Saturday, September 03, 2011

Documenting Dominionism

Exhibit 1

"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."
-C. Peter Wagner, letter launching the 7 Mountain Mandate, 5/31/07

The Rise of the New Apostolic Reformation

As C. Peter Wagner was developing the doctrines that would comprise the basics of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), he was also building its structure. This structure would be become a downline hierarchical structure that would become a new reformation. Exhibit 1 documents the involvement of Leadership Network in assisting C. Peter Wagner in his endeavors (click on the image and it will pull up on a larger screen). This exhibit illustrates the broad base of support that benefited Wagner as he began to set up the NAR.

This New Apostolic Reformation, also referred to as a Second Reformation, would supplant and reverse the old (First) Reformation both in doctrine and accountability structures. We have written extensively about this structure and theology on Herescope in the past.[1]

Examine the words "new authority structure" in Exhibit 1 above and you will discover that Wagner is positing spiritual authority not in God's WORD, but in the "Holy Spirit in individuals." According to longtime Wagner critic, Mike Oppenheimer, "The problem is that Wagner cannot recognize what contradicts Scripture because he is not using the Bible as his absolute guide but new revelation from new prophets." Oppenheimer just posted an article titled "A Case of Pinocchio’s Nose," at his Let Us Reason website, in which he rebuts C. Peter Wagner's recent letter spinning his New Apostolic Reformation. Oppenheimer explains:

But Wagner teaches, “The rhema is regarded as a more immediate word from God which we do not find in the 66 books of the Bible” (Engaging the Enemy, by C. Peter Wagner, 1991, pp.15-16). Apparently more truth is now needed for a new foundation; this is their circular path they orbit in.[2]

So this "new authority structure" is not true individual accountability to God and His Word, but a rhema word-based authority. Whatever "spirit" speaks will be listened to over and above the Bible. (Martin Luther must be turning in his grave.)

The "new leadership training" that C. Peter Wagner refers to above is apostolic in structure. But it is based on the marketing and change agent training provided by Leadership Network to over a generation of evangelical pastors and emerging leaders. Much of this training involved how to manipulate the sheep in the pews to transition them into this new transformation. Borrowing techniques from state-of-the-art research in psychology and sociology, including techniques from the occult world, these men were trained in "continuing education" (TQM, continuous quality improvement) to overhaul the church both doctrinally and structurally.[3]

The "new ministry focus" involved the cultural mandate. The old "mandate" of the church was simply presenting the Gospel of Salvation message. But this new cultural mandate, according to Wagner, is the original assignment given by God to man in Genesis 1. Wagner's revisionism turns it into a "dominion mandate," and as a former church growth leader he tells important history of how this became part of the global mission movement:

"The cultural mandate, which some refer to as Christian social responsibility goes as far back as the Garden of Eden. After God created Adam and Eve, He said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing"...

Both the cultural mandate and the evangelistic mandate are essential parts of biblical mission, in my opinion. Neither is optional. There is a growing consensus on this point in Evangelical circles. This was not true as early as twenty-two years ago when the Berlin World Congress on Evangelism was held in 1966. One of the first Evangelicals to stress the cultural mandate in a public forum was Horace Fenton of the Latin America Mission at the Wheaton Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission, also held in 1966. Following that, the social consciousness generated by the social upheavals of the 1960's brought the cultural mandate to prominence until it was given a relatively high profile on the platform of the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne in 1974."

In this revised worldview, the church needs to expand its "sphere" of authority or influence to local areas and regions and also to CULTURE. This extension of the responsibility of the church to oversee society became a new social gospel (often called the gospel of the kingdom) in which the world could be "won to Christ" by using the same state-of-the-art psychological and sociological, marketing and leadership, and even occult techniques. To put it simply -- to win the world's culture, the emerging postmodern church equipped itself with all the machinations of manipulation and pronounced that the ends would justify the means.

Wagner's original "cultural mandate" mission drastically took a turn for the worse when he began to openly espouse his "dominion mandate." To Wagner, dominion on earth was something the church must seize back from Satan and his minions -- not just culture but also governments. It would then become possible to reverse the effects of the Fall and restore paradise on Earth:

See, the problem is, is that Satan has had too much of his way in our society because he has a government! And the only way to overthrow a government is with a government. It won’t happen otherwise. So therefore the government of the church has to get into place in the extended church just like we do have it very well in place, we haven’t reached our goal yet, but it’s very well established in the nuclear church....

