Dominionism: A Growing Evangelical Movement

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On Aug. 24 I listened to a fascinating interview conducted by Terry Gross on National Public Radio's Fresh Air program. She interviewed an author, Rachel Tabachnick, who writes about an emerging religious/political movement called Dominionism. The gist of it was that a growing network of people is working to make possible the return of Christ by removing various barriers that are standing in His way.

The interview listed a whole raft of barriers needing to be removed, most of them topics of modern controversy (abortion, homosexuality, Islam, conversion of Jews to Christianity, conservative vs. liberal politics, big government vs. small government, public schools vs. private schools, and so on).

The Dominionist solution to removing those barriers was said to be for Christians to take dominion over popular culture, business and politics by unifying the Protestant world under one banner, supporting conservative Christian politicians and energetically working for change at every level of society.

The interview also outlined some of the theology involved (fighting the demonic principalities controlling individuals, groups and nations; end-time scenarios of a one-world religious and economic system called Mystery Babylon, the Antichrist, the Millennial rule of Christ and other tenets).

Dominionism: More than just a Christian movement

What makes this different from just another religious grouping? Several political figures of national stature in the United States were named as being associated with the Dominion movement, or supported by it. As the U.S. election year heats up, I think we'll be hearing a lot more about this topic.

A simple search on the Internet turns up dozens of websites devoted to the pros and cons of Dominionism, and the rhetoric is pretty fiery on some of them. The NPR website that hosts the transcript of the interview, had 700+ comments posted in just two short days after the interview aired!

As you'd expect regarding a movement that proclaims strong teachings on subjects as fundamental as the balance of church and state, the end times and the return of Christ, the comments covered a wide range of opinion. Atheists and believers squared off, with both sides offering well-written and thoughtful posts and ripostes (some were respectful, some sophomoric—all an energizing read either way though). There is plenty to think about, pro and con.

But what does the Bible say?

The Bible is the only authority—not political or religious movements

Followers of this website, readers of The Good News magazine and viewers of Beyond Today television all know that's the first question a Christian should ask.

Jesus Himself said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). The apostle Paul wrote, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). And the prophet Isaiah wrote, "To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

The Bible does prophesy about the end times, warning us about the ever-increasing troubles leading up to the crisis at the close of this age of man. Read Matthew 24 for a hair-raising synopsis. And numerous Scriptures do promise a wonderful, world-ruling Kingdom of God, administered in power and in love by Jesus Christ Himself.

But the Scriptures reveal that it won't happen according to the scenario painted by Dominionism, or any major or minor religion for that matter. The god of this world, Satan the Devil, has spread confusion and contradiction and a cloud of mystery over these vital truths of the Kingdom and the awful events immediately preceding Christ's just-in-time arrival here on earth.

Dominion of this earth belongs to Jesus Christ alone

History (and current experience!) shows us there's danger when any given religion has the power of the state behind it. Think Spanish Inquisition, sharia law under the Taliban or the Salem witch trials. When mankind, however well-intentioned, attempts to bring about some version of the Kingdom of God on earth, it always falls short.

When evaluating the specific beliefs behind Dominionism or any system of religion or government, our only sure guide is God's Word, the Holy Bible. Be sure you don't get swept up in a movement that isn't in alignment with the Scriptures!

For more information and a clear understanding of these prophesied events, you need to be sure you're not getting your point of view from any source other than the Bible and literature in alignment with the Bible. You owe it to yourself to read your Bible and look up all the scriptures laid out in order for you in the pages of the various booklets offered free of charge on this website. To learn more about the dominion Christ will have at His return, read The Gospel of the Kingdom. Watch Beyond Today on WGN, read The Good News magazine and take our free Bible Course.

In addition, why not plan on coming to one of the Kingdom of God Bible Seminars being held in a city near you beginning in mid-September? They're free; there will be no commitment solicitation or requirement, and no follow-up or request for money. Time and location information is easily found on this website, just type in your ZIP code and see the details.


