.........................."We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." - John Stott

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dominion Theology: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Movement

Part III on Dominion Theology

Continued from Part II: Theological Distinctives of the Movement

Strengths of Dominion Theology:

In many ways, the Christian Reconstructionist movement is similar to most conservative evangelical churches. The understanding of the unalterableness of God, for example, is essential, foundational awareness. The theology of regeneration is also standard, well grounded theology and critical to man's relationship with God.

Theonomy, while not a standard doctrine, has comforted many Christians who are troubled by the state of our fallen society, giving them a promise of a calmer, saner world under Biblical standards. Chilton also explains Postmillennialism this way;
"before the Second Coming of Christ, the world will be successfully evangelized and discipled to Christianity…our view of the future is inescapably bound up with our view of Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus is now King of kings and Lord of lords means that His Gospel must be victorious: The Holy Spirit will bring the water of life to the ends of the earth. The Christian message is one of Hope: Pentecost was just the beginning."
Although the Assemblies of God denounced postmillennialism as heresy in response to Dominion Theology in 1988, many Christians from various corners still debate premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism and will probably continue to do so until Christ comes again. Postmillennialism is simply an area in which Christians must agree to disagree.

Weakness of Dominion Theology:

The normal translation of "πληρόω" is "fulfill" not "confirm," and Scripture that teaches that Christians are no longer under the Law include Romans 6:14; 7:6; 8:2-4; and Galatians 3:24,25; 5:18. Also, while most Christian theologians see the purpose of regeneration to be for the Glorification of God, Theonomists believe it to be for the work of God's dominion over all the earth.

Theonomists also don't stick as close to literal translations as other Christian groups do. They see a system of patterns and associations within symbolic Biblical terms and state that the Bible is to be read "visually," meaning to take a term used in the Bible and see it for not only what it is, but also what associations are made with it. When it comes to numbers, Theonomists are more likely to see them symbolically then literally as well. The numbers 40 and 1000, in particular, can simply mean periods of time rather than actual time.

However, in the matter of Biblical, Mosaic Law, Theonomists take Scripture quite literally.

Concerning the division of Mosaic Law into three parts: John Calvin was the first to divide Old Testament law this way. But he believed that the judicial law, which provided for fairness in the civil government of Israel, was for Israel alone. To Calvin, only the moral law was eternally applicable, but even so, its application might vary in case law from culture to culture. However, Scripture does not seem to break the law into three sections. Whenever the Law is mentioned, it seems to be in reference to the whole Law.
Some would say that either the believer has been released from the whole law (Rom. 7:4, 6) or none of it.

Most importantly, Reconstructionists confuse Mosaic Law with eternal law. It is not outward signs or ceremonial purity that insures our place with God; it is the inward circumcision of the heart. No one can uphold the law perfectly, but that doesn't matter to God because He looks at the heart. Paul, a man fully regenerated and filled with the Holy Spirit, remarked in Acts 15:10 that the law had been too difficult for anyone to bear. If man was unable to keep the law during Old Testament times, how will man do it now?

Paul also says that the law was a learning tool to lead us to Christ, while the book of Acts indicates that Mosaic Law was not binding on Gentiles. The Apostles only required that Gentiles obey the instructions given by God to Noah (Acts 15:20). Would a theocracy then have two different sets of laws; one set for believers and another set, more relaxed, for non-believers?

Peter and Paul also very clearly considered the non-Christian Roman government as God's instrument on earth. This was believed even during persecution. If the New Testament teaches that a non-Christian government can be part of God's rule on the earth, then establishing a Christian Theocracy is not mandated in Scripture. Whether the State submits to God or not, God still rules.

Finally, history is filled with failed theocracies. Rome, London, Geneva, and Saxony, confused secular power with divine mandate. Because of the experience of history and the pain such governments had caused, our Forefathers wrote wording within the Constitution specifically meant to prevent state religion. While Reconstructionists advocate decentralization consisting of family, church, schools, and local government as a way to prevent the totalitarianism of previous governments, what could develop is a system of checkerboard law with punishments varying from community to community with the potential for dictatorship and unaccountable cruelty in any one community. If apostasy and idolatry are determined to be capitol crimes, as both Rushdoony and Bahnsen have said they would be, how would it be established which interpretation of Scripture determines apostasy? It was not outcasts who persecuted Polycarp, Hus or Wycliffe and crucified
Jesus, but religious leaders who claimed to be serving God.

A last thought concerns the State of Israel. While Reconstructionists do believe that individual Jews will be converted to Christ in the future, few of them believe that national Israel has a future. This theology has been termed by some as "replacement theology;" replacing Israel completely with the modern church. This is an area of divided thought among Christians. Some outside of the Christian church see it as anti-Semitism.


Does Dominion Theology offer a dangerous shift from "Gospel and the Kingdom of God" to "law and the kingdom of man?"

Dominion Theology is not a cult. It is a part of the conservative, evangelical movement occurring throughout society. However, while focusing on legalism, they are ignoring the sanctifying purpose and loving gift of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Jesus has already done the work. All that is left to do is to abide in Him and listen to the Holy Spirit's guiding direction. He will do the rest through us. There is nothing more than that.

