Posted by Vicki On September - 27 - 2010

Recently the false doctrines of “Kingdom Now” and “Dominion Theology” have been resurfacing on the web and in some churches.   I asked a respected man of God,  Bro. J.R. Ensey of Advance Ministries, to help me understand better.  We are honored to share his comments.  - Vicki

The Curious Prim Main Store, Fairypunk Kingdom
AKA: KINGDOM NOW; RECONSTRUCTIONISM

This doctrine states that the role of Christianity is to take over the world. The word normally used is to “take dominion.” When this is done, when at least the majority of the world is “Christianized,” then Christ will come and reign over the Kingdom that the church has established. All of that may seem far-fetched and out of the mainstream of Apostolic, and even Evangelical, thought. But that is the bottom line of Dominion Theology.

While there are subtle differences in Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and Christian Reconstructionism, they all hold that God’s people have the authority to “take dominion” in both the civil and religious realms of the world. Other terms that are cast about are theonomy (the rule of the law of God) and triumphalism (the belief that one’s own religion or social system is superior to all others and should triumph over all others).

Like preterists, adherents often hold that the majority of the book of Revelation was probably fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and that we may be living in the millennium now. Some believe the devil is bound now, so that he is unable to stop the progress of the church toward the goal of world/cultural dominion. It is easy to see what this does to the doctrine of the imminent return of Jesus Christ!

In the 1970s, several denominations had to publish position papers on this because of its spreading influence, including the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America and the Assemblies of God. Actually, there were those in virtually every evangelical movement, including the United Pentecostal Church, Int’l, who were espousing the doctrine.

There are four key elements of the doctrine drawn from Genesis 1:26-29:

1) That this “dominion mandate” includes ruling over other human beings, setting up political governments, institutions, etc.

2) That “dominion” was lost by Adam at the Fall

3) That the key purpose of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was to restore the dominion which Adam allegedly lost…teaching that Christ bound Satan through the Death, Burial, and Resurrection.

4) That the Great Commission of Matthew 28 is simply a restatement in New Covenant terms of the original “dominion mandate” and is thus the same task.

The TRUTH:

1) The “dominion mandate” was never cancelled. We still swat flies and eat chickens! The dominion of Genesis was simply a stewardship responsibility to care for the earth and has nothing to do with ruling over other human beings, but “the works of God’s hands,” i.e.: “sheep and oxen…fish, fowl, beasts.”

2) While Adam did not lose dominion, he did lose his relationship with God and his place in the Garden of Eden. But our hope is not to return to that Paradise! As “new creations in Christ” we have been promised something far better—life in a new universe of absolute perfection into which sin and death can never enter. Adam died, but we shall live forever, and in a place from which we will never be expelled. So Christ’s purpose was not just to restore what Adam lost during this age. That restoration is yet in the future. The purging of the earth and the works therein is in God’s plan for the future: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:22,23).

3) The Great Commission would suffer a gross perversion if it were nothing more than a “cultural mandate” for the church to take over the kingdoms of the world and transform them into the Kingdom of God before Christ returns! The “Christianizing” of the world is nowhere to be found in the Bible.

4) It must be remembered that the Kingdom of God is twofold: first, the rule of God in a present spiritual realm into which born again people are now entering; and second, a future order under God rule and physical authority into which the righteous will enter at the end of this age. The kingdom of God is both present and future—already present but not yet complete!

A derivative: Spiritual Warfare. Everyone I know believes in spiritual warfare—“we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” but Dominion Theology asserts the kind of warfare that consigns demons to the pit, and commissions angels to do our bidding, and rids our cities and counties of demonic activity. The concept: if we can clean out all these spirits, rid the world of “spiritual strongholds,” we can take over the world, i.e., assume dominion. The fact is that no one has ever proven that he or she has removed any “regional” evil spirits from a city or country. Not one has ever proven that he or she has authority to send angels to do their bidding.