  • Benard Dudi
    Interesting discourse! Perhaps Ephesians 6:13 will keep us buoyed on the target:the Kingdom of God.
  • Chuck Fles

    Mitchell, I agree that when the the beast power comes on the scene, he will deceive many, and if possible the very elect. I agree with you on this point, that dominionists can be even more deceived than they perhaps are now, especially those who borrow liberally from the movement that are not really of the movement. There are a number of such today that think that all we have to do is elect the right officials to office that think like them and paradise will come. Of course, such is not the case, and these people are terribly deceived. Rushdoony (1916-2001) fought this tendency all his adult life. With him, it was always God, Christ through the Holy Spirit who would gain the victory, using God's armament, the Word of God, not mere men using "Saul's armor".

  • Mitchell Moss

    Thanks for giving me some specific things to read up on, Chuck.

    It wasn't my intent to pointedly accuse the current adherents to the cause which this commentary discusses as the beast power in the making. And I freely admit that I don't know very much about this movement.

    My point is simply that the well-meaning founders of any cause would likely be shocked at the ways it is used by future adherents to the cause. Marx probably didn't think up communism as a way to mass murder millions, and would be horrified at what Stalin did. The apostles would be horrified at the things done in the name of Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition (and Jesus no doubt was as well).

    And I think that this movement, like every other movement in the history of mankind, is just as susceptible to that kind of manipulation by future tyrants as any other. The well-meaning individuals you mention are probably not going to become the beast power. But I shudder to think what this movement may morph into if it falls into the wrong hands.

  • Chuck Fles

    While Theonomists are NOT Sabbath keepers, most are Reformed Evangelicals, at least people like Rushdoony, Bahnsen, and North (at least the central tradition), they would have an aversion to hunting down Sabbath keepers or any kind of persecution, since they, for the most part are a persecuted minority in most of the mainline denominations, largely because they hold to the exhaustive validity of Biblical Law, including the OT. The non Sabbatarianism is largely a remnant of the traditional Calvinism most dominionists hold. Rushdoony himself observed the dietary laws and urged others to do so as well. Mitchell, before you go off half cocked about the alleged danger they pose, please read them for what they say they believe and practice. NPR, a secular liberal outlet, is not the best place to get this information. It is biased against conservative Christianity of any form. Nor are evangelical opponents good guides here, since they hate God's Law. You need to read the primary sources, which if you google Christian Reconstruction, Theonomy, or Dominion Theology are not hard to find. Non Sabbatarianism on their part is an anomalous inconsistency with their distinctives. Otherwise, save for the points that I posted above, you would find much to agree with them on.

  • Mitchell Moss

    I can just as easily see the governmental system that ties in with the beast power being an evangelical-led movement hunting down Sabbath keepers as I could it being a progressive, atheist-led movement.

  • Sherrie_Giddens

    I found the commentary and the comments thought provoking. It is interesting that mankind is always in the process of trying to better the conditions under which he lives and yet unable to find the way that produces peace and happiness for all. No matter what the theory, the party, or government structure, it is always found lacking.

    Even in the idea of putting God back into any government structure, such as the Tea Party is suggesting, you would still have issues. What does it mean to put God into man's government when everyone has a different idea about how to represent God?

    I had a conversation once with someone about the more radical Muslim theology. The idea of a religion forced onto the world through a government structure became the focus of our discussion. No one wants to be forced to believe anything, or rather accept something that may go against their beliefs. I find it interesting that again, Satan is at work in the way that he copycats and distorts the truth.

    The truth being that someday Jesus Christ will return and He will bring a government based in worship of the true God. The world will learn to live that way and it will bring true happiness. Today, all any of us can do is try the best that we can to bring God into our homes and our lives based on what we are taught in the Bible. But, some day all of man's ideas, governments and religions will bow to One. It is almost too much to comprehend at times. But, it will happen.

