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Rachel Tabachnick - Exposing Dominionism
Posted: 12 September 2011 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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We’ve heard a lot in the news lately about Dominionists—Christians who believe, basically, that they ought to be running this country.

Dominionism has different strains. But one is embodied in a group called the New Apostolic Reformation, which helped organize a recent prayer rally for Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry.

How seriously should we take this group, and its goals?

To answer that question, Point of Inquiry turned to Rachel Tabachnik, a researcher and writer who focuses on monitoring the Religious Right. She’s a contributor to Talk2Action.org, and recently wrote about the New Apostolic Reformation on Alternet.org.

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/rachel_tabachnick_exposing_dominionism/

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Posted: 13 September 2011 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It was rather surreal to hear Rachel discussing the roots of this movement.  I was brought up in this crowd in the 70’s and 80’s, and left it in the 90’s.  I’ve often wondered, as Chris asked, how much of a fringe movement this is, but I am seeing their influence more and more, and now to hear that there are some 500 million members of this movement is unsettling.  My personal perspective, having been a part of this Dominionist community, is that they are not nearly as fringe as many would think.

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Posted: 13 September 2011 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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M1k303 - 13 September 2011 12:27 PM

to hear that there are some 500 million members

Did she say 500 million members in the podcast?  I must’ve missed it.  I don’t think the 500 million members number could possibly be right.  According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism_by_country), there’s an estimated 650 million protestants worldwide and I’m sure that 77% of protestants are not dominionists.

That said, I grew up fundamentalist Christian (Assemblies of God).  I can certainly see that some of the language and ideas are closely related to fundamentalism.  Phrases like “prayer warrior” was a common phrase I heard growing up.  There was always a strong desire to take the country for God and the importance of Godly leadership.  It was almost as if they believed godly leaders would make better decisions because God was whispering in their ear when decisions were made.  Of course, if you think important decisions can be handled through prayer, it diminishes the importance of education (all the book learning in the world can’t help you make better decisions than God).

I can see a lot of these ideas being very connected to Christian fiction, as well.  If you’ve ever read “This Present Darkness” - it has a fictional narrative involving demons and angels playing a prominent role in human affairs and beliefs.  It was a popular book, and it’s an instructive read for anyone wanting to know what it’s like to think like a fundamentalist.  (I suspect all the End Times books - which have sold tens of millions - are similar in tone and worldview.)  Here’s the Amazon book description (http://www.amazon.com/This-Present-Darkness-Frank-Peretti/dp/1581345283):

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Peretti’s book set a suspenseful standard in spiritual warfare story-telling that has rarely been met by his contemporaries. Set in the apparently innocent small town of Ashton, This Present Darkness follows an intrepid born-again Christian preacher and newspaper reporter as they unearth a New Age plot to take over the local community and eventually the entire world. Nearly every page of the book describes sulfur-breathing, black-winged, slobbering demons battling with tall, handsome, angelic warriors on a level of reality that is just beyond the senses. However, Christian believers and New Age demon-worshippers are able to influence unseen clashes between good and evil by the power of prayer. Peretti’s violent descriptions of exorcisms are especially vivid: “There were fifteen [demons], packed into Carmen’s body like crawling, superimposed maggots, boiling, writhing, a tangle of hideous arms, legs, talons, and heads.” This book is not for the squeamish. But for page-turning spiritual suspense, it’s hard to beat.

This Present Darkness is a gripping story that brings keen insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer. Since its original publication more than 2.7 million copies have been sold. The companion volume, Piercing the Darkness, continues the story of the battle between spiritual forces.

It’s also hard to know how much Rick Perry agrees with them.  I could certainly see, that if Perry was a fundamentalist (but not dominionist) that he would accept their help because he believes God works.  It might not be the political calculation that Rachel Tabachnick thinks it is.  Hence, the conclusion that ‘the dominionists are powerful enough for Rick Perry to get in with them’ might not be a correct statement.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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tinyfrog - 13 September 2011 10:05 PM

Did she say 500 million members in the podcast?

She did say 500 million, and I agree that seems awfully large.  It’s starts at about 8:30 into the podcast, when Chris asks how many in the US.  She expands to the world, and the 500 million is not Dominionists per se, but the body of people that they are drawing from, i.e. those Charismatic Protestants who believe in the idea of being filled with the spirit as a second step in the walk with God.  Mostly independent Charismatics, worldwide.  Still seems too large based on number of overall Protestants.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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M1k303 - 14 September 2011 06:48 AM
tinyfrog - 13 September 2011 10:05 PM

Did she say 500 million members in the podcast?

