April 24, 2014

Mixing It Up, Feathers and All

cat-eating-bird

They have swallowed the Holy Spirit, feathers and all!

- attributed to Martin Luther

The past couple of weeks have shone a bright spotlight on Texas Senator Ted Cruz, his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and the government shutdown. Methodist pastor Morgan Guyton has written a fascinating portrayal of the theological roots of Cruz’s views in his article,  The Theology of Government Shutdown: Christian Dominionism.” 

In the piece, he raises concerns about how certain segments representing the Christian faith have been gaining influence in U.S. politics. Complementing reports from the past couple of years regarding the New Apostolic Reformation (see here and here and here), Guyton reinforces the observation that the “Christian Right” has morphed into a movement that is receiving renewed energy from Charismatic/Third Wave beliefs, practices, and networks.

He focuses his attention on Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, a preacher in Purifying Fire Ministries, founded by Suzanne Hinn. The elder Cruz is his son’s chief mentor and advisor, and they traveled together this past summer speaking out against “Obamacare.” This article in National Review, describes the growing influence Rafael has been having on Tea Party conservatives.

Morgan Guyton references a sermon Rafael Cruz preached last year at New Beginnings Church in Dallas. He spoke as part of a series Pastor Larry Huch called, “Getting to the Top and Staying There.” Huch introduced Cruz with these words:

We’ve been doing this series here that God laid on my heart: Getting to the top and staying there. A message for us as individuals, the kingdom of God, but also for America. It’s not enough to get there. We need to stay there. It’s not a coincidence that in a few weeks, we go into what’s called in the Bible Rosh Hashanad [sic]… It will be the beginning of the spiritual year 2012. The number 12 means divine government. That God will begin to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington, God’s people and His kingdom will begin to rule and reign. I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected, Ted Cruz the next senator.

But here’s the exciting thing… The rabbinical teaching is… that in a few weeks begins that year 2012 and that this will begin what we call the end-time transfer of wealth. And that when these Gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grow and grow and grow. It’s said this way: that God is looking at the church and everyone in it and deciding in the next three and a half years who will be his bankers. And the ones that say here I am Lord, you can trust me, we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the messiah.

Cruz then preached on Revelation 1:5-6, asserting that Christians today are called to be either “priests” or “kings.” In the Bible, the priests were those who worked specifically for the temple and represented God to the people. Kings, on the other hand, “were anointed to take dominion. Kings were anointed to go to war, win the war, and bring the spoils of war to priests so the work of the kingdom of God could be accomplished.”

Applying this to today’s believers, Cruz says:

Our churches unfortunately are very focused on only one of these anointings and that is on the priestly anointing… Those of you who think you don’t have the anointing to teach the word of God, to be teaching Sunday school, you’re second class citizens. And so you begin to lead frustrated lives… The majority of you… your anointing… is an anointing as king. God has given you an anointing to go to the battlefield. And what’s the battlefield? The marketplace. To go to the marketplace and occupy the land. To go to the marketplace and take dominion.

Guyton concludes by giving a summary interpretation of what he heard in these messages from Huch and Rafael Cruz, and how it applies to the recent efforts of Ted Cruz in Washington:

So to pull all this logic together, God anoints priests to work in the church directly and kings to go out into the marketplace to conquer, plunder, and bring back the spoils to the church. The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian “kings” who will accomplish the “end time transfer of wealth.” Then “God’s bankers” will usher in the “coming of the messiah.” The government is being shut down so that God’s bankers can bring Jesus back.

Cats_wallpapers_358Common teaching in the amorphous movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation says that Christians are to exercise dominion in terms of the “Seven Mountains” of culture: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family, and religion.

This terminology has drawn widespread criticism, leading many Christians to deny that “dominionism” is about seizing control and exercising power. Rather, it is about involvement and influence.

In an article defending the NAR, C. Peter Wagner, who named the movement and is recognized as one of its apostles, defines “dominionism” in the following terms:

This refers to the desire that some of my friends and I have to follow Jesus and do what He wants. One of the things He does want He taught us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This means that we do our best to see that what we know is characteristic of heaven work its way into the warp and woof of our society here on earth. Think of heaven: no injustice, no poverty, righteousness, peace, prosperity, no disease, love, no corruption, no crime, no misery, no racism, and I could go on. Wouldn’t you like your city to display those characteristics?

But where does dominion come in? On the first page of the Bible, God told Adam and Eve to “fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, etc.” (Genesis 1:28). Adam, Eve, and the whole human race were to take dominion over the rest of creation, but Satan entered the picture, succeeded in usurping Adam’s dominion for himself and became what Jesus calls “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30). When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and He expects His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of His kingdom here on earth. This is what we mean by dominionism. 