Therefore, it is the opinion of this writer that Dominion Theology, in its focus toward man and law, does pose a dangerous shift of attention away from the Gospel of grace and the circumcision of the heart. There is also concern that large numbers of well-respected people have been seduced by faulty exegesis.


Smith, David L. A Handbook of Contemporary Theology: Tracing trends & Discerning
Directions in Today's Theological Landscape. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1992.

Economics America, Inc. The Right Guide. 4th ed. Ed. Derk Arend Wilcox. Ann Arbor:
Economics America, Inc. 2000.

Biblical Discernment Ministries. Dominion Theology/Kingdom Now/Reconstructionism
Blessing or Curse? Valparaiso, Indiana. 1997. Online. 12 April, 2005.

Peterson, Jefferis Kent. Reconstructionist Theology - A Flaw in the Foundation of Dominion
Theology. 2004. Online. 12 April, 2005. .

David Chilton. Paradise Restored; a Biblical Theology of Dominion. ICE free Books, 1996.
Online. 13 April, 2005. .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dominion Theology: Theological Distinctives of the Movement

Part II on Dominion Theology

Continued from Part I: Introduction to Dominion Theology

Three basic concepts held by Dominionists are:
1. the unalterableness of God,
2. God's Character as perfectly reflected in His law, and
3. because of the first two concepts, God's laws are eternal and are binding on all peoples of all times.

Along with these three concepts are three foundational doctrines within Dominion Theology:
1. Personal Regeneration,
2. the application of Biblical law to all areas of life (theonomy), and
3. The advance of the already present kingdom of God in history (postmillennialism).

Dominionism and Theonomy

Christian Reconstructionists believe all the basic doctrinal truths of the Christian faith, including inerrancy of the Bible, personal regeneration, and the truth of heaven and hell and that Old Testament Israel, according to Paul in the book of Romans, has been replaced with the modern Church of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Church has taken over the covenant promises God made to Israel.

But Theonomists also see the New Testament clearly showing that the Word of God, "all Scripture," should be legally applied to all areas of life and God intended for government is to be a theocracy. By theocracy, it is meant that God would govern the nation through the moral and legal code already revealed in the laws of the Bible. The legal code referred to by Apostle Paul in the New Testament was the Old Testament, Mosaic Law alone because the New Testament hadn't yet been complied, but does not include the Mosaic ceremonial law.

The Mosaic Law has been divided into three parts: moral, ceremonial and judicial. The ceremonial law foreshadowed Christ and was fulfilled by Christ's death and resurrection while both the moral and civil parts of the law as still relevant. Therefore, Reconstructionists believe that Christians are obligated to keep Old Testament law, with the exception of that which the New Testament clearly cancels, such as with the sacrificial system.

It is also believed that civil servants are required to be God's ministers just as much as priests and pastors. This concept is based on an understanding of Romans 13:1-4. Matthew 5:17-19, concerning Christ's intention for the law, is also a foundational scripture. Bahnsen believed that the word "πληρόω" in Matt. 5:17-19 is best translated "confirm" rather than fulfill, and thus Jesus' statement really means that he is here to restore the Mosaic Law. Bahnsen uses the word "theonomy" and defines it as the responsibility of the Christian to "keep the whole law of God as a pattern for sanctification, and that this law is to be enforced by the civil magistrate where and how the stipulations of God so designate."

Rushdoony agrees, stating that apart from Biblical law no standard of law exists. Fallen creation is incapable of forming a moral code to govern the nations. Supporting Scripture includes Gen. 1:28, where God commands Adam to subdue the earth. However, because Adam lost his ability to do so as a result of sin, Theonomists believe the church needs to now reclaim from Satan what Adam had lost.

Finally, because the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20) commands the followers of Christ to disciple all the nations, Theonomists believe that along with personal salvation and sanctification, the legal and political reformation of society is necessary. Their goal, therefore, is to establish a theocracy by a democratic action in the United States and all nations. Government would be decentralized and would not administer business, education, or social welfare any longer. Society would also be patriarchal with strong property rights. To aid the poor, voluntary slavery would be allowed along with gleaning on private farms after harvest. According to Rushdoony, crimes such as robbery, embezzlement and vandalism would require restitution and indentured servitude. Crimes such as homosexuality, abortion, heresy, blasphemy and adultery would receive the death penalty. Christian Reconstructionists expect that with faithful application of the law, God will bless the nation.

