Will the Evangelical Church Sell Out the Gospel for a Dominionist Political Agenda?
A Special Report by Understand the Times and
As America is quickly approaching another presidential election year, some interesting things are taking place within evangelical/Protestant Christianity that are connected to next year’s election. Dominionist/Kingdom Now political and religious figures are joining forces with evangelical Christian groups. While having concern for the state of America is more than legitimate, will Christians replace commitment and loyalty to the Gospel for commitment and loyalty to a dominionist agenda? If they do, they will learn the hard way that compromise and a “whatever it takes” attitude will do more harm to the cause of Jesus Christ than good.
This article is not a statement that Christians should not be involved in or concerned about the political state of their countries. Rather, the intention of this article is to exhort believers to use discernment in understanding the times in which we live. It is to show how a present ecumenical, dominionist movement (that is heading toward a one-world religion to “establish the kingdom of God on earth”) is operating and deceiving many Christians. As Christians, we are to be witnesses for Jesus Christ and His Gospel message of salvation to those who believe on Him by faith. But today, many Christians may be on the brink of buying into a plan that will ultimately create a global religion and global government.
The apostle Paul was very clear that we are not to entangle ourselves with those who say they are of the faith but preach “another gospel” (Romans 16:17, Titus 3:10, 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15).
The definition below of dominionism is helpful in understanding the goals of the dominionist movement:
The Gospel of Salvation [according to dominionism] 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.(1)
Dominionism shares some of the same ideologies as the emerging church, the primary similarity being the belief that a utopian “kingdom of God” will be set up on earth prior to the return of Jesus Christ, and in fact there won’t actually be a bodily physical return of Christ; but rather His presence will become more manifest within us the more the kingdom of God on earth is created. This is totally contrary to Scripture that tells us that Jesus Christ will return physically (where every eye shall see Him), and it will be to a world that has become completely chaotic and reprobate, not utopian and godly.
With that in mind, it is vital to know that a number of dominionist groups are rallying the support of conservative Christians under the guise of “restoring America” back to its “Christian roots.” A look at a couple of these groups is important.
The Seven Mountains of Culture
The Seven Mountains of Culture was founded by Os Hillman who is the founder and executive director of Marketplace Leaders Ministries. Hillman teaches a workshop called The Change Agent Intensive Workshop and has been featured on many major media programs.The best way to describe The Seven Mountains of Culture is through the following promotional video clip:
An article titled “7 Mountains – Set to Go Viral” by Discernment Ministries examines the goals of this dominionist agenda, expressing “concern that this radical mandate for dominionism, and the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) which birthed it, are becoming part of the political Right and evangelical mainstream.” The article states that the “7 mountains mandate is already becoming a unifying rally point among evangelicals from many diverse theological camps and from some very unexpected quarters.”
The Dominionist/Reclaiming our Culture mind-set is a dangerous path that leads, not to biblical truth, but rather to an ecumenical, Road to Rome, “Army for God” that will attempt to force culture to be “Christian” (something Jesus Christ or the disciples never mandated) and will end up leading all down that Road to Rome and eventually into a one-world religion and one-world government.
The Discernment Ministries article assesses:
This is not to say that Christians should not try to be a light and the “salt” in a fallen culture (Matthew 5:13). But there is a difference between what Scripture instructs us to do and what the 7 Mountains movers teach; they believe they are “building an actual PHYSICAL kingdom here on earth — structurally through man’s mechanisms. This is the 7 mountains that they want to take over. They believe they can take them over by political, scientific, and psycho-social means.” And like the New Agers, they also want to build the spiritual kingdom within, “which they believe they can perfect themselves here on earth via mysticism” thus “they will begin to ‘manifest’ Christ — become the sons of God.”(3)
The CallLou Engle’s The Call is another dominionist group that is tied in with the 7 Mountain agenda. In a 2008 Lighthouse Trails article, we linked to the advisory board of The Call. The link has been removed from their site but this cache file shows the members at that time. Some of them are contemplative advocate Ron Luce (Teen Mania), Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM, featured on the 7 Mountain video above), Steve Douglas of Campus Crusade for Christ (which just removed the name Crusade and Christ from their name), Rick Joyner, and C. Peter Wagner – dominionist figures who want to bring the kingdom of God to earth before Christ returns. The following video is from a large youth rally put on by The Call. You will see Lou Engle and Rick Joyner watching thousands of young people jumping up and down to the repetitive beat of drums and hundreds of Shofars being blown.
A Civil War?
In a radio transcript titled “Blues and Grays,” Understand the Times states:
Christianity is about to be purified through a civil war, they say. Is this behavior indicative of a revival as some claim? Or is this exactly what occurred in the past when “enlightened Christians” became the “manifested sons of God”?
