Dominionists are on the move
and they mean business <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Marsha West
"Once we have the apostles in place, we will then bring the intercessors and the prophets into the inner circle, and we will end up with the spiritual core we need to move ahead for retaking the dominion that is rightfully ours." -- C. Peter Wagner
Until recently not many folks were aware of a man by the name of C. Peter Wagner. But Wagner is quickly becoming a person of interest thanks largely to Christian Right (CR) becoming chummy with him and other high-level charismatic dominionists. In the past couple of months much has been written on pro-family groups uniting of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) dominionists. In fact it was the prominent American Family Association (AFA) that sponsored Governor Rick Perry's August 2011 prayer rally The Response that included many NAR notables in leadership roles.
The NAR's purpose is to restore the office of Apostles and Prophets and advance the Kingdom of God. According to Albert James Dager "dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs: 1) Satan usurped man's dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve; 2) The Church is God's instrument to take dominion back from Satan; 3) Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth's governmental and social institutions. (Online source)
So - the NAR/dominionist's goal is to transform society into the kingdom of God on earth. How? By controlling various aspects of society. The term they use is the "Seven Mountains," or "Seven Spheres" of society. The Seven Mountains are: 1) Arts and Entertainment; 2) Business/Economy; 3) Education; 4) Family; 5) Government; 6) Media; 7) Religion. The NAR holds that as they accomplish ridding the world of evil, things will get better and better and then Jesus Christ will return to set up His kingdom.
The goals of the CR and the NAR seem like a good idea, right? I mean, who could argue with wanting to influence the seven spheres of society that are dominated by secular humanists. Christians are not wrong in desiring to have a society based on Judeo-Christian principles. But here's the problem. This "mandate" the NAR mob subscribes to did not come from the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 18:36 Jesus made it clear: "My kingdom is not of this world."
However, dominionists never let a little thing like what Jesus said get in the way of their lofty goals. One of the most troubling aspects of their "theology" is the unbiblical teaching on spiritual warfare. They believe they have a kingdom mandate to do "strategic-level spiritual warfare" which is "a popular charismatic method of casting out demons from geographical locations or territories. It identifies three levels of demonic control on earth. Firstly, are "Ground-Level" demons, which possess people. Secondly, "Occult-Level" demons empower witches, shamans, magicians. Finally, "Strategic-Level" demons which are the most powerful of the three, are said to rule over certain regions or territories. Their main purpose is to hinder people from coming to Christ." (Online source)
Hence, dominionists go hither and yon to do strategic-level spiritual warfare to tear down demonic strongholds established by Satan and his demons. This is not local; it's global.
MAINSTREAMING A CULT
Discernment ministries such as Deception in the Church, Let Us Reason, and Herescope have been reporting on the apostate Latter Rain, now the NAR, for decades. The Latter Rain holds that God is pouring out His Spirit just as He did at Pentecost and is using believers to prepare the world for His Second Coming. The name has been changed numerous times. "Presiding Apostle" C. Peter Wagner is the one who dubbed it the New Apostolic Reformation.
Some pro-family organizations such as the AFA, the Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel have joined forces with the NAR to fight the culture war. Until recently not many folks were paying attention but they are now. Why? Because the CR has brought the NAR cult into the mainstream.
In A Warning About Latter Day Apostles Herescope's Orrel Steinkamp gives us some background info on Wagner:
This restoration teaching percolated on the back burners of the Charismatic Renewal for years, but it was never promoted heavily and no one attempted to systematically implement it on a worldwide scale. Into this vacuum has stepped C. Peter Wagner as a central personality. Wagner has given organizational and promotional impetus to this so-called restoration and has taken bold steps to implement apostolic restoration to a wider Global Church--as a result he is positioned to have a greater influence than many other promoters of apostolic restoration.
