Interview with Steve Hassan on Dominionism

Several weeks ago, I did a Skype interview with Steve Hassan on dominionism for an upcoming book he is working on. Today, he brought it out as a blog post on his Freedom of Mind website.

Steve is an internationally known expert on mind control groups. He was formerly in the Unification Church. I use his BITE Model when teaching persuasion in social psychology. It was a pleasure being interviewed and spending some time with Steve.

Dominionism and the Actual Deep State

At one time, I wrote a lot about dominionism and the teaching that Christians were called to take over seven mountains of culture: government, education, entertainment, business, religion, family, and media (category:Dominionism). Christians who believe that often also believe America was founded as a Christian nation. Empirically the belief that America is a Christian nation has been associated with likelihood to vote for and support Donald Trump.

It is important to understand that Christians who believe America’s laws should reflect a conservative reading of the Bible don’t need everybody in power to personally be a Christian. They need a critical mass of people in a “mountain” of culture to be Christian in order to influence policy. For instance in government, as long as Trump has Christians around him influencing him to make policy they like, they don’t care that much what he does or says. According to a seven mountain resource, “The definition of reality is controlled by those that control cultural output.”

With this background in mind, please read this article by Jack Jenkins at Religion News Service. Jenkins watched the live feed of an event featuring Jon Hamill of Lamplighters Ministry.  His opening description is ominous:

But last Friday afternoon (Dec. 7), one of the hotel’s many glimmering ballrooms was transformed into a sanctuary, where dozens of worshippers held their hands aloft and spoke in tongues as Jon Hamill, co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Lamplighter Ministries, led the group in prayer.

Hamill — whom supporters describe as a prophet — closed his eyes tightly and shouted above the chattering: “In Jesus’ name, we declare the Deep State will not prevail!”

Jenkins then described how participants see their church and the government as being intertwined.

Yet conference speakers repeatedly cast Trump administration officials as agents of God. And they urged the gathering of “intercessors” — believers who offer invocations on behalf of others — to aid the White House through prayer. Doing so, they argued, would help bring about a cosmic, spiritual “turnaround” for the nation.

According to the event organizers, there are Christians in the government who want to bring about their vision.

“We have governmental leaders throughout the Trump administration who love Jesus with all of their heart, and they are giving their all for this nation and for God’s dream for this nation,” Hamill said.

While loving Jesus is fine, attempting to enact anyone’s religious dream as a part of government service is a problem.

What is the Actual Deep State?

Hamill and dominionists describe their intentions to control the mountain of government.  For dominionists, it is a problem when others want to do the same thing, but it isn’t a problem when they do it.

Hamill worries about a shadowy deep state working to resist Trump. I am more concerned about dominionists who put their seven mountains teaching over the Constitution. The only real deep state conspiracy that I have seen evidence for is dominionism.

 

Dominionist Donald Trump Prophet Lance Wallnau Apologizes for Not Asking for Donations

7m LogoLance Wallnau has been a supporter of Donald Trump for a long time. He promoted his rise as a modern day King Cyrus and said God directed him to support Trump. Wallnau is also a key and early promoter of Seven Mountains Dominionism, the view that Christians need to take dominion over education, religion, politics, the arts, business, media, and family policy as a part of expanding God’s Kingdom. Wallnau sees Trump’s rise as a means of bringing the mandate to take dominion to fruition.
With a straight face, Wallnau posted a video to his 7MUnderground Facebook page apologizing for not asking his followers for money.

The 7M Underground appears to be Wallnau’s latest effort to cash in on dominionist support for Trump. Political and religious observers should not underestimate the boost Trump’s victory has given the 7M dominionists. From their point of view, God hand picked Trump to help them enact the dominion of 7M Christians over America. They no doubt feel vindicated and may be even more inclined to see their political opponents as opposing God’s will.
Wallnau has a doctorate from diploma mill Phoenix University of Theology, a school where you pay by the degree and don’t take classes.

Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris is One of Donald Trump's Spiritual Advisors

Back in June, Donald Trump announced the formation of an evangelical advisory board. At least one member — James MacDonald — expressed doubt that the candidate Trump took much advice from the board. However, another member on the inner circle has spoken out favorably about his role in advising Trump. Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church, told his congregation two Sundays ago that he was in on a conference call each Monday morning over the past three months and will continue to advise President-elect Trump. Watch:

Transcript:

It’s good to see you. It’s good to be back in the pulpit. As you know, Debbie and I went to Israel and London. Did anyone here have a late night Tuesday night? Anyone? Well, we were still jet lagged and so we actually we went to bed at 9 o’clock. Debbie and I did and about 11:30 my phone started blowing up with spiritual leaders, and so I got up and turned the TV for a little while and again about 4:30 or so I think when I woke up.
So I just wanna say this, I wanna say thank you, if you registered to vote and voted. We registered a lot of new people to vote. I, you may not hear this from the media, but Evangelicals turned out and voted this year. And I’m glad that they voted. I, I also I did not share this with you before the election but I have been serving on a Spiritual Advisory Council to now President-elect Trump, for about three months. And we, for the past three months, every Monday morning we have a conference call. And my understanding is I don’t know about the weekly conference call but the, he, he does want to continue with the Spiritual Advisory Council throughout his Presidency so I am grateful for that. And, and I will say please don’t think that this is partisan, because I don’t mean it that way. I’ll give advice to any elected leader or any government leader that I listen if you want to know what the Bible says, I’ll tell you what the Bible says whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I’ll tell you what it says.
I have a good relationship with Governor Abbott, Lt Governor Patrick, our Gov- our former Governor Rick Perry called me this last Thursday to ask my counsel on something. So, please pray for me, and some others on the Council, Dr Ben Carson is on this Advisory Council, Michele Bachmann, uh, James Robison, uh, Sammy Rodriguez, uh Dr Jack Graham, so it’s a, it’s a good Spiritual Council. And so, please continue to pray but thank you for voting. Thank you for praying. And just let’s just continue to pray for this country. And pray alright, alright. I’m excited. Lemme I’m excited about going forward and what God has.

At one time, evangelicals scoffed at the political influence of dominionists. Now, dominionists advise the President.
As I was preparing this post, I came across this LA Times article about Richard Spencer’s efforts to influence Trump.  Amazing. At the same time, dominionists and white supremacists are preparing to claim influence in a Trump administration. What will the dominionists do when push comes to shove?

Rafael Cruz: America Was Founded on the Word of God

Cruz Cruz BartonRafael Cruz came to Grove City College earlier this evening for a Q&A hosted by the college Republican club. He represented the Cruz campaign but I should hasten to add that the event was not a campaign rally and the college is not endorsing Cruz or any candidate.
Political Science professor Paul Kengor moderated the event and most of the initial hour centered around Rafael Cruz’s background in Cuba and then his assimilation to life in America. I tweeted some of the things Cruz said which can be viewed here: #rcruzgcc.
At one point, Cruz came close to sounding the seven mountains dominionism themes and said America was founded on the Word of God.
After the event, I had a moment with Rev. Cruz and asked him if his son believes the seven mountain dominionism teaching that Christians should take dominion over the mountain of government. He said that you have to be careful with the terms because people don’t understand. He said people, especially in the media, think you mean theocracy. He said it doesn’t mean a theocracy. He added that Christians should be salt and light in the government and use their influence to be salt and light.
The time was short so I was unable to follow up but I still believe Ted Cruz needs to clarify what taking dominion as president would look like.

Is Ted Cruz a Dominionist or Not?

