:
Dominionism is always an aberration of true Christian theology.
A remnant of believers has always opposed it, often suffering a martyr’s fate at the hands of intolerant dominionists.
Traditional Christianity teaches:
The Gospel of Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. The emphasis is placed upon repentance and conversion of individual souls. The Kingdom of God in this age isspiritual and grows through efforts of evangelism based on teaching the Bible. It is “not of this world” (John 18:36), but a spiritual rule in the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21). Furthermore, the Kingdom of God is only finally realized upon Christ’s second return to Earth, whereby He Himself establishes His literal and physical reign.
The evangelism mandate by Word and Spirit
Christ never intended that His gospel should be propagated by fire and sword or His righteousness wrought by the wrath of man. When the high praises of God are in our mouth with them we should have an olive-branch of peace in our hands. Christ’s victories are by the power of His gospel and grace over spiritual enemies, in which all believers are more than conquerors. The word of God is the two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).5 [emphasis added]
Matthew Henry, circa 1700
The Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the “Kingdom of God” as a literal and physical kingdom to be “advanced” on Earth in the present age. Some dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong Scripturally only to Jesus Christ. This includes the esoteric belief that believers can “incarnate” Christ and function as His body on Earth to establish His kingdom rule. An inordinate emphasis is placed on man’s efforts; the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is diminished.
The new dominion mandate by control
Dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs: 1) Satan usurped man’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve; 2) The Church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan; 3) Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s governmental and social institutions.6 [emphasis added]
Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion
Dominion theology is a heresy. As such it is rarely presented as openly as the definitions above may indicate. Outside of the Reconstructionist camp, evangelical dominionism has wrapped itself in slick packages – one piece at a time – for mass-media consumption. This has been a slow process, taking several decades. Few evangelicals would recognize the word “dominionism” or know what it means. This is because other terminologies have been developed which soft-sell dominionism, concealing the full scope of the agenda. Many evangelicals (and even their more conservative counterparts, the fundamentalists) may adhere to tidbits of dominionism without recognizing the error. This is because dominionism has “crept in unawares” (Jude 4) to seduce an undiscerning generation.
To most effectively propagate their agenda, dominionist leaders first developed new ecclesiologies, eschatologies and soteriologies for targeted audiences along the major denominational fault lines of evangelical Christianity. Then the 1990s Promise Keepers men’s movement was used as a vehicle to “break down the walls”, i.e., cross denominational barriers for the purpose of exporting dominionism to the wider evangelical subculture.7 This strategy was so effective that it reached into the mainline Protestant denominations. Dominionists have carefully selected leaders to be trained as “change agents” for “transformation” (dominion) in an erudite manner that belies the media stereotype of southern-talking, Bible-thumping, fundamentalist half-wits.
The 3 sects of evangelical dominionism
There are three predominant sects (or movements) that propagate dominion theology which hold considerable influence over evangelicaldom.
1. SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYER movement: The Kingdom of God must be advanced on Earth through hyper-spiritual “warfare” activities against the devil. A veritable supermarket of verbal and physical prayer techniques such as chanting, walks, and marches are employed in this effort. Believers are told their prayer power creates spiritual “canopies” over regions, preparing the way for “revival.” In this sense, prayer warfare is seen as preparatory work so that the other two movements can build the kingdom. Recently the contemplative prayer movement – which includes meditation, fasting, and labyrinths – has been brought into the spiritual warfare prayer “arsenal.” Prayer serves as a convenient decoy for covert operations. All three sects are utilizing massive statistical databanking resources (e.g., the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs) and sophisticated psycho-social group manipulations to forge kingdom “transformation.” One key leader of this sect is Cindy Jacobs, who is closely associated with C. Peter Wagner (see below). Her website http://www.generals.org epitomizes the militant doctrines and practices of the spiritual warfare sect.