Wagner insists there is no NAR organization; it exists as a relational network of people with a like-minded, Spirit-led vision. Those in the network do share a common Charismatic/Third Wave theology. This perspective emphasizes: (1) governing apostles, (2) prophets who speak revelation from God, (3) dominion theology, (4) prosperity/Word of faith theology, (5) supernatural signs and wonders, and (6) a strong emphasis on spiritual warfare. 

Call me old-fashioned, but it sounds like a volatile and undesirable mixture to combine naive Christian nationalism (think David Barton) with “Spirit-filled” religious enthusiasm (think Rick Joyner or other charismatic megachurch pastors).

Their view of the United States is that:

  • The U.S. once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation.
  • It is the Christians’ duty to “take back” the country from secularism, moral degradation, and socialism.

Their theology calls people:

  • to see themselves as God’s anointed soldiers on the front lines of spiritual warfare;
  • to believe that they are called and responsible to “change the world”;
  • to submit to a charismatic oligarchy who bring new revelations from God to them;
  • to seek dominion in their culture through a faith that is guaranteed to secure prosperity, blessing, power, and influence.

That’s swallowing the Holy Spirit, feathers and all. And chewing up the bones.

I tend to think it might lead to people who will not play nice with others.

And the worst part of all is that they totally miss the message of Jesus. They actually believe that Christians are going to win by winning.

There’s a cross hanging front and center in my church that begs to differ.

Comments

  1. Vega Magnus says:

    The worst thing Cruz has done is use the hashtag #Dontblink on Twitter in reference to the shutdown. How DARE he politicize a reference to one of the best Doctor Who episodes ever, even unknowingly?!

  2. The last shall be first in the kingdom of… aw forget it.

    The U.S. once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation.

    Do these guys ever explicitly define what “Christian nation” means and what period of history this applied to the U.S? It seems like you can only do this by being abstract in your definitions and hand-waving away various peculiar institutions or trails of tears…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      The “period of history” depends on who you talk to. Founding Fathers to War of Yankee Aggression overturning the Godly Christian Nation and its Peculiar Institution regarding Animate Property…

      However, the “should again be” is pretty well pinned down:
      The Holy Republic of Gilead from The Handmaid’s Tale.

      • HUG, you mis-quoted. That period of the mid 1800′s is still referred to, in pockets of the Commonwealth of Virginia,as the …”War of NORTHERN Aggression…”

        AND I find this whole movement as outlined here to be very scary-creepy-bound to end badly!

        • Yeah…um, “Yankee” and “northern” in this case are synonymous, Pattie. Though I must admit, it is nice to see a comment where you don’t mention being Catholic! ;)

  3. “I tend to think it might lead to people who will not play nice with others.”

    Understatement of the year.

    Great post. I had no idea. Your last two paragraphs hit the nail on the head.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian “kings” who will accomplish the “end time transfer of wealth.” Then “God’s bankers” will usher in the “coming of the messiah.” The government is being shut down so that God’s bankers can bring Jesus back.

    Unlike the International Jew Bankers (the Rothschilds, Bilderbergers, Wall Street, etc) who will usher in the coming of The Antichrist. (At least that’s how the official Dispy narrative went in the heyday of Hal Lindsay.)

    It’s said this way: that God is looking at the church and everyone in it and deciding in the next three and a half years who will be his bankers. And the ones that say here I am Lord, you can trust me, we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the messiah.

    Among Dispys, isn’t The Antichrist to be revealed as such three and a half years into the Tribulation? When he comes as a Messiah figure? “Who is like The Beast?”

    • I was/am a dispensationalist, but I have never been into conspiracy theories at all.

      While I agreed with a lot of Hal Lindsey’s pre- mil/ futurist/ pre-trib views, his fondness for conspiracy theories always made me cringe.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        For some reason American Christians are especially prone to Conspiracy Theories. Especially Grand Unified Conspiracy Theories orchestrated by SATAN(TM), where EVERYONE except themselves is Part of The Conspiracy. The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

        Here’s an old online essay on the subject that still holds true:
        http://www.acts17-11.com/conspire.html
        Note the statement that the two bloodiest dictatorships of the 20th Century — Naziism and Communism — were both based around Grand Unified Conspiracy Theories.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    It will be the beginning of the spiritual year 2012. The number 12 means divine government.

    NUMEROLOGY! The Magickal symbolism of Numbers!

  6. Mike – Thanks so much for this post. I was in NAR-associated circles for a while (back in the day) and they are scary.