The facts as revealed in the Bible are that the devil will be bound when the angel of the Lord does it after the battle of Armageddon. The strongholds we are to pull down are in our own hearts and not out there in the streets somewhere!

So today, Kingdom Now, Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism is more that just another cute, harmless idea that some preacher over in Georgia has, but a broad front moving like a cold wave to put out the fires of the Pentecostal revival and conservatism!

The dominion concept is being resurrected by some Charismatic types who are looking for another catch phrase to attract people and money. It is being couched in the format of “Seven Mountains” that Christians are to conquer. They are appealing for evangelicals to take dominion over the “mountains” of government, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, family, and most of all…business. The last mountain is emphasized because it “funds” all the others. That is nothing but a thin veneer over the callous greed that has permeated Charismatic Christianity for four decades.

Some have no idea what they are ingesting when they read books by Dominion advocates such as Gary DeMar, Earl Paulk, Rousas Rushdoony, Gary North, Loren Cunningham, C. Peter Wagner, Paul Billheimer, John Giminez, Bob Weiner, et al. Some of the current proponents include Johnny Enlow (The Seven Mountain Prophecy), Cindy Jacobs (The Reformation Manifesto), and Lance Wallnau (The Seven Mountain Mandate). Many people are motivated by these wonderful, spiritual-sounding ideas which are really nothing more than spiritual fads and gross sensationalism. If we are going to follow someone, it is a good idea to know where they are going!

Apostolic Pentecostals must not again be caught up in this new wave of old heresy and false doctrine. It will distract us, derail us, and deter us from our real objectives of maintaining a faith like the one we read about in the Book of Acts, one that is holding to the fundamentals of the gospel and watching eagerly for the coming of the Lord.

J.R. Ensey, www.advanceministries.org

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5 Responses

  1. Vicki says:

    I have just reread this post and am surprised there have not been more comments. This must be a very controversial topic because the devil doesn’t like being exposed. Thank you Brother Ensey.

  2. Caleb says:

    This article was written by Dave Hunt on Dominion Theology:

    “The attempt to fit Scripture into the false mold of “dominion theology” has created strange theories and contradictions. We are accused of “defeatist eschatology” and gross “pessimism” for believing that Christ will soon rapture His bride home, marry her in heaven, then return with her and the armies of heaven to rescue Israel, conquer His enemies and rule this earth in righteousness and peace for 1,000 years.

    Yet their teaching that it will require a minimum of 36,600 years (and perhaps hundreds of thousands of years) of continuing ungodliness, and billions dying without Christ as Christians gradually take over the world before our Lord can return is called “an eschatology of victory.” They will not allow Christ to be present to rule over the millennial kingdom. Although He was personally humiliated, rejected, and crucified upon earth, they will not allow Him to be exalted, honored, and triumphant upon earth by personally reigning during the Millennium.

    In fact, they say, Christ has already come. His promise to “come quickly” was the comforting assurance to the Christians in AD 65 that He would return in the person of the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem! Nor is the marriage supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19 a future event for Christ’s bride to eagerly anticipate, but a symbolic expression of the new meaning in the Eucharist since Israel’s excommunication by God when “Christ” destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.

    Israel has allegedly been replaced by the church. Gary North [had many] excited about the prospect that by the year 2000 “Christians and [non-Christian] conservatives will be swept into most elective U.S. offices by ridiculous margins.”

    There is such enthusiasm about the hope of taking over this world that the church has lost its vision of heaven. I think it is high time that the bride of Christ became excited about that heavenly marriage and the prospect of seeing and being with her Bridegroom forever. Oh, that a great cry would arise from the church: “We love you, Lord Jesus! Please come and take us home! The Spirit and the Bride say. Come! Come, Lord Jesus, come!”