Prayer before fighting
Our calling is to be worshippers, warriors, and workers. We must first offer our lives as a living sacrifice in worship to God. From our worship will flow our intercession and warfare as we fight with weapons of righteousness in our right hand and in our left. Only after we have worshipped our God and fought the fight in the Spirit will we proceed to work in the harvest fields, advancing the Kingdom of God.8 [emphasis added]
Promoting these prayer warfare activities are hyper-charismatics from the “signs and wonders” movement, which include self-anointed, self-appointed “apostles” and “prophets” who are preparing to govern the world through their “New Apostolic Reformation.” This dominionist sect is a direct offshoot of the Latter Rain cult (also known as Joel’s Army or Manifest Sons of God).9Chief architect of this movement for the past two decades is C. Peter Wagner, President of Global Harvest Ministries and Chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute. His spiritual warfare teachings have been widely disseminated through mission networks such as AD 2000, which was closely associated with the Lausanne Movement. A prominent individual connected to this sect is Ted Haggard, current head of the National Association of Evangelicals.10
The New Apostolic Reformation
Since 2001, the body of Christ has been in the Second Apostolic Age. The apostolic/prophetic government of the church is now in place. . . . [W]e began to build our base by locating and identifyingwith the intercessory prayer movements. This time, however, we feel that God wants us to start governmentally, connecting with the apostles of the region. God has already raised up for us akey apostle in one of the strategic nations of the Middle East, and other apostles are already coming on board. Once we have the apostles in place, we will then bring the intercessors and the prophetsinto the inner circle, and we will end up with the spiritual core we need to move ahead for retaking the dominion that is rightfully ours.11 [emphasis added]
C. Peter Wagner
2. MISSION AS TRANSFORMATION movement: The words “revival,” “reformation” and “transformation” now carry embedded dominionist connotations. “Fulfilling the Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20) no longer means spreading the Gospel message by speaking the Word of salvation from the Bible. The dominionist focus is placed upon the phrase making disciples, with an incorrect exegesis that is disconcertingly compulsory. Traditional mission evangelism, done one-on-one using the Bible, is being replaced with a slew of “kingdom building” corporateactivities for cities, regions and nations. The disingenuous phrase “bless the nations” is often used to conceal dominionism. Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ International and Ralph Winter, founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission and editor of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement curriculum (which has taught dominionism to an entire generation of missionaries), have been among the chief architects of this movement.12
Dominionism supplants biblical evangelism
“The Church must grow past the ‘Gospel of Salvation’ message and understand that it is only when we begin to implement the principles of the ‘Gospel of the kingdom’ that we will really begin to see change in lives and cities and nations. The Church has no understanding of this realm. . . The Church must grow up. . . . 13 [emphasis added]
Dale Neill, president of ICCC
“. . . God's concern goes beyond the salvation of individual people. His redemptive plan encompasses the healing and transformation of entire nations . . . . Nations are discipled as the church makes the invisible Kingdom visible by faithful obedience to God's Word throughout culture--in every area of life, and every realm of society including the family, the community, the arts, sciences, media, law, government, schools, or business. . . .”14 [emphasis added]
Disciple the Nations
3. PATRIOTIC AMERICAN movement: Patriotic dominionists, most of whom are not Reconstructionists, teach that political action will advance the kingdom of God in America. Using the vehicle of Christian media, they have taught evangelicals for the past three decades that America is a Christian nation and needs to return to its roots. Almost every evangelical in the pew has been influenced in one way or another by this sect. Patriotic dominionist leaders and their organizations have been closely interlocked financially and politically with the conservatives from the political Right. The secular conservatives purport to uphold morality, which appeals to evangelicals. The combined force of conservatives and evangelicals flexes its political muscles in Washington. One of its most powerful leaders is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Patriotic dominionism was widely disseminated through the activities of Jay Grimstead, founder of Coalition on Revival (COR). From its earliest inception COR managed to successfully bring together key leaders from all three dominionist sects, including the Reconstructionists, to promote the most ruthless doctrines of dominionism.15
Grimstead’s COR Steering Council letter, dated May 1993
1. The Kingdom of God was inaugurated and the King was installed and seated in the First Century A.D. and we need not wait for the King's second coming to get the Kingdom started here on earth.
4. At this moment of history, all humans on earth, whether Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, private person or public official, are obligated to bow their knees to this King Jesus, confess Him as Lord of the universe with their tongues, and submit to His lordship over every aspect of their lives in thought, word and deed.
5. Biblical evangelism according to the Great Commission of Matt. 28:18-20 is not truly accomplished unless that message of Christ's lordship from point #4 above is given to the person being evangelized so that they know that an attempt at personal neutrality before King Jesus is sin and treason in this universe.16 [emphases added]
Dominionism goes global
Since the latter half of the 1990s the three major dominionists sects have openly converged into an ecumenical force. These three branches of dominionism are linked historically at many levels, and there is solid documentation to support the idea that the current convergence was planned and intentional.17
While Leftists focused their attentions on political dominionists in American politics and what was going on in Iraq, the three movements went global. This new confederation of dominionists has been rapidly advancing its kingdom across the globe through “economic, social, political and spiritual transformation.”18 To achieve this paradigm shift, the global dominionists have employed sophisticated psycho-social methodologies, statistical research, socio-economic development tools, marketing research, strategic planning, assessments, databanking and monitoring, and technical assistance. They are also aggressively forming alliances with national and international governments, corporations, individuals, private agencies, philanthropic groups and other entities. Below are some key examples of this rapid convergence around a global kingdom worldview.
1. Global “spheres.” Observers from the Left were infuriated when the Coalition on Revival political dominionists cranked out documents during the 1980s addressing a Christian worldview in seventeen “spheres” of life and ministry – education, health care, the family, the arts, sciences, law, media, government, business, etc. This is because COR didn’t just write a philosophical statement. COR “determined that it is mandatory for all Christians to implement that worldview in society, particularly as it applies to the dominionist interpretation of the Great Commission.”19These spheres didn’t disappear when COR began to fade off the radar screen. They have a new life. The worldview sphere documents have now gone global by becoming incorporated into mission agendas. Mission groups are now partnering with national and international governments, business corporations, NGOs, humanitarian entities and others to build their kingdom in the cultural spheres of selected nations around the globe.
