The theology of government shutdown: Christian dominionism

rafael cruzOn the eve of our government shutdown, I wanted to do some research into the theological roots of Senator Ted Cruz, the standard-bearer of the Tea Party Republicans behind the shutdown. I couldn’t find any substantive theological statements from Ted, but his father Pastor Rafael Cruz has been a keynote speaker and ideological catalyst whom Heritage Action has been flying around the country in its campaign to defund Obamacare over the last several months. The elder Cruz has a distinct theological vision for what America is supposed to look like: Christian dominionism.

In the months building up to the present showdown, Cruz has been giving speeches at Tea Party rallies and other religious right gatherings as part of a campaign to defund Obamacare. In watching the speeches, I can see how his status as a Cuban American refugee fits the ethos of the far right culture warrior movement perfectly. He is able to shift seamlessly from stories about the oppression of the Castro regime to talking about the Obama administration.

A good example comes from a speech at the Iowa Family Leadership Summit on August 12th where Cruz said that the government’s “attack on religion” is part of a longer-term plan to establish socialism:

When you hear this attack on religion, it’s not really an attack on religion. The fundamental basis is this. Socialism requires that government becomes your God. That’s why they have to destroy your concept of God. They have to destroy all your loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage. It’s really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about homosexuality, because you need also to destroy loyalty to the family.

This paragraph is a textbook example of postmodern “truthiness,” in which any narrative of reality “works” as long as it’s structurally logical. Cruz start with asserting the socialist conspiracy as a fundamental given and then shows how it works as an explanation for everything else that’s going on. It’s so fascinating when the same people who declare themselves to be defenders of “absolute truth” are absolutely relativistic about truth in practice.

A more disturbing element of Cruz’s speeches were his repeated calls for a “black robe regiment,” a concept promoted by Christian revisionist historian David Barton who claims that clergy were the main backbone of the American Revolutionary War. Here’s what Cruz had to say to the August 29th gathering of Heritage Action, the main lobbyist group behind shutting down the federal government:

It was pastors who were the backbone of the Revolution. Did you know where Paul Revere was going when he was saying the British are coming? He was going to the home of a pastor by the name of Jonas Clark… [who] was one of many that were called the black robe regiment. These were pastors that wore long black robes. Many of them had the continental army uniform under the black robe. They would preach in church on Sunday and then go out and fight with half their congregation for our independence. I want to encourage our pastors today not to hide behind their pulpits but take the spirit of the black robe regiment.

The theological ethos of Rafael Cruz’s vision is in Christian dominionism; he talks about preaching a “message of dominion” that all Christians have received an “anointing as kings.” I watched a sermon he preached on August 26, 2012 at the New Beginnings megachurch in Irving, Texas, led by Christian Zionist charismatic pastor Larry Huch. Huch incidentally had a very interesting prophecy to share when he introduced Cruz to preach:

We’ve been doing this series here that God laid on my heart: Getting to the top and staying there. A message for us as individuals, the kingdom of God, but also for America. It’s not enough to get there. We need to stay there. It’s not a coincidence that in a few weeks, we go into what’s called in the Bible Rosh Hashanad [sic]… It will be the beginning of the spiritual year 2012. The number 12 means divine government. That God will begin to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington, God’s people and His kingdom will begin to rule and reign. I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected, Ted Cruz the next senator.

But here’s the exciting thing… The rabbinical teaching is… that in a few weeks begins that year 2012 and that this will begin what we call the end-time transfer of wealth. And that when these Gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grow and grow and grow. It’s said this way: that God is looking at the church and everyone in it and deciding in the next three and a half years who will be his bankers. And the ones that say here I am Lord, you can trust me, we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the messiah.

So it sounds like we’re entering into the age where the Christians (who give faithfully) are going to get all the money through the “end-time transfer of wealth.” Isn’t the title of that sermon series just awesome? Getting to the Top and Staying There! It was a packed house. I wonder how many other apocalyptic prosperity gospel megachurches are packing their houses by preaching sermon series about getting to the top and staying there.

Cruz’s primary text for his sermon was Revelation 1:5-6, which says, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever!” In Rafael’s translation of the Bible, it says “kings and priests” instead of “a kingdom and priests.” In the Greek, the word is basileian (accusative singular) and no manuscript variants are indicated, but never mind that.