She did say 500 million, and I agree that seems awfully large.  It’s starts at about 8:30 into the podcast, when Chris asks how many in the US.  She expands to the world, and the 500 million is not Dominionists per se, but the body of people that they are drawing from, i.e. those Charismatic Protestants who believe in the idea of being filled with the spirit as a second step in the walk with God.  Mostly independent Charismatics, worldwide.  Still seems too large based on number of overall Protestants.

500 million is the approximate number of *Pentecostals* and *charismatics* in the world (now up to about a quarter of all Christians).  Most Pentecostals are not supporters of the “New Apostolic Reformation” (see the link I give at the end of this post).

It seems to me that this “New Apostolic Reformation,” by putting leadership into the hands of unelected-but-“called” apostles and prophets, is going to be highly prone to in-fighting and dissension rather than unity.  I’d like to see some hard data on the level of cooperation and organized planning between groups within this network.  It’s easy to generate scary conspiracies by identifying links between individuals and groups, because links are easy to come by.  What’s much more difficult is to show that those links amount to links of actual control or conspiratorial planning.

Chris’s question about whether politicians are just signalling that they’re “your people” to get votes or really intending to implement their goals, and his comparison to George W. Bush, was the right question to ask.  How much political influence do these people really have?

In Arizona, where the Republican Party gained such a majority in the last elections that they can do pretty much whatever they want, the Republicans are an uneasy coalition between evangelicals and Mormons—but I don’t see much evidence of Dominionism in either group.  That seems surprising if the New Apostolic Reformation is as widespread and potent a force as suggested.  Tracking the introduction of legislation like the anti-sharia bills is perhaps one kind of objective measure—yet even there, it seems that some state legislators have introduced such bills not through the influence of these external groups, but because they are copycats.  See this story on how the Alabama anti-sharia bill got its definition of sharia law from Wikipedia:  http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/03/whoops-alabama-anti-sharia-bill-lifted-wikipedia  Other anti-sharia bills have originated from white supremacist David Yerushalmi, who is Jewish: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/david-yerushalmi-sharia-ban-tennessee

I have seen past claims about dominionism that were unsubstantiated, which I likened to left-wing conspiracy theory about the religious right:  http://lippard.blogspot.com/2008/08/left-wing-conspiracy-theories.html

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Posted: 14 September 2011 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jim Lippard - 14 September 2011 04:22 PM

It seems to me that this “New Apostolic Reformation,” by putting leadership into the hands of unelected-but-“called” apostles and prophets, is going to be highly prone to in-fighting and dissension rather than unity.

I was thinking the same thing when I was listening to the podcast.  In fact, my parents ended up leaving their church because they were uncomfortable with the direction their church was going in.  Basically, the church started affiliating more closely with the “Vineyard Movement” churches, which combined fundamentalism with a some kind of “new prophecy” stuff.  From wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Vineyard_Churches): “Beginning in 1988, Wimber established relationships with prophetic figures such as Paul Cain, Bob Jones, and Mike Bickle who pastored Kansas City Fellowship, an independent church which would come under the Vineyard banner as Metro Vineyard (see Kansas City Prophets). For a time, these men had considerable influence on Wimber and the Vineyard—according to Jackson, Wimber’s son was delivered from drug addiction through a prophetic word from Jones…. Critics, such as Hank Hanegraaf in his book, “Counterfeit Revival”, charged the Toronto Blessing (under Wimber’s authority at the time) with promoting heresy ... claiming that these experiences of spiritual revelation were equal in importance to the Bible; ... claiming that these experiences were a sign that God was doing “something new.”

Whenever a movement claims to have prophets, it’s very attractive at first (because people believe God is working) but ultimately very divisive because: their prophets end up with failed prophecies and people question their power over the congregation.  It’s inevitable that the “prophets” will fail (or at least resort to very mundane teachings/prophecies or smoke and mirrors) because there isn’t any real divine revelation going on.  Depending on how much the dominionist movement has “divinely” elected leaders, I’d expect that it’s ripe for controversy and religious splits.

Jim Lippard - 14 September 2011 04:22 PM

I have seen past claims about dominionism that were unsubstantiated, which I likened to left-wing conspiracy theory about the religious right:  http://lippard.blogspot.com/2008/08/left-wing-conspiracy-theories.html

I think many of us are somewhat skeptical about the dominionist movement being a powerful force.  We are aware of the potential that it’s a bogey man.  As long as people treat it cautiously, I wouldn’t put it in the category as a conspiracy theory nor would I put it on par with the right-wing’s paranoia about sharia law.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Jim Lippard - 14 September 2011 04:22 PM

I have seen past claims about dominionism that were unsubstantiated, which I likened to left-wing conspiracy theory about the religious right:  http://lippard.blogspot.com/2008/08/left-wing-conspiracy-theories.html

Interesting post, Jim.