Mission incorporates COR’s spheres
The seven spheres of influence described below will help us shape societies for Christ. God gave us these handles to use in carrying out Matthew 28 and discipling nations for Him. We believe He is wanting all His people to see the importance of these seven areas and work in them to extend Christ's reign throughout the earth. The Family & Health Care; Commerce, Science and Technology; The Church; Government; Education; The Media; The Arts, Entertainment and Sports20
Disciple the Nations
2. The 3-legged stool. The dominionist’s kingdom must be advanced on Earth by gaining control of governments (State), utilizing business (Corporations) and partnering with social sector (Church) institutions. New bridges are being built based on triangular relationship between all three sectors of society. The Church is forming partnerships (or collaborations) with State and/or Corporate interests in order to implement dominion. Peter Drucker, the management guru, was instrumental in overseeing the implementation of this agenda – to create a three-legged “healthy society” globally – via Rick Warren of purpose-driven fame. Warren was mentored by Drucker, as were a number of other evangelical leaders such as Bob Buford of Leadership Network. Buford trained an entire generation of aspiring megachurch pastors in Drucker’s social philosophies. The megachurches are based on the Drucker corporate business model. Drucker’s ideas also undergird the faith-based (Church-State) movement which has been politically championed by the neoconservatives in Washington.21 Dominionism is significantly breaking down the walls between Church and Corporations (see point 4 below). In brief, the three-legged stool of dominionism looks like this:
Drucker’s 3-legged stool model
. . .[The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management], created ten years ago to honor Peter Drucker’s contributions to management and leadership, believes that a healthy society requires three vital sectors: a public sector of effective governments; a private sector of effective businesses; and a social sector of effective community organizations, including faith-based organizations. It furthers its mission to lead social sector organizations toward excellence in performance by providing educational opportunities and resources.22
3. The phenomenon of Rick Warren. Rick Warren has single-handedly accomplished more to bring about a public convergence between the three sects of dominionism than any other individual. Warren received his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary under the tutelage of his advisor, C. Peter Wagner of the spiritual warfare dominionists.23 Dubbed “America’s Pastor” by the media, he is now embarking on an aggressive marketing campaign to set up a model of Peter Drucker’s “healthy society” in Rwanda, ostensibly under the banner of missionary and charitable endeavors. Warren has launched a grandiose plan to “transform” Africa – to “cure AIDS,” “end poverty” and “fulfill the Great Commission.” Warren transcends evangelicalism. He easily moves in internationalist circles (Aspen Institute) and aligns himself with rock stars (Bono). Warren has audaciously called for a “Second Reformation” based upon his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan, which is a study in dominionism.24 Leftists who fret over Warren’s foray into AIDS25 may miss the more serious dominionist ramifications of his overall global plan. Warren intends to amass the world’s largest volunteer “army” of “one billion foot soldiers” to implement his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan.26
The global P.E.A.C.E. plan to make disciples
In addition to its message of compassion, the [Saddleback Church AIDS] conference sought to impart several other points emerging from Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. plan.
Based on the Great Commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandments to love God and to love our neighbors (Mark 12:28-34), the plan is Warren’s approach toattack what he calls the five “global giants” -- spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases and illiteracy and poor education, by Planting churches, Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick and Educating the next generation. [emphasis added]27
“Involvement in AIDS crisis urged at Saddleback conference,” Baptist Press
4. Marketplace ministries. Corporate business ventures are cloaking themselves in missionary garb to enter a nation and effect change. Creating an outpost for new corporate markets in undeveloped Third World countries, particularly those rich in natural resources, is being done in the name of “kingdom-building.” In order to establish a spiritual aura for these activities, a high-tech Global Day of Prayer was established in May 2005 by the Spiritual Warfare sect working together with Rick Warren.28 This annual event is designed to promote the dominionist agenda worldwide. Corporate “marketplace ministry” expansion is being done with claims of sustainable development, free-trade, and other community development activities that could screen the dominionist agenda. An influential marketplace mission organization is Transform World, which is one of the most patent examples of dominionism.29 Mission groups are taking up the quest for corporate expansion and financial gain by linking with business corporations, who are taking up the “mission” to expand their markets in the name of kingdom-building. Meanwhile, C. Peter Wagner has cooked up a new definition of ekklesia (Gk. church) to fuse the Church with the Corporate workplace.30
What is required is a change of heart. The heart of the nation is the marketplace—the combination of business, education and government, the three arteries through which its life flows. If we take God’s power and presence to the marketplace we will see nations changed . . . .
To change a man you must first change his heart. This approach, of course, is typical of missionary organizations. Silvoso’s idea, though, is far more radical. Cities can be changed in nature. Countries can be redeemed. Entire cultures can be brought to "salvation." The land itself, in fact, can be healed.
And such a miraculous change is brought about through one primary avenue: God working through the marketplace. . . .
The primary means to true revival, though, takes place first in the marketplace.31 [emphases added]
Business Reform interview with Ed Silvoso of Harvest Evangelism
The “business mission company”
To achieve its purpose, the business mission company must develop and invest in Great Commission efforts that are synergistic with and leveraged by the company's presence in strategically selected markets. It must set standards for evangelism and discipleship, measure results, and evaluate results per dollar invested for every sphere of influence identified in the market analysis. Company spheres of influence and the spheres of influence of each team member are specific market segments targeted for impact.... Any parts of the company that do not produce to standards are pruned. An axe is laid to the root of those that do not produce at all.32 [emphasis added]
John Cragin, On Kingdom Business:
Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategie
5. Militant rhetoric. There is a notable increase in the stridency and urgency of “strategic level” prayer warfare rhetoric which is linked to global “transformation” (dominionism).33 False prophets regularly pump out new “prophecies” and “decrees” to shore up the kingdom mandate. These “prophecies” function like oracles – they are a major avenue for communicating “God’s plan” for the next step in kingdom-building. False apostles have been anointed, appointed as leaders of regions around the globe, and charged with wielding the king’s authority. The doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation have been promulgated throughout the mission movement by C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Bill Hamon, a group known as the “Kansas City Prophets,” the Vineyard Fellowship, and many others. At the highest echelons these organizations all have interlocking boards of directors. Two noteworthy internal organs for disseminating false prophecies and new doctrines include The Elijah List and Joel News.
