Christers, Dominionists & Lunatic Humanists

Hugh Hewitt nailed another lunatic Lefty opinion piece today from the LA Weekly. The article, “The New Blacklist: Corporate America is bowing to anti-gay Christian groups’ boycott demands” by Doug Ireland is highly entertaining to read. The author is infected with the same fever-swamp disease that afflicts Michael Moore and Howard Dean.

Hewitt spent his whole time pummeling a liberal professor from USC that is only mentioned in one paragraph. However, the rest of the article is just as distorted. The author ends the article by appealing to the actors and directors known as the “Hollywood Elite” to fund the fight against Christians before it is too late.

Today’s Christer protests are targeting a different kind of subversion. Chip Berlet, senior analyst at the labor-funded Political Research Associates, has spent over 25 years studying the far right and theocratic fundamentalism. He is co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. Berlet — who was one of the speakers at a conference last month co-sponsored by the N.Y. Open Center and the City University of New York Graduate Center on “Examining the Real Agenda of the Christian Right” — says that “What’s motivating these people is two things. First, an incredible dread, completely irrational, of a hodgepodge of sexual subversion and social chaos. The response to that fear is genuinely a grassroots response, and it’s motivated by fundamentalist Christian doctrines like Triumphalism and Dominionism, which order Christians to take over the secular state and secular institutions. The Christian right frames itself as an oppressed minority battling the secular-humanist liberal homofeminist hordes.”

The fear of Christianity mentioned above is illuminating. I would describe the current state of Christianity in America with two words: reaction and revival. Reaction to the anti-religious secular humanist purging of American society of its Christian roots has reached a breaking point with the wholesale assault on marriage. The family is the basic building block of society and the liberal attempt to abolish the family, as it has been since the Garden, is unacceptable to Christians and those of many other faiths.

I have maintained that “Revival is when the church becomes culturally relevant.” My test is this, if your church locks its doors and never meets again, will your community notice? A church that cannot be “salt and light” in its community and stand for Truth is no part of the body of Christ. While parts of the “mainline” churches are self-destructing, many other denominations are experiencing growth.

I am most fascinated with the above quote by the words “theocratic fundamentalism”; “Triuphalism” and “Dominionism.” I know of no group on the religious right that uses these terms. The Libs might mean “Theonomy” and “Christian Reconstruction” but the particulars of the Liberal descriptions don’t coincide with these views.

I Googled “dominionism” here is the description that I found in Yurica Report

Born in Christian Reconstructionism, which was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony, the framers of the new cult included Rushdoony, his son-in-law Gary North, Pat Robertson, Herb Titus, the former Dean of Robertson’s Regent University School of Public Policy (formerly CBN University), Charles Colson, Robertson’s political strategist, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, the late Francis Schaeffer, and Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, the world’s largest television network, plus a virtual army of likeminded television and radio evangelists and news talk show hosts.

This explains what I suspected. The Liberals view Christians as a monolithic group of like-minds folks in a “vast rightwing conspiracy”.

Let’s analyze this group

  • Cornelius Van Til can be viewed as uniting Rushdoony, Schaeffer and North. (Schaeffer and Rushdoony were among his seminary students.)
  • But Colson repudiates Christian Reconstruction. See “God and Politics: On Earth as it is in Heaven” Bill Moyers, PBS Home Video 1997.
  • Robertson, LaHaye, Bauer and Crouch have different arcs of influence but I know enough about them to say with confidence that they would not agree with North or Rushdoony. Schaeffer didn’t either, he just plagiarized North on a few occasions.

Below is a portion of the essay that I submitted to Hugh Hewitt on this subject two weeks ago:

I think that the Left has redefined the Christian Right in the last few years. The talk about “Dominionist” and the “Theocratic State” that we have heard from the crowd is actually a distortion of writings that can be found within Protestant Christianity.

The actual sources for the distortions used by the Left are from a Christian movement called “Christian Reconstruction”. Christian Reconstructionists also use the term “Theonomy”. The movement is Post-Millennial in their theology and believes that the civil Law given to Moses is God’s model for all nations. Of course any nation that would base its laws on the Bible would be anathema to secular humanists.

The cornerstone of this movement is the book “Institutes of Biblical Law” by RJ Rushdoony. From this book, a movement was spawned. Rushdoony build upon the teachings of Cornelius Van Til, a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary. (Van Til was also influential in the life of Francis Schaeffer.)

Rushdoony’s son-in-law is Gary North. North is by far the most prolific writer of the group. The book he wrote that would be of most interest to you is “Political Polytheism” It is a critique of the United States government in light of their views.

FYI: North and Rushdoony were at odds with each other for most of their lives.

Other contributors in the movement were David Chilton, Gary DeMar and Ray Sutton.

Reconstructionists are few in number but they believe that they are designing a “blueprint” for future generations to follow. They believe in persuasion and that the work of the Holy Spirit will bring about the day when the kingdoms of this world are the Kingdoms of Christ.

One central belief of Christian Reconstruction is that all crime has two victims; the primary victim is God, the secondary victim is the person that is victimized. The punishment of any violation is Restitution. Two examples of Restitution are given to by the following:

People who commit property crimes should be required to work to repay their victims. This is the same class of people that Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship is targeting. However, the solution under Christian Reconstruction is much different. People with large debts or no skills that would allow them to repay their victims might be forced into a period of indentured servitude (slavery) until the debt is paid.

Restitution for murderers (including abortionists) would be to forfeit their lives.

I think you have heard rants on the left about the return of slavery and capital punishment for abortionists and homosexuals. Reconstructionists look to the Law of Moses and find these things there (because they are) and say that it should be so in our country.

North’s doctoral thesis was on the Puritans and he believes that we can learn from the Puritan efforts to build a society upon biblical law. He doesn’t view the Church becoming the State, but the State exercising its God mandated role and modeling its laws after God’s Law. To the degree that our laws look like God’s law, our nation will be blessed.

In Christian Reconstruction, Deuteronomy Chapter 28 is valid today. Obey God’s Law and be blessed, disobey and be cursed. For them, this is true not just for individuals but nations as well. Christian Reconstruction is a political theory. Like any good political theory, it proclaims what is wrong with the current system and says what should be in a more perfect world but doesn’t offer any route to get from theory to practice.

Reference materials beside some more e-mails from me:
“God and Politics: On Earth as it is in Heaven” Bill Moyers, PBS Home Video 1997
“Institutes of Biblical Law” Rousas John Rushdoony, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing 1973
“Theonomy in Christian Ethics” Greg L Bahnsen, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing 1977, 1984
“Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism” Gary North, Institute for Christian Economics 1989