  3. FYI!~ This information was posted today on Irvin Baxter’s email newsletter.
    * Replacing Godless Hollywood with Bible-Based “Cultural Dominion”
    * At the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, Doug Phillips, son of a conservative movement icon, aims to make every frame “captive” to Christ.
    * By Julie Ingersoll

    Julie Ingersoll is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Florida. She is the author of Evangelical Christian Women: War Stories in the Gender Battles and is currently writing a book on the influence of Christian Reconstructionism.
    *

    For anyone wondering what the “culture” would look like if the Christian Right achieved its dream of “taking it back” from secularists, feminists, and the other dread enemies of God’s plan for a Christian America, the San Antonio Christian Film Festival, which begins next week, provides a telling window.

    The Festival, the culmination of the 2010 Christian Filmmakers’ Academy, which features Hollywood’s most outspoken evangelical Kirk Cameron as a “faculty” member, intends to create a “Christ-honoring replacement industry outside of Hollywood.” Replacing godless Hollywood with a Christian film industry is one piece of the Christian right strategy known as dominionism: creating “biblical” alternatives to, and ultimately replacements for, secular political, cultural, and economic institutions.

    The Festival is hosted by Vision Forum, the Reconstructionist, Christian patriarchal homeschooling organization. Vision Forum’s President, Doug Phillips, is no minor player in conservative politics: he is the son and follower of Howard Phillips, founder of the Constitution Party. Tea Party-backed candidates Rand Paul and Sharron Angle both have ties to the Constitution Party; in Colorado, former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo is running for governor on the Constitution Party ticket, endorsed by conservative blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson. Tea party groups are learning about the “biblical basis” of the Constitution from the Constitution Party-related Institute on the Constitution.

    The younger Phillips travels the country, to conventions and conferences sponsored by Vision Forum and its Reconstructionist allies, and is a renowned speaker at homeschool conventions that draw a much broader crowd. At all these conferences, he promotes an “integrated worldview” that draws heavily on Christian Reconstructionist founder Rousas John Rushdoony. That worldview includes extreme patriarchal gender roles, marriages arranged by fathers, a 200-year “family vision” to establish faithful “multi-generational families,” and a view of world history based on Rushdoony’s Biblical Philosophy of History, that is like David Barton’s Christian American history writing on steroids. In this view, all of human history—from creation through the fall, the resurrection and the daily activities of “covenanted” biblical families—is the unfolding of God’s Kingdom, as imagined by the Reconstructionists.

    For those not schooled in the philosophical/theological fine points of Christian Reconstructionism, it is based in the view that all knowledge is dependent upon one of two presuppositions: one must presuppose the God of the Bible and become subject to biblical law or, by default, one presupposes the supremacy of human reason (which is equated with the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden). In Reconstructionism there is no middle ground; either one subjects oneself to biblical law and lives according to its edicts, or one lives a fallen, rational, humanistic existence. Their goal is to bring other Christians to recognize this; or to bring about what they call “epistemological self-consciousness.”

    The admonition in the Festival’s mission statement to “bring into captivity every [frame] to the obedience of Christ” is a variation on the Reconstructionist articulation of “dominion theology” of bringing “every thought captive to Christ.” Reconstructionists argue that even most who consider themselves Christian are captive to humanistic ways of thinking and need to be made “self-conscious” about their assumptions so as to become “biblically consistent.” And once they have done that they can they can transform the culture by exercising dominion.

    The purpose of the Academy and the Festival is expressed in explicitly Reconstructionist language, drawn directly from Rushdoony:

    (To) motivate the next generation of Christian filmmakers to create “epistemologically self-conscious films”—films that reflect a distinctively and presuppositionally biblical worldview. We want our applicants to strive to bring “into captivity every [frame] to the obedience of Christ.” (italics added)

    The film competition website provides a glimpse of just what a culture transformed by Christian Reconstructionists would look like. There are no women depicted as faculty, presenters, or leaders in any sense; the overwhelming majority of winners in every category since 2004 are male (though occasionally there are “teams” that include a female member). Phillips and others, in discussions on his own website have argued (in keeping with other Reconstructionists), that women should not be allowed to vote since they are “represented” by their husbands in the voting booth.

