By Don Koenig - 2006
Dominion Theology is sometimes also called “Christian Reconstructionism” or “Kingdom Now” and more recently the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) but there are significant differences among dominion theologies. I have lumped all the theologies together in this article under the name Dominion Theology because popular dominionist leaders that bridge denominations and movements have blurred the distinctions. This also is the case with most of their critics. They often lump together beliefs of “Kingdom Now, Christian Reconstructionism” and “Latter Rain Theology” as if everyone agreed. There are many different religious doctrines within Dominion Theology so I include words like “many”, "much", “most”, “some”, etc. in this article for good reason.
Much of Christianity is now traveling on very different bandwagons of dominionism but all paths lead to some form of a Christian or religious world under a government theocracy or theonomy (under the law of God), before the physical glorious return of Jesus Christ. How they get there within their own various creeds and how much control Christians will actually establish on the earth before the return of Jesus are the main differences.
Dominion Theology transcends denominations and movements. There are Calvinist and Arminian, charismatic and non-charismatic, liberal and conservative, preterist, postmillennial, and amillennial Christians who embrace Dominion Theology. Even some misguided pre-millennial post-tribulation rapture believers have bought into one or more dominionist positions. Some that have bought into Dominion Theology would also deny it.
Dominion Theology has been popularized in modern times mostly through “Word of Faith” media preachers preaching a hard form of dominionism and popular Evangelical leaders preaching a softer form of dominionism. The Dominion Theology worldview is the glue that holds the many facets of Dominion Theology together. This dominionist worldview has now subtly made it its way into much of mainstream Christian thinking.
Some in Dominion Theology might disagree with the root doctrine of Dominion Theology. Nevertheless, we still need to understand what it is about. It really is all about who has dominion (legal authority) on the earth. Most dominionists would say God gave dominion over the earth to Adam and Adam in his rebellion lost dominion of the earth to Satan. They say Jesus defeated Satan, took dominion back and gave the Church dominion authority.
Most “Latter Rain” dominionists say the Church lost the earth back to Satan because she got institutionalized and corrupted. There are many variations of the doctrine by those who identify with "Latter Rain" but I think we can safely say that they all believe that God is sending a latter rain of the Holy Spirit and that the world is now experiencing a new wave of apostles, prophets, and healers. These “gifted” men supposedly are the anointed leadership to lead the Church to take back dominion of the earth from Satan.
Softer dominionists think they will take the world for Christ by more tradition evangelism. Some think they will take the world mainly through the good works of social activism. There is a small segment of dominionists that believe that they will take the world for Christ by physical military force. Almost all dominionists think that the church will establish a theonomy or a Christian theocracy on earth. Thus, the dominionist thinks we should strive to take control of governments on the earth in order to place the earth under God’s laws.
The real litmus test to determine who has bought into Dominion Theology is their worldview. Those that believe that their church, the Church, or even the ecumenical world church will control government on the earth before any physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in glory are some form of dominionist.
The Root of Dominion Theology
Many with Dominion Theology say that God gave Adam legal authority over planet earth based on the following passage.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.All we really see in this passage is God giving Adam administrative rule over the animals and plants on the earth that God created. Any transfer of legal authority is not implied. The word dominion in this passage is “radah” which literally means to “tread down” or “master”. To say that this passage gave Adam legal authority over the whole earth contradicts passages in the Bible that paint a clear picture that God created man to be the steward of God’s earth. Scripture does not in anyway imply that there was some legal transfer of authority or ownership of the earth from God to man. In the garden, man reported to God and limits were set.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Some Dominionists say that Adam lost legal authority to Satan when Adam rebelled against God. They claim God has to abide by His transfer of dominion to Adam. There is no scripture that implies that God gave up any of His own sovereignty over the earth. Scripture indicates that God does whatever He pleases anywhere He pleases. Anyone that says otherwise makes God a lesser god. That is exactly what some dominionists do when they bind God in their legal box of rules derived from their own view of a few passages while they ignore major doctrinal truths integrated throughout the Bible.
Chapters one and two of the book of Job clearly declares that Satan patrols the earth and has power on the earth but Satan answers to God and God sets Satan’s limits.
Satan does have administrative rule on the earth because fallen sinful man could not be a righteous steward. Because of man’s sin, stewardship of the earth was put under the authority of angels until a righteous man could be found. Jesus did not refute the authority of Satan on the earth since God gives all power and authority in heaven and on earth. However, it is one thing to say that Satan was given power and authority over the earth and it is quite another thing to claim that God has to abide by a legal code in regards to Satan.
Even some dispensationalists have claimed that Adam forfeited the deed to planet earth to Satan. I might have even ignorantly repeated their nonsense myself in the past but this view is not correct. God is sovereign; He did not transfer any legal deed of ownership to the earth to Adam and Satan never had the deed to planet earth. God said the whole world is His (Ps 50:12). Even Israel does not own the land God gave them to occupy. God said it is His land about a dozen times in scripture.
Satan is simply the highest-ranking angel that God created. Satan will retain his position until God removes that authority from him. This is why scripture declares that Satan is now the prince of the power of the air and the god of this world. Satan administrates over the affairs of sinful man on the earth for God’s own purpose. Nevertheless, God always is in total control of all of His creation including the earth and Satan reports directly to Him.
Proof of who is legally and actively in charge of the earth is given to us in many places in the Bible. The book of Jude tells us that God sent Michael the archangel for the body of Moses. Satan challenged Michael’s authority and Michael did not dare to contend with Satan. Michael instead told Satan that the Lord sent Him – end of case! (Jud 1:9). This passage tells us that Michael had no authority over Satan as an archangel and that the Lord had total control over Satan on the earth.