    They will also like in order to protect their own interests and further their goal of “taking back” places – and people – for god (not capital-g God, please note).

    They are dangerous, and they are far more involved in politics (at pretty much every level) than they have ever (willingly) let on.

  7. Err, – “lie,” not “like.”

  8. Sorry to know all this. Unfortunately Cruz seems to be part of a comedy-skit team that is in no way equipped to confront the serious-as-cancer cultural Marxists who want to destroy everything decent. If this is what Christianity and conservatism are offering in response to their opponents, we’re all finished.

    • +1

      (…surely we can do better than crazy ideologues on BOTH sides…)

      • The problem is that there aren’t any “crazy ideologues” on the left-wing side with any appreciable power. On the other hand, the right has been radicalized and its crazy ideologues are driving the bus.

        And that has created an odd dynamic. The essentially centrist Democratic party has been forced to take conservative (in the actual definition of the term, not the way it tends to be used today to describe the radical right) position after position as it seeks to defend or conserve existing institutions.

        There’s really no sense in which a radicalized Republican party can be described as “conservative” without stepping off into Orwellian newspeak.

        • “The problem is that there aren’t any “crazy ideologues” on the left-wing side with any appreciable power. “ Hmm. Who is it that actually CALLS one side as crazy or extreme? Have they ever been known to brand the “left in such terms? Ever?

          Before you drink the Kool-aid of the opinion makers be sure you know where their sympathies lie. If you totally agree with their assessment then you have not critically looked at their motivation.

          Unfortunately this newest post is a hit piece on a segment of the political right based on the beliefs of the father of ONE member of that group. A conflation based on an extreme fringe of Christian ideology. One of the worst Intermonk posts ever!

          • A father and son who work closely together and say the same things. A father who has become influential in the Tea Party (read the National Review article). The focus is on the father because he is the theological voice. He’s the “priest.” Ted is the “king.”

          • Richard Hershberger says:

            “Hmm. Who is it that actually CALLS one side as crazy or extreme? Have they ever been known to brand the “left in such terms? Ever?”

            If I understand your comment correctly, you are starting with the assumption that the two sides are equivalent, and therefore any critique of one side but not the other reveals bias. This begs the question (in the traditional sense of the phrase). If the two sides are not in fact equivalent, then different responses to them is appropriate.

            “Before you drink the Kool-aid of the opinion makers be sure you know where their sympathies lie.”

            This assumes that there is only one group of opinion makers with one flavor of Kool-Aid. Are you going to claim that you are not influenced by opinion makers, pushing their own perspectives? Fair warning: claim this and I will point and laugh.

        • Interesting point of view.

          I might not agree with you though that there aren’t any crazy Idealogues on the left wing side…

          • Radagast — Scott said “crazy idealogues with any appreciable power.”

          • Hi Damaris,

            Like the environmentalists?

            I agree that the theology and words used in this article would be something I’d rail against. Yes I think it could be dangerous thought for people. My objection is that it is tied to Ted Cruz… it shows a political bias because I generally don’t see things coming out here that reflect the religious nonsense from the other side of the spectrum… or can we assume that everyone here already considers that a given…

            As seen from the comments this will begin to trend not in a theological direction but a poltical one… and the comments about those nutty conservative/republican/tea party dolts are already beginning to appear. My comments below simply reference what I observe as a trend here… as one wanders away from evangelism one becomes less conservative (if that is where they trended in the first place). Yes, genralizations get one in trouble… but sometimes, when looking at groups it can be useful information.

          • Richard Hershberger says:

            “Like the environmentalists?”

            When you write “the” environmentalists you suggest that the environmental movement is a unified movement with a single identifiable position that can be evaluated for craziness. This is, of course, utter nonsense. People who self-identify as “environmentalists”–to say nothing of people whom you might so identify–hold a wide range of positions. At one end are people who think that people who make messes are responsible for cleaning them up. If this makes them crazy ideologues, then so are every parent that ever demanded that their kids clean up after themselves. At the other end are people who are indeed crazy ideologues. Pretending that the far end is representative of the whole is merely a strategy for dismissing them all without the dreary necessity of actually addressing their concerns..

          • Richard,

            It (environmentalists) may not be as organized as it once was but still a lobbying group. Additionally, you do have groups lke Move on.org and such on the left. I see most of these groups (both right and left) as going through a life cycle of being relevent for a time then losing influence as their popularity wanes… this I believe is going on with the Tea Party and really with the view of the Christian Right in general.

            I agree that everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the environemt and leave it cleaner than they left it… but thats different rom a group not wanting the Keystone Pipeline to go through.