Cruz shares that two types of people were anointed in the Old Testament, kings and priests:

Priests were anointed primarily to minister the glory of God. They were anointed to pray for the people, to offer sacrifices, to care for the temple, to be God’s representatives before the people… Kings were anointed to take dominion. Kings were anointed to go to war, win the war, and bring the spoils of war to priests so the work of the kingdom of God could be accomplished. The king needed the blessing of the priest in order to be successful in battle… The priest also needed for the king to be successful in battle because the priest needed the spoils of war in order to repair the temple, in order to carry out the ministry that God had entrusted him.

What is so remarkable about this rendering of the relationship between kings and priests in the Old Testament is that God expressly forbade the Israelites from going to war for spoils. It is “truthiness” applied to Biblical interpretation. Well, the priests had expenses to pay in the temple, and the kings went to war. God anointed both of them. That must mean that the kings went to war to pay for the expenses in the temple.

The seamless move that Cruz makes without any justification is to say that because kings and priests were anointed in the Old Testament, that means there are two kinds of Christians today: kings and priests. Forget about the body of Christ and all the spiritual gifts identified in 1 Corinthians 12. Forget Jesus’ exhortation in Mark 10 not to be like the Gentile princes but to be servants instead of kings. Cruz decries the way that churches have neglected their members’ kingly anointing:

Our churches unfortunately are very focused on only one of these anointings and that is on the priestly anointing… Those of you who think you don’t have the anointing to teach the word of God, to be teaching Sunday school, you’re second class citizens. And so you begin to lead frustrated lives… The majority of you… your anointing… is an anointing as king. God has given you an anointing to go to the battlefield. And what’s the battlefield? The marketplace. To go to the marketplace and occupy the land. To go to the marketplace and take dominion.

So to pull all this logic together, God anoints priests to work in the church directly and kings to go out into the marketplace to conquer, plunder, and bring back the spoils to the church. The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian “kings” who will accomplish the “end time transfer of wealth.” Then “God’s bankers” will usher in the “coming of the messiah.” The government is being shut down so that God’s bankers can bring Jesus back.

And here’s the thing. When you get a lot of people together in a megachurch, you can do some pretty impressive things with your mission projects. You can feed thousands of people and host ESL classes and job training programs and medical clinics. And I imagine that seeing your accomplishments could give you the hubris of thinking we don’t need a government at all to make our society run; our church can be the new government.

72 thoughts on “The theology of government shutdown: Christian dominionism

  1. Pingback: Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and John MacArthur’s #StrangeFire Conference | Mercy not Sacrifice

  2. Just a word of caution here: Do not confuse Fundamentalism (or Evangelicalism) with Dominionism; they are not equivalent. Historically, Fundamentalism referred simply to those who embraced the 5 fundamental doctrines of Christianity. But unfortunately, Fundamentalism has gotten a bad rap in the media over the years, because SOME fundamentalists have incurred a reputation for being anti-intellectual or even anti-science. Consequently, thoughtful Evangelicals have had to disavow being identified by the ‘F’ word. As for Dominionism, its origin and agenda come largely from the work of R.J. Rushdoony — about which Kaeylyn Hunt and Peggy Trivilino could probably tell us much. (Thanks for your comments.)

    • Good point. I’m an evangelical and I’m definitely not a dominionist. As an ex-Southern Baptist, fundamentalist has become a sort of catch-all for me but I respect the need for accurate terminology.

    • Maybe you can help me with something Paul. I know that belief in the absolute inerrancy of the Bible was held by some Christians long before R.J. Rushdoony got together with some of the more out-there members of the John Birch Society and cooked up the right-wing Republican Religious Right utopia outlined in his Institutes of Biblical Law. Is belief in the literal truth of the Bible a Fundamentalist or an Evangelical characteristic? I think that many so-called “Christian” leading lights use their much-vaunted claims to adhere to Biblical inerrancy in order to achieve political ends, such as marginalizing homosexuals. Given the socioeconomic rewards which accrue to the preachers who thump their Bibles most vigorously, I’m inclined to doubt the sincerity of their belief. So which Christian denominations truly do believe that every word in both Testaments is the literally transcribed Word of God? I’ve always used the terms “Fundamentalist” and “Evangelical” interchangeably, thinking that everyone who acknowledges either of these appellations must accept the Bible as literal fact. If I’m making unwarranted assumptions about people and their faith I’d really like to correct my error. Thank you! 🙂

      • Peggy. I hesitate to add more to this response chain, since the post has already drawn enough comments. But I will try to address your question through related issues. (Forgive me if this is too basic or too familiar for you.)