The scriptures certainly say absolutely nothing about Jesus wrestling with Satan in hell for dominion of the earth after He died, as some “Word of Faith”dominionists have claimed.
The scriptures do say that all power was given to Jesus in heaven and earth after He rose from the dead. Nevertheless, the Son of God had all power in heaven and earth before He became flesh as well. In the short time span that the Son of God lived in the flesh He only did what the Father told Him. He lived under the power and authority of the Father and not His own authority. He had to live as a man and die as a man in order to be the substitutionary offering to pay for mankind’s sins. The Son of God did not gain anything in His death except the salvation of all believers into His new creation.
Some Dominionists think the Church lost dominion back to Satan because she got institutionalized, lost her way and lost dominion back to Satan. Therefore, they teach that God recently sent a latter rain of the Holy Spirit with apostles and prophets to lead the Church to conquer all the forces of evil and to take back dominion before Jesus can legally return. This view is not logical. Jesus conquered death, the flesh and Satan by His own blood sacrifice. Why would He then give dominion over the earth to the spiritual body of Christ (the Church) only to display to the angels how weak His Spirit is within this new creation? They would have us believe that Satan defeated the Spirit indwelled body of Jesus and that God would try again with a latter outpouring of His Spirit.
The true body of Christ is the living temple of God it could never be torn down by Satan. God has been building His Church on the foundations of the apostles and prophets for two thousand years. You cannot now lay new foundations with neo-apostles and neo-prophets after the temple is nearly complete. The people who teach this have confused worldly institutional Christianity with the true Church. They insult the saints of the Church over the centuries and the Holy Spirit that is working in Christians through the entire Church age. They also totally confuse the Christian spiritual kingdom with the Jewish worldly kingdom that was gained or lost through legal performance in keeping the law.
In the final analysis, Dominion Theology forces the all-powerful sovereign God of creation to be dependent on man’s choices and man’s actions on the earth. None of this theology is taught in scripture. The theology is hardly correctable because most with this theology have also downplayed sound doctrine and have inserted subjective interpretation of the scriptures and/or their own subjective experiences. This makes it quite difficult to argue with those in Dominion Theology from the scriptures.
Dominion Theology and Ecumenicalism
Many if not most Christians following Dominion Theology leaders will be surprised to know it. For example, almost all of “Word of Faith” leaders are dominionists. The “Christian Right” has many dominionist leaders, especially those that are pushing ecumenicalism and those that teach that we need to take the nation or the world for Christ. Liberal Christians pushing ecumenicalism often are dominionists. Dominion Theology teachers lead a large segment of the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. Much of the leadership of the “Promise Keepers” men’s movement embraces Dominion Theology. Much of the “seeker friendly purpose driven” church growth movement has a dominionist world social agenda. The Catholic Church has a Dominion worldview. Even the ultra right Christian patriot and the Christian identity cults believe the unbiblical worldview of Dominion Theology.
Christian groups that cannot see eye to eye on almost anything else unite on the agenda that the Christian mission is to bring about peace and prosperity on the earth. Since most will not believe in the blessed hope of the pretribulation rapture of the faithful Church, the only hope they have in the flesh is that the Church will establish a Christian social agenda on the earth. They take passages in the Old Testament given to Israel about Israel’s promised kingdom and they misapply the promises to themselves. Even so, they do not apply the judgments that precede the promises in those passages to themselves.
Dominion Theology leads to a Laodicean false hope of physical security. They believe life on earth will become more and more rosy through actions by the Church. Its eschatology is post-millennial, preterist, amillennial or some hybrid combination. It embraces “Covenant Theology” and hates “Dispensational Theology” where, by the way, many of their disciples actually first learned the salvation message. Dominionists say they are spiritually enlightened and some even claim to be prophets of God but they are prophetically blind. They often teach Christian prosperity on earth but these doctrines are spiritually bankrupt. It is a heresy that is leading Christianity to the great apostasy spoken of in 2 Th 2:3.
Dominion Theology and Replacement Theology
Many Dominion Theology preachers teach that God has no future plans for the physical nation of Israel. Consequently, they say either prophetic scripture was already fulfilled in 70 AD or they allegorize or spiritualize prophetic scripture to the new covenant Church. Nevertheless, the new covenant was promised to the natural house of Israel and Judah without conditions (Jer 31:31). Those who read prophetic passages in the normal literal sense cannot possibly believe that God will not fulfill His Old Testament promises to literal natural Israel.
I am not going to argue the heresy of Replacement Theology here. There are articles and good links on my website and the Internet that already do that. I just want to point out that many in Dominion Theology do embrace Replacement Theology. Both heretical theologies have the worldview that a Christian (or religious) government will take control of the world. In contrast, Bible prophecy indicates that the final world religious system is a harlot (Rev Chapter 17).
Many Dominionists, by distorting Bible prophecy, are taking the wrong side in the Middle-East conflict and they are influencing those in world leadership to do likewise. They are forcing Israel into undefendable positions that will lead Israel to their final holocaust. Bible prophecy is clear that world action against Israel will bring God’s judgments on the world.
Dominion Theology and Deliverance Ministries
Many deliverance ministries believe that we must take world dominion from Satan. This is why they attempt to bind demons in people, cities, regions and nations. To explain what they do and why they do it I have to detour on a rabbit trail but if you stay on the trail or take a shortcut to the end of the topic it will bring you back to dominionism.
