The Kingdom

TimeWatch Editorial
February 02, 2017

With the introduction of the new Administration in the United States of America, and an evaluation of the supporting structure of leadership, there rises to the surface a discussion that is not as yet pervasive, but certainly important, regarding the philosophical bent of those surrounding the President and the administration in particular. According to her biography published on the Discernment Ministries website, Sarah H. Leslie is a former Christian Right leader in homeschooling and right to life. She has authored many articles on education reform and Christian apologetic issues. She and her husband Lynn published The Christian Conscience magazine and several books. They currently sit on the board of directors of Discernment Ministries, Inc. Sarah Leslie has published an article entitled “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.” She begins the article this way.

“For the past several decades the political Left has focused attention on the Christian Right’s political activism in America. Particularly, the Left has been highly critical of a select group of Dominionists called Reconstructionists, whose aggressive verbiage, extreme Calvinist theologies, and religious political agendas have made it an ideal target for outrage. There are two other dominionist sects within evangelicalism that have escaped in-depth scrutiny from the Left. These Dominionists have been able to function virtually incognito for several reasons: 1) They have been deeply embedded within the evangelical subculture; 2) They cloaked their Dominionism with new terminologies and doctrines over a period of thirty years; and 3) They figured out how to package Dominionism using sophisticated mass marketing techniques. This paper is a brief overview of the three main dominionist movements operating inside evangelicalism and examines how all three of these sects are now converging around a global “kingdom” agenda.” Sarah H. Leslie, “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.” page 2.

It is clear that, as has been revealed in her biography, Sarah Leslie knows what she is talking about. She however makes the point that there are others who are in a position to see what is happening, but apparently are not paying attention. She continues:

“Only a small handful of Christian discernment and apologetics ministries, of which this writer is a part, have been paying attention to the intersection of the dominionist streams. The apologetic ministries fulfill a Scriptural role to examine and expose false doctrines and teachers, and to warn other believers of heresies (Jude 3, 2 Peter 2:1). Increasingly, over the past two decades, many apologists have become seduced by Dominionism, blunting their ability to critically examine the roots and fruits of this rapidly rising new church era.” Sarah H. Leslie, “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.” page 2.

Sarah Leslie then proceeds to compare what traditional Christianity teaches as opposed to Dominionism. She starts by describing “Traditional Christianity.”

“The Gospel of Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. The emphasis is placed upon repentance and conversion of individual souls. The Kingdom of God in this age is spiritual and grows through efforts of evangelism based on teaching the Bible. It is “not of this world” (John 18:36), but a spiritual rule in the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21). Furthermore, the Kingdom of God is only finally realized upon Christ’s second return to Earth, whereby He Himself establishes His literal and physical reign.” Sarah H. Leslie, “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.” page 2.

Notice that her description carries an understanding of the Spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God. There is of course much more that could be said by her, but she grasps the idea that that Kingdom is, in our time, Spiritual in nature. Now listen to how she compares it with the Dominionists teaching.

“Dominionism teaches that the Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the “Kingdom of God” as a literal and physical kingdom to be “advanced” on Earth in the present age. Some Dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong scripturally only to Jesus Christ. This includes the esoteric belief that believers can “incarnate” Christ and function as His body on Earth to establish His kingdom rule. An inordinate emphasis is placed on man’s efforts; the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is diminished.” Sarah H. Leslie, “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.” page 3.

Sarah Leslie’s description of Dominionism is accurate. Bearing in mind, of course that this lady is; “a former Christian Right leader in homeschooling and right to life. She is therefore not an external critic, who does not have an in-depth understanding of character of this belief system, but has, for some time, been able to observe, close up the subtle nuance of their theology. Based upon her analysis, therefore we are able to digest her evaluation of this system. Here it is.

“Dominion theology is a heresy. As such it is rarely presented as openly as the definitions above may indicate. Outside of the Reconstructionist camp, evangelical Dominionism has wrapped itself in slick packages – one piece at a time – for mass-media consumption. This has been a slow process, taking several decades. Few evangelicals would recognize the word “Dominionism” or know what it means. This is because other terminologies have been developed which soft-sell Dominionism, concealing the full scope of the agenda. Many evangelicals (and even their more conservative counterparts, the fundamentalists) may adhere to tidbits of Dominionism without recognizing the error. This is because Dominionism has “crept in unawares” (Jude 4) to seduce an undiscerning generation.” Sarah H. Leslie, “Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.” page 3.

The one thing that we hope you will remember from this is the statement that the seduction “has been a slow process, taking several decades.” A kind of gentle persuasion that has taken control of the lives of many who have not the slightest idea of exactly what it is that they now accept. We need therefore to be very guarded, questioning those things which are frequently accepted as normal.

Be warned!

Cameron A. Bowen

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