Cruz Cruz BartonRob Gagnon and Edith Humphrey writing at Christianity Today say no.
Gagnon and Humphrey respond mainly to John Fea’s writings on the subject.
I think Cruz likes to hang out with seven mountains dominionists, including his father and David Barton.
What would be nice is to hear from Cruz himself. I would like to know if he agrees with his father that he is a “king” who will help bring about a great transfer wealth from the pagans to the Christians, or at least the dominionist Christians. Does Cruz believe all that seven mountains stuff?
I wish Cruz would give a speech or an interview where he addresses the matter. This will dog him until he clears it up. I am much less interested in Gagnon and Humphries opinion and more interested in hearing him talk about his views of seven mountains dominionist teaching.
UPDATE: John Fea responds to Gagnon and Humphrey on his blog. As usual, John raises some key points. Like me, he wants to hear from Cruz about his reliance on his father, David Barton and Glenn Beck. Here’s what Fea has to say about Cruz and Barton:

Cruz needs to answer for his connections to David Barton.  Over the last couple of weeks Barton has been talking openly about Seven Mountains Dominionism.  He is opening schools at Bible colleges around the country to teach this view. Let’s not forget that Barton runs a Cruz super-PAC.  This means that Barton, an outspoken dominionist, is raising a lot of money to get Cruz in the White House.  Guilty by association?  Perhaps.  Only Ted Cruz can set the record straight. Let’s remember that this guy is running for President of the United States.  I think he needs to come clean on his connections to people like Barton and Beck.

Gagnon and Humphrey quote Robert George as saying that calling someone a dominionist is McCarthyism and a smear tactic. I suppose it could be a smear to some (if you call me a dominionist, it would be a smear) but we should remember that Cruz’s father and his close advisor David Barton embrace the seven mountains teaching of Christian dominion. Cruz is surrounded by people who see it as their Christian duty to take dominion over the culture and the government.

Dominionism Denial 2.0

ted cruz
From Ted Cruz’s Google+ page

During the last election, certain evangelicals denied the dominionist leanings of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.
I haven’t seen much dominionism denial this time around, but here is an effort from David Limbaugh. Echoing David Barton’s evangelical founders theme, Limbaugh denies that evangelicals are the boogeymen.

Don’t believe fear-mongers who preach that evangelicals and other Christians seek to suppress liberties. You can be sure that precisely because of their Christian and biblical worldview, they are theocracy’s worst enemy and liberty’s best friend — the people most committed to preserving our freedoms by honoring the Constitution, whose integrity must be protected to keep government power in check.

There is some truth here. I am an evangelical and I strongly find common cause with the Virginia Baptists who aligned with heterodox Christian Thomas Jefferson to seek religious liberty. And certainly not all evangelicals are dominionists. In fact some of the biggest opponents of dominionists are evangelicals.
However, Ted Cruz and his advisors have sounded dominionist themes in this campaign all in the name of attracting evangelical voters. Ted Cruz’s father Rafael and his lead endorser Glenn Beck have stated that the Constitution was God-inspired. Another Cruz advisor, David Barton, claims man’s laws cannot contradict the Bible. The elder Cruz, Beck and Barton have all given public credence to the seven mountains dominionist theology.
Perhaps Limbaugh isn’t a dominionist, but he shouldn’t try to distract us from what is right in front of us.

John Fea on Ted Cruz's Dominionism

Several authors have tried to tease out the differences between the evangelicals supporting Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Jon Ward did a nice job on this topic for Yahoo News, noting that Ted Cruz followers enthusiastically consider America a Christian nation while Rubio’s followers are not as convinced.
Now, Messiah College chair of History John Fea has written a piece identifying Ted Cruz as a seven mountains dominionist. I think the evidence is there and because of that I believe political reporters should be asking Cruz some questions about the implications for public policy.
Here is a little of Fea’s article.

Cruz’s approach to politics is inseparable from this theology. His goal is to lead a Christian occupation of the culture and then wait for the Second Coming of Christ.
He’s also a good politician. He knows the theological affirmations of his father, Barton or Huch might be too much for some Americans to swallow. He does not use the terms “dominionism” or “seven mountains” when he is campaigning. But it is also worth noting that he has never publicly rejected these beliefs.
Cruz’s campaign may be less about the White House and more about the white horses that will usher in the God’s Kingdom in the New Testament book of Revelation, Chapter 19.