There is also now a major segment in deliverance ministries that claim that Christians can be possessed by demons. They get this view from their faulty understanding of the second commandment, which they claim, supports generational curses.
The second commandment talks about God visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation to those who hate Him. The commandment also speaks about God’s mercy to those who love Him for a thousand generations. Israel, by the time of Ezekiel, had a similar view that God would bring judgment on the children of those who did not obey God. It had even become a proverb in Israel. However, in Ezekiel chapter 18 God thoroughly refutes this view. He tells Ezekiel that this proverb (that distorts the truth) will not be heard in Israel any longer. God clearly states in Ezekiel chapter 18 that everyone will pay for their own sins. Other scriptures as well, make it clear that everyone answers to God for their own sins.
God does not contradict Himself. Therefore, we should see from scripture that what God declared in the second Commandment is what will happen in the physical realm if the children and grandchildren do not turn from the hatred their fathers had toward God and toward His laws. Any subsequent generation that turns to God in obedience showing love will receive God’s mercy.
The Bible demonstrates this truth in many passages. The generation that got the commandments from God could not enter the land because of rebellion and unbelief but the very next generation did enter the Promised Land. Further, the books of Kings and Chronicles have quite a few examples of evil kings who had good sons and good kings who had evil sons. There are many other such proofs in the Bible. So where are the clear examples of generational curses on believers?
There are demons that possess creatures but I am not sure most deliverance people have any understanding of them. I have been in deliverance circles and what I observed was a lot of foolishness. Those leading the deliverance made claims that cannot be proven by observation and were not proved through any lasting change in the lives in those they claimed were delivered. When deliverance people start casting demons out of non-living, objects and they think there is mystical power in holy oil or holy water or by repeating certain phrases, they lose me.
With all the demons bound and cast into the pit in Jesus name, you would think Satan would be running a little short of them by now. The demons seem to be in and out of the pit so often that Satan should charge a toll at the gates of Hell. The Bible says to resist the Devil and he will flee from you because He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world, but nowhere in scripture does it tell us to rail against Satan. Contrary to the beliefs of some, the Bible does not instruct us to chase Satan and to bind his demons.
If you take the passage they often quote (Mat 16:19) authorizing them to bind demons in context, we would also have power to loose demons on the earth. Now, that is a scary thought considering some of the people I have met in deliverance circles! Maybe some sleeper agents loose the bound spirits by saying “I loose you - demon of whatever - in Jesus name”! Word of Faith deliverance teachers actually say that their spoken words are a creative force that will manifest whatever they say. Could Satan have sleeper agents in the Word of Faith movement that are speaking these demons into existence? I wonder if Kenneth Copeland spoke his 6’ 2” god into existence when he described god’s features with the creative words formed by his huge mouth. Seriously, why is it that most deliverance ministers also seem to be the best candidates for deliverance?
I am fully aware that we war against principalities, powers, and the rulers of darkness of this world but how is that accomplished? Do we carry out spiritual warfare by saying, “come out in Jesus name you - spirit of whatever” repeatedly until exhaustion? Do we really accomplish spiritual warfare by running around the house and the neighborhood binding demonic spirits with our words and holy oil? Or, perhaps we really do spiritual warfare by the ways actually taught in (Eph 6:11-18). This passage says that spiritual warfare is done after putting on the whole armor of God while standing firmly. The picture given in the analogy is the defensive stand of a Roman soldier. The analogy tells the story that we stand firmly because we know the truth, we have put on Christ’s righteousness, we know we are saved, we are prepared to teach the good news of salvation to others, we are trained to use the Bible, above all knowing nothing thrown at us can shake our faith, and we assist other Christians through continual prayer. Those who take the easy scenario above may not be in the deliverance ministry. Most may be into a Christianized form of presumptive spiritual mysticism.
With the deliverance of cities that has been going on for decades now, you would think that they would have bound a few of these territorial demonic spirits by now and they would have freed up a few cites and regions of the world for Christ. In reality, they have not even been able to bind one neighborhood. Yet, they think by this method of “spiritual warfare” they will take the world for Christ. Where does the Bible teach this presumption? If they really believe this theology, they might first bind the spirits in their own congregation and take that for Christ first. Jesus did not take the cities He visited for God and Paul did not take any cities for Christ. God really does His own taking in the world for Himself; He is not dependent on man to bind spirits.
Do not take me wrong, Christians do have power over evil spirits. We can cast out demons in the name of Jesus if we are led by the Spirit of God to do so. Even so, we have enough difficulties in this world without taking part in pseudo-ministries that believe they are specialists in binding demons because they know how to say, “we bind you - spirit of whatever - in Jesus name”. In reality, most in these “deliverance ministries” do little for the spiritual Kingdom except creating noise pollution. God has total control over the spiritual powers he has given authority to in the world. He does not need human help. If we wish to change something on earth, the tool God gave us is to ask Him in prayer. We do not remove spiritual authorities by our own presumptuous words.
The real problem here is that most people in the deliverance ministry have not even been trained in the weapons of Christian warfare. They generally do not know the Bible and their faith is really presumption. They become spiritualists, they get into mysticism and they claim powers they do not have. Claiming to free people of evil spirits, they often bind their disciples with cords of mysticism and legalism. In addition, the person being “delivered” often becomes turned off to all Christianity. Sometimes the “delivered” even lose all hope and “deliverance” ends in physical tragedy.