My take on it, from personal experience, is that there are plenty of prophets/apostles openly advocating for a theocratic government.  It was a common theme at several churches I attended in Oklahoma and Texas.

Back then (~80’s) I never heard the term “domininism” or “New Apostolic Reformation” or “Joel’s Army.”  But to hear them described - the spiritual warfare, the prophets as leaders, the US leader taking orders directly from God - these themes are very familiar.

The influence that they have, and their reach into politics, is another question.  A significant organized conspiracy seems unlikely, given that these congregations are often unaffiliated.  The question in my mind is the damage that could be done by getting them swept up in some type of fervor that gets them out to the polls, and then we get someone like Rick Perry for president.

If a politician can find a way to appeal to them en masse, they could be a powerful and dangerous voting bloc, perhaps something like you have seen in Arizona.

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Posted: 15 September 2011 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Wow!  I’m listening to this now.  This is really scary.  This is nothing less than christian fascism.  Once you accept that these charlatan “prophets” are taking direction from and only from god, they can say whatever they like.  To their sheep, it then becomes a mission from god.  This is a direct threat of a reversion to the Divine Right of Kings paradigm, and any student of history can tell you how well that worked out!

We need to get a counter-campaign going pointing out that the real “demons” are these prophets.

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Posted: 16 September 2011 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Their weird mythology about this and that demon controlling various groups or locations, and the special prayers and stakes driven into the ground, reminds me of nothing more than a really bad game of D&D.

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Posted: 18 September 2011 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dominionism is little more than an appeal to those who seek to exalt themselves or to be exalted - it is just the old “you shall be as gods” with a “new” twist.  Got the T shirt - haha.  The twisted scripture so often used is Ephesians 6 - “We wrestle not…”  The king James is a hoot - put together by a Catholic Masonic Cabal led by a divine right of kings deceiver - and it is the Bible of choice for a whole slew of deceivers who appear as to be messengers of light and their deceived congregations.

What has been lost to a great extent through Pharisaic Control is the harmony of the scriptures.  The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, therefore WE WRESTLE NOT WITH FLESH AND BLOOD.  There is a digression in the beginning of Ephesians 2 which changes the impact and meaning of literally the whole letter and, like the proverbial fly in the ointment, it maketh the whole thing stink.

I suggest the excellent translation by Victor Alexander of the Aramaic Scriptures - it makes so much more sense and lays to waste so many cherished traditions extant in the Church.  Ephesians is a book of victory, it describes in detail how that ALL POWER and ALL PRINCIPALITY is under the authority of Jesus and that HE OWNS IT ALL - and that by becoming conformed to His image we are transformed into a new man created in righteousness.  By Chapter 6 we should be getting so excited about our victory in Him instead we are sucked into fighting demons Jesus has already defeated. 

We wrestle not with flesh and blood but with the powers and thrones of heaven and the subjugation of this world of darkness under the sky - we are seated together with Him in the heavens, far ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER, get it?  It will take a while to reprogram your mind.

Another one is the Alpha & Omega thing - it should be Alpha & Tau - Omega is the 16th letter of the Greek Alphabet, which is in essence the same as Aramaic and Hebrew.  He is the Ox and the Mark, the Head and the Conclusion, the Manner and the means, the Aleph and the Tau.  The MARK of our high calling - He is there drawing us to Him and in us compelling us forwards. 

If your eye is single and if you keep your eye on the prize, on the Mark, the goads of love will compel your Ox to press on toward that MARK and your whole being will be flooded with light, for the lamp of the body is the eye - so stay away from all those (snake) oil vendors, those who sell oil and make money with words and who work not with their hands to provide for their own.  They are all too often charlatans and controllers who live according to their own consciences and desires instead of according to Christ.

There is another Mark - it is the Mark of a Man - and of a Beast.  It is the best a man can get - it is the fulfillment of your humanity under the godhead of your own conscience - it is self-fulfillment - it is works righteousness and it is underpinned by our natural, carnal desires.  Success as a follower of Jesus Christ is very simple - if you have truly laid down your life you will look up to everyone.  0(:->)  Not that I pretend to have attained, but I press on toward the MARK of my high calling in Christ.  Aa-meen.  Keep your eyes on the prize andf you won’t be deceived - “My sheep know My voice, and the voice of a false shepherd they shall not heed!”