            In a sense though I don’t see the tea party movement as extremists either – most in the movement just wanting smaller government and again, as with the environmentalists, they are a loosely fitting group and don’t always have the same objectives within the movement.

  9. to see themselves as God’s anointed soldiers on the front lines of spiritual warfare;

    Based on what little I’ve read of these groups (the dominionists and like minded), they only believe that is so for males. The women folk exist only to breed more Christian males and to scrub dirty dishes.

    Some of these groups don’t believe women should attend college or hold careers.

    • Dan Crawford says:

      “Holy” Insanity and a perfect illustration of what Ross Douthat calls “bad religion”.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Based on what little I’ve read of these groups (the dominionists and like minded), they only believe that is so for males. The women folk exist only to breed more Christian males and to scrub dirty dishes.

      Cookers, Cleaners, Breeders (of SONS only).

      Welcome to the Holy Republic of Gilead.

  10. Actually, you’ve got his name a bit wrong up there. It’s Morgan Guyton. He’s a pastor in my town. Young guy too. Also has a blog: http://morganguyton.wordpress.com/.

  11. Great article, Mike — and I love the picture!

  12. It’s those darn nutty conservatives again Martha, shuttin down the goverment over their wacky ideas. Darn nutty christians….

    Yup… extremes on both sides, only as folks here move deeper into the post evangelistic wilderness one side will continue to look worse than the other. I’d expect to see something written that might balance this out… but Iwon’t hold my breath… darn nutty conservatives….

    • Darn nutty Liberal post-evangelism blog with their darn nutty media bias! Crazy liberals trying to keep the government open so they can spend our tax dollars to worship Satan and lower health care costs! Liberal NUTS with their ideas of false equivalency…as if there is more irrationality in conservative politicians than in the nutjob liberal ones! Now THAT is a crazy idea.

    • AMEN!! The whole post is a hit piece on one man based on the words of his father. A scare tactic using a fringe Christian movement as the bogyman.

      • Gotta make those conservatives look like religious zealots, don’t ya know.

        • Steve, this is not about “making” anybody look like anything. This is observing what some people themselves are saying and doing.

          • Let’s see you mock liberal Christians for their political views and figure out how they got so wacky.

            I won’t hold my breath.

          • Do you try and tie what Harry Reid says to his Mormon upbringing?

          • From my experience with 3rd Wavers, I’d say CM has somewhat restrained himself in this post.

            Some of our younger friends were enticed into an Apostolic Overlordship headed up by a dude who lives in Jamaica and sends orders to his UnderApostles here in the states. What is especially attractive to folks in their 20′s is that these leaders know how to infuse discipline, equip young people to be successful in life, and provide concrete answers and vision for those in the stage of life where those things are marginal.

            The group is very secretive. I never hear or read Jesus mentioned. Success is judged by upward economic mobility. Almost all motifs are couched in Old Testament terms of violence.

            It’s another form of extreme quasi-Christian Fundamentalism which will probably make Al Qida (sp.) look moderate.

      • This “fringe” movement may have a leading Republican presidential candidate in 2016, after having several in the debates in the last election. You have no idea.

        • In response to your comments above CM…

          In the last presidential election we had Rick Santorum… and although he was painted extreme bcause of his views (which by the way were really just reflective of Catholic teaching) he was considered to extreme and therefor not elected. And that is usually the way it goes… we like our centrists when electing a President.

          We also had Mitt Romney, who by his association with the Church of the Latter Day Saints lost votes on both sides. Did it mean he was going to run out and baptize all of our dead relatives into his Church… no. I actually liked the fact he had a strong moral foundation that upon closer examination came through in a humble way in many of his actions while in public office.

          So I don’t worry much about this… there aren’t enough of this “sect” to get any traction mong conservatives… Ted, if elected, would have to downplay those tendencies if they manifested, though I believe he would be weeded out before then. I do appreciate though making me aware this exists.

          I just wish though that there had been this much scrutiny about our current POTUS… as I believe he was given a pass….over and over and over again. Not being political here….

          • I’m not sure our president ever represented or was tied to a Christian “movement” whose goal is to exercise dominion throughout the culture, was he?

            This post is more about that movement than Ted Cruz, who merely represents a very public (at the moment) example of it. And I took great pains throughout the post not to say anything negative from my personal perspective about the Senator and his particular political positions.

          • Yes… you did go the extra mile CM… I will acknowledge that. Sorry to get things off track.

    • Both sides have their crazies, but those in the Republican party (really more Libertarian than Conservative) lately wield much more power and influence than those on the left.