        I think you are correct to use the terms “Fundamentalist” and “Evangelical” interchangeably (I do the same), since both generally share the same belief sets. But let’s be clear about the different meanings: a Fundamentalist is one who accepts the biblical doctrines of creation, incarnation, virgin birth, atonement, justification by faith, second coming, etc.—basically, what the creeds affirm. An Evangelical is one who takes seriously Jesus’ “great commission” to go into all the world and make disciples of Christ.

        However, as I hinted before, some elements of Fundamentalism have been a turn-off to “thinking” Evangelicals, so the label is not welcomed by all of us (or it must be qualified). For example, these two assertions might be held by many Fundamentalists but rejected by some Evangelicals: (1) Since the Bible is an inspired guide to human conduct, therefore we don’t need to study anything else; and (2) Usher’s genealogical calculations, allowing for errors, places the date of creation at around 10,000 BC or later.

        Many people—religious as well as secular—naively ask, “Do you take the Bible literally or symbolically?” But the question is improperly framed. The Bible is a whole library of books, some of which are historical narrative, some poetry, some prophecy, and some didactic wisdom. So the proper answer to the question is: “I take the literal parts literally, and the symbolic parts symbolically.” My answer sounds evasive, but is meant to call attention to the difficult task that every reader must perform when reading ANY ancient literature: to sort out the meaning in light of the writer’s language, context and intention.

        The Bible is not just historical, it is also amazingly accurate. To the chagrin of skeptics, its “historicity” has been confirmed over and over by archeological finds. So if historical accuracy is what you mean by accepting the Bible “as literal fact,” then you are justified and on solid ground. (If you’re alluding to scientific controversies over biological evolution, I would need a lot more space to address that.) A sound hermeneutical approach is to take the language’s ordinary meaning unless the context indicates otherwise. But another conclusion seems unavoidable to me: Since BOTH Old and New Testaments portray God as actively intervening in human history, you cannot “do justice” to the biblical text while trying to “demythologize” it of everything miraculous. The Bible is, after all, a narrative about the super-natural.

        Our belief sets depend largely on what presuppositions we bring to the table. For example, if you believe in God and the supernatural, then you will have no problem admitting at least the possibility that God could have created basic “kinds” (the major phyla) with an appearance of age, or prepared a huge fish to swallow Jonah to teach him a lesson, or reversed the dying of Lazarus when Jesus called him forth from the tomb. However, if you’re an atheist, you will preclude the possibility of miracles or prophecy from the outset. If you’re a Deist, you will believe that God designed the universe, but then passively took “hands off” to let nature take its course.

        Some Fundamentalists adhere to “verbal inspiration”, the view that every WORD in the original autographs was inspired (god-breathed); hence, their approach to translation tends to be somewhat wooden or stilted. Others hold to “plenary inspiration”, the view that the MESSAGE of scripture is fully inspired; hence, they recognize that a good translation necessarily entails some degree of “paraphrase” in order to capture the equivalent MEANING of the original languages (whether Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek) in a current idiom of the receptor language (whether English, Spanish, French, or whatever). Obviously, both views hold scriptural authority in high regard.

        Which raises other distinctions that even some fundamentalists fail to appreciate: the difference between inspiration and interpretation and application. Staunch Fundamentalists may accuse “liberal” scholars of “compromising” on the authority or veracity of scripture, even when that may not be the case. One can differ about interpretations without denying the claim of inspiration.

        In any case, views about “inerrancy” don’t fall neatly along denominational lines, but rather vary according to seminaries and scholarly bias. I could name denominations that are typically Fundamentalist, but the list is too long and it wouldn’t take into account the exceptions within those bodies.

