Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mainstreaming Dominionism

"We are approaching a season of crisis, and in a season of crisis, the strategies of heaven must invade your sphere of authority. What does this mean?

"You have been positioned by God in a particular sphere of authority....

"...My favorite definition of a sphere is 'a circuit of action, knowledge or influence that is linked both to the functional area of your involvement and to every territory that is affected by you exercising authority.' Within this expanse is an order of society that you can influence.

"There is much about war that we do not understand. War always involves casualties, and, at the same time, divine interventions of which we're unaware. Sometimes war makes no sense to us. Yet, war is a part of life.... [W]e face the unfolding war that lies ahead in both the natural and the spiritual realms,..."
--Chuck Pierce, May 11, 2010.[1]

The quotation above is an example of the more extreme language of Dominionism, commonly used by those who claim to be latter-day "prophets" and "apostles," who believe they can bring heaven to earth via a war, by building an endtimes "Dread Champion Army" (often called "Joel's Army") that cries, "Take dominion! The war is over your taking dominion!"[2]

This full-fledged Dominionism mandate gets worse. It also calls for a "worldwide purification" of the planet:

"Worldwide purification is preceded by the purification of a people of Christ prepared to be planted into the world to fully shine forth the glory of God during and after the worldwide dark season of dissolution. God will not fully drive out the enemy until He has a holy kingdom people to inherit the land. Sons of God are being purified and brought to maturity to eventually possess the land (this world)....

"God is destroying and will destroy all that He has not planted. The season is at hand for the beginning of the purification of the world. God is sending and will send holy angels to remove (dissolve) from the world all that the enemy and prideful flesh has established in this present world. The kingdom of God, New Jerusalem government of God cannot coexist with the lofty pride of man that exalts itself against God. The day (season) of earth cleansing judgment of God is before us. The great shaking and roaring fire of God is beginning and will prepare the way for the people in whom Christ abides to inherit the land...."

Dominionism isn't always presented in such brazen openness, however. It doesn't always sound so violent. It doesn't quite so obviously parallel the New Age call for planetary "cleansing." Which is precisely why it is rising so rapidly in popularity in evangelical circles. The dark side of Dominionism is cleverly disguised! What people typically encounter is Dominionism Lite, a term we coined in a November 26, 2006 Herescope column.

You might be surprised to learn about who is now connected to the 7 Mountain "mandate" of Dominionism.[4] It has become a widespread teaching in the evangelical world, and many of its adherents aren't fully aware of how dark and dreadful the full-blown Dominionist agenda truly can become. One of the common denominators for Dominionists is the belief that the church should change the world - not just impact the world as salt and light, but actually control the world, particularly the State (government). This theology appeals to many, and has deep roots in church history.

A key feature to look for in identifying Dominionism is a de-emphasis on the Cross of Christ and His dying for our sins. The humble Gospel of Salvation is sidelined by a gung-ho gospel of the Kingdom, which talks about doing things and supporting causes.

Most of the time Dominionism Lite is marketed as a fix-what-is-broken mandate for the church to change the world. This can be done through various mission strategies and by changing people's values and behavior. Especially popular is the call to restore America to its "Christian roots." This agenda is a more benign-sounding "social transformation" or "worldview transformation" endeavor that seeks to change culture(s).

A common denominator in Dominionism is the eschatology that implies that the church must build the kingdom of God on earth before the Lord's return. A variation of this theme is the "Great Commission" mandate, widely popular in the mission world, which teaches that Jesus can't come again until the world has been "evangelized" by whatever means, including psycho-social, marketing and cultural mechanisms.

To rehash, the 7 Mountains Dominion "mandate" was launched on a wide scale back in 2007 by C. Peter Wagner, who is a chief "apostle" of the world, heading up what he calls the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). He wrote:

"Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God's creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. It is nothing less than seeing God's kingdom coming and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven. This includes the need to govern apolitically, as well as to embrace spiritual warfare techniques that neutralize the control of our adversary within the functional and territorial spheres of authority to which we have been assigned.

"...[T]he second stage of the goal of transformation, namely corporate or social transformation. We want to see whole cities and regions and states and nations transformed to support the values of the kingdom of God. This will happen only as kingdom-focused saints become the head and not the tail of each of Lance Wallnau's seven mountains or molders of culture...."[5]

Just HOW this mandate will come to be accomplished on a national and global scale is the key question. Some teach and believe that it will be through "decrees" -- prophetic declarations that claim to be doing spiritual warfare in the heavenlies that will change things on the earth. These esoteric heresies have gained great prominence in the NAR subculture.[6] Others believe that it will happen via education and worldview training. Others are working to change economies and the marketplace. Some churches focus on impacting the arts, media and entertainment. And many are working in the political arena. Each "sphere" of these 7 mountains appeals to people who want to see things change here on earth.