      The “Obama birther” and “9/11 truther” conspiracy theories are instructive examples. There are a fair number of truthers on the left (though a handful on the right too), but almost all of the Democrat leadership kept far away from them. Many prominent Republicans, on the other hand, pandered to birthers even if they didn’t embrace their theory completely (“Yes, Obama was probably born in the US, but his refusal to release the certificate sure is suspicious isn’t it?”). Donald Trump briefly polled well solely because he pandered to birthers!

      So while both sides do it, one side currently does it disproportionately.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I noticed that the Republicans in 2009 are acting exactly like the Democrats in 2001. Reacting to defeat by doubling down into Purity of Ideology.

        In 2001 when Dubya Bush won the White House in one of the closest elections in history, the Dems reacted in the Soviet manner: Conspiracy Theory (“BUSHITLER STOLE THE ELECTION” and “9/11 TRUTHERS!”), Prophecies of Doom and Gloom, and Purity of Ideology Purity of Ideology Purity of Ideology.

        In 2009 when Obama won the White House, the GOP reacted in the Soviet manner: Conspiracy Theory (“WHERE’S THE REAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE?” — WND), Prophecies of Doom, and Purity of Ideology Purity of Ideology Purity of Ideology.

  13. Post-EVANGELICAL, Radagast. And this is more about theology than politics.

    • Agreed CW… but it’s where ya go looking for it….. and I will be te first one to agree I tend to “Archie Bunker” my words… which is why I respect the commenters here at IM… they are more eloquent than I…

      BTW – not looking to talk politics here… too much mud to throw from both sides. Simply an observation. Maybe write one day about the conflict of a Nancy Pelosi and how she reconciles her decision making with her faith… wait … no not interested.

      I also understand that I am not exposed as much to the nutty little popes driving their own little organizations, except when I am driving cross country and I see the billboards… so maybe this doesn’t resonate with me as much….

      • While talking about any politicians (including Nancy Pelosi) and how they reconcile their work with their faith would be interesting, and may provide grist for future posts, this post is about a transformation in a larger cultural movement — the Christian Right. The work of the Christian Right is one of the primary reasons a lot of us became post-evangelical and is still cited as a main reason for people leaving evangelical church culture. This subject is near the bull’s-eye when it comes to the history and genre of Internet Monk.

        And what this article is really about, more specifically, is Pentecostalism and the new found power and influence in its ranks. This is a trend in evangelicalism that is probably worth watching, since Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing segment of that culture, both here and around the world. I could have expanded this if I’d had more time to research it. There’s a lot of talk in this movement about “transforming the nations,” not just the U.S., and I’d be interested to hear from any of our IM readers about the impact of this theology in other parts of the world.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Pentecostalism. Tongues Tongues Tongues. Channeling “The Holy Spirit(TM)”, being ridden by “The Holy Spirit(TM)” like Voudun being ridden by their Loa. THAT’s what’s going after Political Power?

        • Understood CM… I get the spirit of your article… in my world I don’t see much of this so it is not as much on my radar… could be a bigger thing than what I am aware of….

          I’m not really worried about Cruz though… he is a cult of personality and probably a flash in the pan… we tend not to elect those kind of folk… oops… come to think of it… I stand corrected….

  14. Hmmmm: my interest here is local, there seems to be something of an IHOP conncection to the NAR, though the HOPers have tried to put some distance between themselves and anything political. With the IHOP push towards the 20somethings, I think they’ll continue to keep that distance, that generation doesn’t care much for hardcore politics.

    Radagast, get over your offense, this is an affront not only to the Holy Spirit, but is an ugly , grotesque, mockery of the Kingdom of God, home of the lowest , the lost , the least.

    • greg r,

      I will ponder your words….

      Radagast

      IHOP – International House of Pancakes?

      • Well, it USED to be the pancake thing until mike bickle heard from the lord that the pancake thing was an old dispensation…new thing is international house of prayer ,or IHOP

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Which has been savaged on a LOT of Spiritual Abuse and Flake Christianity Watchdog blogs.

          I worked for the Pancake IHOP from 1978-1982, and their management was nothing to brag about either. When a German-born supervisor starts making Nazi jokes about the top management, you KNOW you’ve surpassed the Dilbert Zone. (Our whole department ended up bailing at once, leaving the pointy-haired bosses high and dry.)

    • IHOP has thrown in to politics a number of times, Lou Engle being the biggest example. Bickle was at Rick Perry’s Prayer Rally (which didn’t really seem to go anywhere, giving me some hope for this connection to the NAR as well). But check out videos from Lou Engle or Cindy Jacobs. It ain’t benign.