  3. Re: assumptions, justification, etc. Dubious assumptions? Not at all. The current administration is simply using the irs as a political weapon by which to force acceptance of its bread and circus program to buy votes of supporters for future election cycles. Of course the administration grants exemptions for its supporters so that they will not have to put out the money that will be extracted from the paychecks of other working class Americans. So what if they are the ones being cut to 30 hour work weeks… so that they will not be full-time. It’s all good for the administration. And when it comes to this socialization of healthcare in the U.S., the sole concern of the administration is what is good for the administration … and the party.

    As to communist, etc., no one has ever said that liberals are all communist. Some are marxist.

    The current administration nor its political party can not in any way be said to be acting “for the least of these…” from any basis in Scripture. At no time period have they ever stated that they are acting on behalf of anyone… except their own political interest. That is all.

    • Bread and circuses? Not sure there is a direct comparison here. I understand the reference and the inference, but not the intention. Seems too easy a comparison with too many bad assumptions of history as well as bad assumptions of what the ACA is about.

      • “Bread and circuses?” The comparison is both direct and precise. There never was a war on poverty. There was a war on the family, marriage, personal responsibility. Sadly, America lost. Now our children and grand children live with the consequences. For those who used the bread and circuses to advance their hostile social and political agenda now leave the bill to be paid by other people… our children and our grand children. The current nationalization of healthcare in the U.S. by the democrats is an excellent example. Exemptions are given to friends and supporters of the administration and its democrat party. Meantime, everyone else is required to pony up and pay up so that the administration can buy votes for the next election cycle. And… once the subsidies for the cost of healthcare are eliminated, those who thought they were getting something for almost nothing will wake up to the unhappy realization that all they go was the sharp end of a democrat stick. After all… if this nationalization of healthcare is so good… why is not the administration and its democrat supporters part of it? Why do they vote for themselves a gold plated program… why do they give exemptions to inside the beltway political supporters, staff, etc. b/c it would work on them a financial hardship? But, these same exemptions are not made available to average Americans? Perhaps they are the “other people” who are deemed worthy to shoulder the burden of paying? Or, perhaps it’s because they have to pay for the bread and circuses… that are used to buy the votes that will keep those in office who are so good at spending these “other people’s money.”

  4. Btw, Morgan–when I was commenting on this post yesterday I forgot to thank you for performing a valuable public service. If there is any way you could get an interview on a major news network–say, MSNBC–to discuss this topic, please try! Christian Dominionism has flown way too far under the radar for way too long.

    • Makes me wish “The Newsroom” wasn’t fiction; Will McAvoy and Mackenzie McHale would be all over this story, but I’m dubious that any of our real-life news programs will cover it, even on MSNBC.

      • During the past few years, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Lawrence O’donnell have very tangentially dealt with the issue of Christian Dominionism–the subject is never tackled head-on and at length. With the exception of various on line news sources and blogs, media seem to avoid this subject like the proverbial plague. Given that the stated political goals of the Christian Dominionist/Christian Nationalist movement amount to out-and-out treason, I’m puzzled by this avoidance. If only Frank Schaeffer owned a TV station!!!

  5. A pretty sick theology if you ask me. If God and Jesus are all powerful (and I beleive they are), what do they need with the constructs of money transfer, etc that our history and cultures have superimposed on this world?? It will be a NEW Heavens and a NEW earth at the Second Coming and to me, at least, that means that all this old stuff we have fantasized and forced into “reality” will likely disappear and something much and profoundly better will take its place. This Christian Dominionism is just a sad, sad attempt to make some ill-begotten theology work that even God, in His wisdom, will cast into outer darkness along with those who deceived others into believing such less than Biblical nonsense. Christian Dominionism is Satan working human nature at its weakest.