A militant false prophecy
We are coming to the times when passive Christianity and passive Christians will cease to exist. There is a maturity, a discipline, and a divine militancy coming upon the people of God. Those who have succumbed to humanistic and idealistic theologies may have a hard time with this, but we must understand that God is a military God. The title that He uses ten times more than any other in Scripture is "the Lord of hosts," or "Lord of armies." There is a martial aspect to His character that we must understand and embrace for the times and the job to which we are now coming.34
Rick Joyner, “TAKING THE LAND”
6. Neoevangelical and neoconservative allies. The December 2005 issue of Mother Jones magazine was devoted to examining the Patriotic dominionists. It included an article about the National Christian Foundation, a philanthropic group linked to neoconservative organizations. This brief article called attention to a vast network of interlocking boards of directors and financial ties between neoconservatives and neoevangelicals.35 The website www.mediatransparency.org explores Patriotic dominionist financial ties to neoconservative groups,36 but it does not delve into the considerable linkages between the other two sects and the neoconservatives. Some of the bonds between these individuals and organizations go back over half a century, and some connections are alarmingly anti-semitic.37 Corporate acts of charity, especially through the influence of the philanthropic groups, are supplanting the traditional doctrine of “let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Matthew 6:3). Marketplace transformation is also forging many new political alliances. Dennis Peacocke of COR is an influential marketplace transformation leader who is also a member of the International Coalition of Apostles (the spiritual warfare dominionists).38 Peacocke, who easily moves in all three sects, has suggested changing global economic structures.39
The new “Apostles” move into governments
Apostle Jim Hodges took the stage on Wednesday evening to introduce an exciting new venture for FMCI: a permanent presence in Washington, D.C. called the International Leadership Embassy (I.L.E.). The I.L.E. will position FMCI more directly to affect our government, our nation, and world nations by establishing contacts with government officials, D.C. citizens, and international diplomats. The ILE will, further, facilitate on site intercession efforts in D.C., host visiting prayer teams, sponsor Kingdom oriented teaching for government officials, employees and interns, and Christian leaders.40 [emphasis added]
Federation of Ministers and Churches International
7. Whose kingdom come? There has been a significant rise of cross-pollination between evangelical dominionists and New Age Theosophists.41 Since the late 1970s there has been a closeted fraternization between dominionists and Theosophists for the purpose of finding common ground for the future. Both groups seek to bring in a “Christ” figure to solve the world’s problems. Both groups have grand utopian plans to create “peace” on earth. During the past decade, the two groups began borrowing doctrinal terminologies from one another and working on common theologies. The events of 9/11 gave a new impetus to this effort.42 Jay Gary, who has been a leader within all three sects of dominionism has had close ties with the Theosophists43 and is adopting new theologies, including a hybrid of preterism called “transmillenialism.”44 Bob Buford of Leadership Network (mentioned in point 2 above) has been working since the mid-1990s to create a youth culture based on “emergent” theologies called the Emergent Church – a mixture of New Age paganism, eastern mysticism and evangelical dominionism.45 And Patriotic Dominionist leaders have long-standing, close ties with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who has his own messianic kingdom ambitions.46
The crime of separation, of division, of lawlessness must go from the world. All that hinders the manifestation of man’s divinity must be driven from our planet. My Law will take the place of separation.47
Maitreya the “Christ”
8. The stewardship deception. The “Transformational Covenant”48 by Luis Bush is a key document which outlines the new theology of stewardship dominion. Bush has held very influential positions in the mission movement as a leader in AD2000, World Inquiry, and the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He now serves as the international facilitator of Transform World. By linking a reinterpreted Genesis 1 “stewardship of the earth” mandate to the reinterpreted Great Commission doctrine, there is a volatile new doctrine of dominionism doctrine rising. This “stewardship” mandate was actually first proposed as a deceptive strategy in the late 1970s by Jeremy Rifkin in his book The Emerging Order.49 Rick Warren and others have now picked up the theme.50 George Otis of the Sentinel Group (spiritual warfare dominionist), suggests that by taking dominion of the Earth (he calls it “transformation”), paradise can be restored (as in Genesis 1before the Fall) – an old Latter Rain cult heresy that presents an alternative eschatology of dominion.51
“Cultivating the Great Commission Ecosphere”
EFMA exists to cultivate the Great Commission Ecosphere so that it bears good and abundant fruit and God is glorified among all people. To this end the Fellowship works in depth with members to enhance mutual effectiveness and increase capacity as we work to extend Christ's Kingdom. EFMA works broadly within the mission community who share a commitment to Christ, the Scriptures, and obedience to God's command to disciple the nations.52
Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies
The Genesis 1 stewardship mandate
. . . [W]hen God created man, he gave man dominion over the earth. Adam relinquished man’s dominion by disobedience. Redemption and restoration of man’s dominion over the earth, as well as his reconciliation with God, was made possible by Jesus.53
International Christian Chamber of Commerce
9. Leftist dominionists. Evangelical Leftists (Tom Sine, Ron Sider, Jim Wallis and others) have always hobnobbed with the dominionists.54 Many of the key Leftist dominionists have been coalescing around an agenda to eradicate world poverty, laboring with Rick Warren to implement the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Micah Challenge is one of the key organizations operating in this realm. A number of international mission networking agencies have formed alliances around these mutual kingdom aspirations. Working to end poverty may seem laudable on the surface. But scratch the surface and dominionism appears.55 Charity is not what it seems. Charity is a vehicle to maneuver dominionism into the best possible international publicity spotlight. And altruistic appeals for charitable sacrifice are a mechanism to sign up recruits in the billion man army.