Whatever the focus, the 7 mountain "mandate" is now becoming mainstream. The methods to do this include the technique of integration and infusion, embedding the 7 mountains "mandate" doctrines into superficially appealing causes. Below are several examples of how this mainstreaming happens.

A key conference headed by Os Hillman in 2008 launched the "Church in the Workplace" movement by bringing in Lance Wallnau and his "Reclaiming the 7 Mountains" agenda.[6] Herescope wrote about the significance of this conference in "Rethinking Eschatology: Dominionists on the Move." Kent Humphreys, popular speaker and marketplace transformation leader, spoke on the "Business/Religion Mountain" and "apostle" Linda Rios Brook talked about the "Media Mountain." Other prominent evangelical speakers were listed as well. Giving this conference special credibility was the presence of Katherine Leary who directed the Center for Faith and Work at Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. She was billed as speaking on the topic of "How The Local Church Can Equip Workplace Leaders To Reclaim Mountains."[7] The current website for the Center for Faith and Work indicates that the goal is to impact the mountains of culture in New York City.[8]

As an interesting sidelight to this, Tim Keller is connected with Bob Buford of Leadership Network via their work together on the Advisory Board of a networking group New Canaan Society,[9] which also includes Jack Deere - a longtime Latter Rain cult proponent and NAR leader.[10] Lance Wallnau has been associated with this New Canaan Society.[11] Other names, many of them mainstream evangelical, listed on the speaker's bureau include John Ashcroft, Rick Joyner, Os Guinness, Miraslav Volf, Ed Silvoso, Bill Hybels, and Bill McCartney (see complete list reproduced below).[12]

Note that Lance Wallnau, chief promoter of the 7 mountain scheme, has recently been appearing at more mainstream evangelical events, such as the Pinnacle Forum's February 2008 conference "God's Agenda: God's Assignment." At this event he appeared along with Anne Graham Lotz, Alan Sears and Henry Blackaby.[14]

Another interesting name connected with the 7 Mountain Mandate is mystic leader Leonard Sweet, who has mainstreamed himself into the evangelical world-at-large, coming out of his obscure role as Emergent professor-in-residence. How he did this is a study in itself. In June 2007, a SYNERGIZE! Billion Soul Pastors Conference for January 2008 began to be advertised as a way to become "equipped to impact 'seven spheres of society.'"[15] This was being promoted and sponsored by a recently formed organization, Second Billion, a spinoff of the Global Pastors Network.[16] Headed by James O. Davis and globally-renowned "apostle" Sunday Adelaja, the organization grew rapidly, using a "synergistic approach to fulfilling the Great Commission [mandate]... exponentially in every region of the world."[17] Len Sweet was billed as a speaker at this first conference where the "seven spheres of society" were touted. He quickly rose to prominence to became a fixture in the organization. By August 17, 2007 he was listed in the e-newsletter under "Leadership Series" as a "Futurist and author." The current e-newsletters routinely feature his writings and speaking, and he is now listed as a leader.

Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who along with Len Sweet has been prominently connected with this Second Billion group since its inception, has deep roots in C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation, and is listed as one of the key "apostles" of the world.[18] Adelaja's book CHURCHSHIFT is a how-to manual for implementing the 7 Mountain/Sphere Mandate, teaching people how to "impose Kingdom values and principles upon their area of influence" and to divide each "nation into seven spheres of influence, and to send church members into each sphere."[19] Os Hillman of marketplace transformation fame, writing at the www.reclaim7mountains.com website, uses Pastor Adelaja as an example of how "the local church is called to change culture in all spheres of society, especially the seven mountains."[20]

