7 Mountain Politics and Theology
Here It Comes Again. . .
|C. Peter Wagner letter, August 20, 2007|
“Back in 2011, when Texas governor Rick Perry was planning his first run for the presidency, he kicked off his campaign with a massive prayer rally in Houston called "The Response." The event was the source of considerable controversy because Perry organized it in partnership with a whole host of radical Religious Right activists, including several members of the New Apostolic Reformation, a collection of self-proclaimed modern day apostles and prophets who believe that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they are capable of performing greater miracles than even Jesus himself.“One of the key leaders in the NAR movement is Mike Bickle, who also played a central role in organizing Perry's prayer rally. Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer, a controversial missionary organization in Kansas City, Missouri, that some critics have labeled a cult and which is best known for engaging in nonstop 24-hour-a-day prayer in preparation for the End Times….” 
Once again, during this campaign season in America, the doctrines of Dominionism held by diverse segments of the evangelical world have taken front and center stage. The leaven of the 7 mountain teaching continues to percolate throughout the entire political process.
Six years ago Dr. Orrel Steinkamp and the Discernment Research Group wrote a series of articles about the rapid assimilation of Dominionist teachers/preachers into the American political process. We warned that certain formerly obscure groups – Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP) and C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) with their Latter Rain cult roots - were mainstreaming their theology into the political process via large-scale media events, an orchestrated youth movement, and even entering the machinations of political campaigns. All of this was being fueled by prominent voices in the Christian Right promoting the 7 mountain strategy of building the kingdom of God on earth, starting with turning America into a “Christian” nation.
Herescope has published many articles about the 7 mountain theology. Our critical perspective is distinctly biblical, and thus distinguishable from the criticism of the seven mountains coming from the political Left, although we do share some of their concerns about this radical agenda for the church to transform society and/or government(s) into a church-state via cultural, political and/or “warfare” activism. In our articles, compiled below, we clearly articulate our theological differences with this 7 mountains teaching.
7 Mountains Hit the Campaign Trail
Here is a very brief overview of the current situation. There is a YouTube video of the 7 mountain beliefs and “transfer of wealth” teachings of “apostle” Rafael Cruz, father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz who is running for president. In Bruce Wilson’s Oct. 17, 2013 article titled “Ted Cruz's Father Suggested His Son Is 'Anointed' to Bring About 'End Time Transfer of Wealth' one can watch “apostle” Rafael Cruz lists a few of the 7 mountains and talk about a generation of “kings” and “priests”:
“There are some of you, as a matter of fact I will dare to say the majority of you, that your anointing is not an anointing as priest. It's an anointing as king. And God has given you an anointing to go to the battlefield. And what's the battlefield? The battlefield is the marketplace. To go to the marketplace and occupy the land. To go to the marketplace and take dominion. If you remember the last time I was in this pulpit, I talked to you about Genesis chapter 1, verse 28, where God says unto Adam and Eve, 'Go forth, multiply, TAKE DOMINION over all creation.' And if you recall, we talked about the fact that that dominion is not just in the church. That dominion is over every area - society, education, government, economics....” [bold added]
In his book, A Time for Action, published and sold by WND, Rafael Cruz writes concerning the 7 mountains that “the Bible tells us that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world… Doesn’t that suggest that our influence should touch every area of society – our families, the media, sports, arts and entertainment, education, business, and government?”
Sen. Cruz has been endorsed by Mike Bickle of IHOP. Bickle’s endorsement caused a ruckus due to some of his more aberrant doctrines. Mormon Glenn Beck and controversial historian David Barton, who had both joined 7 mountains architect Lance Wallnau on a Next Great Awakening Tour of America in 2010, also teamed up with Sen. Cruz. And then Sen. Cruz, in a bid to get South Carolina votes, visited Rick Joyner's church with Glenn Beck. Joyner has a long history of teaching a radical militaristic form of Dominionism. Recently he has been teaching on the topic of “kings and priests” just like Rafael Cruz, but Joyner is more explicit about the merger of church and state:
In connection to the love of God that redeemed us, He made us “kings and priests.” This speaks of His people being called to civil as well as spiritual authority…. in His body on earth are likewise called to both spiritual and administrative authority. In Christ there is no separation of church and state….