WEA, Micah Challenge and Wolfowitz
The Church is "God's primary instrument of transformation within the local community," says Tunnicliffe, chair of Micah Challenge Canada and international director of the World Evangelical Alliance(WEA). Canadian churches and Christian organizations must evaluate what they're doing to serve the poor. They must keep themselves informed about issues surrounding poverty, and strive to find meaningful, practical outlets for people to respond. . . .
While in Washington, the group also met with the new president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, who reportedly told the Christian leaders that the Church could become a more significant player in the role of responding to global poverty.
The World Bank, a source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world, has traditionally worked with governments. But Tunnicliffe says they want to evaluate the possible role that could be played by the faith-based community in such work. A small body has been set up by the faith-based community to advise the World Bank in setting policy. The WEA has been asked to participate.56
10. The church militant. Since 9/11, patriotic fervor has combined with the neoconservative goals, and there is a disturbing rise of actual military activity for “kingdom-building” purposes. This activity is especially alarming because it encompasses all three major dominionist sects. Dominionist cult leader Bill Gothard has set up paramilitary training camps for evangelical children.57Christian Right leader Michael Farris, connected with Coalition on Revival (COR),58 is recruiting homeschoolers for CIA-type training at his Patrick Henry College.59 At http://www.goarmy.com/hslda/ one can see how the Army is recruiting homeschoolers, many of whom are active in the patriotic dominionist sect.
Campus Crusade, an international mission organization, asks for prayer “that we will accomplish our Military Ministry goal to change continents for Christ.”60
Dr. Hope Taylor, ministry director of International Leadership Embassy, Washington, D.C. (see quotation for point 6 above), recently wrote “The church has the mantle to execute the will of the King concerning the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. This assignment must not be abrogated or left solely to the military. . . .”61
Dr. Richard Kirby, of the World Network for Religious Futurists, a hybrid of neoevangelicals and Theosophists has written, “We want to train up a school of prophets who will be able to listen to the fresh word of God and deliver it to the people. Perhaps one example of this is the work of the Religious Futurists group with the military and with NASA the space authority.”62
“The Shepherd’s Rod” false prophecy
From this posture we will be strengthened as a mighty warrior and equipped to encounter the plots of the adversary set against this generation. The Lord is a Warrior and we are to be clothed in His militant attributes as it relates to the enemy who dwells in heavenly places. . . .
There will be times and seasons to hide ourselves in Christ and other times to be aggressive and militant in our posture. The seasons that we isolate ourselves with Christ is not for dormancy but to wait upon Him and minister to Him to gain His insight and blueprint for victory. . . .
There will be a marked escalation in the angelic activity surrounding the Church. Furthermore, this activity will carry a militant characteristic as Michael and the warring angels of Heaven are released to establish the design of Heaven in the earth. As in the days of Israel, the giants of the adversary are occupying the land of promise and must be displaced in order to access our inheritance. . . .
To experience the governmental release related to the dominion associated with His Kingdom design, we must also allow the Holy Spirit to equip us as "overcomers" clothed in garments of righteousness.63
Emerging Global Ethics
Fulfilling the kingdom mandate is seen as so critical that the “end justifies the means.” Rick Warren has advocated for a philosophy of “do whatever it takes” to achieve his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan.64 Putting forth the global hunger and AIDS crises as a rationale to further the dominion kingdom has proven to be a brilliant strategy. The new gospel of pragmatism, combined with emotive pleas for compassion, is superseding any ethical or doctrinal concerns about the legitimacy of the emerging Church-State-Corporate partnerships.
Eradicating global poverty for all is a key priority for Christians, but specific attention also needs to be paid to the scandal of inequality and deprivation within the world-wide Christian community, says Mennonite World Conference (MWC) executive secretary Larry Miller.
Mr Miller, writing in the latest issue of Courier, a multilingual MWC publication, supports the ‘Agape Call’ of the World Council of Churches and the ‘Micah Challenge’ of the World Evangelical Alliance, stating the biblical and theological case for involvement in the UN Millennium goals to halve world poverty by 2015.
“What must be added to these calls – and cried out loudly – is a plea to overcome the disaster of poverty in the church”, he adds. . . .65
Evangelicals have traditionally adhered to the Gospel directive to function as “salt” (Matthew 5:13) and “light” (Matthew 5:14) in the world. This Scripture was not traditionally laden with dominionist connotations. What it means is that Christians, by their individual or church-based acts of compassion, can make a difference in the lives of people. And by a holy and righteous lifestyle that matches a biblical profession of faith, Christians can make a positive difference within their culture. Being “salt and light” also means that there is a duty to do good in the face of evil (Romans 16:19).