Another name connected with Leonard Sweet since the earliest days of the Second Billion organization is James (Jim) Garlow, who is also listed as a leader.[21] Garlow is a well-known Christian Right activist, who recently was a conference speaker (along with Lance Wallnau and C. Peter Wagner) at NAR leader Cindy Jacob's "Convergence 2010: A Cry To Awaken A Nation" conference.[22] Jim Garlow's interesting bio is posted HERE. He now chairs Newt Gingrich's ReAL (Renewing American Leadership) organization at http://www.torenewamerica.com/.[23] Garlow is leading "The Next Great Awakening Tour" along with patriotic American Dominionist David Barton, June 25-July 24 this summer, and Lance Wallnau is listed as one of the featured guests.[24] Garlow is all over the map on his activism. He is listed as an instructor for an ominous-sounding upcoming Border Sheriff's Posse "Strategic Border Intelligence" School to "partner with intercessors around the United States to protect...the United States of America and our heritage as a nation founded under God."[25] And, perhaps most significantly, Garlow was listed on the Committee that put on the May Day event in Washington, D.C. this past May 1.[26]


Obviously these brief examples are just the tip of a massive iceberg. These are indicative of how pervasive and widespread the various facets of the 7 Mountain Mandate for Dominion have become, forging inroads into mainstream evangelicalism. And it is of concern to what extent this Dominionist agenda has enveloped a wide variety of people and organizations in ways that are heretofore unprecedented.

The Truth:

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." (Revelation 17:9)

The motif of 7 mountains is an endtime call for Dominionism, a faulty eschatology that puts the onus on the church to build a kingdom on earth. But Scripture paints a different picture. These mountains are not benign, nor benevolent! Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commenting on this verse noted:

"Spiritual discernment is needed to understand the symbolical prophecy.... The connection between mountains and kings must be deeper than the outward fact to which allusion is made, that Rome (the then world-city) is on seven hills.... '[M]ountains' have a symbolical meaning, viz., prominent seats of power. Especially such as oppose the cause of God (Ps. 68:16,17, Is 40:4, 41:15, 49:11, Ezek. 35:2); Babylon geographically in a plain, spiritually is 'a destroying mountain' (Jer. 51:25), in majestic contrast to which stands mount Zion.... "[27]

"Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain." (Jeremiah 51:25)