      They’re just as politically minded and silly as the rest of them, but they hide it behind the whole “24/7 Prayer” thing (which is a ton of chanting of random phrases and nonstop music written by IHOP artists. Hmm….)

    • IHOP serves to radicalize young people into Levitical Pentecostalism with a good dose of American Patriotism thrown in for free.

      • Yes!! Exactly!!

      • IHOP attracts a LOT of oriental youngsters (not sure if they are more taiwanese, korean, or equal numbers of both…) so this should be interesting how the america card plays out; that and as I said, that younger generation (generally ) does not have much of a stomach for politics….. maybe IHOPers are different than their peers in that way, don’t know…

  15. I am more and more coming to the conclusion that self doubt is possible the most important virtue to have…..but I could be wrong.

    A couple of this weeks better Facebook commentaries on the subject:

    “I realize that my fellow Americans are going to be quite busy today trying to pick up all the slack from the government shutdown.

    In an effort to help you be more efficient I’ve created a multiple choice status update because, as important as both showing your ignorance and arrogance are, you’ve got stuff to do.

    Feel free to just copy and paste this with the appropriate party affiliation and talking points selected:

    Those damn (Republicans/Democrats) and their damn (shutdown/Obamacare). All they really care about is (money/making themselves feel superior) . Yeah, maybe (Harry Reid/Ted Cruz) have never even read the actual law they’re fighting about, but surely (Rachel Maddow/Rush Limbaugh) has and they tell me that it is (going to eliminate all forms of disease/turn America into a post apocalyptic slum). The fact that you damn (Republicans/Democrats) refuse to (support/stop) the (shutdown/Obamacare) shows just how evil you (Republicans/Democrats) really are.”

    AND even better

    “I just wanted to take this opportunity to blame that evil political party, you know the one. The fact is they are unreasonable and unwilling to employ the tools of politics. Our favorite politicians are clearly just trying to do what the people want, it is those other guys that are in the wrong, entirely. If those bastards (pardon the coarse language) can’t get things together, they should be run out of Washington on a rail. I am so tired of the folks who just can’t see who is making these things worse, who is forcing their ideals down the throats of the rest of us. Maybe we just need to institute some other form of government; one that is designed to let the right party lead without the interference of those jerks in the other one. Has that ever been done?”

    • Funny! I see you’ve stumbled on the repository of words that both parties pull from. Nice.

    • We’re not going to talk about the specific politics of this today. I will definitely delete comments that go there.

      This about the morphing of the Christian Right through the increased involvement of Pentecostal/Charismatic/Third Wave theology.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        “And the Forces of Unreason flourish….”
        – Gordon Dickson(?)

      • I was not trying to wax political, but rather point to what is at the core of both sides desire and attempts to take rule the world. Unquestionable, il informed arrogance.

      • So you are cessationist then, Chaplain Mike?

        • No

        • “Cessationist” is a bogus term created by charismatics to malign those who have no use for their silly doctrinal innovations. And dispensationalists. Sacramental Christianity has always had a robust pneumatology in no need of legalistic Charismatic “categories” which seek to justify every unexplainable metaphysical phenomenon through proof-texting. We believe in the gifts of the Spirit. We believe he is alive and active today. We just don’t think the words you hear in your head are divine revelation. :P

  16. Thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons I consider myself post-evangelical.

    Lord have mercy…

    • Lee, I see that Joseph (an old time commenter here and elsewhere) has not commented on this thread. He is well positioned to do so and I know he would second your “Lord have mercy.”

  17. flatrocker says:

    CM,
    A very powerful reminder at the end of your post…

    “There’s a cross hanging front and center in my church that begs to differ”

    With no sin, there’s no need for a Savior.
    With no Savior, there’s no need for a cross.

    Interesting how these images seem to go vacant when we get into the “conquering mode.”

  18. Mike,

    What happened to my comment? It was up. Now it has disappeared.

    • It was deleted because it was an argument about particular political positions and decisions, not about the subject of the post.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I’m not surprised that the commenter whose comments sound like sermons in fluent Christianese also (when the subject went into politics) sounded like a Tea Party True Believer. There’s a little too much incestuous relationship between Extreme Christianity and Extreme Politics these days. Religious Cult, meet Political Cult; I now pronounce you CULT and CULT. You may now drink the Kool-Aid.

  19. David Cornwell says:

    Love that cat pic!