[In] an article written by Rick Joyner called the Coming Civil War in the Church. . . . Joyner states he believes a civil war will soon be breaking out within the church. He states: “There is a huge portion of the church which is being held bondage to the same religious spirit that manifested itself to the Pharisees, and it will attack any new movement that arises in the church. The more anointed the new movement is, the more these traditionalists will be threatened by it, and the more vehemently they will attack it.”
Joyner’s solution for removing the people who oppose this “anointed new move” sounds rather militant. Listen to what he says:
“The longer we continue to compromise with such institutions which use manipulation or control for the sake of unity or for any reason the more it will ultimately cost us to remove the cancer from our midst.”
Joyner then went on to describe how the conflict in the church will develop:
“The coming spiritual civil war will be between the Blue’s and the Gray’s. In dreams and visions blue often represents heavenly-mindedness, and gray speaks of those who live by the power of their own minds – which is equivalent to the brain’s gray matter. This will be a conflict between those who may be genuine Christians, but who live mostly according to their natural minds and human wisdom, and those who follow the Holy Spirit.” (4)
Jerry Boykin and Rick Joyner
A name that is showing up a lot on the speaking schedules of evangelical gatherings is that of General Jerry Boykin (once a Delta Force member and one time head of the Green Berets). Boykin is a high officer in the “Knights of Malta,* an ecumenical (Orthodox, Evangelical, Catholic and Protestant) order. Boykin holds the title of Grand Chancellor in the Order. According to the Knights of Malta website, the order is sanctioned and “blessed” by the Vatican (see 1 and 2 document). In document 1, Pope Benedict XVI “invokes . . . the continued protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Each “Knight,” including Boykin (and Rick Joyner who is a “Supreme Council Member” of the Order), is required to take a vow. In this vow, the Knight pledges himself to “be guided by the ideas of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem (started in 1090 and is the predecessor of the Knights of Malta).
Many people may not realize what the term ecumenical actually means, at least to the Catholic church, which describes ecumenism as the absorption of all Christian groups that have “broken away” from the Mother Church back to it.(5)
Jerry Boykin has spoken at numerous dominionist events such as the 7 Mountains conferences (see May 2010) and a New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) event called Transformation Michigan. In addition, Boykin is on the board of Rick Joyner’s organization called The Oak Initiative. (Joyner is the President; other board members include dominionists Cindy Jacobs and Lance Wallnau).
In Kevin Reeves book, The Other Side of the River, Reeves discusses Rick Joyner. Reeves, a former elder of a Latter Rain/dominionist church, states:
Joyner’s blatant Latter Rain beliefs were assimilated into our congregation on the wings of the mythical end-times revival which would supposedly sweep millions into the kingdom. A super-spiritual elite group of prophets and apostles will be raised up, Joyner states, and will transform the world of these last days, doing greater miracles than even the apostles who walked with our Lord. Whole nations will tremble at the mention of their names.
Interesting. Sounds a lot easier to deal with than Jesus’ prophecy that “[Y]e shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9).(6)
In Final Quest, Joyner says he hears from a dead saint (one of the foolish virgins mentioned in Scripture), who has told him the things that are to come. According to researcher and writer Sarah Leslie, “Rick Joyner was one of the ‘Kansas City Prophets’ who now wields considerable influence through his ‘prophecies’ about a coming militant church.”(7) Joyner states:
We are coming to the times when passive Christianity and passive Christians will cease to exist. There is a maturity, a discipline, and a divine militancy coming upon the people of God. Those who have succumbed to humanistic and idealistic theologies may have a hard time with this, but we must understand that God is a military God. The title that He uses ten times more than any other in Scripture is "the Lord of hosts," or "Lord of armies." There is a martial aspect to His character that we must understand and embrace for the times and the job to which we are now coming.(8)
We know that the Lord will return with a cloud of witnesses to bring down judgment on the earth, but we don’t believe Rick Joyner or the self-proclaimed apostles and prophets will be leading the way.
Jerry Boykin and Calvary Chapel
It is non-debatable that Jerry Boykin resonates with Rick Joyner – they are in the same Knights of Malta order and are together in The Oak Initiative. Thus, it is troubling to learn that Boykin has been speaking at numerous different Calvary Chapels and sharing platforms at conferences with Chuck Smith and other Calvary Chapel pastors over the last few years (e.g., the 2009 Epicenter conference and Epicenter 2008 with Smith, Boykin, and Joel Rosenberg; Greg Laurie’s Preach the Word Prophecy Conference in 2010, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in 2009, and Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Prophecy Conference in March 2011). Boykin will also be speaking at the Calvary Chapel Honolulu Pastors’ Conference in August 2011: http://www.calvarychapelofhonolulu.com/htw_2011.html, and his materials are sold in the Calvary Chapel store, listed as one of four “Other Authors.”