Deliverance Theology is also Dominion Theology when those in it believe that the Church can bind spirits and take whole areas of the world for Christ. Most who teach and practice Deliverance Theology also teach “Word of Faith” theology or dominionist theology similar to "Latter Rain" theology. Most deliverance ministries use “deliverance” as their primary tool to carry out their Dominion Theology and its worldview. They think they can take dominion of the earth from Satan and establish a Christian theonomy or theocracy from authority outside of the prophetic passages of the Bible because they can quote and misuse a few obscure Bible verses and repeat phrases.
Dominion Theology and The Seeker Sensitive Emerging Church
In postmodern thinking, there are no absolute truths. The truth that works for me may not be the truth that works for you. The “Emerging Church” leadership is reexamining the foundational truths found in the Bible as defined by Christianity for almost 2000 years. They use human reason and pragmatism to define acceptable teachings and practices acceptable for a postmodern generation. The dangers should be obvious. The foundational truths of the Bible are not open to redefinition. They are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph 3: 20-22). Once you starting building off the original foundation you are no longer building on the temple of God.
The “Emerging Church” a.k.a. “Emergent Church” movement is really the natural offspring of the “seeker friendly” movement. The seeker movement came about because some Church leaders felt the baby boomer generation would not be reached by preaching foundational truths of the Bible. They believe the baby-boomer generation will mostly be reached for Christ through a back door non-confrontational method. Preaching the foundational truths of the Bible on Sunday has been deleted and replaced with a non-threatening entertainment service. The theory is that these people will like their church, find it non-threatening and then they will come to small groups where they would learn the “threatening” foundational truths of Christianity. The theory is obviously flawed for many reasons. One problem is that the majority that attend these churches only actually attend on Sunday. Consequently, most believers in these churches are no longer taught sound doctrine and become dumbed down. “Sunday only” unbelievers receive no message of salvation and they often think that they are already a Christian without ever receiving salvation.
Seeker sensitive evangelism has now birthed Rosemary’s baby that she named the “Emergent Church. The “Sunday only” youth in these churches did not hear sound doctrine preached at church but secular schools and media were actively teaching them worldly philosophies. Because of this, they generally now believe that there are no moral absolutes. They have been taught by the world that they must be tolerant and pragmatic. Therefore, much of the youth of parents that attend seeker churches have emerged into a generation that claims God but they have never been taught foundational truths about Him or His only provision for salvation. In the “Emerging Church”, this post baby-boomer generation worships a God that cannot be found in the Bible. Their god allows alternate paths to salvation besides through Jesus. They believe in a god who is pragmatic and tolerant. Thus, man can redefine the Bible if it accomplishes his own objectives. The god the emerging churches experiences is one revealed through mystical experiences. It even includes Jungian imaging techniques that they have named “contemplative prayer”. This god becomes the one they wish to see in the crystal ball of their own mind.
Some are saying that the “Emergent Church” movement is just going back to the practices of the early church but the early church they go back to is not the Church that had the teachings of the apostles. They go back to post foundational mysticism that eventually established itself in the Catholic Church. For example they use icons, contemplative prayer, labyrinths, candles, incense, dark mystical worship centers, Christ present in the communion elements and whatever else the leader wants to throw in the pot. In other words, they are making these emerging churches to be centers where the post baby-boom generation can experience their own concept of God’s presence regardless of biblical doctrine.
They have a what-ever-works, anything goes, no moral absolutes philosophy. Like their mother the “seeker church”, they also remove teaching of sound doctrine from their pulpits but rather than inserting a feel good message and an entertainment service, they insert stories and esoteric experiences. As a result, they suddenly become compatible with most other religions in the world. Many even believe that all religions experience the same God. Perhaps most do, because a god that departs from the absolute foundational truths found in his own word is not the God of the Bible. This god is the counterfeit god of this world or age. We now should also understand why Catholic and Eastern religious practices are so acceptable in these emerging churches. Many people in this movement just have another religion with a Christian name and not a personal relationship with the Jesus of the Bible.
You might wonder how the seeker friendly movement and the emergent church movement fit in with Dominion Theology. In general, neither Rosemary nor her baby teaches about the prophetic passages of the Bible with any rapture of the Church or any judgment coming on the earth prior to the return of Jesus Christ. They both teach a form of religious humanism. They want world religion to be the woman who socializes the world and establishes a humanistic utopia before the return of Jesus or even without and true biblical Jesus. They might even call their world social agenda the great commission but there is no salvation message within. They have a gospel of humanistic social good works where world religion will establish dominion in the world.
The Bible does not instruct us to take the world by social good works and compromise with world religions. It tells the Church to preach the Gospel of salvation to every creature. The Bible clearly teaches that the world will remain in opposition to God and it will not become a paradise until after the wrath of God is poured out and Jesus returns with His saints in glory. The Bible prophetically teaches that the “Christian” church will depart from the truth and depart from sound doctrine in the last days. This just happens to be what is taking place through these heretical movements. Thus, their worldview and the social actions that they are taking to put the world under religion indicate that the “Seeker Friendly” church growth movement and the “Emergent Church” movement embraces socialist humanistic Dominion Theology.
Dominion Theology, The New Evangelicals and Post-Modern Psychobabble
Almost every seminar and teaching series in Evangelical Christianity is now laced with doctrines of psychology as if psychology was biblical or even scientific truth. Much of psychology is founded on doctrines of humanism and demons. Psychology is the virus in the backbone of so much evangelical teaching that it is getting hard to find evangelical teachers that are not helping to spread the virus. There is not much point in trying to list all the teaching and the programs that have infected the church because there would be no end to the list. I will give a couple of good examples so you get the drift.