Jumping into the political mix, Word Faith prosperity preacher Kenneth Copeland declared that Ted Cruz was “anointed” to be the next president. Note that Copeland's prosperity gospel message is what energizes the “great outpouring of wealth” teaching promised by the 7 mountaineers.
Meanwhile other 7 mountain teachers were endorsing Trump just in case God changes His mind and doesn’t anoint Sen. Cruz. Former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has her own controversial history with the Dominionists of the NAR, wrote a gushing letter to the NAR’s chief media organ, The Elijah List, a month before she endorsed Donald Trump. And Lance Wallnau, a leading architect of the 7 mountains of Dominionism theology, claims that Donald Trump has a “Cyrus anointing” on him in an apparent reference to the seven mountains “kings and priests” theology.
This is just a brief summary what is going on. Readers desiring more evidence can google these terms and find numerous examples and articles, even YouTube videos, posted on the Internet about these current events.
Because we have received many questions about the seven mountain theology erupting this campaign season, below is a compilation of articles we have written previously on the topic of Dominionism.
What is Dominionism?
Read “What Is Dominionism” by Sarah H. Leslie. A earlier 2005 report titled “Dominionisn and the Rise of Christian Imperialism” explains the different “streams” of Dominionism within the broader evangelical community.
What are the 7 Mountains?
On June 25, 2007 we published an article titled “Seven Apostolic Spheres” describing missiologist C. Peter Wagner’s vision of a New Apostolic Reformation where his group of specially anointed “apostles” would be charged with conducting “warfare” to “mold the culture and the minds of men.” His apostles would “be able to change the power structure at the top of each mountain” of culture/society – home, church, schools, government & politics, media, arts & entertainment, and commerce. (There are various versions of what areas of society constitute these 7 mountains.) See the graphic at the top of this post, which depicts Wagner's vision.
On Jan. 28, 2007 we explained how these modernized 7 mountains were based on the earlier concept taught by the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920). In “Neo-Kuyperian Spheres” we described how Kuyper's “spheres” theology “has been continually hybridized, homogenized and recontextualized over the years. Many of his teachings have formed the basis of the fundamental paradigm shift in how neoevangelicals view the church and the world.”
A March 14, 2007 article, “Apostolic Spheres of Authority,” observed that the use of the term “spheres” is inextricably connected to the idea of a Dominionist mandate. In the 1980s the Coalition on Revival (COR) published their political/religious agenda into seventeen “Sphere Documents.” This group is described by Al Dager in his 1990 book Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion as a “melting pot for Charismatic Dominionists and Reconstructionists” (p. 235) based upon a “dominionist interpretation of the Great Commission” (p. 236). The COR plan was for secular society to be divided into “spheres” in which Christians were to engage in political activity, take “dominion” and “advance the Kingdom.”
On June 15, 2007 in our article “The '7-M Mandate'” about the 7 mountains agenda we documented how the term “spheres” had been changed to “mountains,” which were visually represented by C. Peter Wagner’s hierarchical pyramid for his New Apostolic Reformation – a networking structure which resembles multi-level marketing schemes and functions in a similar way. Wagner, in a letter dated May 31, 2007, 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. Which leads us to the 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.”
|Dominion conference advertised on TheElijahList featuring Lance Wallnau|
Soon after this 7 mountain motif appeared on the scene, we expressed concerns about the disturbing warfare rhetoric to describe these grandiose (if not utopian) ambitions. While some leaders were busily working on transforming the culture of nations via psycho-social and marketing soft-core Dominionism Lite (Rick Warren in Rwanda, for example, or Tim Keller who is building a social services empire in New York City), the more strident Dominionists of the NAR were talking about coercive acts that extended the reach of the church into the political realm, including the forcible baptism of entire nations. For example, see our Jan. 19, 2008 article, “How to 'Conquer the 7 Spheres'.”
In our July 15, 2008 article Kicking the Kingdom into High Gear we laid out C. Peter Wagner's plan to take over America via Dominionism. But the most ominous example of the arising Dominionism agenda we ran across during those early years of research was a statement that came from Rick Joyner with Dutch Sheets on the June 19, 2007 Elijah List newsletter entitled “THE TRUE SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS ARE MOBILIZING” which said of their “coming kingdom” that “At first it may seem like totalitarianism” and claimed that the “kingdom will start out necessarily authoritative in many ways, or in many areas.” Joyner and Sheets also said: “The Great Commission is to make disciples, not just converts, and of nations, not just individuals. Those who are called to rule and reign with Him must start thinking much bigger.”
|Os Hillman's 2008 conference featuring Lance Wallnau|
that launched the New Apostolic Reformation's 7 mountains movement.