    • And we’ve got JR Rushdoony and his Tome’ on “Theonomy” to thank for this.I am a Preacher’s daughter(now atheist) but I’ve got over 30 years of extensive theological training and I tell people,if they really want to see what The “Anti-Christ” looks like,make a Dominionist look in the mirror.They are to Christianity what the Muslim Taliban is to Islam.and BOTH extremist terrorist Cells MUST be rooted OUT of society.what Dominionists want for America and the world at large is what has been happening in The Middle East.Who do think MADE the Muslim Taliban &is responsible for all the Civil war,unrest,Poverty Misery and Violence worldwide?They’ve been playing”Devil’s Chess” with Countries since 1953 via The MIC,IMF&Worldbank,funneling their dark money through evangelists like Pat Robertson??,They want non-stop sectarian violence,and a worldwide scene straight out of Revelations.Over my dead body and that of all the good people of whatever faith they may be.These terrorists must be stopped AND NOW by ANY means possible…

      • Thank you for your comment. I am not as profound a Christian as perhaps I should be, but I have studied the Bible more than most folks would expect. I do appreciate, however the insights I find on these pages and the insightful folks who congregate here, even if I may not always agree on every jot and tittle. You have respect, and I sense humility, and those are two of the most fundamental things I think my years of Biblical study have taught me. I am no scholar, but I do appreciate a good and challenging Rabbi. Thank you!

  6. I’ve been intensively researching the Christian Dominionist/Christian Reconsructionist/New Apostolic Reformation movement ever since watching Rachel Maddow interview Jeffrey Sharlit (“C Street”, “The Family”) in 2008, during the election season. The more I learn about these people, the more I realize how truly evil and dangerous they are. The movement’s leaders’ real goal is to use the rationale of bringing the US, and then the world, to Christ as a cover for accumulating power and wealth for themselves.

    Everything I learn about Christian Dominionism reinforces my belief in Sinclair Lewis’ prescience. In 1935 he wrote a terrifying and all too believable novel called “It Can’t Happen Here”. His book contains this unforgettable line:

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    My friends, believe me when I say this–WE IGNORE MR. LEWIS’ WORDS AT OUR PERIL!

  7. This writer is spot on. These people are behind the theocracy now movement and sponsored most of the R canidates the last time around.German Nationalism(also claimed to be Christian) also claimed to be removing the property of the ungodly. It is about politics and greed and NOT ABOUT CHRIST.

  8. What’s really depressing is how easily these preachers make inroads simply by exploiting an ignorance of history. David Barton’s interpretation of the colonial/revolutionary period is singularly self-serving. That man definitely wants a theocracy, and the people who use his cherry-picked history want it as well. Someone needs to ask the theocratic architects what the country will actually look like when they get their way. After all, if Republicans can’t even agree on whether to shut down the government, and are openly picking eachother apart, how can they decide which “brand” of Chritianity to install at the head of a country with so many different religions, let alone denominations? Someone should ask them about the real history of “wall of separation”, because Jefferson was NOT the first to say it.

  9. My Franciscan friend says whenever we get to feeling defensive we should recognize we are slipping back into our small selves and out of our true selves in Christ.

    I think about that because reading about the Cruz’s and their friends gets my hackles up, too. And as far as truth-telling goes, Obamacare is so far from what a socialist would do! I am a socialist and I can tell you he isn’t one.

    But I voted for him anyway. I still can’t even believe that Obama even won the election. I have to keep reminding myself how worried I was about all the money they spent and the gerrymandering and the attempts to keep citizens from voting. How did he win? He won because God is not static. People as a whole are getting smarter, not dumber.

    I am confident that the Republican Party has reached the end of its historic role. Now all it can to is make things worse. And that always comes out in the end. I’m talking Historic Dustbin time.

    I think God is improving us with time. Don’t you?

    • Bless you for your inspiring optimism–I pray that you are right! As a part of becoming increasingly smarter, we need to become increasingly vigilant and aware. The pro-theocracy forces are insidious and will never stop trying to accomplish their nefarious ends. Eternal vigilance will never cease to be a condition of maintaining all of our liberties, especially religious.

  10. Don’t you remember when Jesus said “For you know not the day nor hour of my return, but it’s pretty much going to be right after you gain a monopoly on the marketplace.”?

  11. Utterly sickened by these impostors who claim the name of Christ yet promote exactly the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what Christ taught. And it saddens me how many are being led astray by the right-wing in the name of Christianity. I had been in a fundamentalist church, but it began to become clearer and clearer that their teachings were wrong. Radically wrong. I pray The Lord would open the eyes of those who are deluded by this false teaching. Talk about “anti-Christ.” Saddened, sickened, yet not surprised.