    Phillips’ patriarchal “family vision,” with its rigidly proscribed gender norms that homeschooling is designed to reinforce, is described in detail by RD contributor Kathryn Joyce in her book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. Women are to be submissive in all things; their entire life purpose is to “glorify God” by producing as many children as possible. (Indeed the prolific Duggar family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting is a favorite of Vision Forum.) Boys and girls are socialized into distinctly different roles in which males are protective, adventurous, and imaginative; females are dependent, supportive, and submissive. Phillips promotes this family vision in the Academy and Festival by encouraging films that endorse it (in 2007 there was even a special category “Biblical Family”).

    That year, the “Best of Festival” Jubilee Award went to The Monstrous Regiment of Women, a “documentary” directed by Colin Gunn. The film, which has an all-female cast that includes anti-feminist doyenne Phyllis Schlafly and others, explores “how feminism has restricted choices for all women, brought heartache to the lives of many, and perpetuated an unprecedented holocaust through legalized abortion.” Gunn’s current work IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America, follows his family bus tour across the nation with his seven homeschooled children to “uncover the origins of our modern education system.” The film features Reconstructionist leaders such as Kevin Swanson, Gary North, Doug Phillips, and Geoff Botkin, and the Gunns’ interview with Howard Phillips. According to the film’s promotional materials, through his travels Gunn discovers a “master-plan designed to replace God’s recipe for education with a man-centered program that has fragmented the family, destroyed the social systems of our nation and undermined the influence of the church.”

    Indeed, dominionism is most powerfully evident in the Reconstructionists’ approach to education, which in turn produces the “biblical” filmmakers of the future. Whether through homeschooling or Christian schools, the goal is to “replace” public education, which, as Gunn’s film made clear, is considered unbiblical. According to Reconstructionism, the Bible gives authority for education to families—not the state—and the Bible does not give the state the authority to tax people to pay for the education of other peoples’ children. Reconstructionists are therefore opposed to public education, not only for their own children, but at all. They long have been proponents of dismantling the federal Department of Education (a view echoed by Angle during the campaign) and reducing funding for public education at every opportunity.

    The “biblical” alternatives of homeschooling and Christian schooling constitute what Doug Phillips describes as “Deuteronomy 6:6-8 applied—the daily discipleship of children by their parents (encompassing) not only the traditional academic instruction… but also worldview training, practical life preparation, and family vision-casting as well.” Every year Vision Forum invites homeschoolers from across the country to attend the Academy to learn to make “culture-transforming films.”

    The guidelines for the submission of films for the Festival’s Jubilee Award—which this year had a record 250 submissions competing for the cash prize of $101,000—reiterates Reconstructionist language and principles requiring that films be “epistemologically self-conscious.” Films are to honor “covenant- keeping” and “multi-generational families,” they are to reflect “an appreciation and support for both God’s revealed law and His (seven day literal) creation revelation,” and may not include “favorable implicit or explicit portrayals of evolutionary philosophy.” The filmmakers must certify that everyone involved in the film production at every level is of “good moral character,” understood as “keeping His law.” As one might expect, films are to be family-oriented, avoiding violence and sex, but the guidelines assert that unmarried actors depicted performing acts “reserved for the marriage bed” (including kissing) are adulterous violations against one’s current or future spouse.

    Last year, the “Best Feature” winner was Fireproof, starring Cameron, whose work in that film and the Left Behind movies (as well as in the much-ridiculed videos with Ray Comfort on how bananas prove evolution wrong) have earned him the admiration of conservative evangelicals. Illustrating the wide-ranging influence of these Reconstructionist-inspired films, and the lack of mainstream notice of their dominionist goals, NPR religion correspondent Barbara Bradford Hagerty’s 2009 story on the Festival made no mention of the dominion-oriented, patriarchal, theocratic underpinnings and goals of the Academy, the Festival, or its sponsors.