This blog has written about the rise in the political activities of Mike Bickle's IHOP and C. Peter Wagner's NAR since April 2010 when we began chronicling the increasing political and religious mainstreaming of the extreme fringes of the evangelical world. Below are key articles detailing the merger of these groups with American politics:
April 22, 2010: R&R Revival and Revolt: The Tea Party's Strange Bedfellows and What They Believe
April 27, 2010: May Day Prayers: What Repentance?
May 18, 2010: Mainstreaming Dominionism
June 1, 2010: The Other Side of Emergent: The New Apostolic Reformation
June 5, 2010: The Great Confluence: The Emergent New Apostolic Reformation Flowing into the New Age
June 24, 2010: Seven Mountains: Set To Go VIRAL
Sept 8, 2010: “The Next Great Awakening… or Great Deadening: Part 2: A Political Platform”
Sept 20, 2010: “The Next Great Awakening… or Great Deadening: Part 3: Building the 7 Mountains”
Sept. 29, 2010: “Concocting a Great Awakening: Part 4”
July 4, 2011: “IHOP: International House of Political Action”
July 12, 2011: “IHOP & the NAR: The Formation of a Revolution”
July 16, 2011: “IHOP's New Breed Leaders”
July 30, 2011: “Divorcing Baal For Dominion: Part 2”
Aug. 2, 2011: “The Baal Covenant: Part 3: Divorcing Baal”
|7 Mountains Arising|
Aug. 26, 2011: “Denying Dominionism”
Sept. 03, 2011: “Documenting Dominionism”
Sept. 9, 2011: “Who Invented Dominionism?”
Sept. 12, 2011: “Apostolic Dominionism: King of the Mountain”
Sept. 26, 2011: “Dominique”
Part 2: “Presence” Eschatology
Part 3: Bridal Eschatology
Part 4: The Perfectly Obedient Bride
Part 5: The 2nd Coming of the “Presence”
Part 6: The Battled Bride
The New Order of the Latter Rain, a cult that began in the late 1940s, taught a number of heresies, including 1) an overemphasis on “imparting” spiritual gifts and 2) the erroneous teaching that the Church must be built on a foundation of present-day apostles and prophets. Leaders at that time included William Branham, George Warnock, Ern Baxter, and George Hawtin. This cult eventually developed connections with the Shepherding and Charismatic Renewal movements, and the “Kansas City Prophets.”
This self-proclaimed group of modern-day “prophets,” at the Kansas City Fellowship perpetuated the doctrines of Latter Rain through the teachings of Mike Bickle, Paul Cain and others. It is here that this booklet picks up the story, for many of the quoted excerpts come from leaders at the Kansas City Fellowship prophecy conferences.
Just at this moment in history, a confluence was beginning which was to have massive repercussions throughout the rest of evangelicalism: John Wimber of the Vineyard Movement connected with the Kansas City Prophets. John Wimber had previously been picked up as an “experiment” by C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Theological Seminary for “signs and wonders” classes. For several decades Fuller had been laying considerable groundwork for the formation of new doctrines – ecclesiology, eschatology, missiology, soteriology, etc. Wimber’s connection to KCF proved to be the catalyst for the beginnings of what C. Peter Wagner was to later call the “New Apostolic Reformation.” The esoteric doctrines of the Latter Rain movement became an integral part of his post-modern evangelical canon. And because of Wagner’s influence, KCF leaders who would have been obscure in 1991, such as Mike Bickle, are now widely known throughout evangelicalism.
People are angry this political season in America, and desperately grabbing at hope in political solutions. Politicians are eager to act like they have all of the answers. But there are also Dominionist leaders, described above, who seek to exploit the malaise and discontent of citizens. These Dominionist leaders have sidled alongside the political candidates, hoping they can gain power and wield influence. And the candidates desire the votes they promise to deliver.
None of this is about the Gospel of Salvation. This is a different gospel, the gospel of the kingdom. These Dominionist leaders promise a false hope of building a kingdom here on earth - notably one in which they view themselves as in charge, literally as kings of their mountains.