  • Scott Moss

    Thank you Chuck for your thoughtful comment. It's true that I don't have the depth of reading and background in Dominionist thinking that you do, and I appreciate your candor. I tried hard to report accurately on what I heard/read in the NPR interview, and don't mean to caricature anyone. It strikes me that there's probably a wide range of opinion included under the Dominionist umbrella, so I won't make any generalizations (all generalizations are false, you know ). I will say that I agree the most with your final sentence.

  • Kelly Irvin

    Thank you, Mr. Moss, for this eye opening blog post. Wikipedia at, **Link removed to comply with comment policy**, offered me a good introduction to the various meanings and purposes of this movement, and I appreciate that you remind us to go to the Bible for sound instruction in matters where we may feel the need to "intervene" in or "impose" upon human societal choices.

    Our only weapon against the influence of Satan in our society should be the word of God, a two-edged sword, not the imposition of the word of God on our society. It's not the Christian's job. We just are not qualified yet to rule with the perfection of Christ, nor has God given us permission to practice such.

  • Chuck Fles

    I am rather disappointed in this essay. You "do not get" at all what Dominion Theology is about. It is certainly NOT about the Kingdom of God being imposed by the power of the state, as you imply, or by one individual or group imposing their will over others. Dominion Theology, otherwise known as Theonomy (literally "God's Law") or Christian Reconstruction teaches that redeemed humanity is restored to the to the Cultural Mandate to subdue and exercise dominion over the earth, that is, the mandate given to Adam and Eve in the Garden, cf Genesis 1:28. The tool of dominion and blessing is the Law of God. In Dominion Theology, Christians are to exercise dominion first, over themselves, over their families and over all areas of life and thought. The state has no role in expanding Christ's rule save that it will ultimately be subjected to Christ's authority.

    I perceive that you have not gotten your knowledge of Dominionism from dominionist writers themselves, since you do not get it and your representation of them is a false caricature. To misrepresent those with whom you disagree is a form of bearing false witness. I strongly suggest that you read Dominionist and Theonomic writers before you would continue criticizing their point of view. My suggestions are that you start with the late Rousas John Rushdoony, the "godfather" of modern theonomic thought. His seminal work is the three volume "Institutes of Biblical Law" To that, I would add his "By This Standard" and "Salvation and Godly Rule". Also I suggest the late Gregg Bahnsen's "Theonomy in Christian Ethics", which is essentially Bahnsen"s doctoral dissertation for John Murray at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

    I myself am a former theonomist/dominionist. My issue is that I reject their postmil eschatology, trinitarianism, and the fact that they are not sabbatarian.

  • Constante Galope

    Not until the field is tilled and ready to receive the seeds of truth- the the sower can not reach the desired harvest.Not until a man reached the position where he does not know how to master his life-then can we be of use to guide him his way back to God.

  • Zaragoza

    Very well said, John. Personally, I have not known anyone who has expressed any of the viewpoints mentioned in this article as being part of the "Dominionism" movement, but we should never be dogmatic or even didactic in our approach to handling the various opinions that abound in the realms of "churchiology," as I call it. When Revelation 12:9 states that Satan is misleading the entire earth, that is certainly no exaggeration. We should always be very diplomatic in our efforts to assist others out of their confusion. But as you stated, we should not try to be controlling. We know that this is not the only day of salvation and that God is not now calling all of mankind into His Kingdom. After the terrible ordeal that we must go through just ahead now, we will look forward to the permanent end of all confusion and deceit propagated by Satan and his system of things.

  • jgehrke

    We should not aim for controlling others. We can walk and talk as the Bible and the Spirit guide us, and testify to others, although I would not try to force my beliefs and faith on someone who clearly is not interested. We have the truth, and we should share it. This is not connected to His return - He of course will come as a thief in some night. The Bible discusses a coming time of Jacob's trouble, a rebuilding of the Temple and things we can look for and for me above all I pray to act in love as Jesus teaches me.

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