  20. Mike, in your summary bullet points, I don’t see how Pentecostalism specifically plays into their dominionism, except perhaps the sense of excitement within a charismatic movement is being channeled to political ends; and perhaps the Pentecostal movement happens to provide a network of contacts in which the ideas spread.
    The thing that strikes me is that they have to ignore Jesus’ own approach: “if my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight” (Would Jesus tweet #dontblink# to Peter as he draws his sword?).

    Our brethren in the NAR who are dominionists may not be enemies of Christ, but they may be practicing as enemies of the CROSS of Christ, setting their focus on earthly things.

    • Pentecostalism plays into their dominionism because they see the issues they hold dear as “spiritual” and part of the great spiritual battle for America’s soul. Their prophets claim to give revelations about the nation. Their apostles preach about it. They see demons and territorial demonic activity behind the issues. And their prosperity gospel leads them to embrace a theology of glory and triumphalism.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Their prophets claim to give revelations about the nation. Their apostles preach about it. They see demons and territorial demonic activity behind the issues.

        Which elevates Everything — EVERYTHING, no matter how trivial — to Literally COSMIC Importance. They’re in a Frank Peretti Novel warring to the death against All the Demons of Hell, with God having them all on speed-dial. “HERE AHURA-MAZDA, THERE AHRIMAN!!!!!”

      • Not uncommon to see some weird version of zionism stirred into the dominionism/nationalism stew. To which I say : “Triple BOO”. Again, I am not much of a political animal (they all look like interchangeable widgets to me), but when you are foisting some kind of basta$dized version of the Kingdom of God by all this…. then I get a little bit cranky. That’s my tribe and the LORD of LORDS we’re dragging thru the political ooze here (which happens on BOTH sides of the politcal aisle, I’m sure).

      • That astringent Calvinist Rousas John Rushdoony must be spinning in his grave furiously enough to light up the entire Pacific Northwest to see his teachings adopted so fervently by the Montanists.

        Just sayin’

      • Chaplain Mike, I grew up in a fundamentalist, non-Pentecostal environment, and they were just as much into dominionism and for all the same reasons (minus the actual use of the word “apostolic”).

  21. Mule Chewing Briars says:

    It’s not a coincidence that in a few weeks, we go into what’s called in the Bible Rosh Hashanad [sic]… It will be the beginning of the spiritual year 2012.

    But here’s the exciting thing… The rabbinical teaching is… that in a few weeks begins that year 2012 and that this will begin what we call the end-time transfer of wealth.

    Why are these guys constantly referencing Jewish festivals and [doubtful] “rabbinical” teachings? Is the book of Galatians not in their NT? This brew could get really volatile if it starts to mix with Hagee’s Christian Zionism.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “Rabbinical teaching?” Sounds like that crazy black preacher (“Bishop” of a “Ministry” named after himself, natch) who got a Rabbi to Anoint him “KING” in a public ceremony involving “a Holocaust Torah Scroll”.

      And I’ve experienced Christian Zionism in the heyday of Hal Lindsay and Christians For Nuclear War. I called it “Anti-Semitic Zionism”.

    • “Those who believe are the children of Abraham.”

      As I’ve long been saying, if both Christian Zionism and Galatians are correct, then don’t all of us Christians get a slice of the Holy Land?

      O foolish San Antonians, who hath bewitched you….

      • see N.T.Wright (and others): the “holy land” might end up being the whole regenerated earth….. the “holy land” itself might have gotten upgraded to “the whole garden…..” this happens not as part of some religious/political push , or special “end times” as much as Jesus the messiah bringing in the new heavens and new earth…. this isn’t america brought back to greatness, it’s the messiah claiming and recreating what’s HIS/ ours.

    • Mule wrote;

      Why are these guys constantly referencing Jewish festivals and [doubtful] “rabbinical” teachings? Is the book of Galatians not in their NT? This brew could get really volatile if it starts to mix with Hagee’s Christian Zionism.

      I think it’s called Selective Prooftexting and Gross Ignorance of the New Testament and the Person of Jesus ®

  22. Randy Thompson says:

    For the followers of the crucified Messiah, the quest for power always ends badly. Too many Christians want to be a player, in both ecclesiastical and political circles.

    Confusing power with authority not only ends badly, it begins badly. Newt Gingrich had power; Martin Luther King had authority. Which one made the biggest impact on America? People with power get what they want; people with authority tend to get what God wants. (That’s an oversimplification, I know; but I believe it rings true.)