In 1992 Travers and Jewel van der Merwe warned in an early issue of the Discernment Ministries newsletter about the rise of the Latter Rain cult and its intended objective. These leaders set their sights on political power early on and they've never given up:
"The NEW BREED of Christian is poised to take over the earth, precinct by precinct. God's Army is rising up. It is time to put on the militant garb. The glint in the eye becomes fixed as the exhilaration of the hour sweeps through the masses. They can make a difference! The world has been waiting with bated breath for this LAST DAY GENERATION. False prophets in their midst are caught in sin, under discipline, yet their tapes sell to believers of their false prophecies. The call for unity is the common cause bringing them from every denomination. They are calling their unity "revival." After all, when they have set up the Kingdom here on the earth - they will have fulfilled the mandate given to Adam to subdue the earth. A new sound is heard in the land. The music gets louder and the beat gets stronger (even bringing in rock, metal, and funk) but oddly enough the lyrics are always the same! - The choruses proclaiming the triumphant song of the conquerors!"
1. Links removed - see original. Kyle Mantyla, "Ted Cruz Welcomes Endorsement Of Mike Bickle, Who Believes Oprah Is A Forerunner To The Antichrist," 1/22/2016: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ted-cruz-welcomes-endorsement-mike-bickle-who-believes-oprah-forerunner-antichrist#sthash.ut1HBm3j.dpuf
2. http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/brucewilson/ted-cruzs-father-suggested-his-son-anointed-bring-about-end-time-transfer or http://www.talk2action.org/story/2013/10/16/143336/01/Front_Page/Cruz_Father_Suggests_Ted_Cruz_quot_Anointed_quot_to_Bring_The_Spoils_Of_War_To_The_Priests_ For the Rafael Cruz full video, see it for yourself. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy074QLV2D8 and watch after the first hour.
3. Peter Montgomery, “We Read Rafael Cruz's Book So You Don't Have To,” 12/28/2015, http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/we-read-rafael-cruzs-book-so-you-dont-have Joseph Farah at World Net Daily (WND) is a big purveyor of Dominionist teachings. See, for example: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/11/where-rick-warrens-disciples-are.html or http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/06/clear-eyed-christ-centered-worldview.html or http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/10/latest-p-reconciliation.html
4. “Ted Cruz touts endorsement from NAR leader Mike Bickle” appears on a Cruz campaign promo page which looks like Cruz is also endorsing Bickle: https://www.tedcruz.org/news/cruz-for-president-announces-endorsement-of-mike-bickle/. See also: http://bereanresearch.org/ted-cruz-touts-endorsement-from-nar-leader-mike-bickle/ by Marsha West, 1/26/15. Cruz published a list of over 300 endorsers before the South Carolina primary: http://thesouthcarolinaconservative.com/2016/02/19/300-sc-pastors-faith-leaders-endorse-cruz/
5. See the article, “Ted Cruz campaign defends pastor who said God will send hunters for Jews,” http://www.jpost.com/US-Elections/Ted-Cruz-campaign-defends-pastor-who-said-God-will-send-hunters-for-Jews-444644. See also “Cruz Campaign Defends Controversial Pastor Who Says God Sent Hitler To Hunt Jews,” http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/cruz-campaign-defends-controversial-pastor-who-says-god-sent-hitler-hunt-jews#sthash.8gGPbL1C.dpuf and “Why Ted Cruz's Preacher Sidekick Is No Friend of the Jews — or Israel” by Sarah Posner, a longtime critic of the NAR: http://forward.com/opinion/333993/why-ted-cruzs-preacher-sidekick-is-no-friend-of-the-jews-or-israel/?attribution=articles-hero-item-text-1. Jewel Grewe notes that her (now deceased) husband Travers van der Merwe, who founded Discernment Ministries and warned about the teachings of the Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God, early on warned about the lurking anti-semitic elements in this theology. Al Dager in his 1990 book documenting Dominionism, titled Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion (Sword Publishers), also describes these sub-currents.