Postmillennialism and Regeneration

Just as many other conservative Christians, Dominionists know the Kingdom of God is already here, growing, and on course to fulfillment. But the Kingdom won't be complete until every nation is under God's law and can only be entered in to through individual regeneration. Christians are now living in the Kingdom of God as Sons and Daughters of the Lord, while non-Christians are living in it as rebels. With Romans 8:3-4 in mind, Theonomists know that society can not be transformed until individuals within it are transformed. In order for people to have the will to change, evangelism is necessary. Regeneration is a process of God's work in us and can not be completed through politics or war. Thus, regeneration of the individual is very important. Just as mainline Christians, Theonomists believe that regeneration, or being "born again," restores a person to his original purpose in God and works toward the reestablishment of His dominion over all the earth. This was the reason for God creating man in His image. According to Rushdoony, "the key to remedying the situation is not revolution…the key is regeneration, propagation of the Gospel, and the conversion of men and nations to God's law-word." When this happens, Christ will return.

Dominionists, therefore, are also postmillennial, believing we are already experiencing the Millennium. The Millennium began when Christ entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matt. 21:5). Christ was enthroned in heaven at his Ascension (Acts 2:30-36). During this time of utopia before Christ's Second Coming, believers are to reclaim nations for Christ, beginning with the United States.

Part III - Strengths and Weaknesses of the Movement


Saturday, November 20, 2010

All Children Deserve to Feel Safe -

"Suffer the Children to Come unto Me"

Please help CAICW Advocate, Educate, Assist, and Defend

Deborah Maddox, acting Director of the BIA Office of Tribal Services in 1993, once said Congress intended the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

“to protect Indian children from removal from their tribes and to assure that
tribes are given the opportunity to raise Indian children in a manner which
reflects the unique values of Indian culture."

Advocates of ICWA point to the devastation suffered by children of tribal heritage when, years ago, they were forcefully removed from homes they loved and forced to stay at boarding schools. The trauma those children and families experienced was, indeed, devastating.

However, in the implementation of the ICWA, the exact same thing has been happening to children in reverse. What has to be acknowledged is that we live in a migratory, multi-cultural society. This means that many children who fall under the jurisdiction of the Indian Child Welfare Act have more than one heritage, and many times are predominantly of another heritage, and/or have family who not only haven’t any connection to the Indian Reservation, but have specifically chosen not to participate in the reservation system.

Though some argue that ICWA has safeguards to prevent misuse, scores of multi-racial children have been negatively affected by its application. Letters from birth parents, grandparents, foster families, and pre-adoptive families concerning their children hurt by misapplication of ICWA can be read at ~ http://www.caicw.org/familystories.html

There is no inborn difference between persons of tribal heritage and other persons. Any emotionally healthy child, no matter their heritage, will be devastated when they are taken from their familiar homes and forced to live with strangers.

Even children of 100% tribal heritage can be devastated if taken from the only home they know and love, no matter the heritage, and placed into a home they know nothing about.

In the words of Dr. William Allen, former Chair, US Comm. On Civil Rights (1989) and Emeritus Professor, Political Science MSU;
“... We are talking about our brothers and our sisters. We’re talking about what happens to people who share with us an extremely important identity. And that identity is the identity of free citizens in a Republic…" (Re: The Indian Child Welfare Act, September 20, 2008, Wahkon, MN)
Consequent to this Congressional error in understanding the practical aspects of the ICWA, dozens of adoptions are held up every year. Some of these adoptive homes have had the children since infancy and are the only homes the children know. However, even simple adoptions can be expensive and many families aren’t prepared for this additional impediment. Time and again families have contacted the Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW) to ask for help because they don’t have the funds needed to hire attorney’s to defend their children. Some families, after mortgaging their homes and having nothing else to use, have been forced to give up the fight for their children.

- Children have been removed from safe, loving homes and been placed into dangerous situations by Social Services.
- Some Indian and non-Indian families have felt threatened by tribal government.
- Some have had to take out additional mortgage on their homes and endure lengthy legal processes in attempt to protect their children.
- Equal opportunities for adoption, safety and stability are not available to children of all heritages.
- The Constitutional right of parents to make life choices for their children, for children of Indian heritage to associate freely, and for children of Indian heritage to enjoy Equal Protection has in many cases been denied.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 is National Adoption Day. Support Families nationally in defending their children from unreasonable impediment to their adoptions by helping raise $50,000 for ten $5000 Attorney retainer fees for ten Adoptive Families. These would be families that are in the midst of adopting children they have had physical custody of over a long term or from infancy, or stable ‘relative families’ attempting to retain or regain custody within the extended family – whether or not said family is enrollable with a tribe.

The “Fund Attorney Retainers for 10 Families” Drive begins on National Adoption Day, November 20, 2010 and ends on December 31, 2010. The Fund website can be found through FirstGiving.com at http://www.firstgiving.com/caicw/Event/AdoptionRetainerFund

The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare (CAICW) has been advocating for families affected by the Indian Child Welfare Act since 2004 and is the only National org advocating for these families. Our advocacy is both Judicial and Legislative, as well as a prayer resource and shoulder to cry on.

Funds raised from this event will be used to assist up to 10 families in obtaining the legal assistance they need in order to complete their adoptions.

Additional informational links:

Legal and Constitutional concerns re: ICWA http://www.caicw.org/icw.html

Letters from Affected Families: http://www.caicw.org/familystories.html

ICWA Case Law: http://www.caicw.org/caselaw.html