You might want to sit down before reading this. Seriously. You wouldn’t think a Christian Reconstructionist would be frightened by anything. I mean, to a liberal, they’re a pretty scary bunch. But they seem to be a bit alarmed by the rise of the Seven Mountains Dominionists and their growing influence since Rick Perry’s prayer-fast in Houston on August 6.
Right Wing Watch reported yesterday that talk-show host Janet Mefferd was talking about how “conservative Christian activists are marveling at the “strange turn of events” that had brought the self-proclaimed apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation together with the traditional Religious Right activists.”
Traditional…remember, it’s only been twenty to thirty years since these fundamentalists became to infiltrate the Christian mainstream themselves and the term Religious Right only comes into vogue after Jerry Falwell’s establishment of the Moral Majority in 1979. “Traditional” is apparently a relative term.
What is interesting is that while many fundamentalists are pretending no such thing as dominionism exists, Mefferd was referring to the dominionists as being “mainstreamed” at The Response. Just as they themselves were once mainstreamed by Ronald Reagan. Oh dear.
As RRW reports,
Along with her guest, “Christian apologist” Robert Bowman of the Institute for Religious Research, Mefferd expressed her grave concerns about the growing influence of dominionists and their participation in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. They defined dominionism as the belief that fundamentalist Christians should have control over positions of political power and administer law according to Biblical precepts.
Ooops! It seems to be almost a “how did they get in my bed?” response. But as the pre-Hitler Nazi Party discovered, you have to be careful who you invite to your table. There is always somebody more extreme out there than you.
Here’s what Mefferd and her guest had to say:
Mefferd: So if Christians go for instance to a prayer rally and there are a lot of dominionist people there, people who are interested in this theology and ascribe to this theology, is there any particular problem with those who don’t subscribe to dominionist theology joining hands, and having a big get together, theologically, if they have a prayer rally together, is there any sort of problem with that?
Bowman: Boy you’re gonna get me in trouble here. First of all, I gotta say that mature and well-meaning Christians can have different point of view on this thing. But my own personal opinion is that I do think it’s a problem. If you’re a Christian who does not subscribe to these neo-Pentecostal, fringe ideas about apostles and prophets being restored to the Church in the Last Days to establish a Kingdom of God movement before the Second Coming of Christ, mixed in with all the Word of Faith, health-and-wealth gospel stuff.
If you don’t agree with that, and of course I don’t, then participating in rallies and conferences and conventions where these teachers and leaders of that movement play a prominent role, I’m not just saying they happen to be there along with other people, but if they are playing a prominent role in one of these activities, then I think participating in that lends credence and support to that particular movement. And I find that personally troubling, I wouldn’t want to do that.
Mefferd: I think that’s very well stated and I think it’s very fair. You ought to know what you’re getting into. I think no matter what you’re joining in, if you’re going to a conference, going to a revival meeting, going to a prayer rally, I think it always benefits you to know exactly who the organizer is, what they believe, and then you can discern whether or not it’s something you really want to participate in.
Later in the day, Right Wing Watch reported that Joel McDurmon, the Director of Research for American Vision, which is run by a ChristianReconstructionists, “posted a piece on the organization’s website warning about the rise of the NAR and their Seven Mountains theology and saying that while Christian Reconstructionists like them “would properly recriminalize sodomy, adultery, and abortion,” they seek to implement such policies through evangelism, not by seizing control.”
Now we may be splitting hairs here, but the problem is that as Reconstructionists have belatedly realized that the NAR advocates institution of a theocracy and McDurmon warns that “there is much to be concerned with in the 7MD version of Dominion Theology. For this reason, we must announce clearly and maintain a stark distinction between 7MD and the traditional Christian Reconstruction movement, or traditional Dominion Theology.”
Because certainly, if anybody does, McDurmon knows that nobody hates a Christian like another Christian. Welcome to reality, American Vision! Do we have your attention now?
Look at some of the points McDurmon felt compelled to make in defense of “traditional” dominionism:
- “The First and most concerning point is that the 7MD version does what critics of traditional dominion theology have falsely accused us of doing the whole time: planning to grab the reins of influence through whatever means necessary, usurp the seats of political power, and impose some tyrannical “theocracy” upon society from the top down with a “whether you like it or not, it’s for your own good” mentality.”
- “There is no doubt, however, that the 7MDs do have a goal of top-down control of society. This is explicit in their literature in many places. The exception to this is when they are in PR mode: then they downplay and even completely deny that they believe in dominion.”
- “This is exactly the threat—top-down threat, totalitarian threat, eschatological holocaust threat—that 7MD presents to us.
- American Vision is not that; they are not us; we are not them.”
- “Perhaps more should be written on these guys and the threats they pose to society. They may have a few better political ideas, but they are just as dangerous in degree as the most radical of the left.”
McDurmon goes on to mention such supporters of Seven Mountains Theology as Peter Wagner, Lance Wallnau, Rick Joyner, Johnny Enlow and others saying that they “desire to grab the seats of power and install a temporary totalitarianism for your own good which they think will usher in the messiah.”
Well, yeah. What took you so long, Mr. McDurmon? Sooner is better than later but later is better than never, and McDurmon isn’t buying the NAR spiel:
You see, 7MDs are really about nothing more than the love of God and serving their fellow man.
That should settle all questions about their desire to grab the seats of power and install a temporary totalitarianism for your own good which they think will usher in the messiah, now shouldn’t it?
If you buy all that, I’ve got a Kingdom in Siam I’d like to sell you.
The real effect of this sudden awakening to danger is that every Republican candidate for president seems to have ties of one sort or another with fundamentalist Christianity (or like Romney, tries to), the umbrella term I use here to include Dominionism (of any kind), and Reconstructionism, etc. Rick Perry’s The Response may have drawn the attention of the Reconstructionists quoted above but let’s not forget that Dominionism itself (which includes “traditional” Dominionism) is a danger to a modern liberal democracy like ours.
In the end, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and though I’m not enamored of Christian Reconstructionism either I’m not unhappy to see them awake up as they seem the lesser of two evils – since unlike the NAR’s Peter Wagner, they’re not advocating taking over by “any means necessary.” Look, folks, the NAR is capital S-Scary. These are the people who put the “i” in inquisition. I cannot overstate the danger they pose.
Let’s be happy to have the “help” of Reconstructionists talking about and exposing the NAR to the light of day. Like we liberals, Reconstructionists don’t want to live in an NAR theocracy and for now that’s to America’s advantage. Let’s run with it while continuing to espouse the ideals of our Founding Fathers and the very secular U.S. Constitution. And honestly, won’t it tickle you just a bit to have Rick Perry’s allies at The Response turn into a very heavy chain and anchor?
 The Institute for Religious Research is a Christian apologetics organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.