First, let me define the type of psychology that I am mainly talking about. It is mostly theories of psychotherapy that originated from satanically inspired men. This would include but not be limited to theories by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
One of my main concerns is the temperament profiling psychology and psychotherapy that originated in mythology and ancient paganism. It was most likely reinspired by Jung’s introvert, extrovert, thinker, feeler theory. Today there are more developed temperament typing theories and testing that are named "Myers-Briggs type indicator" (MBTI), "Keirsey temperament sorter" and “DISC Profiles" as well as some others.
Another concern of mine is Bill Wilson’s 12-step program that inspired Christianized 12-step programs. Wilson’s solution to his addiction from alcohol was inspired from Carl Jung’s idea that sometimes only a spiritual experience will break an addiction. The 12 steps of Bill Wilson’s 12-step program mostly originated from doctrine in the Oxford group movement religious cult. Both Carl Jung and Bill Wilson claim in their own writings that they heard the voices of spirits that gave them some of what they wrote. Bill Wilson wrote a letter to Carl Jung and at the end of the letter, he refers to psychic phenomena among AA members and he gives praise for “I Ching” (an ancient Chinese philosophy and system of divination).
My final concern in this section will be on the psychology and the dominionist teachings of Dr. James Dobson who is now the most influential person in “Christian” America.
There are additional unbiblical psychologies and psychotherapies in the church but these examples should be sufficient. I will also explain how all this “Christian psychology” ties into Dominionism in bold type toward the end of this topic.
Temperament or personality typing is a prime example of pop-psychology replacing biblical thinking in the church. Temperament typing now occurs in churches, Christian organizations and even in Christian job hiring placement. The temperament analysis theory of four human temperaments originated from ancient myth and pagan thought. It came from the ancient theory of there being four bodily fluids that when imbalanced display a person’s temperament or personality in their physical appearance. It has long been discredited but recently temperament typing is making a comeback in pseudo-psychological practices.
The four temperaments were regurgitated through the spirit guide influence on Carl Jung with his introvert, extrovert, thinker, feeler theory. Others further developed the myth and developed testing to define the temperament of individuals. It was first popularized in evangelical circles through Tim LaHaye’s book written in 1966 called “Spirit-Controlled Temperaments”. Later LaHaye wrote “Transformed Temperaments”. LaHaye’s first book drew extensively on the writings of Dr. Ole Hallesby who wrote on this subject in 1940. LaHaye took psychological temperament theories and Christianized them by reinforcing the theories through his unique and rather strange interpretation of a couple of Bible passages. In his books, LaHaye attaches presumptive temperament types to well know biblical characters. For more information on this, see Tim LaHaye & Psychoheresy. None of this should indicate to anyone that LaHaye is not solid on areas such as Bible prophecy. Many modern Christian teachers have been influenced by theories of psychology. Advanced degrees in psychology are given in many Bible colleges.
Most psychologists do not accept temperament or personality typing theories nor put these theories into practice but it is now very popular with large corporations, and with government organizations who find it useful as a tool in their tolerance, diversity training and team concept brainwashing. Much of Evangelical Christianity now accepts temperament typing as truth, much the same as they have with marketing, success and self-help psychologies.
Temperament typing analysis, like astrology, is really all about learning about oneself in the flesh. It is rooted in well-established pagan myth and theory expounded on by men who have doctrines of fantasy. The four human temperaments are not taught in the Bible. Those who live by this stuff cast themselves into molds and then find reasons to reinforce their imprisonment. The temperament tests are said to reveal the nature of a person so that that can understand self, work on self-improvement and know what their brain equips them to do in the world and church. It is very much like astrology, which is also said to reveal information on self with just about as much scientific validity. Now we know why temperament typing is so popular. I can hear the conversation now. What is your sign Charlie? “I’m an Aries but Christians don’t believe in astrology”. O.K., what is your Temperament then? “Well, I’m a blue, compliant, compliance, analytical, perfect melancholic, blue, beaver, idealists. You see, I found my chart....er… I really meant my charted purpose in life, through eight different temperament tests.”
I have come to believe that the root of the almost fatalistic “Purpose Driven” doctrine comes from this conjecture that people are molded into some shape from birth. Thus, they seem to think that even before spiritual regeneration, everyone on earth is a pot whose flesh has already been almost unalterably shaped by God for His purpose. I guess we can forget about the Bible verses that tell us to walk by the Spirit, to deny self, and to die daily. We now must learn about this dead earth pot we live in to fit into the plan of God. I guess we can stop singing the song that says, “you are the potter and I am the clay, mold me and make me this I pray”. Frankly, I thought we were all crackpots until the Holy Spirit came into the pot and sealed us. I actually believe what is in the pots is far more valuable than the clay that holds this new creation.
What is really crazy about this, is the depth of involvement in this unbiblical practice coming via our “wise” church leadership. Some pastors are taught this junk in Bible College. Many others have taken Saddleback’s “purpose driven” church growth package that includes temperament typing. Still others are getting it in various other programs within their denominations. I have been told that you cannot even be a member of the Saddleback mega church unless you take the class they offer on temperament typing. Some places of employment even make you wear a color-coded ID when working so that everyone will deal with you according to your personality type color. Now around the water cooler, you might hear, “You better be cool man, you are talking to a dominant red lion.”!
