21 September 2011

Don Swift : Dominionists and the 'Kingdom of God'

Image from The Last Crisis.

A threat to American liberties:
Dominionists and the 'Kingdom of God'
They want to take over government and create a theocracy. No wonder they see nothing wrong in playing politics from the pulpit.
By Don Swift / The Rag Blog / September 21, 2011

[This is the second in a series on Dominionism by Don Swift. See Part I here.]

Dominionists refuse to accept the separation of church and state. They want to take over government and other areas of society and create a theocracy. No wonder they see nothing wrong in playing politics from the pulpit.

Reverend Ed Kalnins, once Sarah Palin's pastor at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church, has consigned critics of George W. Bush to hell. He even denounced those who criticized Bush’s handling of Katrina. He doubted that people who voted for John Kerry in 2004 would be welcomed to heaven.

He said: "I'm not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I'm sorry." Kalnins added: "If every Christian will vote righteously, it would be a landslide every time.

There are different forms of Dominionism. Christian Reconstructionism is one important form. These people believe that the Kingdom of God was established on earth at the time of the Resurrection and that it is their job to complete its work by taking control of society. Then Christ can return in the Second Coming. Scholars concerned with technicalities say this view is rooted in pre-suppositionism, meaning the kingdom must be in place before the Second Coming.

Calvinist theologian J.Rousas Rushdoony founded the movement Christian Reconstructionism back in the 1960s. Author of the three volume Institutes of Biblical Law, Rushdoony was a prolific writer, and he was a founder of the Christian home-schooling movement. He also defended American slavery. He appeared often on Pat Robertson's television program in the 1980s, but Robertson claims he does not understand what Dominionism is.

Rushdoomy hated the Federal Reserve and was revered by gold hoarders. He thought that American law should be replaced with the Old Testament. The irony is that some of his followers today are vociferous in denouncing shariah law. He wrote in 1982, “With the coming collapse of the humanistic state, the Christian must be prepared to take over...”

This rightist prophet led the Chalcedon Foundation, which carries on his work and is known for its virulent homophobia. His followers are bent on reconstructing “our fallen society,” and the recent efforts of the Tea Baggers to bring down the financial system is an indication of how far they will go.

They take seriously the extreme and harsh punishments in the Old Testament and would apply the death penalty to apostasy, homosexuality, and abortion. Many believe the Bible requires physical punishment of children. Some believe that seven years of slavery would be an acceptable punishment for some offenses today, but none believe that slavery now should be based on race.

The Christian Reconstructionists or Theonomists have influenced numerous Protestant leaders without necessarily making them Dominionists. Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy have supported Dominionist books.

They have a “kingdom-now theology.” In the George W. Bush White House, Marvin Olasky, a Christian Reconstructionist, had great influence.

George Grant, former executive director of Coral Ridge Ministry, said that "it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice ... It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time ... World conquest.” That organization is now called Truth in Action Ministries, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann has close ties to it.

She appeared in one of its documentaries that attacks socialism, and she has espoused the Dominionist position that government has no right to collect more than 10% of a person's earnings in taxes. She has also promoted Grant's book on Robert E. Lee, in which the godly Confederacy battled the godless North. It is a pro-slavery book, and Bachmann recommended it on her web site for some time.

Michelle Bachmann has admitted being strongly influenced by a Reconstructionist, John Eidsmore, a Dominionist teaching at Oral Roberts University, a Pentecostal school. Eidsmore spoke to Alabama secessionists last year and defended the right of a state to secede and explicitly endorsed the constitutional views of John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis.

Bachmann has also said that she was influenced by the writings of Dominionist Francis Schaeffer. Bachmann said she decided to become a politician after watching one of his films Three years before his death, Schaeffer warned that America would descend into a tyrannical state and that an authoritarian elite would scheme to bring about this terrible result. He believed that only true Christians should rule.

Bachmann has also had good things to say about Dominionist historian David Barton, whose website is WallBuilders. He had followed Rushdoony in defending American slavery. Barton teaches that the Bible provides clear guidance on all public policy matters.

[Don Swift, a retired history professor, also writes under the name Sherman DeBrosse. Read more articles by Don Swift on The Rag Blog.]

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