    In his announcement of the inauguration of the Festival in 2004, Phillips described it as a “journey of cultural dominion.” Without directly quoting Rushdoony, Phillips invoked him: “the Bible teaches that all men have faith, in that they either worship the creature or they worship the Creator, but no man is free from religious commitment… There is no neutrality!” He expounded upon the “vision to train Christians to actually think like Christians, and to take back the culture for the Lord Jesus Christ… to challenge the present culture… by boldly proclaiming the crown rights of Jesus Christ over every sphere of life and thought—including film.”

    The goal of a rival film industry to replace Hollywood, though, is merely an interim goal. Reconstructionists’ long-term goal is to produce a rival culture based in “Biblical Law,” and through what they call “multi-generational faithfulness” to the dominion mandate, to ultimately replace every aspect of our existing culture. They’ve obviously got a long way to go to accomplish that goal in its entirety, but for anyone who thinks that the Tea Party is an essentially secular libertarian movement with no connection to that dominion mandate, take note: last year, the Best of the Festival winner, the film The Widow’s Mite, was about the evils of taxation.

    * Tags christian reconstructionism, colin gunn, constitution party, doug phillips, kirk cameron, patriarchy, quiverfull, rousas john rushdoony, san antinio independent christian film festival, vision forum

  4. Hi Vicki and J.R,

    I hope we are not throwing out the baby with the bath water?

    Although I don’t subscribe to any of the ministries or doctrines/theologies you mentioned above, nor have I looked into them to any capacity, I hope your comments are not meant to discard the spiritual aspect of true biblical dominion presented in both the OT and NT scriptures?

    Before sinning, Adam had dominion over all the earth(Gen 1:26) and every living thing in the earth(Gen 1:28). All means all and every means every. At that OT time, humans were living things that moved upon the earth. Just because God specified animals in the previous sentence, you cannot rule out what God meant by saying all and every.

    God displayed His faithfulness in giving Adam this dominion by bringing the animals to Adam to see what Adam would name them, and Adam named every animal(Gen 2:19). I believe the word is clear and true that humans were included at this OT time, prior to the fall, to have dominion over other humans. We see it at work in humans after the fall in one army wanting to conquer and take over another for no reason. That is dominion over each other, just played out from the sin nature instead of the God nature. Despite that realm of dominion, which included humans, Adam was charged by God to use his dominion to protect and care for only the garden(Gen 2:15).

    We do know that satan was in the earth at the time of Adam’s fall because he came from within the earth into the garden. However, I question whether Adam was supposed to prevent that from happening by exercising the authority inherent in the dominion given to Adam. Dominion requires a responsibility. God charged Adam to have dominion over ALL of the earth(Gen 1:26), as well as over EVERY living thing in the earth(Gen 1:28). God expected Adam to take responsibility for something after giving him that level of dominion. Responsibility for naming the animals was inherent in having dominion over all the earth and every living thing in the earth.

    It appears that Adam lost this dominion and responsibility over all the earth, which included satan, from several observations. Instead of Adam having dominion over the earth, Adam now was made to toil over cursed ground and till it. Eve was to now have pain and sorrow during childbirth. Both were made to have sorrow, and the serpent would now bruise their heals. Before the fall, they had dominion and a responsibility to see that none of these things happened. The Dominion, authority, and ruler ship over the land to grow things before the fall did not encompass cursed ground, toiling, and sorrow. Dominion and authority over everything in the earth, including yourself/family, does not seem to encompass allowing your wife to have sorrow, pain, or even death in birthing. Dominion and authority over every living thing in the earth does not seem to encompass allowing a snake to bite and bruise your heal. If you have dominion and authority over all of the earth and every living thing in it then you have responsibility to see that these things don’t happen.