The Saddleback temperament types or profiles are part of the purpose driven SHAPE program that have now been purchased by thousands of churches and offered to their congregations. Temperament testing is also in the church by the names of the “Keirsey temperament sorter” and “DISC Profiles”. There are additional names as well; they all do their own twist on the four temperaments. After a person is typecast, the next step is to tell them what ministry or job they will be suited for in the church or organization. Therefore, the temperament profile becomes self-fulfilling and validates the temperament theory. Ministry in the church or organization then becomes more likely to be based on attributes of the flesh than Holy Spirit directed gifts. Sure, some also have programs to tell people how to find out their spiritual gifts but that is a topic of discussion in itself. In any case, pagan mythology that finds the purpose of the crucified flesh is not compatible with determining spiritual gifts. By using psychology and theories of men they put the cart before the horse. Where does the following scripture fit into all this?
Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding 6 in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
“Celebrate Recovery” is a “Christianized” 12-step program that was developed by John Baker and Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in 1991. Thousands of churches that span most denominations now offer this program. Saddleback claims to have Christianized the twelve-step program of Bill Wilson. However, the claim that this “Christianized” program is based on biblical principals is misleading. Instead of using the applications already in scripture to overcome sin they search the scriptures to find passages to take their place or to “Christianize” Bill Wilson’s twelve steps. For example, they totally misapply the teaching of Jesus in the beatitudes and use most as principles to overcome addictions. No Bible scholar has ever defined them that way! The Beatitudes are statements of principals for happyness and Godly living in the Messianic kingdom. They are spiritually discerned principals that conflict with the fleshly way of achieving happiness through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. This twisting of the meaning of Bible passages to fit some worldly theory is a fine example of how post modernism pragmatic Christianity uses, or should I says misuses, scripture. They redefine the scriptures to mean what they want it to mean even if they have to twist the meaning or find an obscure paraphrase of the passage. If one questions why they have twisted the meaning, they will justify what they have done by telling you “it works”. The original version of the 12-step program also works according to those that are in it, but many also disagree with that statement.
Just the fact that Saddleback had to Christianize Wilson’s 12 steps to recovery should say wonders about the whole theory and modern practices like this in Christian churches. Was there no overcoming addiction before Bill Wilson? Do Christians now need to study the philosophies of men that were actually inspired by demons? Some have said, “All truth is God’s truth”. Of course, it is, but there can be no truth that conflicts with the truth that God revealed in scripture. His word is totally sufficient to overcome sin in our lives by confessing it, submitting to His will and by growing in maturity. This maturity comes through Bible study, meditating on His word, through prayer, applying biblical truths in our lives and walking in faith. Sanctification and God’s truth does not come in a 12-step formula inspired by demonic sources. Read more from Dave Hunt about Bill Wilson and the AA program here.
The “Celebrate Recovery” program has additional problems besides the 12-steps. The whole program is laced with theories of pop psychobabble. It seems that Christian leaders cannot get enough worldly counsel from pop psychology these days. For many in post-modern Christianity, the Bible is simply a textbook of passages to search to find a passage to validate their own preconceived philosophies. If they cannot find a passage in the Bible to support their preconceived notions, they will redefine one. By the way, you will not find any serious Bible study or anyone with solid teaching credentials doing any Biblical instruction in Celebrate Recovery small groups since this is not permitted. This alone should say the foundation of the program is built on sand.
Dr. James Dobson with his Focus on the Family Organization is the most influential person in “Christian” America. Dobson is a child development psychologist. He is not a minister of the gospel, yet Dr. Dobson has more influence on Christians in America than any other religious figure today. Dobson has done more to bring in psychology and theories of self-esteem into the church then probably any other individual. Dobson’s theory on self-esteem and other pop psychology that he supports (such as temperament typing) is simply not compatible with the Bible.
Most of Dobson’s platform focuses on establishing, maintaining and enforcing biblical morality in American. I guess someone has to try to do it since America has now embraced moral relativism in place of biblical moral standards. Yet, Dobson’s views much too often are psychological theories dressed in biblical jargon. They may sound good to Christians who desire biblical morality in the world but it really is a humanistic substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit. The conversion and sanctification process that brings morality cannot occur through psychological techniques. Moreover, the unbeliever knows nothing of the Spirit and they can only know the moral reasoning of their own mind. Dobson teaches a mixture of psychological techniques and biblical law for morality in America. He makes no claim about knowing much theology, so one has to wonder why so many “Christians” have made him their theologian.
James Dobson is a Nazarene, This denomination takes no position on eschatology other than that Jesus will return. Dobson does not display understanding of prophetic scriptures but his organization does display a Dominion Theology type of worldview that the Church will overcome evil through her social and political action. Dobson’s agenda implies that Christians are to confront the world system through efforts of social and political action. This is so much like Dominion Theology that it probably has to be labeled as such. When Christians believe they will succeed in the world system through psychological, social and political techniques and through their own self-efforts, they have missed the scriptures that indicate that the world will hate Christians and that our kingdom is not of this world.
I am not implying that Christians should not take part in the political process nor do good social works. Focus on the Family has been a very productive force against certain evils in the United States. Nevertheless, it does seem to me that the focus of Focus on the Family is somewhat out of adjustment, as is the focus of much of Evangelical Christianity. Dobson’s expertise is in child psychology yet somehow a psychologist has become the foremost moral authority for Evangelical Christianity against all unpopular adult sinful lifestyles in American (there are popular ones such as materialism, laziness, gossip, and gluttony but few Evangelicals focus on them). The focus seems to be to educate Christians to take political action or economic action against a sinful unregenerate group of non-Christians as if sinful people can live a moral lifestyle. The only logic is that Dobson and his supporters must believe that most Americans are Christians and that this "moral majority" in America will live by the teachings in the Bible. If that were truly the case, the educational cause would have more meaning. However, polls and the lifestyles of those that call themselves by the name “Christian” in America demonstrates otherwise.
