Dominionism

Dire Consequences theology affects individuals on a personal level. Hand-in-hand with it is a ‘theology’ that results when thousands of insecure people find kindred spirits under a supposedly Christian umbrella: Dominionism (A.K.A., Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, and Theonomy).

George W. Bush as Jesus ChristChristians in general interpret Genesis 1:26 (Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”) to give mankind dominion over the entire planet, or at least the animal kingdom on it. Dominion theologians, by extension, hold that the verse is a commandment to bring all of the world under the rule of the Word of God – whether they are currently Christian or not.

Among the groups that share this goal, the pre-eminent one is perhaps the group called Second Billion. This strongly conservative group is anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti-separation of church and state. It believes that it has a holy mandate to take control of the world’s governance, in part because of its feeling that, until it achieves this control, Jesus will not return. And when it takes Genesis 1:26 to give man dominion over all of the earth, “man” is taken to mean the church (though precisely which church it is that should take civil control should be an interesting dispute to watch).

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The name stems from the observation that there are roughly one billion Christians in the world today. An ecumenical group, Second Billion is committed to teaching/converting a second billion to Christianity.
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One might think that the examples earlier in history when religious groups had full control over secular areas – for example, the Catholic Church’s behavior when it had political control over central Italy – might give people pause; but evidently not in this case.
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This dominion includes enforcing the 636 ‘laws’ of the Bible, which they hold are still binding unless specifically rescinded. This will, of course, take a truly awesome display of selective hypocrisy (otherwise an enormous number of disrespectful children will instantly have to be put to death). Illicit relationships, mind-altering drugs, murder (which includes abortion, of course) will all incur a death penalty. A blind indifference to what the Bible actually says and to whom it was addressed in favor of prejudice and tradition will inevitably lead to a generalized slaughter that would do the French Reign of Terror proud. From its own literature, Second Billion intends to export gay bashing to other countries and to populations that they see as evil – a word which probably encompasses anyone that disagrees with them.

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Quote: God’s revealed standing laws … are binding on people of all nations, cultures, and religions forever, except for those laws which have been specifically rescinded or modified by further revelation.
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The group talks of a thousand years with Jesus as king in Jerusalem (one is reminded of the Thousand-year Reich). It has learned so little from the continuing second Iraq war that it castigates George H. Bush for not finishing off the country in the first Gulf War. It criticizes Joshua for not having earlier eliminated Goliath by killing everyone in the town he came from and for having caused Sampson’s death by not having committed genocide on the population of Gaza. Wholesale genocide is apparently acceptable to God in their sight. The resulting theocratic dictatorship would focus on forcing everyone to spout the appropriate shibboleths.

More scary is the Watchmen on the Walls movement, a Latvian-based organization well populated with anti-gay brownshirts. It holds abortions, euthanasia, and the push for same-sex marriages to be signs of moral degradation. It also believes that illegal immigrants and gays have unions to organize them. Violent gay-bashing is apparently an article of faith.

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Watchmen is among roughly 880 hate groups that The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, AL, includes on its map of hate groups here (among other groups with high-sounding names: Family Research Institute, Traditional Values Coalition, Abiding Truth Ministries). This includes holocaust denial, neo-nazi, racist, anti-Semitic, radical traditionalist Roman Catholic, generally anti-Catholic, anti-abortion, “Christian Identity,” anti-gay, and other hate groups. There are a summary and partial listing here and here.
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Have you ever envisaged yourself as having a coherent debate with a Nazi? Word to the wise: don’t. The Watchmen on the Walls is clearly intolerant of any negative ideas about itself.

A serious question here: can any organization that advocates genocide be more characteristic of God’s plan than similar actions by the Nazis or the Khmer Rouge? And just how close to the path of Christ’s can any group be that adopts the Nazi policy of unifying one group by persecuting other, minority groups?

And what would be the future under such groups? In his Guide to the Bible, Isaac Asimov comments:

The case of a religious minority that becomes an oppressor as soon as it is in power has been seen numerous times in history. Consider, for instance, the Puritans who fled oppression in England and came to America for the sake of religious liberty and who then proved most keen in refusing it to others than themselves. The usual excuse, in all times, is that the victors are merely exalting Truth over Falsehood, and are selflessly saving the souls of the losers. The losers, however, generally have trouble recognizing the good intentions of those who are so thoughtfully converting them at the point of the sword. (Asimov, II, p.63)

Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21), which is to say that it is spiritual, not physical. Let those whose eyes are on the earthly kingdom reap their rewards on earth; what people need to fear is not the eventual Second Coming but rather their relationship with God now.

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It is noted elsewhere that there isn’t much point indulging in verbal sparring with those who are willing to tell you at length what an abomination you are. Just thought you might like to drop a single, uncomplicated comment into the mix. As your audience should know, Revelation 14:3-5 mentions 144,000 who are to be “redeemed from the earth,” noting that they “were not defiled with women.” Not that this should be taken too seriously – the number, like “seventy times seven,” was just a way of saying “a whole bunch” – but the passage does thereby suggest that just about only gay men are to be saved. Thought you might want to let Bible abusers know what’s in their infallible Bible.
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It is difficult at best to ‘turn the other cheek’ when faced with groups and attitudes like these. Still, Christ commanded a response based in love, not retribution. He commands you to try to lead others to God by word and by example (hopefully before they face their own ultimate Judgments). Let their hate behavior be a matter not between you and them but between them and God.

If you have, at this point, looked at the theology that is (wrongly) claimed to justify anti-gay hate behavior, it is now time to look at its real sources.