  12. Fascinating article, but I’d like to see more evidence of a connection between Ted Cruz’s theology and that of his father. Children don’t always agree with their parents. Ted might be doing similar things for different reasons.

  13. Pingback: A Dearth of Liberal Conspiracies | The Discerning Christian

  14. Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist is as politically vicious as calling Barrack Obama a Muslim Socialist. Just maybe like Ted Cruz believes, like you, believes he should be salt and light. Time to head to the library and dust off a copy of of H.R. Neibuhr’s 1951 book “Christ and Culture” so left wing and right wing Christian fundamentalists don’t grow hoarse from screaming charges at one another. Cruz’s approach is the old fashioned evangelical Christian model of Christ transforming culture. As any political system is captive of original sin, However, it also exhibits the deep effects of sin. Christians are thus called to transform and reform in the name of Christ. President Obama, as a liberal Protestant par excellence, seems to hold to the model of Christ of culture. The government has concretized love of neighbor through social welfare programs. Sooner or later (and this is why liberal Protestantism is fading away) why bother with the church when ones membership in really does the same thing without having to sing hymns.

    • Rafael Cruz calls HIMSELF a Christian dominionist (see the video of his sermon at about 1:02 when he starts, “For the past several years, Pastor Larry, Dr. John Binkley, and myself have shared the message of dominion in churches here, in Mexico, and central America… When people receive the revelation of this anointing as kings, we have seen dramatic transformation and we have seen the people of God truly get out of the walls of the church and begin to occupy the land”). The organization most responsible for the government shutdown, Heritage Action, has been using him as their keynote speaker for the past several months. I believe that the church should be doing a lot more than it is and the state should be doing less. I just think it’s reckless to shut the government down to force the issue. I suppose if they crash the entire economy, then we will be forced to love our neighbor because everyone will be in a desperate situation, but I’m concerned that Christians will find that we don’t have the high-minded ideals that we claim to have.

      • I agree the shut down is bad politics and shows the need for a remedial course in eighth grade civics. Yet, you go too far. The scurrilous charge of dominionism isn’t what charismatic Christians, like the senator’s father, Kenneth Copeland, or Benny Hinn, mean by taking dominion. While this strange brew of half baked Biblical proof texting is alien to me as an Anglo-Catholic Methodist, we aren’t looking at a plot to create a theocracy in the USA. I grow weary of politicized preachers lambasting one another in the name truth and light. At other times, I have heard right wing fundamentalists rip Jim Wallis with a different whip but cut from the same hide.

        • I’m just taking quotes from his sermon and interpreting them. Dominionism is whatever Rafael Cruz himself defines it as.

    • Steve,
      I have quite figured out how to respond to your thoughts, especially since someone just asked me, in essence, what the relationship between politics and servanthood was.
      And here you are using the terms conservative and liberal in conjunction with belief.
      What bothers me most of all is that those who call themselves conservative Christians offer very little in the way of an alternative. Let’s assume for the moment that the government should stay out of the healthcare business – what are the alternatives? What is the Christian response?
      By the way, I don’t think that being a member of achieves the same goals as being a member of a church, if for no other reason that doing good in and of itself does get you anywhere important. And I know too many churches today that argue about the hymns we sing so maybe we should go to a MoveOn meeting. 🙂

    • The goals of Christian Dominionism extend far beyond transforming culture–the movement aspires to complete political, economic, social, and, exclusively religious, domination. Read Rousas J. Rushdoony’s “Institutes of Biblical Law”. Christian Dominionists in the US aspire to nothing less than the overthrow of our constitutionally-based democratic republic and its replacement with a theocracy governed by biblical Mosaic Law. In other words, their stated goal is to commit treason, pure and simple.

  15. Excellent analysis and insights. Too bad the whole thing is so depressing. I am tempted to throw my hands up in the air and shout, “How can people be so stupid” but that’s not a very helpful response in any way.

  16. I have never understood how one can be a Christian and conservative. It is so counter-intuitive. But, if you understand that God is your servant and that He will do whatever it is that you want, then I guess it makes sense.

    The sad news is that many people buy into this type of thinking and don’t bother see the contradictions.

    But then we have to explain why Jesus wants us to be the servants, why he called upon us to serve the people.