The idea that the United States can be Christianized by political and social action is very compatible with the views of Dominion Theology. The worldly method of using a confrontational attitude toward those living in unpopular sinful lifestyles actually makes these people less receptive to Christians who preach the message of salvation. The Church is not Israel nor is America Israel. No enforcement of biblical law can bring a nation to morality; morality comes when a person or nation has a change from within. The Church was directed to preach the good news so that people can overcome sin by believing in Jesus and receiving God’s Holy Spirit.
The ungodliness that is going on in America is the norm for those in the world. The fact that Evangelicals think they have to bring America back to morality (as if it ever was moral), so that we can comfortably live in this world, tells me that we all value this world a bit too much. Dobson is so popular in America because he tells Evangelicals what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. Evangelicals rightly see trouble is coming by the downward spiral of morality in America but they expect simple humanistic solutions. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal! I totally expect the world and much of America to be in opposition to Christian values. If it is not happening in your neck of the woods yet, just wait a few years, it will. The Bible tells us to expect it. Those who make great social and political efforts to change a fallen world before God establishes His kingdom of righteousness on earth are spitting into the wind.
Gods laws were given to us show us how much we are missing the mark so we will seek God’s Savior by faith (Gal 3:24). Dobson and Dominionists use Jewish law to try to reform sinful society. This cart before the horse method of Christianizing the world is quite impossible no matter how noble their motives. It never worked in unbelieving Israel and it will not work in the Gentile unbelieving world. Those who use this method will bring a worldly backlash of hatred on their own head.
Dobson also has a very ecumenical worldview of the church proven by his associations and his endorsements. Sound biblical salvation doctrine is obviously not the main criteria for unity among denominations with Dr. Dobson.
There is a book available from psycoheresy-aware.org that analyzes the teaching of Dr. Dobson if you wish further information. This link to the book also has a very good short brief on the major points in the book, James Dobson’s Gospel of Self-Esteem and Philosophy. Reputable discernment ministries such as Dave Hunt’s The Berean Call endorse and sell the book.
Psychologies with underlining theories of psychotherapy are major tools of Satan to bring Eastern pagan thought and doctrines of demons into the Church. The view of psychotherapy is that everyone is a victim and any bad behaviors that people might display are caused by physiological illnesses from which they can recover through using the right techniques. In contrast, the Bible tells us that all people of flesh are sinful and they must turn to Jesus, die to self and become reborn into a new spiritual creation. Only this spiritual rebirth will begin the process through which the soul of a person starts a transformation by the renewing of the mind toward the Spirit that is in him (the process of sanctification).
Psychology programs might bring some change in outward behavior in people but the heart of the unregenerate man is still wicked. Putting a coat of paint over a cracked pot does not fix the pot. Control over the flesh comes by the soul conforming to the likeness of the Spirit. Psychotherapy is a worldly substitute for sanctification and true healing but it is now being taught in churches, Christian seminars and Christian groups like it was biblical truth. They Christianize the terms and use scripture out of correct context but the information in these programs still originated from the theories of psychotherapy that we ought to know came from atheistic men and spiritualists.
If a proper analysis is done of the post-modern “Seeker Friendly” and “Emerging Church” one should see that their whole approach to evangelism and church growth derives from theories of marketing and psychotherapy psychology. These churches see these programs as a door to get people into their church. Therefore, they present popular psychology wrapped in pages torn out of the Bible. Few are the wiser, and their church is numerically and monetarily richer. So many people have now come in the church through the psycho-door that they perpetuate these theories for subsequent generations. Church leaders that went through this door have been so thoroughly brainwashed into supporting psychology as practical Christianity that the average “Saddleback Joe” and “Emerging Sally” think this Western psycho-Christianity is true Christianity.
They have substituted psychology from demonic men for Godly counsel by elders, counsel from the scriptures and counsel from the Holy Spirit. They learn pre-packaged psychological techniques to control the flesh instead of putting on the spiritual man with a renewed mind. This sanctification process is the program God designed to bring a believer to true repentance and a more abundant life. In contrast, learning psychological techniques to control the flesh is really conforming to the ways of the world.
Rom12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.“Christian psychology” ties into Dominion Theology because leaders and churches who teach Dominion Theology extensively use tools of psychology. Go to any large church that practices any form of Dominion Theology and you will also find programs that are more likely to be based on theories of psychology than on sound biblical doctrine - Observe the prosperity teaching, the success seminars and the sensual emphasis. Many who say they do not believe in Dominion Theology indicate differently in their worldly lifestyle. The only kingdom they are really concerned with is the earthly one they now live in. They give little thought to spiritual matters. These real or defacto dominionists wish to make the flesh and the spiritual kingdom compatible. This of course is quite impossible but many will certainly die trying.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
“Word of Faith” leadership uses another form of psychology. They knowingly or unknowingly use psychological mind control techniques that bring on mass suggestion, hypnotism and altered states of consciousness. They use these tools to lord over their flock and to make their presumptions plausible. When mystical experiences occur in their presence through using these psychological techniques it validates to the sheeple that these leaders are anointed. The leaders then tell their subjects that they are latter day apostles, prophets, and healers anointed to lead the Church to take the world back from the Dominion of Satan before the return of Jesus and these sheeple believe them.
