Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nation or Nations?

"[M]any of today's Christian businessmen continue to say that the Word of God does not speak on how to explicitly run a business. They say, 'The Word of God calls us to preach the gospel, not to take dominion. Don't you know that the world is going to get worse and worse, then Christ will come to rescue us?' If we want godly businesses to take dominion, we must help churches correct these doctrines. . . .

"These will be people who have a biblical view of wealth and know how to use it, and who are faithful with the resources God has given them, providing a good inheritance for the coming generations. These will be people who are the best at running businesses in our culture, people like Joseph and Daniel, who were raised-up by God to positions of dominion because they did all things well. These will be people who will destroy every speculation and lofty thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and will take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). These people will no longer conceal, but proclaim and set the standard in pagan cultures, as Jeremiah did in the land of the Chaldeans (Jer. 50:2). They will begin to lead our business culture in conforming to the standards of God.

"Then one day our society will be dominated by godly businesses."
(N.C. Kuyper, "Reformation in Business," 1/1/01, Business Reform, [emphases added]

"We have promoted vigorously what has been seen as a 'radical' Christian worldview that brings Christ's life-giving blessings to all spheres of human life and culture. In each phase of our journey and growth, God's plan and use for our ministry has become clearer and clearer. Strategic Christian Services is called to serve and train God's people as they seek to fulfill the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:26-28 and Matthew 28:18-20. That mandate calls upon all believers as disciples, to fill the earth with God's love, wisdom, and truth as ambassadors of Christ's Kingdom." (Dennis Peacocke, "The Journey" promotional brochure, [emphasis added]

Dominionism always appeals to a higher cause -- an ideology that sounds so good. Dennis Peacocke begins his "Discipling Our Nation" seminars with an appeal to patriotic dominionism. But he quickly shifts gears in his program to a "discipling our nations" seminar -- with an emphasis on the plural "nations." The agenda to restore a Christian America, which appeals to many patriotic Christians and brings them to his conferences, turns into an international kingdom-building "mandate." Peacocke is adept at this bait and switch. The goal to restore America to a moral country, suddenly switches gears to a "dominion mandate" to transform the nations of the world, sphere by sphere, culture by culture, nation by nation -- until an international order is built.

As Herescope mentioned in Monday's post (4/10/06), Dennis Peacocke has uniquely positioned himself the past twenty years as a bridge between the charismatic and the patriotic dominionists. He is a high level "apostle" in C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation, listed among the members of the International Coalition of Apostles. And he has always been a respected member of the Reconstructionist camp, as a leader of the Coalition on Revival. As a salesman, he has slickly wrapped his ministries in a style that encompassed both dominionist camps so that each felt that he was part of their own.

The history of his various ministries is described in the promotional brochure cited in the quote above. Peacocke is connected with Business Reform magazine cited in the first quote above. He has Strategic Life Training course on dominionist worldview training, and a Business Leadership School which teaches the marketplace ministry "kingdom" model. Peacocke has gone global with international partnerships all over the world to train businessmen in the dominionism worldview.

Most surprisingly, Peacocke has been able to exist comfortably within the Christian Reconstructionist camp without any known opposition to his dual role as an "apostle" in the New Apostolic Reformation. Perhaps this silence is due to the fact that he has been able to promulgate the doctrines of Theonomy (Reconstructionism) very effectively to a wide spectrum of mainstream evangelicalism. As such, he is one of the best salesmen that the Theonomists have on board.

One of the key doctrinal barriers that must be overcome has to do with eschatology. Despite the widespread popularity of the Left Behind series, the "kingdom mandate" is gradually replacing traditional pre-millennial eschatology with various hybrids of postmillennialism. This is accomplished, as one observer has noted, by focusing on the mutual goals of political involvement:

"A minority of evangelicals are post-millennialists, believing that it is necessary to build the Kingdom of God in the here and now, before the return of Jesus is possible. Thus, for postmillennialists, Jesus will return when the world has become perfectly Christian, the return crowning 1,000 years of Christian rule. This eschatology urges political involvement and action by evangelicals, who must play a critical role in establishing Christian rule. COR has sought to establish a "non-quarreling policy" on matters of eschatology, and has emphasized building the Kingdom of God in so far as it is possible until Jesus returns. This neatly urges political involvement and action, without anyone having to say how much can actually be accomplished. It reconciles the difference over eschatology that has divided evangelicals, and opens the door to political involvement and action without requiring either of the two sides to abandon its eschatology. ("Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence," by Frederick Clarkson, The Public Eye Magazine, Vol. VIII, No. 1 & 2, March/June 1994, Part 2 of a 4-part series)

Dominionism creates strange bedfellows who apparently have no qualms about reducing the principles of their faith to the political common denominator.

The Truth:

"While I don't wish to label everyone who has contact with dominionists a fellow traveler, it's obvious that those who are asked to teach on the same platform would share similar views. Otherwise their appearing together would be billed as a 'debate' or a 'dialogue.' And while they may not agree on every issue, there must be sufficient agreement in order to be supportive of one another. So those who are supportive of dominionists and/or hold to important dominionist philosophy are well known among their peers. To seek unity with them without challenging their error leaves one's own beliefs open to question. Those who defend heretics, even if they do not believe in their teachings, are guilty of lending credibility to their heresies, and will be held accountable to God for the souls that are destroyed as a result. It's up to those who know the truth to defend the Church against false teachers whatever the cost to unity or to personal benefit." (Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion, [Sword, 1990] p. 125)

"So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 13:14)