April 13, 2012, rev. May 11, Nov. 15
The following two paragraphs are taken from C. Peter Wagner’s Aug.18, 2011 update on what he calls “The New Apostolic Reformation.” As of April 10, 2012 it was posted at: http://www.globalspheres.org/.
“This refers to the desire that some of my friends and I have to follow Jesus and do what He wants. One of the things He does want He taught us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This means that we do our best to see that what we know is characteristic of heaven work its way into the warp and woof of our society here on earth. Think of heaven: no injustice, no poverty, righteousness, peace, prosperity, no disease, love, no corruption, no crime, no misery, no racism, and I could go on. Wouldn’t you like your city to display those characteristics?”
“But where does dominion come in? On the first page of the Bible, God told Adam and Eve to “fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, etc.” (Genesis 1:28). Adam, Eve, and the whole human race were to take dominion over the rest of creation, but Satan entered the picture, succeeded in usurping Adam’s dominion for himself and became what Jesus calls “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30). When Jesus came, he brought the kingdom of God and He expects His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of His kingdom here on earth. This is what we mean by dominionism.”
Dominionism Further Defined
As Wagner says, man was originally given dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26-28 ) but he lost that power when he disobeyed God. Those of the Dominionism camp believe that this original dominion was restored through the redemptive work of Christ, but Christendom in general holds that Satan is still “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and has dominion over the earth (I John 5:19 and Eph. 6:12). Because of His sovereignty, God offers us fullness of life in the midst of this, through our individual surrender to His rule in our hearts which then enables us to live a godly life by His power. (Rom. 6:1-7)
The NAR and the dominionist community in general see a massive, worldwide revival coming and believe we are to usher it in through signs and wonders as evidence of God’s presence and rule. Unfortunately, they are the leading voice in calling Christendom to prepare for the End Times. They offer us secular power and manifestations of signs and wonders and other supernatural phenomena, and they promise earthly health, wealth and prosperity as the norm and our full privilege.
I believe however, that before revival happens Christians will face serious persecution. We are so deeply entrenched in our present “American-Christian” way of life that only suffering will be able to set us free and get us reconnected to God in a deep way. In that time, only II Chron. 7:14 repentance, and God’s intervening Presence, will equip us to stand. I discuss that at length, and propose a sound Biblical response, in the book “The Cosmic Battle and the American Christian,” especially Part III.
Probably one reason that Dominionism is so popular is that defining God’s presence in those ways is much more appealing to the flesh than characterizing it by the Biblical godliness which follows our surrender to His rule over all of life. Righteousness, peace and joy, the Biblical Kingdom of God hallmarks which fulfill the deepest cravings of the human heart, and which only follow repentance and living an authentically Spirit-filled life, are secondary to their agenda. Dominionism not only misrepresents the nature of the Kingdom of God, it attempts to apply it in society before it is established in our own hearts. It is actually quite superficial and earthly compared to the Life that God offers to his bond-servants.
Some Charismatics and Pentecostals embrace Dominionism but many do not. Conversely, Dominionists are generally Charismatic/Pentecostal even if they are in churches who do not profess that theology.
As I say in “Dominionism, ‘Another Gospel,’” Satan is crafty. By his very nature he is a deceiver. He is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) Those are his tools - - his only “game.” He has a way of making “bad” look good. Wrong, look right. Black look white. Satan only gives us something so he can take/steal something better.
Those who espouse Dominionism ought to seriously consider the temptation of Jesus in Mt. 4:9-10, where Satan offered Him dominion/rule if He would bow down and worship him. He offers us the same shortcut today and many are not prepared to respond as Jesus did.
We cannot be part of the contemporary “revivals;” Dominionist agenda; popular mysticism, dream interpretations; the pursuit of supernatural/paranormal phenomena; IHOP related Prayer Rooms, Healing Rooms, and their training, and ministries - - without being bound to their theological moorings. “Modern Day Mystics” are a recent expression of that error in our community.
Dominionism in Wooster
Deliverance ministry is an expression of Dominionism. It can capture a church in a way that diminishes our sense of the efficacy of the redemptive work of Jesus, and the ability of the “spirit and life” of the Word to bring freedom.
Another mark of Dominionism that I have seen is its inappropriate emphasis on the Old Testament, which again, diminishes the centrality and power of the work of Christ and “The Word of the Cross.”
There was a time of prayer at the end of the mid-2010 meeting in which a pastor spoke of the soon-coming prophetic anointing (discussed under “Prophets”). In that prayer time he boldly declared that the jails and hospitals of Wayne County would be emptied because there would be no need of them because of the rule of God in our area. That is classic Dominionism at its best!
In my Aug. 18 meeting with three pastors, I asked him what the Biblical basis was for such a prayer. He said that it was part of the “greater works than these” words of Jesus in John 14:12. (It angers me, to hear men whom I know to be so desperately human, insist that they can do such “greater works” than Jesus did. That feels arrogant to me and demonstrates an incredible lack of understanding of what Jesus was saying here. I was motivated to write Greater Works than These.)
Pastors/teachers openly advocate Dominionism when they teach that “thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” means that we should not allow anything in our life on earth that we don’t expect to experience in heaven. The truth is, this part of our Lord’s Prayer is to declare our joining with God in making Himself known on the earth, and surrendering ourselves to Him by saying, “not my will, but yours be done in and through me.” That is an altogether different posture before God.
Other study resources:
- The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation, history, long, well done, on Birthpangs
- Assemblies of God Statement - In 2000 the AOG wrote a position statement on end-time revival in which they defined Dominionism as part of the errant theology of our day.
- See Links Page for more
Ken Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636
Tel. 330-857-6312 firstname.lastname@example.org