Additional psychologies that have infiltrated the church include theories on visualization, inner healing and contemplative prayer. These and more are beyond the scope of this paper on Dominion Theology but The Intrusion of Psychology into Christian Theology by Don Matzat will tell you much about it. (This really is a must read - I believe I disagree with only one point - Matzat’s Lutheran view of Jesus coming through sacraments).
We now also have philosophies that originated from psychology that teach that all truth is relative and if you get the results you want, it is your truth. Without holding groups to the absolute truth that salvation comes by God’s grace through faith (trust) some Evangelicals now take some rather strange unbiblical positions about salvation. With their pragmatic philosophy, if a program is growing, then God is in it regardless if it is biblical. If it does not appear biblical, they will just redefine the scriptures.
We have Evangelical leaders uniting with Catholics on the common ground of completely different gospels. We have some Evangelical leaders saying that we should not proselytize other religions. We have Evangelical leaders who evangelize and then turn the converts back to the same denominational theology that never presented them a path for salvation. I suppose they think that these reborn Christians will now be sanctified within a theology of works and mysticism. We have Evangelical leaders saying that Moslems and Mormons worship the same God. We have Evangelical leaders joining with the ultra liberal World Counsel of Churches and signing agreements with them on their socialistic agendas of secular humanism.
These neo-Evangelicals take the position that being one in Christ is saying we have agreement on one or more worldviews. They think this “unity” is then fulfilling the prayer of Jesus that the Church be one as Jesus and the Father are one. If unification on programs of secular humanism makes us one body then we might as well throw out the Bible because what is written there has no meaning. Indeed, some “Evangelicals” apparently have stopped using parts of the Bible, especially the prophetic passages that do not fit their worldview.
The name “Evangelical” has lost its meaning. Neo-liberals wolves in sheep’s clothing have crept into the Evangelical movement and have eaten the choice cuts. Old Evangelicals need to drop the name Evangelical and just start calling themselves what they are – Bible believing Christians. I am sure the wolves will work on that name next, as they did with the name “fundamentalist”.
By now you should get my drift that worldly psychology has infiltrated the church and has corrupted the church to conform to the secular humanistic dream of a utopian society on earth brought through man’s own efforts. Much of “Christianity” wants a flesh appealing utopian society on the earth before the return of Jesus but the Bible teaches that Christians will be persecuted and hated by the world as Jesus was (Joh 15:18–20). Many who follow the teachers of Dominion Theology do not have a clue about what they believe. Most are just playing following the leader and have never even read through the Bible themselves. Most are just following preachers who tickle their ears.
Dominion Theology and The Woman Who Rides The Beast
The big difference that the Christian dominionists and the secular humanists will encounter in the future is who will run their utopia. The socialists see the human elite running their utopia and Dominion Theology sees their religious elite or anointed leaders running the show. The two kingdoms are not compatible.
I cannot go into much detail about Bible prophecy in this article, if you want greater detail on the following scenario read my Revelation commentary.
Jesus will soon come for his faithful Church and take her out like Enoch. Supernatural events will then take place on earth in the Middle East. At that time, ecumenicalism rooted in Dominion Theology will lead to a world church of religions that will control a world government. In fact, if any dominionist understood prophetic passages in the Bible they could clearly see that this will occur. The picture is given to us in Revelation chapter 17 and the book of Daniel further defines it. John in Revelation sees a harlot woman who rides a Beast world kingdom into power in the last days. The harlot woman is religion uniting on the concept that all religions worship the same God. This of course, is not true. There are two Gods. There is the God of the Bible and there is the counterfeit god called by various descriptions in various world religions. The name the Bible gives the counterfeit god is Lucifer and Satan. The harlot woman in Revelation is riding on the last world gentile kingdom and she obviously controls the Beast for a short period.
In Revelation, John tells us that when the counterfeit god is tossed to the earth and no longer has access to heaven, one of the first things this counterfeit god does is to take control of the Beast. The Beast then turns against and destroys the harlot religious system who rode it into power. The counterfeit god will seek to destroy Israel so that the Jewish kingdom cannot come. He turns against the harlot because many in her still hold unto the testimony of Jesus and will not worship him as God. Thus, the Devil will bring the end of Dominion Theology when the Beast he controls starts a counter-revolution against the ecumenical world church. The counter-revolution will be from the foundations of Islam and Eastern and new age paganism. This counterfeit god will set up his world kingdom from Babylon and name it “Babylon the Great”.
The Beast will burn the harlot with fire just as Revelation declares. The harlot that denies the blessed hope of His coming and that was not ready at His coming for the faithful Church has tried to set up Dominion Theology on the earth believing that she will receive the promises of Israel. Her kingdom dream fails when the forces of Antichrist turn against her. If only the woman was not obsessed with social actions, worldly affairs and earthly pleasures.
She wants to sit as a queen over a worldly kingdom even before her marriage to the King. If she had just been watching and waiting in humility like the faithful Church, she could have received the blessed hope instead of the curse of her presumption. She receives persecution from the people she tried to lord over in the world system. Too late, the harlot woman finds out that she and the world system were never compatible! Alas! Like Hosea’s wife and Israel, the harlot will be restored to her husband but only after a fiery trial. If Jesus had not come again after this trial no flesh would survived (Mat 24:22). The lesson will be very painful and it could have been avoided if she was not satisfying the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life and was instead walking in faith.
There will be no dominion by the Church on earth until Jesus comes back very soon with his saints to rule and reign for a thousand years. This will be the only “Kingdom Now” reality.
Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism By Sarah Leslie
ADDRESS TO AOG DOCTRINAL PURITY COMMISSION on latter rain and NAR doctrines, by Carl E. Guiney
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