Beginning with his association with John Wimber, Wagner moved quickly into charismatic Christianity. He has systematized certain charismatic spiritual warfare practices and developed his strategic warfare mentality etc. He also promoted what he called the "Third Wave." In this "Third Wave" he saw generic evangelicals getting involved with signs and wonders without adopting traditional Pentecostal Theology. He has a broad Evangelical pedigree and has notoriety as a former missiologist at Fuller seminary. He is the recognized heir and successor to Donald McGavern, the founding father of all church growth teaching. In addition to being a co-founder of the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, he is the founding president of Global Harvest Ministries, which is responsible for the "United Prayer Track" of AD2000 and Beyond" as well as many other missions related activities outside the AD2000 organization. The Billy Graham Lausan conference adopted Wagner's missions/evangelism agenda. And he is now in association with many holdovers from the Latter Rain of the 50's who got a new lease on life in the Charismatic Renewal.
In one of my articles (here) I said that the CR was uniting with cultists. Wagner was indignant that I referred to the NAR as a cult. Within days he sent AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM PETER to his mailing list explaining what the NAR is and is not. Is it a cult, as I claimed? No, he said. "The NAR is definitely not a cult." He went on to say:
Those who affiliate with it believe the Apostles' Creed and all the standard classic statements of Christian doctrine. It will surprise some to know that the NAR embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity. It is also the fastest growing segment, the only segment of Christianity currently growing faster than the world population and faster than Islam.
The NAR is not an organization. No one can join or carry a card. It has no leader. I have been called the "founder," but this is not the case. One reason I might be seen as an "intellectual godfather" is that I might have been the first to observe the movement, give a name to it, and describe its characteristics as I saw them. The roots of the NAR go back to the beginning of the African Independent Church Movement in 1900, the Chinese House Church Movement beginning in 1976, the U.S. Independent Charismatic Movement beginning in the 1970s and the Latin American Grassroots Church Movement beginning around the same time. I was neither the founder nor a member of any of these movements, I was simply a professor who observed that they were the fastest growing churches in their respective regions and that they had a number of common characteristics." (Online source)
Let Us Reason's Mike Oppenheimer responded to Wagner's explanation in a piece he wrote A Case of Pinocchio's Nose:
Wagner is claiming he does not want to be labeled a cult. He, as a teacher, ignores the fact that there are cults within Christianity that do confess many of the tenets of the apostle's creed on paper, they just don't implement them in practice.
Cult expert Walter Martin, says Oppenheimer, described a cult as "a group of people gathered about a specific persons [sic] interpretation of the bible... from a theological view point, the cults contain not only a few major deviations from historic Christianity." Moreover, "A cult in its most simplistic meaning operates in falsehood, either theologically, sociologically or both (in beliefs and practices). Some are theologically dangerous others are sociologically dangerous. Not all cults are physically harmful, but they are harmful spiritually. While the cults more often operate using control, they also operate in falsehood and will have secrets that are not public. They claim to have a new or better way applied to various aspects of Christianity, more often about salvation. This aspect is seen in the NAR as they state the church will not succeed without incorporating their apostles and prophets." (emphasis added)
Recently Wagner appeared on National Public Radio's Fresh Air. The tap dance he did around the truth could rival Fred Astaire who made tap dancing seem effortless. Granted, he did answer some of host Terry Gross' questions straightforwardly. For example, he admitted that the NAR's influence at The Response was "fairly strong and that it was a significant step forward in NAR's work in America." This is a chilling thought!
When asked about his close friend Ted Haggard's homosexual drug-fueled trysts with a male prostitute while pastoring the 10,000 member New Life Church, he lamented:
But when his homosexuality was revealed, it was a devastating blow to me, because not only was he pastor of this influential church, he was president of the National Association of Evangelicals. And he was a representative of all of us, and we all had a great deal of confidence in him.
When asked about the NAR'S Seven Mountain mandate, he made Fred Astaire look like a novice:
In terms of taking dominion, we don't - we wouldn't want to - we use the word dominion, but we wouldn't want to say that we have dominion as if we're the owners or we're the rulers of, let's say, the arts and entertainment mountain.
What we strive to do, and our goal is to have people in the arts and entertainment mountain who are committed to the kingdom of God. So therefore, we use the adjective they're kingdom-minded believers, and we - our goal is to try to have as many kingdom-minded believers in positions of influence in the arts and entertainment mountain as possible. And the reason for that is to help bring the blessings of heaven to all those in the arts and entertainment mountain.