Read the rest of Fea’s op-ed here.

Anyone who has studied seven mountains dominionism knows that Fea is on target. I would add to Fea’s analysis that Christian Reconstructionists see themselves as different than apostolic dominionists. Joel McDurmon writing on behalf of American Vision denies that Christian Reconstructionists want to rule in a top-down government. After agreeing that reconstructionists believe all of life should be governed by the Bible, he describes how seven mountain dominionism is at odds with his brand:

With these things—generally stated—I wholeheartedly agree. But 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.

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.

We have responded, consistently, that our blueprint is about the rollback of tyranny, not the replacement of it—the removal of unjust taxation, welfare, warfare, government programs, etc. We favor privatization, local control of civil and criminal law, hard and sound money, and private charity for cases of poverty, all led by families, businesses, and churches—not large, centralized, top-down solutions. Yes, we would properly recriminalize sodomy, adultery, and abortion, but in a decentralized world like we want, you could leave easily if you didn’t like that.

We have also said, consistently, that such a world will never exist without successful evangelism ahead of it. If there is no personal revival and recourse to God’s Word, there will be no free society, no Christian Reconstruction, no godly dominion in the land.

We have said all of this, mostly to no avail in the ears of even our closest kin-critics—Reformed Christians like the boys at the White Horse Inn, and prominent evangelicals like Chuck Colson, and others—who continue to imply and sometimes openly state that we theonomists and donimionists desire to grab power and execute everyone who disagrees with us. This is utterly false and slanderous.

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. But otherwise they give our old critics the ammunition they need to continue their slander.

I think Fea is correct that Ted Cruz is appealing to the seven mountain dominionists.

With this in mind, I think Cruz should be asked if he agrees with his father that he has been anointed to be a king apostle to rule in the political sphere. Does Cruz believe that adultery, unruly children, and homosexuality should be recriminalized? Does Cruz believe that civil law should reflect and restate his interpretation of biblical morality? Does he believe in an “end time transfer of wealth?”

Since Cruz is using his religion as a facet of his appeal to voters, we have a right to know what the implications would be for his public policy positions as president. Political reporters might find those questions difficult but, as Fea suggests, such questions would get at the heart of what the public needs to know about Ted Cruz and those animate his campaign.

More on dominionism:

Information on dominionism, information for dominionism deniers, recriminalizing violations of Mosaic law, what dominionists want, and  an NPR piece on the difference between dominionists and evangelicals.

Did Ted Cruz Steal From God And If So, Why Is He Blessed? Rafael Cruz Teaches on Tithing

The more I look into this revelation that Ted Cruz declared less than one percent of his income to charitable causes from 2006-2010, the more interesting it gets.
By any measure, Cruz has been blessed. His political career has been on the fast track. In 2012, he upset a conservative Republican for the GOP Senate nomination and then won an easy victory over the Democratic candidate in the 2012 Senate election. He currently is one of the leading candidates for the GOP presidential nomination. Financially, he has done incredibly well.
However, according to his own father’s teaching on tithing, such blessing should not be.
First, let’s establish from Cruz himself that he acknowledges not tithing. In an interview with CBN’s David Brody, Cruz implied that his meager charitable giving was primarily early in his marriage. Watch:

Transcript (from the Brody file):

Listen on the question of tithing, all of us are on a faith journey, and I will readily admit that I have not been as faithful in this aspect of my walk as I should have been. That article focuses on ten years. We don’t have the ability to go back and change what occurred ten years ago when Heidi and I were newly married and we’d just started a family. But at the end of the day, being a Christian is not about holding yourself out as righteous. It’s about beginning with the understanding that we are flawed sinners and we are saved not by deeds but by Christ’s redemption. I am grateful that God is a patient and forgiving God and this area, as in many areas of my life I am working to do a better job walking in my faith.