These apostles in the workplace are the ones that are going to come into the picture and with them we’ll be open these gates, without them we can have all the prayer meetings we want, all the marches for Jesus we want, all the prayer walking we want, the gates aren’t going to be opened. Because it takes a government to overthrow a government. Gate number one, letter A, the gate of social transformation, the gate of social transformation....

This gate will be opened when we understand about the church in the workplace, that the church has a government, that it takes a government to overthrow a government, and when we understand this, if we renew our minds, if we embrace this paradigm shift, if we see, if we hear what the spirit is saying to the churches, if we recognize ministry in the extended church and government in the extended church, the revival we’ve been praying for is just around the corner. We will see it....

And now I pray for every individual here, before you, who is in the workplace, who tomorrow and in the days to come will be going out to their ministries in the workplace, and I impart to them an anointing, I impart to them an anointing for not seeing a job, but seeing a ministry in the workplace. And I impart an anointing to them and to this whole community to recognize and raise up apostles who will set the church in the workplace in order so that our cities, our communities, our states, and our nations will be transformed for Your glory, in Jesus’ name.

Wagner has claimed that Jesus supports this Dominion Mandate, saying

[Jesus] has delegated His Church to continue the [war against Satan] by spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the peoples of the earth.... [When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentecost, Jesus] gave them a command to make disciples of all nations. He authorized them to use His name and to move against the enemy in His kingly authority. What does this mean? It means that the war to continue pushing Satan and his wicked forces back by the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is now in the hands of the Church, the people of God. In other words, we as the Church are at war![6]

The apostolic authority structure was set in place during the past decade and a half to supplant and override existing church denominational structures. But it also serves as a new vehicle for accountability and authority, putting into effect a hierarchical networking system to manage this cultural mandate. Lance Wallnau has turned this into the 7 mountain mandate, for example, see the video HERE and related videos.

An interesting historical catalog of C. Peter "Quotes & Notes" can be found on this webpage HERE compiled by Sandy Simpson and Mike Oppenheimer. This extensive list of quotes underscore the concerns mentioned above.

The Truth:

Awhile back Pastor Anton Bosch wrote of his concerns about this extreme revisionist theology that C. Peter Wagner was developing and applying. Pastor Bosch warned:

Even more disturbing is the trend that has developed over the past 30 years in Evangelical circles of adding prophecies, dreams, visions and the random statements of preachers to God’s Word. Many of these sayings are wild and wacky, and many blatantly contradict Scripture, but that does not matter to a generation of Christians who have been trained to simply swallow the rubbish that they are fed without discrimination and discernment.[7]

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:11)

1. In addition to the articles we have published over the past two months, see Herescope posts such as: and and and Also see these articles at the Discernment Ministries website: and Mike Oppenheimer's two reports about Wagner's Dominion Mandate at: and 16. See also "A Response To "An Urgent Message From Peter" by Sandy Simpson," 8/20/11,
For interesting reading, see also documentation and links at "Lost and found: Members of the New Apostolic Reformation,"

2. Mike Oppenheimer, "A Case of Pinocchio’s Nose--A look at Peter Wagner's update that revisions his own history,"
3. See, for example, Berit Kjos's book review of Leading Congregational Change, which was part of the Leadership Network training program:
4. C. Peter Wagner, "On the Cutting Edge of Mission Strategy," Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, A Reader, Revised Edition (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1981,1992), pp. D-45-46,
5. C. Peter Wagner, "Arise Prophetic Conference," Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10-10-2004, cited at "Dominionism Exposed," by Sandy Simpson, 2/2/06,, emphasis in original.
6. Cited on the ElijahList originally, html?ID=3027, and written about in the May/June 2005 Discernment Newsletter, "The Global Day of Prayer." This quotation comes from C. Peter Wagner's endorsement of a book by Rebecca Greenwood, described as his executive assistant at Global Harvest Ministries, titled Authority to Tread: An Intercessor’s Guide to Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare. Emphasis added.
7. Pastor Anton Bosch, "Do Not Exceed What is Written,