To help bring blessings? Really? Then why did Wagner teach the following at a conference?:
Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership. Dominion has to do with authority and subduing and it relates to society. In other words, what the values are in heaven need to be made manifest here on earth. Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings. It says in Revelation Chapter 1:6 that He has made us kings and priests, and check the rest of that verse. It says "for dominion." So we are kings for dominion. (Online source)
Here's what they mean by "ruling like kings." The Little Lions is a dominionist website for children. In a DVD, The Little Lion Chronicles, producers Dave Munoz and James Nesbit tell children that the Creator gave them the name lion. "We are strong! We are ferocious! We are lions! We are recognized as kings! We are the keepers of the Royal Way."
Jesus referred to His followers, not as lions, but as sheep. Also, the Bible says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 16:18 says "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
The Bible also says, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
Why? Because, "there are certain men crept in unawares [wormed their way in], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:3, 4). [emphasis added]
Speaking of those who have wormed their way into churches, Wagner also wrote in a newsletter:The kingdom of God furnishes the template for our stream. We believe that God's desire for this season can be discerned through 'The Dominion Mandate' and 'The 7-M Mandate.' Chuck has laid groundwork through his books, The Future War of the Church and God's Unfolding Battle Plan. I have been doing the same through The Church in the Workplace and Dominion! We want to provide a viable opportunity for apostolic alignment for leaders who minister in all seven mountains .We feel that Global Spheres, Inc., will fill a gap for many who believe in the direction that Chuck, Doris and I are taking into the future, and who desire official alignment with us as their apostolic leaders. We do not want it to be a traditional, religious organization, but rather an aligned network of leaders from all seven spheres that make up societal structures. This is a way that we can do our part toward fulfilling the Dominion Mandate." [emphases and links added by Herescope] (Online source)
WHAT A REVOLTING DEVELOPMENT THIS IS
Going back to our adroit tap dancer, C. Peter Wagner, I admit he seemed like a rational man during the NPR interview. He did not, however, seem rational during Todd Bentley's commissioning ceremony during the Lakeland Outpouring when he "prophesied" over Todd, who was on stage in the prone position sizzling like a rasher of bacon:
"This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.
"I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future." (Online source)
Shortly after the televised commissioning ceremony Todd fell from grace. It was discovered that the man who had been given apostolic authority and whom God allegedly "poured out a higher level of discernment" was having an affair with a woman on his staff (here). It also came to light that the anointed one's alcohol consumption had "crossed the line." To make matters worse, he divorced his wife and married his mistress. Not to worry, though. After repenting and going through a short but intense period of restoration under the guidance of "super apostles" Rick Joyner and Bill Johnson, Todd was reinstated. Now the tattooed wonder is traveling the highways and byways with his new wife "opening the gates to the future."
What I've tried to do here is to give a brief overview of the NAR to help true followers of Jesus Christ understand what's happening within Christendom-and this is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends! For decades the Latter Rain was considered a fringe movement but in recent years it has wormed its way into every facet of society. And it hasn't been all that hard for them, and other cults, to pull the wool over the eyes of the sheep. Sadly, this includes undiscerning Christian clergy/teachers/authors/entertainers/media and as I pointed out, many esteemed pro-family leaders.
I'll close with this verse from Hosea 4:6:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you .
Links to NAR articles-On Solid rock Resources
C. Peter Wagner: Takes the Kingdom Message to NPR's "Fresh Air"--by Sara Leslie
Spiritual Warfare Evangelism: How Did We Get Here?--by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Volume 6, No. 5 - November/December 2001
C. Peter Wagner Quotes-Deception in the Church
C. Peter Wagner on taking Dominion-Herescope, November 2, 2005
The Coming Kingdom-"Apostle" Rick Joyner explains what the kingdom of God on earth will look like. Joyner is frequently linked to pro-family conservatives.
Apostolic letter by C. Peter Wagner, May 31 2007
Does the NAR groups hold to "all the standard classic statements of Christian doctrine" as Wagner claims? Take a look at Advance K's Statement of Faith.
Copyright by Marsha West, 2011. All rights reserved.
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