    After the Fall, Adam seems to have lost that aspect of dominion and authority he once had. It also appears that satan now seems to have that level of dominion, ruler ship, and authority over kingdoms and people that Adam was originally given. 2 Corinthians 4:4 – Satan, obviously after the fall, is referred to as the (g)od of this world. Luke 4:5-7 – Satan says that all the kingdoms of the world and the authority over them belongs to him. The only event between Adam being given that level of dominion and satan now seeming like he has it, was the fall of Adam into sin. Some exchange happened there.

    Satan did not stop God’s plan. Jesus came to take the Dominion, ruler ship, and authority satan gained at the fall and give it back to Man – 1 Corinthians 15:45 AMP – “the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life]“. Numbers 24:19 AMP – Out of Jacob shall one (One) come having dominion. Jesus came as the Last Adam to fulfill where the First Adam had failed, Jesus came having dominion and to destroy the works of the devil(Acts 10:38). 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 – God was reconciling the world unto Himself THROUGH the work of Christ. Hebrews 2:8 – He HAS put all things under his feet(past tense). But, we see that All things are not yet put under him. Jesus took over as the last Adam to show us how a son of God puts everything under Him. Romans 5:19, Romans 10:4, Romans 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Jesus restored those who became dead from the fall by causing believers to become righteous and holy in the sight of God. This allowed the Holy Spirit of God to be able to reside in man once again, that ability was lost at the fall. Jesus elevated the state of man back to the dominion, ruler ship, and authority over the earth again. Luke 10:19 proves that Jesus came to give us that authority back, Acts 1:8 proves that Jesus came to give us that power back, Acts 10:38 proves that Jesus was demonstrating this by destroying the works of the devil.

    Now, notice one thing that is missing from that OT time of dominion…..the dominion over people. Mark 10:42-44 – 42But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. Luke 22:25-26 – 25And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 1 Peter 5:2-3 – 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

    Jesus did not advocate using the new authority and dominion in the same way the OT dominion allowed for. Jesus demonstrated the lowliest of servants to his mutual human beings and did not lord over them in a slave or master way, and He taught that way to His disciples, and the disciples taught that to us via these scriptures.

    WE do not have dominion over another person’s will, However, Jesus did demonstrate that He had dominion over the works of the devil present in, on, or around another human’s body, and or mind. There is an appropriate use of authority over another persons’ body and mind, and that is to destroy the works of the devil. John 10:10 – the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy….therefore, anything that is fruit of those things is from the devil. Jesus came that we might have LIFE and that LIFE more abundant. If someone has cancer in their body, we have been given the authority(pre-permission) of Jesus(Luke 10:19), and the ability of the Holy Spirit(Acts 1:8) to take authority and dominion over that work of the devil and destroy it. Why? for the sake of that person seeing the goodness of God which will draw them to repentance(Romans 2:4), and so that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted far and high above ALL other things, He gets the glory. When we operate in faith like this on behalf of another person out of God’s love for that person, just like Jesus did, it is God’s pleasure to meet our work of faith with power(2 Thessalonians 1:11).

    We do have dominion and power over all the earth and every living thing in the earth again. However, not for the purpose of lording that power and authority over them to get them to do what we want. IF what you say about these ministries is true, that is where these ministries have taken the truth of the Word and gone off into heresy. We do have a responsibility to use the power and authority(dominion) we have been given to destroy the works of the devil, to battle the principalities and spiritual forces that influence people through manifesting works of the devil in, on, or around them. We are supposed to do the Word(James 1:22) and Jesus demonstrated for us how….be healed in Jesus name, evil spirit come out, stormy sea and winds Peace be still, spirit of depression come out, cancer go, aids go, schizophrenia go, ALL in the name of Jesus Christ.

    If you would like to learn more about how to operate in the authority and power of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, check our blog at http://www.theabideproject.wordpress.com.

    Blessings,
    Michael Saxbury

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