    And, by the way, didn’t the original Zealots come to a very bad end? Maybe the religious right ought to get familiar with Josephus and his Jewish War (of 68-70 A.D.) The Zealots certainly had a grandiose vision of the Kingdom coming, and went all out to bring it about. They ended up hurting (i.e., killing) a lot of people and ended up dead. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  23. Knitting Jenny says:

    The homeschooling movement is bursting at the seams with these folks. “Dominion” is the major theme of their statewide conferences and their publications. They are wealthy and influential, so much so that it’s become nearly impossible to find any Christian homeschool materials that emphasize humility and taking up one’s cross.

    I came to the conclusion that their Bible must be missing this part:

    And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45

  24. David Cornwell says:

    My problem with the “Christian Right” it that it conflates a brand of patriotic fervor, capitalistic greed, American militarism, and moralistic legalism, into the word “Christian.” Agree with their program and we become a “Christian nation.” Disagree and it is humanistic and secular. But they make the definitions all along the line. As one woman stated her position “I carry a bible in one hand and a copy of the constitution in the other.”

    Dominionism is an extreme branch of the whole movement, but seems to have gained a lot of influence.

  25. They took the crazy pill. This is the TRUE zombie apocalypse.

  26. I found this focus group report, just released, to be very enlightening, if you want to understand today’s Republicans. Turns out evangelicals are a very strong force.

    http://www.democracycorps.com/attachments/article/954/dcor%20rpp%20fg%20memo%20100313%20final.pdf

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Well, the guy over at the now-defunct Onward, Forward, Toward blog snarked about how “GOP” really stands for “God’s Only Party”.

  27. …Along with the Tea Party. They seem to be driving the Republican Party now.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      The Tea Party began as a coalition of guys who were just fed up with Business as Usual. Then as they coalesced, the Loud Crazies emerged. And just like in Furry Fandom, the Loud Crazies took control; after all, they didn’t have jobs or lives to take time and energy away from The Cause. You saw a similar dynamic in the Dems after The Sixties, when they had an influx of Young Restless and Truly Radical types coming in from the counterculture raging about Vietnaaaaaaam.

  28. Randy Thompson says:

    A further thought on Dominion theology, and the Tea Party, insofar as they go together: (In other words, more history–that boring subject about which our indifference and illiteracy may come back to haunt us.)

    Specifically, do a Google search on John of Leiden and the radical Anabaptist revolt at Munster during the Reformation.

    It would be a very good thing for Christians, especially those who are politically active and who tend to confuse their political agenda with the Kingdom of God, to remember John of Leiden and the radical Anabaptist revolt at Leiden. Heeding prophetic words that the Kingdom was coming–to Munster–the poor, sad folks of Munster ended up with prophetically inspired polygamy, communal sharing of goods, hunger, death and general misery.

    The Anabaptists learned the hard way what our charismatic Dominionist friends haven’t learned yet, I fear.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Ever heard of the phrase “Now it’s YOUR turn in the barrel”?

      “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” is all too often followed by “But How Were We To Know?”

  29. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And the worst part of all is that they totally miss the message of Jesus. They actually believe that Christians are going to win by winning.

    “And then we WILL achieve True Communism, Comrades!”

  30. The problem, as I see it anyway, is not that Christian dominionists are involved in and gaining power in politics: this is the sphere in which they belong, and they can put their ideas out there against all the other ideologies and let the voters choose. Ted Cruz has made a splash not because of his father (though there seems little doubt that he is deeply influenced by his father) but because he is himself a smart, able and articulate politician. He will win no national elections if he is a rigid Christian dominionist, so he doesn’t worry me particularly.

    The real problem (and it’s not limited to dominionists and right wing Christians by any means) is the belief that it’s up to people of faith to bring about the kingdom of God, that if we don’t take the right actions all is lost. My own denomination (the Episcopal Church) in much of what it does shows this belief in its left-wing guise and is as tone-deaf and misguided in its enthusiasms as is Ted Cruz’s father in his.

    Anytime we try to advance Christianity or Christian principles by means of the state and its laws and instruments of coercion, whether to “take back” the country from secularism, as the dominionists want or to force us to love our neighbors under threat of punishment if we don’t, we have abandoned the Christian faith for the ideology of Christianism. And, whether in its right or left wing garb, it is soul-killing.

  31. The “theology” of dominionism may bring a backlash of persecution against Christians.

    • That is an insult to Christians around the world who are ACTUALLY persecuted.

      • Nope. Because not all persecution is the same. It occurs differently in different contexts. Just as there are poor in America who are still incredibly rich compared to other parts of the world. Doesn’t make them any less poor in context.

  32. This shutdown is really crazy, Sometimes I think the Republican Party is crazy. Although there must be some sensible people there.
    There are also some extremists in “dominion theology”. But putting this together smells too much like a conspiracy theory in my opinion (something many Americans are fond of).