1. Chuck D. Pierce, "Strategies for a Season of Crisis," Charisma, May 11, 2010. Bold and color emphasis added:
http://charismamag.com/index.php/prophetic-insight/28226-strategies-for-seasons-of-crisis See also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/o6scura/63977793/
2. Ibid.
3. Ron McGatlin, "Light Beyond the Darkness," OpenHeaven.com Digest, May 13, 2010. Emphasis in original. For a list of similar articles on this website, see: http://www.openheaven.com/articles/kingdom_revival/
Herescope wrote about this topic earlier: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/02/god-is-downloading-new-strategies.html
5. C. Peter Wagner, head of the New Apostolic Reformation, letter from Global Harvest Ministries, May 31, 2007, launching the formation of his "Global Apostolic Network," and introducing Lance Wallnau's "mind molders" or "seven mountains" mandate "toward social transformation." Posted here: http://www.erwm.com/ApostolicLetter.htm
6. See, for example, ""John Paul Jackson on How to Take Your Mountain -- NOW!" a 3-CD set of Lance Wallnau and John Paul Jackson advertised by The Elijah List, chief organ of the NAR, January 31, 2007: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word_pf.html?ID=4959
7. The website page advertising this conference's materials is still posted online here: http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/pages.asp?pageid=42065 and here: http://www.faithandworkresources.com/apps/store/default.asp?view=profile&itemid=17690
8. See this webpage for example: http://www.faithandwork.org/vocation_groups_page36.phphttp://www.faithandwork.org/arts.
9. http://www.newcanaansociety.org/About-NCS/The-Team/Advisory-Board.aspx
10. For information about Jack Deere and his controversial and heretical beliefs, see these webpages: www.deceptioninthechurch.com/deereonprophecy.html, www.deceptioninthechurch.com/deere.html, www.deceptioninthechurch.com/jack_deere.html, among many others at the www.deceptioninthechurch.com website.
11. http://www.newcanaansociety.org/281/ This url no longer works. This page was retrived and archived on January 20, 2008.
12. http://www.newcanaansociety.com/index.php?id=6 This url no longer works. This page was retrieved and stored on February 7, 2007. The eclectic mixture of names that appeared on the list of speakers included:
Ashcroft, John
Barnum, Thaddeus
Beacham, Jeff
Beausejour, Denis
Beckett, John
Bell, John
Bernal, Dick
Blackaby, Henry
Bonnke, Reinhard
Buford, Bob
Cloud, Henry
Coe, Douglas
Colson, Charles
Clinton, Timothy
Croce, Danny
Cron, Ian
Cumming, Joseph
Cymbala, Jim
Deere, Jack
Dravecky, Dave
Dunbar, David
Eggerichs, Emerson
Fee, Gordon
Gire, Ken
Guest, John
Guinness, Os
Hall, Dudley
Hatch, Nathan
Haugen, Gary
Hunter, James
Hutchcraft, Ron
Hybels, Bill
Joyner, Rick
Keiran, Alan
Keller, Timothy
Keller, Kathy
Leighton, Christopher
Lewis, Ron
Lieberman, Joseph
Litfin, Duane
Loconte, Joseph
Manning, Brennan
McCartney, Bill
McDonald, Al
Meacham, Jon
Miller, David
Murrow, David
Muzikowski, Bob
Palau, Luis
Power, Graham
Prior, David
Pytches, David
Rankin, John
Reed, Ralph
Sage, John
Silvoso, Ed
Slaughter, Alvin
Stephens, Don
Stowell, Joseph
Stratton, Daniel
Teske, Paul
Tewell, Tom
Treash, Steve
Volf, Miroslav
Wagner, David
Wallnau, Lance
Weber, BJ
Wilbur, Paul
Wilkinson, Bruce
Wilson, Jamie
Wilson, William
Wright, Alan
14. Advertised August 22, 2007 with a link to http://www.pinnacleforum.com/emailers/conference2008/
15. Letter dated 7/13/2007, signed by James O. Davis and Sunday Adelaja. The url at that time was http://www.synergize.tv. At this same date Len Sweet was listed as a "Global Partner" at the website http://www.billion.tv. See also: http://www.preach.tv/index.php?page=speakers where Len Sweet is listed as part of a lineup of mainstream evangelical speakers.
16. The story of the "The History & Vision: Winning the Second Billion Together" statement by James O. Davis was originally published at http://www.billion.tv/knowthe-vision.html (July 13, 2007 retrieved and archived). See also: http://www.evangelicalnews.org/indiv_pr.php?action=display&pr_id=7967
17. May 8, 2009 Second Billion e-newsletter.
18. cfs8.blog.daum.net/.../48d3b4bd796e0&filename=ICA%20신사도%20명단. pdf
19. http://www.churchshift.org/index.php?page=29, January 2, 2008.
20. Os Hillman, "Reclaiming the Church Mountain," http://www.reclaim7mountains.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=62626&columnid=4338
21. See, for example, http://www.preach.tv/index.php?page=speakers
22. Cited in Dr. Orrel Steinkamp's recent Herescope article "The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism." http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/04/coalescing-of-christian-right-with.html where the foonote stated: The "Convergence 2010" conference was sponsored by Cindy Jacobs' United States Reformation Prayer Network (USRPN). Its speakers included: Peter Wagner, Lance Wallnau, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, Harry Jackson, Jaeson Ma, Thomas Hall, Jim Garlow, Cheryl Sacks, Jim Hennesy, Robert Madu, Mike Jacobs, Cindy Jacobs. This conference was part of an intriguing strategy called “ROOT 52” USRPN National Prayer Strategy, described as “a 52-week prayer strategy to bring the nation back to it's covenantal roots.” A letter to “Intercessors” from Cindy Jacobs dated 3/10/10 is cached here: http://tinyurl.com/yaazw6a The Elijah List, chief organ of the NAR, advertised the conference here: Http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word_pf.html?ID=8394. See also: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/prophetic-intercession-future-religious-right
23. "Newt Gingrich Names Dr. Jim Garlow to Chair Renewing American Leadership," http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/newt-gingrich-names-dr-jim-garlow-to-chair-renewing-american-leadership-87906477.html "Newt Gingrich Steps Up Efforts to Mobilize Religious Conservatives," by Dan Gilgoff, 3/20/10: http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/religion/2009/03/20/newt-gingrich-steps-up-efforts-to-mobilize-religious-conservatives.html
24. See tour promo infomation in a pdf file posted here: http://www.skylinechurch.org/images/NGAtourBrochure.pdf
25. Excerpted from an e-newsletter sent May 4, 2010 from info@4sd.net, and said to be sponsored by LinkAmerica and New Day Ministries.
26. http://www.mayday2010.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=56
27. Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Vol. 3 (Hendrickson Publishers), p. 711.

NOTE: For a radio interview that covers some of the topics in today's post, see http://www.pidradio.com/?p=875, "Sarah Leslie--False Christs and False Prophets."