So here we have a man who is part of an order sanctioned by the papacy (the certificate from the Vatican is on the Knights of Malta website) and part of a dominionist group, speaking to Calvary Chapel groups. Is Calvary Chapel going to be one of those evangelical/Protestant groups that will exchange the solidity of the Gospel for a “whatever it takes” attitude for political purposes and other purposes? Do they not see the error in this? Incidentally, other denominations and Christian groups are doing the same thing.
Presidential Candidate Rick Perry and His Dominionist Partners
On August 6th, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry took part in a rally called The Response. Perry, who announced his bid as a presidential candidate on August 13, 2011, partnered with some interesting figures at The Response, including C. Peter Wagner, Mike Bickle, and Cindy Jacobs, each of whom is in the dominionist camp. Perry also participated in a 2010 rally called Freedom Foundation Summit with Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, and Lance Wallnau (an “Apostle” promoting the 7 Mountains teaching). If Perry does not share the dominionist persuasion as these others do, should he not distance himself from them rather than mingle with them? Many proclaiming Christians in America are desperate for a godly leader and may follow Perry merely out of that desperation. But if he is truly tied in with Wagner, Joyner, Bickle, and Jacobs, then maybe these desperate Christians should think twice about which candidate they are going to rally behind.
Will the Christian Church Sell Out?
During the years just prior to the last presidential election, an all out effort was made by leaders in the emerging church to help get elected a liberal, far left president. Many of these leaders, such as Rick Warren, said things that made many conservative Christians feel guilty for voting on moral issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Books by emerging “progressive” authors suggested that Christians shouldn’t even become involved in politics (such as Shane Claiborne’s book, Jesus for President). And while the older conservatives were being manipulated not to vote, young Christians were being persuaded to vote differently than their “old fashioned parents,” to vote for social justice regardless of biblical standards or lack of them. And, well, no need to say what these emerging efforts did to America.
No single political party can save the world. The Bible says that the closer we draw to the second coming of Christ, the worse the state of the world will be in. Rather than “evolving” into perfection, mankind is disintegrating.(9) It’s because of man’s sin and a world that has for the most part rejected the Savior of the world. Revelation 12:9 states that the day will come when Satan will “deceiveth the whole world.” Yet just as Jesus gave the coin to pay the tax to Caesar, so too we as Christians can be responsibly active in our world. But foremost, let us remember that the Bible says we cannot serve both God and man at the same time (Matthew 6:24).The true calling of born again believers is to preach the Gospel, make disciples, and contend for the faith. And we must never compromise by embracing dominionist agendas and interspiritual Peace Plans and joining forces with those whose goals and ambitions are contrary to the Christian commission given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must ask ourselves, is a militant dominionist agenda what we really want to embrace and support? Is it what we want to serve?
In a powerful radio interview, Ingrid Schlueter addressed this dominionist agenda. She stated:
We have a group of leaders who are horrified with the moral collapse in this country. I am horrified with the cultural collapse in this country. We have a problem in identifying and discerning why our culture is collapsing. What we are seeing around us is not fruit of Christians not caring. It’s fruit of Christians abandoning the gospel. And if we’re not going to define the gospel along biblical terms, and we’re going to allow false teachers in among us, and we’re going to link arms with said false teachers, and we’re going to work with them who are preaching another gospel, who are teaching lies, if we’re going to link arms with them to save the culture, we are not only engaged in a futile effort, but God is going to, in turn, judge that conduct. Because judgment, Scripture tells us, begins at the house of God.(10)
A Herescope article on this issue states:
The sad fact is that great opportunities to present the message of the gospel of salvation are being lost. Precious time is being wasted . . . Those who truly need to hear a message of repentance, salvation and hope aren’t being witnessed to. Discipleship isn’t happening. . . . It is a false gospel that preaches that the culture nation can be changed rather than focusing on the lost who will perish in hell if they do not repent. . . . And when the lost are truly saved and born again, their lives will change and this is when the miracles begin to happen and when the culture around them begins to be positively impacted by the salt and light of their changed lives.(11)
Understand The Times and Lighthouse Trails are dedicated to warning the sheep about last days spiritual deception. While it is difficult to have to sound this warning at a time when many are concerned about the state of their countries and the world at large, Jesus made it very clear about how we are to view the world, behave in the world, and reach out to the unsaved. He never told his disciples to form associations with those promoting spiritual deception in order to establish a kingdom on earth. On the contrary, Jesus said:
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:18-19)
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)
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