As Mediaite writer Tommy Christopher points out, Cruz didn’t address the facts in a straightforward manner. The tax returns in question covered 2006-2010 (now removed from the Texas Tribune site – the numbers can still be viewed here). In 2010, Cruz reported just over $2 million in income while only declaring $22,337 in donations. In 2010, he wasn’t a poor, struggling newlywed. Obviously, the blessings were flowing, even though the tithes weren’t.

This is serious business to evangelicals who view tithing as the pathway to God’s blessing. Let’s listen to Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, describe what not tithing means to God (source video).


Rafael Cruz says that someone who is not tithing shouldn’t expect God’s blessing. He interprets Malachi to say that a non-tither is stealing from God. He adds that the devil will attack and perhaps devour one’s income. Rafael Cruz and others have expressed the opinion that Ted Cruz has been blessed because he has been faithful. How can this be if Cruz has been stealing from God?
Ironically, Ted Cruz is evidence against his own father’s teaching on tithing. Or perhaps Cruz isn’t really anointed. Or perhaps this whole dominionist business is just a way to provoke a great transfer of wealth, but not the kind Rafael Cruz preaches about. The main transfer of wealth of interest to prosperity preachers is from the congregation to their pockets.
For those who don’t believe tithing is for New Testament Christians, the amount given isn’t going to be the main problem. For them, what might generate concern is that Cruz has used the sincerity of his faith as an argument for his fitness to be president. The tithing issue exposes a potential problem with that narrative.
For those who view tithing as a mandate with dreadful consequences for lack of compliance, this revelation could be a deal breaker. Cruz has complicated matters now by telling David Brody a less than believable tale that is different that what his campaign said in 2012. Then they said Cruz volunteered a lot.
Cruz may hope the Brody interview will lay the matter to rest. He may be right. Such theological matters may not be of the same level of interest outside of the Christian nationalist camps of Iowa.
Even if this matter goes away as a political problem, it remains a problem for those who believe Cruz was blessed to rise rapidly through the political ranks all the while stealing from God.

The Daily Beast examines Ron Paul’s Reconstructionist roots

Last week, I reported that Ron Paul hired Mike Heath (is he still AFTAH board chair?), and that Ron Paul touted an endorsement from an Omaha pastor who wants to implement Mosaic law, complete with executions for gays, adulterers and delinquent children.

Today, the Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg examines the topic and notes that many evangelicals who are coming Paul’s way today in Iowa lean toward the Reconstructionist side of the evangelical world.  The other interesting aspect of her article is the brief examination of the difference between dispensational and covenant theologies. The covenant folks believe that the Church is a replacement of sorts for Israel and that the Church will bring back the Kingdom of God on Earth. Dispensationalists believe that God will keep his promises to Israel and will remove the Church from the Earth during the “rapture” thus setting the stage for the coming Kingdom of God.

Often dispensationalists think political action is pointless since the world is coming to a bad end. Covenant adherents, among which are Reconstructionists, think that political takeover is necessary. One can see how the New Apostolic Reformation can work with the Christian Reconstructionists. However, as I pointed out last week, they part company over political ends. Reconstructionists favor a decentralized central government which would allow them to set up enclaves where Christian law dominates. New Apostolic Reformationists (e.g., Lou Engle, Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs) want the law at the Federal level to reflect Christian teaching in order to offset the judgment of God on the nation.

Does it seem odd and perhaps disconcerting that one must understand the nuances of Christian eschatology in order to understand what is happening in the GOP race for the nomination? Some reporters, like Goldberg, Pema Levy and Benjy Sarlin at TPM are getting it. I know Sarah Posner with Religion Dispatches is in Iowa today and she gets it. The gentlemen over at Right Wing Watch get it.

Do evangelical writers get it? Gentle reader, please enlighten me if I have missed it, but I cannot recall an evangelical writer or news source examining end times theology (and all it involves) as an influence on political theory.

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