Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Seven Spheres of Influence

The 3rd Annual Restore America Conference will address more than 2000 registrants and will focus around the Seven Spheres of Influence that shape and manage our communities and our nation’s culture.
- Promotion for The Restore America Conference scheduled for 2/28/08 [emphasis added]

Kingdom Government of God
The government of God will become a new wineskin for the future move of God (see Matthew 6:10). Reformation back to the original design of Genesis will be a major focus and God's creative anointing will be on those who move in this direction.

- C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, and many others: Word of the Lord for 2008 and Beyond,
The Elijah List, 1/10/08 [link added to quote]

This blog has focused many posts on C. Peter Wagner's agenda, as part of the New Apostolic Reformation, to influence the 7 spheres or 7 mountains of culture, by actually changing nations and governments, cultural and social structures, in the name of "building the kingdom of God on earth." In C. Peter Wagner's "prophecy" above, he says that 2008 will have "The anointing for dominion" where "[e]ach sector of society will begin to be touched by the power of God in new fresh ways from government, education, the medical fields, media, the arts and other areas."

It is interesting that the Patriotic movement to "restore America" has now embraced the same number - seven - for the "spheres of influence" that they want to use to "shape and manage our communities and our nation's culture." This may signal a more public unity among Dominionist leaders.

The number 7 is a boiled-down version of the original 17 spheres that were delineated in "worldview" documents prepared by the Coalition on Revival in the 1980s, when COR served as a "melting pot for Charismatic Dominionists and Reconstructionists." These worldview documents, described in detail in Al Dager's book Vengeance Is Ours (Sword, 1990), contained theological and political positions that were "mandatory for all Christians to implement . . . in society."

The Restore America organization appears to be carrying on the mantle of the Coalition on Revival's themes by focusing exclusively (for now) on America by:

Restoring the 'Vision'
The Vision of our Forefathers to create a nation "Under God" must be restored to the Body of Christ if God's people are to fulfill their 'salt and light' responsibility in the preservation of the Republic and the Gospel of Christ.

This patriotic "vision" has widespread appeal among evangelicals who are concerned about the decay of American society, rampant immorality, the deterioration of our Constitutional rights, etc. This is the bait which lures so many into political action. But political action quickly becomes fused with the Dominionist ideal of building the kingdom of God on earth. There is an active network of organizations devoted to furthering the dominion of the "spheres" in American society. Many former leaders of the Coalition on Revival remain on active duty to further this cause.

Patriotic Dominionists hearken back to an idealist vision of America which denies the ugly sides of its history. Revisionist history is being pumped out at amazing speeds -- much of it very appealing to conservative and traditional family, church and nation ideals -- and this presidential campaign year is seen as a prime opportunity to further indoctrinate the evangelical masses. Many only see this through myopic lens of an utopian American vision.

But there is a much broader issue involved here; i.e., the definition of the Kingdom of God. The COR position paper on the subject of the kingdom of God* states:

"We deny that the Church must await the second coming of Christ for the Kingdom of God to be inaugurated on earth in time-space reality and in power. [page 3]"

We deny that the restoration of man's God-ordained dominion (a) lies outside the scope of Christ's redeeming work as mediator on the Cross, or (b) awaits the physical presence of the returned Christ for its inauguration and expansion."

We affirm. . . [that Jesus] is bringing all things into submission under His feet, exercising His authority ever more widely and fully on earth as the gospel spreads and people are converted to Him;. . . " [red emphasis added]

Make no mistake - this heresy promotes the idea of an evolving Kingdom of God, which is ever expanding in power and authority and dominion -- on earth! This isn't just about the spread of the Gospel message. It is about building structures, influencing spheres, and changing nations, and prescribing and enforcing the Gospel (as they define it). In this evolutionary kingdom worldview, the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is deemed incomplete. Perhaps it isn't always said that way, but the role of the Church on earth is greatly expanded from its basic mission to spread the Truth of the Gospel. Dominionism teaches that the Church in this present age must spread its "influence" by taking over the institutions of this world. One key document, "Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains" by Mark Pfeifer explains this aberrant theology:

The purpose of the church, therefore, is to prepare for the triumphant return of the King by completing the dominion mandate. This assignment will successfully increase throughout the world in the last days as God’s kingdom rule is extended in the hearts and lives of countless disciples in great number and in those who have headship in the main cultural spheres of influence throughout the nations of the earth. [bold in original, red added]

Note that this evolutionary theology is referred to as "The Dominion Process":

The term, Dominion Process describes the process by which God uses mankind to extend His kingdom rule on the earth and take dominion of it. It is a two-fold process. First, God creates and redeems a blessed seed. Then He uses His blessed seed to extend His kingdom rule on the earth when they take dominion of it. [italics in original, bold added]

The reference above to "blessed seed" above refers to the Manifest Son of God heresy that a "new breed," a super-spiritual race of end-time believers will be "overcomers" to ultimately drive out Satan from the earth. Most patriotic Americans aren't taught this Gnostic doctrine - yet. But it lurks just beneath the surface (see Dager's Vengeance Is Ours).

A core tenet teaches that the Church can't go it alone with only the Gospel message. The Church must take over the spheres of society and enlist the State in this effort to transform/reform the nations of the world. The Coalition on Revival's Article 20 explains:

"We deny that God and His truth should ever be separated from the State; that absolute separation of Church and State is either right or possible; and that Christians should ever be silent in the face of evil."

While this statement may appeal to many sincere patriotic evangelicals, who have been taught for the past 25 years that America is a "Christian" nation, it is an ominous statement when considered historically. Over the course of 2000 years the efforts at linking Church and State to enforce Dominion were full of bloodshed. Ironically, the very thing that appeals to patriotic Americans - freedom - is what is lost when Dominionism becomes enforced, coerced, prescribed and dictated. The New Apostolic Reformation teaches that its prophets and apostles hold a primary role enforcing these allegiances, as documented on many prior posts on this blog.

The Truth:

Paul Shirk, in his excellent book refuting Dominionism, entitled Come Out of Her My People, wrote:

There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that Christ's direct civil rule over the nations of this world (even though He now sits at the right hand of God) will occur before He returns as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is now calling men in His Kingdom through the gospel, and those who are called and chosen will be joint heirs together with Him when He returns. Those who have suffered with Him will also reign with Him. (p. 189)

Revelation 2:26,27 includes a promise to overcomers that they will rule the nations with a rod of iron, even as Christ has received this privilege from His Father. This is a promise that finds fulfillment after the end; that is, the end of time as we presently know it. There is no such promise granted to believers in this age, that if they overcome they will rule the nations with a rod of iron. It is a promise that finds fulfillment when Christ Himself comes to rule the nations of this world, as recorded in Revelation 19:15. Our reign over the nations of this world is concurrent with Christ's rule and not with man's rule. The rule of Christ over the nations in a literal sense occurs at His physical reappearing, and at this time all those who have suffered with Him shall also reign with Him. (pp. 200-201)

"For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!"

(I Corinthians 9:16)

*[COR statements and analysis can be found in Al Dager's Vengeance Is Ours]