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Posted: 18 September 2011 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Right, there are a million shepherds, pick the least nasty one and go with it.  I prefer not to be a sheep, thanks just the same.

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Posted: 19 September 2011 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Is the alternative being a goat then?  You can have a million counterfeits and still need at least one original.  I, coming from a secular socialist home, when but a callow youth reasoned God out of existence - it was easy - any fool could do it - but then He showed up in such a way I could not deny Him.  The age of reason has descended into the Rage against Eason (Greek for Joshua - variant of Jesus) - apostasy is endemic - but the light is coming - and it starts here in Christchurch, NZ.  Watch your news concerning this matter and the huge EQ’s to come in this region.  Our country, which is a Minnie Me of the US, is about to get its come back for all the filthy tricks the Brits pulled on the People of the Land - the Tangata Whenua - and the sorrow which was visited upon the Indigenous Peoples by the enlightened will come back like a huge wave of sorrow - the Whities are about to get theirs - and with the miracle of compound interest factored in!

Trouble is that the light which is coming America’s way may be thermonuclear. 

Once upon a time, God saw that the people of Babylon could, by reason of their accord and agreement, manifest virtually anything - the modern Church is the spiritual arm of reborn Babylon and its Universal Language is Binary Code.  Soon there will be no Internet and all global communications will fail for a season, and for a reason - and while the suckers have no more DOPE-RA to “improve” their self esteem, and no more Disneyland deceptions beamed at them daily, or that most odious things - religious television - well hell, they might just have to communicate the old fashioned way for a while.

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Posted: 19 September 2011 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Ok, does this forum have anyone with a butterfly net?  This guy is either a troll or stark raving mad, either way, do we want/need this crap here?  Robert Price while abstruse and difficult to follow at times at least some times makes some kind of sense.  This guy does not.

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The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

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Posted: 19 September 2011 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Sorry, obviously only room for acceptable crap?  And yours does not stink, right?  0(:->)  Enjoy your Armageddon folks - won’t be long now - and you think I am crazy?  Oi vey!  I keep forgetting, the rest of the world is too involved in its own opinions to see the light at the end of this tunnel really is a train….oh and my hide is way too thick for you to hurt my feelings….like the people I warned about the coming quakes in our city for 10 years - they still call me crazy for saying that there is more to come.  Oh well…...there is some crazy old derelict who walks this city’s streets, saying “All coming down soon, all coming down….it is all coming down sir…it is all coming down….we need to all get back to living like God intended…in peace and on the land and taking just what we need and leaving as little mess as is possible….we have raped this planet like a flock of Gannets and crapped all over it and each other and it is all going to go to POOH!  Enjoy your blank screens and empty supermarkets, I’ll be planting sweet potato with my Maori brothers who know how to live off the land.  Kia ora, kiha kaha.

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Posted: 19 September 2011 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Malthus - 19 September 2011 05:41 PM

like the people I warned about the coming quakes in our city for 10 years - they still call me crazy for saying that there is more to come.

Prove them wrong: Tell them when it’s coming.

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Posted: 19 September 2011 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Malthus - 19 September 2011 02:04 PM

Is the alternative being a goat then?  You can have a million counterfeits and still need at least one original.  I, coming from a secular socialist home, when but a callow youth reasoned God out of existence - it was easy - any fool could do it - but then He showed up in such a way I could not deny Him.  The age of reason has descended into the Rage against Eason (Greek for Joshua - variant of Jesus) - apostasy is endemic - but the light is coming - and it starts here in Christchurch, NZ.  Watch your news concerning this matter and the huge EQ’s to come in this region.  Our country, which is a Minnie Me of the US, is about to get its come back for all the filthy tricks the Brits pulled on the People of the Land - the Tangata Whenua - and the sorrow which was visited upon the Indigenous Peoples by the enlightened will come back like a huge wave of sorrow - the Whities are about to get theirs - and with the miracle of compound interest factored in!

Trouble is that the light which is coming America’s way may be thermonuclear. 

Once upon a time, God saw that the people of Babylon could, by reason of their accord and agreement, manifest virtually anything - the modern Church is the spiritual arm of reborn Babylon and its Universal Language is Binary Code.  Soon there will be no Internet and all global communications will fail for a season, and for a reason - and while the suckers have no more DOPE-RA to “improve” their self esteem, and no more Disneyland deceptions beamed at them daily, or that most odious things - religious television - well hell, they might just have to communicate the old fashioned way for a while.

Malthus, you know what you are talking about that is for sure.
Sorry for the earth quake, hope you have recovered by now.

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