The Scripture speaks of a type of separation between Church and State that forbids unholy coalitions. When a financial Church-State question was posed by the chief priests and scribes to the Lord Jesus Christ, He answered, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things that be God’s” (Luke 20:25) While believers have a responsibility to obey the laws and rulers of the land (Romans 13), they are also required to “obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29), especially when the truth of the Gospel message is at stake.
By engaging in this vast new dominionist alliance, the Christian witness has been compromised. The ability to function independently as directly accountable to God, while adhering to Biblical truth alone, has been sharply curtailed. The biblical charge to boldly speak the truth (e.g., Philippians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:2) has been subrogated to the “never speak critically” mantras of the Rick Warren’s purpose-driven church covenants.66
The dominionist collaborations effectually function as a conspiracy against Scriptural truth (Jeremiah 11:9-10; Ezekiel 22:25-30).
The old doctrine
The kingdom of Christ is not a kingdom of this world, otherwise would his servants fight! It rests on a spiritual basis and is to be advanced by spiritual means. Yet Christ’s servants gradually slipped down into the notion that His kingdom was of this world and could be upheld by human power.67
Rev. Charles Spurgeon, circa 1880
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, . . . And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:
(2 Peter 2:1a, 3a)
The Merchant Church
This kingdom being built is not of Jesus Christ OF the Bible. It is not FOR the Jesus of the Bible. It has nothing to do with Him, but everything to do with an antichrist zeitgeist that is frightening, appalling and massive in its build-up.
At the present time it is still possible for seekers after truth to access the old doctrines and old sermons in books and on the Internet. The time has nearly come when these traditional Gospel doctrines will be declared heretical and a threat to the false king and kingdom that are being set up.
The Bible speaks of a latter day heresy called “mystery Babylon” which is a merger of Commerce and Church. This unholy dominionist mixture – a modern-day alchemy – is what appears to be forming before our very eyes:
The global merchants
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies . . . .
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble. And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots and slaves, and souls of men. (Revelation 18:2-3; 11-13)
1. “Dominion Theology,” Sara Diamond, article posted at http://zena.secureforum.com/Znet/zmag/articles/feb95diamond.htm). Sara Diamond authored Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right (South End Press, 1989) which provides some history of the rise of modern evangelical dominionism. Her perspective comes from the political Left.
2. “Editor’s Note,” special issue “God and Country: Where the Christian Right Is Leading Us,” Dec. 2005 p. 5.
3. Michael M. Phillips, “In Swaziland, U.S. Preacher Sees His Dream Vanish,” Wall Street Journal, 12/19/05. Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez, is closely associated with Rick Warren; see Deceived on Purpose by Warren Smith, (Mountain Stream Press, 2004). Their efforts in Africa were connected with the other dominionist movements mentioned in this article. See also articles posted at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLMayJune_2005.htm andhttp://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm
4. Sara Diamond, Ibid, Internet article.
5. Matthew Henry Study Bible, A. Kenneth Abraham, Ed., (Tyndale House, 1986), p. 1207. Henry is commenting on Psalms 149:6 “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand” which has been given a new dominion connotation.
6. Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion (Sword Pub., 1990), p. 87. This book is a historical “encyclopedia” of the history of modern dominionism, clearly demarking the various sects. Dager approaches the subject from a Christian perspective. His book is available through http://www.discernment-ministries.org.
7. Lynn & Sarah Leslie, “Resurrecting Pagan Rites,” http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ResurrectingPaganRights.pdf. This article series examines the roots and rise of the Promise Keepers’ movement.
8. http://www.tribeissachar.com/. The mixture of contemplative spirituality with the spiritual warfare sect is coming in through the Emergent church, mainline denominations and purpose-driven. Seehttp://www.whitedoveministries.org/content/NewsItem.phtml?art=254&c=0&id=30&style=1; or http://tinyurl.com/87b4v.
9. Sandy Simpson, “The New Apostolic Reformation: What is it and where is it going?” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/nardvd.html. See also, Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church by Traverse & Jewel van der Merwe (Conscience Press, 1995) http://www.discernment-ministries.org/StrangeFire1.htm
10. See documentation at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/addendum-haggard.html and http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/haggardelected.html for the history of Haggard’s entanglement with this sect of dominionism.
11. 11/01/05, Global Link newsletter Global Harvest Ministries.
12. Al Dager, The World Christian Movement, (Sword Publ., 2001). This book reads like a sequel to Vengeance Is Ours by the same author (see footnote 5). It is a cursory look at the rise of the modern mission movement, its roots and doctrines, from a Christian apologetics perspective. Available at http://www.discernment-ministries.org website.
13. President of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce, speech given at an International Coalition of Workplace Ministries banquet, Oct. 2004 http://tinyurl.com/bngcn or use http://www.tinyurl.com/a9db2. For more information about ICCC see http://www.icccreg.net/pages.asp?pageid=20404. This organization appears to be wielding tremendous influence in the marketplace transformation movement that believes “it is possible to operate in God’s Kingdom rule on earth here and now.”
14. Disciple Nations Alliance (DNA) “Online Course” summary at http://tinyurl.com/afdkj. This quotation is an example of the “spheres” mentioned in point 1 below in the text entitled “Global “spheres.”
