Understanding The Dominion Theology of Christian Reconstructionists and The New Apostolic Reformation [Excerpts]
[This article was written in May 1988 by Dr. Thomas Ice. It is instructive to see how things have progressed more than a quarter century later.]
But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish.
—Dominionist-Reconstructionist, George Grant
Some of the strongest fundamental churches still preach that Christ will return to gather national Israel unto Himself, and I say that is deception and will keep the Kingdom of God from coming to pass! Likewise, those who are waiting for Christ to catch a few people away so God can judge the world are waiting in vain!
Jesus Christ has now done all He can do, and He waits at the right hand of His Father, until you and I as sons of god, become manifest and make this world His footstool. He is waiting for us to say, "Jesus, we have made the kingdoms of this world the Kingdom of our God, and we are ruling and reigning in Your world. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
—Dominionist-Charismatic, Earl Paulk (May 30, 1927 – March 29, 2009)
The 1980's have witnessed the rise to prominence of a unique blend of theology often called Dominion Theology (DT). DT is the product of two major streams of thought. One, from the Reformed, Calvinist camp; the other from the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition. Before the development of DT, it would have been hard to imagine two more diverse expressions of Christianity. Even though each group has traveled a different path, they have arrived at similar conclusions, at least concerning two major issues. First, their handling of the Old Testament (OT). Second, the common belief that the current age is the full experession of the Kingdom of God, and that Christ cannot return to earth until a certain level of maturity and development is reached by the Church.
DT advocates believe that dominion over every area of life has been restored by the first coming of Christ. Since we are now in the Kingdom (this is where the synonym for DT "Kingdom Now" arose), they believe the present task of the Church is to call believers to reclaim the rule of Christ on planet earth by whatever means their particular brand of DT advocates. For Reconstructionists, this is accomplished through the ethical means of obeying the Word (Biblical law). Charismatics often teach that it is achieved through the metaphysical means of confessing the Word. Both believe that dominion is to be taken by Christians (not immediately by Christ, but mediately through believers) over all mankind, before Christ physically returns to planet earth.
The major passage which Dominionists believe teach their view is Genesis:1:28, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." This verse clearly teaches that dominion has been given over the animals and the earth, which mankind has clearly fulfilled and continues to fulfill (Ps:8:6-8). However, it does not give justification, as DT teaches, that we are to take dominion over other human beings. The Scriptures do teach that Christ has dominion over all mankind (Jude 25), and that believers will reign and rule with Him (Rev:5:10), but the question is when. Rule with Christ will take place in the future Kingdom. This is why it is important to understand that the current age is not yet Christ's Kingdom, but the Church Age.
The Scripture teaches that this current age is not Christ's Kingdom. Believers are not yet reigning and ruling with Christ, although it is their future destiny; similar to the way a Crown Prince is born to rule, but does not exercise that rule until a future stage in his life. In fact, Paul rebuked the errant Corinthian Dominionists saying that "you have become kings without us; and I would indeed that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you" (1 Cor:4:8). Instead he went on to speak of the suffering, humiliation, and persecutions he endured for Christ (4:9-13) as he preached the gospel. Humiliation is the calling of all believers during this present age before the return of Chirst. This is seen in Paul's admonition to "be imitators of me" (4:16).
The current Church Age is a time of humiliation for believers as we call people to Christ. This current destiny is similar to the career of Christ. At His first advent, Christ came into a hostile world in order to die, as well as to call out of the world a band of disciples to continue His ministry after He went victoriously into heaven following the resurrection. Christ's humiliation and abasement to the Father's will serves as a stark contrast to Adam's pride and grasping after dominion (Phil:2:5-11).