6. This tour is documented in “The Next Great Awakening… or Great Deadening? Part 1: Rallying Around the Seven Mountains” published on Herescope, 8/27/10: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/08/next-great-awakening.html
7. Brian Tashman, “Beyond The Pale: Ted Cruz Puts Extremists At The Center Of His Campaign,” 2/2/2016 : http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/beyond-pale-ted-cruz-puts-extremists-center-his-campaign#sthash.qBWNPgES.dpuf
8. See: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ted-cruz-campaign-glenn-beck-rick-joyners-church Also read: “Ted Cruz’s campaign is fueled by a dominionist vision for America (COMMENTARY)” by John Fea, February 4, 2016 http://www.religionnews.com/2016/02/04/ted-cruzs-campaign-fueled-dominionist-vision-america-commentary/
9. Rick Joyner, “Authority in Christ—The Book of Revelation by Rick Joyner | MorningStar Word for the Week 2016,” https://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/word-week/2016/authority-christ-book-revelation#.Vs3iSEU8LCQ.
10. Kyle Mantyla, “Kenneth Copeland Declares That Ted Cruz Has Been ‘Called and Anointed’ By God To Be The Next President,” 2/5/16, http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/kenneth-copeland-declares-ted-cruz-has-been-called-and-anointed-god-be-next-president. See the late Pastor Ken Silva’s website www.apprising.org for many articles about Copeland and his Word Faith beliefs, e.g. http://apprising.org/2012/08/13/the-word-of-faith-movement/
11. See, for example, our article “The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism, 4/8/10, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/04/coalescing-of-christian-right-with.html and also “Sarah Palin's Churches and The Third Wave: New Video Documentary,” Sept. 7, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-wilson/sarah-palins-churches-and_b_124611.html and http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/11/2/115526/519 and http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/11/5/13585/8320 and http://www.talk2action.org/printpage/2008/9/24/82239/9750
12. "Gov. Sarah Palin Writes To The Elijah List Family!" Dec. 18, 2015. http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=15502
13. Lance Wallnau’s public Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153729859919936&id=106916074935&_rdr. Kyle Mantyla wrote several articles: “Leading Dominionist Says Donald Trump Is A Modern-Day Lincoln Anointed By God,” 12/3/15: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/leading-dominionist-says-donald-trump-modern-day-lincoln-anointed-god#sthash.fCIIYte9.dpuf and “Seven Mountains Advocate Declares That God Has Given Donald Trump 'An Anointing For The Mantle Of Government'” 11/5/15, http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/seven-mountains-advocate-declares-god-has-given-donald-trump-anointing-mantle-government. See also: “Donald Trump’s saving grace: Televangelists,” by Ben Schreckinger, 9/30/15, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/donald-trumps-evangelicals-televangelists-214250
14. We coined a term to describe this, "Dominionism Lite." See "Where Rick Warren's Disciples Are," Jan. 21, 2006, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/11/where-rick-warrens-disciples-are.html and also read: Denying Dominionism, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/denying-dominionism.html and "Mainstreaming Dominionism," http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/05/mainstreaming-dominionism.html
15. Herescope, June 20, 2007, “At first it may seem like totalitarianism”
16. See: Read more: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/12/rethinking-eschatology.html and also see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2015/07/technocracy-transhumanism-mythology.html and link over to the Vimeo recording of a talk by Sarah Leslie describing this 7 mountain conference in detail, with graphics: https://vimeo.com/album/3448979/video/131322070
18. Read: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/06/restoring-gospel-of-salvation.html
19. Read: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/02/gospel-of-kingdom.html In case you think that Kuyper's spheres idea is dead, see "If Kuyper Could, Why Can’t Swanson?" 2/24/16: http://oldlife.org/2016/02/24/if-kuyper-could-why-cant-swanson/
20. "The Kingdomizers Have Arrived!" Discernment Newsletter, May/June 1992 http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_MayJune1992.pdf. Also cited here: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/04/coalescing-of-christian-right-with.html
*Exhibit A: *"Figure 2" at the top of this post is Exhibit A, a graphic representation of what this post is concerned about. It comes from Eric Swanson, To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010). Figure 2 comes from the Foreword, p. 11, and it provides a visual chart of the "7 domains of culture," of which Healthcare is the 7th. The Church in this diagram is seen encompassing the other 6 secular "domains." The book explains, "The missional church sees itself as the people of God... already deployed across all domains of culture." This is an incredible visual of the Dominionist church model. Swanson acknowledges Bob Buford of Leadership Network on p. 13. To see Eric Swanson's new "gospel," watch the youtube video http://learnings.leadnet.org/2010/06/eric-swanson-on-the-show-this-week.html, which is also posted in the context of an article "What Is Dominionism?" posted at http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/.