15. Vengeance Is Ours, pp. 235-258.
16. The author has a copy of this letter. A subsequent COR conference was attended by Cynthia Weatherly and reported upon in The Christian Conscience magazine, “From SPIRITUALIST and Spiritual TWIST?” Nov. 1996, pp. 64-65.
17. Vengeance Is Ours documents the rise of the dominionists and their interconnections. At http://www.discernment-ministries.org there is an archive of past newsletters that focuses on the Latter Rain dominionists. The World Christian Movement documents the history of the mission dominionists. Also see http://www.herescope.blogspot.com which frequently posts historical material.
18. http://www.transform-world.net/article_read.asp?id=7 or use http://tinyurl.com/bynaw
19. Vengeance Is Ours, p. 235-236.
20. Disciple the Nations, http://disciplethenations.org/LMEMNVision.html#Discipling.
21. See The Pied Pipers of Purpose: Human Capital Systems and Church Performance, a monograph by Lynn & Sarah Leslie and Susan Conway. This monograph details the influence of Peter Drucker over Rick Warren, including a look at his political, social and economic philosophies. Monograph posted at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Purpose_Driven.pdf
22. Explorer, No. 23, 11/06/00, http://www.leadnet.org/epubarchive.asp?id=41&db=archive_explorer. The Leadership Network has been a pivotal organization to turn Christian pastors into “change agents” through its leadership training.
23. This point is documented at www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ditc12-10.html.
24. See article posted at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLMayJune_2005.htm, “The Global Day of Prayer” and its sequel, “The Second Reformation” at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm, both authored by Sarah Leslie. These two articles present the current history of Rick Warren’s connection to the Global Day of Prayer, and his Africa project.
25. Wayne Besen, “Purpose-driven lies,” 12/09/05, http://www.washblade.com/2005/12-9/view/columns/lies.cfm
26. http://www.christianpost.com/article/ministries/1615/section/purpose.driven.network.opens.new.aids.conference.to.address.church/1.htm is a news account. The transcript of Rick Warren’s interview with Larry King Live athttp://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/02/lkl.01.html. And a critical review of this from an African perspective at http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Africanvision.htm
27. “Involvement in AIDS crisis urged at Saddleback conference,” Shannon Baker, Baptist Press, 12/07/05, http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=22230
28. See http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLMayJune_2005.htm and its sequel http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm (see footnote 22).
29. http://tinyurl.com/dyv8w or http://www.transform-world.com/focusgroupall.asp?id=2. Also see “A Call to Transformation,” Australian Prayer Network, http://tinyurl.com/b5v5y
30. See a transcript of Wagner’s speech posted at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/arise.html. Also see http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/articles_view.asp?articleid=5682&columnid=743, C. Peter Wagner's Foreword toFaith@Work Movement book by Os Hillman. Os Hillman is a key player in marketplace transformation.
31. Business Reform interview with Ed Silvoso of Harvest Evangelism, “The Heart of A Nation,” (01/07/05) at http://tinyurl.com/akwd2. Ed Silvoso, from both mission and spiritual warfare sects, is one of the architects of global marketplace reform.
32. John Cragin, Chapter 15, "The Business of Missions -- The Missions of Business," On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies (Crossway, 2003), edited by Tetsunao Yamamori and Kenneth A. Eldred. The quote is a perfect example of the influence of Peter Drucker’s ideology.
33. See http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLMayJune_2005.htm and its sequel http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm (see footnote 22).
34. Rick Joyner, "TAKING THE LAND--We Are Establishing Our Eternal Place And Position Here On Earth" 11/29/05, http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=3617. Rick Joyner was one of the “Kansas City Prophets” who now wields considerable influence through his “prophecies” about a coming militant church.
35. Michael Reynolds, “Rendering Unto God,” Mother Jones, Dec. 2005, p. 43. http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/12/rendering_unto_god.html. For other articles see:http://www.motherjones.com/search/category_religion.html
36. Eric Alterman, “Neoconning the Media:A Very Short History of Neoconservatism,” 04/22/05 at http://www.mediatransparency.org/story.php?storyID=2.
37. Vengeance Is Ours documents the ties with Identity, e.g., p. 67. Also see Russ Bellant’s three books: Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party (South End Press, 1988); The Coors Connection: How Coors Family Philanthropy Undermines Democratic Pluralism (South End Press, 1988) and The Religious Right in Michigan Politics (Americans for Religious Liberty, 1996). Bellant approaches the subject from the political Left perspective. His historical research goes back over sixty years.
38. International Coalition of Apostles website at http://www.apostlesnet.net/index.asp?action+introduction. “ICA is designed for Apostolic Leaders who are kingdom builders. . . .”
39. Strategic Christian Services (Dennis Peacocke), “Co-Managing the Earth: The Foundational Work of the Christian Marketplace Ministry,” http://www.strategicchristianservices.org/0903article.asp
40. Federation of Ministers and Churches International, Spring 2005, FMCI’s November ’04 Leadership Conference, http://www.fmcapostolicnetwork.com/articles_view.asp?articleid=10858&columnid=1727
41. Warren Smith, “Evangelicals and New Agers Together,” article posted at http://www.erwm.com/EvangelicalsandNewAgers.htm. It must be noted that there is a common Gnostic link between Theosophists and the Latter Rain cult. SeeStrange Fire (footnote 8) for more information.
