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dogemperor [userpic]
Wisdom from "The Wittenburg Door"


Reconstructionist crusaders don't fool God

By Ole Anthony & Skippy R.
Issue #162 January/February 1999

King John of England made an unusual request on his deathbed.

John, an unsavory character, even for medieval royalty, had amassed a fortune in other people's gold. Yet he was so stingy that he allowed his wife only two dresses and a cape, while he dressed in finery and had jewels stitched onto his riding gloves.

His greedy land grabs made the barons so mad they forced him to sign the Magna Carta, forever limiting royal power. For a time he was excommunicated by the Church. Needless to say, the guy didn't have many friends.

As his life drew to a close, tradition says, he asked his attendants to dress him in a white crusader's tunic emblazoned with a red cross, in hopes of tricking St. Peter and sneaking into heaven incognito.

No doubt the ruse failed.

But a similar plan is alive among Reconstructionist Christians and other groups working for a "return to America's Christian heritage."
Their plan is to camouflage the whole United States of America and smuggle it into the Kingdom of God – all 50 states, from sea to shining sea, everything – including New Jersey and Congress – even our offshore oil rights and the interstate highway system.

The plan won't work, though, because, well... for one thing, the way is too narrow. You might say it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

A whole panoply of groups fall under the umbrella of what is known as "dominion theology." They believe Christians must take dominion over the earth in every area, including the political arena.

But it's really just an excuse to justify power and control.

Lots of people have heard about the Christian Coalition in recent years. But the dominion theology behind the movement is most effectively expressed by the Christian Reconstructionists. One of the movement's spokesmen, Gary North, is profiled in this issue's Loser article.

Groups like Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, the radical right-to-life groups, educational ministries like David Bartons' historical revisionist Wallbuilders, the Vineyard churches and the Kansas City Prophets all take their cue from this particular interpretation of scripture.

Their vision for America, and for the Church, is alarming.

Consider the quote by Pat Robertson, circa 1990:

"Now, what do you do? What do I do? What do all of us do? We get ready to take dominion! It's all going to be ours – I'm talking about all of it.

"Everything that you would say is a good part of the secular. Every means of communication, the news, the television, the radio, the cinema, the arts, the government, the finance – it's going to be ours! God's going to give it to His people. ... We should be ready to reign and rule... "

But the devil is in the details of dominion theology. Here's Pat Robertson again in his book The Secret Kingdom:

"... there must be a police force ... capable of bringing sure and swift punishment upon those who rebel against society."

Common criminals aren't in mind here, as this similar quote from Kansas City Prophet Bob Jones shows:

"... there's going to be a cleansing ... there's going to be a purging coming forth ... and everyone that's living under the immorality cover will be brought down. And God's New Breed will come forth ... "

If that's not chilling enough, look at these quotes from "Scary Gary" North on how the new regime will implement Old Testament law:

"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant – baptism and holy communion – must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel."

–Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 87.

"So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."

–Gary North, "The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right" in Christianity and Civilization: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture, No. 1 (Spring, 1982), p. 25.

"The Punishment for cursing a civil magistrate is therefore left to the discretion of the magistrates or a jury. It might be public flogging; it might be a fine imposed in lieu of public flogging." [Gee, sounds rather Taliban-ish, doesn't it? -ed]

–Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), pp. 59-60.

(The Door staff, we fear, would not last long in such an environment. We're too sensitive.)

Jesus' teachings take on a different flavor under the imaginative mind of the dominion theologians:
"... turning the other cheek is a bribe. It is a valid form of action for only so long as the Christian is impotent politically or militarily. By turning the other cheek, the Christian provides the evil coercer with more peace and less temporal danger than he deserves. By any economic definition, such an act involves a gift: it is an extra bonus to the coercing individual that is given only in respect of his power. Remove his power, and he deserves punishment: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

Remove his power, and the battered Christian should either bust him in the chops or haul him before the magistrate, and possibly both."

–Gary North, "In Defense of Biblical Bribery," in R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1973), p. 846.

In 1984, North revealed a growth strategy that has worked well for the movement thus far:

"We are now in a position to fuse together in a working activist movement the three major legs of the Reconstructionist movement: the Presbyterian-oriented educators, the Baptist school headmasters and pastors, and the charismatic telecommunications system. When this takes place, the whole shape of American religious life will be transformed."

–Gary North, Backward Christian Soldiers? An Action Manual For Christian Reconstruction (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1984), pp. 146, 150.

Happily, there is a lighter side to dominion thought.

The End-Time Handmaidens based in Jasper, Ark., see the need not only to preach the gospel but to redeem the land... as acreage. Or just plain... dirt.

Gwen Shaw, founder and leader of the group, says the only way to free regions that are in the custody of "territorial demons" is to "go forth in simple faith and obedience and redeem the land... by holding the Lord's Supper in the areas that God shows us need redeeming."

Unfortunately, Jesus seemed to hint that when demons are cast out, seven more will come back to set up shop, unless something more substantial takes their place. Just to label it "sanctified soil" is meaningless.

OK, then. Let's review.

Is America a "Christian" nation?

Nope, that's taking God's name in vain.

It's presumptuous because blasphemy has less to do with saying "goddamn" that with trying to squeeze our own agenda under the umbrella of the Almighty. When Jesus cried out "It is finished!" that meant God's agenda was completed. And whether we cover a corpse with a cross or a whole country with a Christian flag, we're only fooling ourselves.

The Talmud tells the story of a king who had a banquet. After all had eaten and drunk, they asked him, "Give us swords and spears to play with." He gave them myrtle branches instead, but still they managed to strike and wound one another. The king exclaimed, "If you act so when I give you myrtle branches, how much more damage would there be if I had given you swords and spears?" Similarly, God says "If at a time when I concealed the ineffable name, men slay a substitute name of mine, how much more so had I given and revealed my true ineffable name?"

For believers, God has revealed His true Name in these last days. We should handle it carefully, and tremble.