42. Warren Smith, Reinventing Jesus Christ, book posted on-line at http://www.reinventingjesuschrist.com. This book chronicles the recent connections between Theosophists and leading evangelicals. A second edition with updated information will come out this Spring.
43. Warren Smith, “Evangelicals and New Agers Together,” Ibid.
44. http://www.presence.tv is an example of an entire ministry built around a new doctrine. Jay Gary has been a significant player, cloaking his dominionism in the rhetoric of “futurism.” He openly networks with the Theosophists. He is part of the World Network of Religious Futurists, an influential organization with theosophical underpinnings. See http://www.wnrf.org/cms/associates.shtml and http://www.wnrf.org/cms/faq.shtml.
45. See postings at http://www.herescope.blogspot.com for historical documentation.
46. In addition to the information on this topic which could be found at http://www.mediatransparency.org website, this author has personal experience in this realm and was an eyewitnesses during the 1980s to the Christian Right’s close financial and organizational ties to Moon.
47. Maitreya, Messages from Maitreya the Christ, (Share International Foundation, 2001), p. 248.
49. Rifkin, Jeremy with Ted Howard. The Emerging Order: God in the Age of Scarcity (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York, 1979), “See introduction,” pp. ix-xii. The book is a blueprint on how to network charismatics and transform their theology.
50. Lynn & Sarah Leslie, “What Is Transformation?” article posted at http://newswithviews.com/Leslie/sarah.htm.
51. George Otis is part of a new group called FUSION, which exemplifies many points made in this paper. See http://www.prayerbydesign.com/transformation.php
52. Evangelical Fellowship of Missionary Agencies, a key networking mission group with very dominionist goals http://community.gospelcom.net/Brix?pageID=7115
53. “The Vision: THE KINGDOM FOCUS,” International Christian Chamber of Commerce, http://www.icccreg.net/pages.asp?pageid=20404. See footnote 12.
54. For example, see a series of posts on http://www.herescope.blogspot.com (Sept/Oct. 2005) pertaining to Evangelical Consultations about the future held in the late 1970s. These Consultations not only linked Leftist evangelicals to the emerging dominionist mandate, but also brought in leading Theosophist Willis Harman to help create new theologies for the future.
55. See http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLMayJune_2005.htm and its sequel http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm (see footnote 22)
56. Patricia Paddy, “Christian leaders propose partnering with UN to fight poverty,” http://www.canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/na.cgi?nationalupdates/051027poverty
57. See http://www.alertacademy.com for starters. Gothard, who revivifies many Old Testament doctrines, appeals to a wide spectrum of evangelicals for varying reasons. His organizations function in a secretive cult-like manner.
58. Vengeance Is Ours, p. 252.
59. http://www.phc.edu/teencamps/. Note: homeschoolers are an extremely diverse group and cannot be lumped into the dominionist camps solely on the basis of the free choice they exercise in educating their children at home. Michael Farris and his organization, Home School Legal Defense Association, attempt to represent home educators politically in Washington, to the chagrin of the non-dominionist homeschoolers.
60. “Goal to Change Continents for Christ, 9/15/-5, Global Prayer Movement, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International, http://globalprayermovement.org/prayerrequests.asp?offset=23&AOA_Id=3404
61. “DECEMBER 15th, PRESIDENT BUSH AND IRAQ” post at http://www.ile-dc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=2 or see
62. “WNRF Marks 25 Years of Religious Futurism,” by Dr. Rev. Richard Kirby, World Network of Religious Futurists, 7/20/05, http://www.wnrf.org/cms/print_religious_futurism_25years.shtml. See footnote 42.
63. Bob Jones & Paul Keith Davis, Shepherd’s Rod 2004, October 7, 2003,
http://www.whitedoveministries.org/content/ArchivesItem.phtml?art=163&c=0&id=11&style=2 . Bob Jones is a Latter Rain sect leader.
64. http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm (See footnote 22). For an example of how this “urgency” manifests, see footnote 3. The WSJ article cited states, “Mr. Wilkinson felt the situation was so urgent that the time for cautious measures had passed.”
65. “End scandal of poverty in churches, says Mennonite leader,” 05/12/05, http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_05125menno.shtml>. This quotation is an example of the widespread diffusion of dominionist ideas. Mennonites are Anabaptists who traditionally do not hold to these doctrines.
66. The author was an eyewitness to the compromises of the faith that occur when political and financial coalitions take precedence biblical truth. See “How Can There Be Revival Without Repentance,” by Lynn and Sarah Leslie posted athttp://www.discernment-ministries.org/2001_SeptemberOctober.pdf. See also Lynn D. & Sarah Leslie, “The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age,” http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLjanfeb_2003.htm. This article explores the content of the covenants that must be signed in the purpose-driven church movement.
67. Rev. Charles Spurgeon, “Christ’s Universal Kingdom and How it Comes,” http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1535.pdf. Spurgeon’s sermons are a good source of old-time doctrines, which provide a stark contrast to modern dominionism.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to independent researcher Susan J. Conway and Steve Muse of Eastern Regional Watch Ministries (http://www.erwm.com) for their invaluable research assistance in this project.
Sarah H. Leslie is a former Christian Right leader in homeschooling and right to life. She has authored many articles on education reform and Christian apologetic issues. She and her husband Lynn published The Christian Conscience magazine and several books They currently sit on the board of directors of Discernment Ministries, Inc.