    The more I hear from such individuals the more I know that they are not Christian.

    • What does political views do with being a servant? If you have the heart of a servant you would serve no matter what the political view. No political party will make you more/less a servant.

      • Jeff,
        You will get no argument from me when it comes to being a servant and that doing so is politically independent. But why is it that so many conservatives call themselves Christian but then act against the Gospel. Right now, people are turning away from Jesus because so many politicians (on both sides of the spectrum) invoke God in their words but their actions belie their words. It is almost as if the Pharisees who worked against Christ have come back from the dead as well.

        • If your faith is dependent on a politician then you are foolish. Both sides always invoke God to win over evangelicals. It’s not shocking at all that they turn out to not be genuine.

          So do conservatives call themselves Christian and act against the gospel? ABSOLUTELY! They are just like anyone else. Guess what? Liberals do it too.

          It’s easy to find the spec in someone else’s eye and miss the log in our own.

          • Jeff, Dr. Tony–dudes! You’ve lost the point of Morgan’s Post–he’s pointing out the very real and specific danger that the Christian Dominionist worldview, as insidiously furthered by its conservative political proponents, poses for our nation’s form of government and our secular, democratic way of life.

    • If one finds it difficult to understand how someone can be Christian and a social/political conservative, take heart! Many find it challenging to understand how anyone can be Christian and and at the same time a social/political liberal. Those who style conservative Christians as shams all to often are simply intolerant of Christians who are not good liberals.

      • There are two sides to the Great Commandment: love God and love your neighbor. American politics divides the two between conservatives and liberals. We need both.

        • I’m having a hard time figuring out on which side of God’s great commandment some conservatives are on. Isn’t our love of God shown through the words and actions we employ when showing love of our neighbor? Granted, this is a very big issue–entire philosophical/theological tomes have been written on the subject. However, as a general rule, I suspect that love of God and love of neighbor pretty much go hand in hand. And, at the risk of sounding rather uncharitable, I would say that the ideological conservatism–especially when espoused by so-called religious leaders–which supports Paul Ryan’s iteration of a federal budget and which opposes affordable and accessible healthcare for many more Americans shows little or no love of God.

          I don’t wish to tar all conservatives with the same brush, of course–there are those whose love of God shines through their concern for humanity. But, at this point in time, the power-hungry ranting ideologues seem to be running the conservative show.

          • Whose side is God on? He is not on the side of a political party that promises free healthcare as the equivalent of bread and circuses by which to buy votes. And that is all that the current administration is doing.

          • Your somewhat defensive response rests on two assumptions of dubious merit. First of all, the vast majority of the health care insured under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not be free. Secondly, you have about as much justification to assume that all liberal support for the ACA is motivated by a desire to pander for votes as I would have to assume that all conservatives would oppose it because they are mean-spirited, selfish and terrified by the Communists that they all know are hiding under their beds. If you happened to notice, I was very careful not to generalize about “all” conservatives.

            As far as the question of whose side God is on is concerned, I strongly suspect He’s hanging out with the people who can remember what He said about, “Whatsoever you do for the least of these . . . . “.

          • God is on neither side of political parties as neither acts Christlike. Healthcare and other issue are purely secular. In a perfect world, and we know that is not the case, the church would be at the forefront to help people. But it is not a perfect world and the church can only do so much, so we need government to help those in need.

      • A very good observation. We have to, IMO, deal with folks we encounter as people first. Most everything else seems layered upon us by life and experiences, including our politics. There are more essential things we need to know about others than their political persuasions.

  17. One of the most terrifying moments of my life was when I finally realized that a significant number of self-identified Christians (and probably a majority of right wing Christians) actually worshiped Satan but had deluded themselves into believe that Satan’s message was actually Christ’s.

      • Hmm… I’m just sharing for your own discernment what Rafael Cruz is preaching about. You can make your own conclusions about whether this is a legitimate use of the Bible.

        • I’m talking about the comment by Citizen Alan, not the article. Too simplistic of thinking. I seriously doubt God is on either side of our political wars since we are fighting them out of our own pride. By saying “the other side” worships Satan it puts us in the “truth” and puffs ourselves up.

          • Got it. One thing that’s obnoxious about my wordpress app is it won’t tell me what people are responding to. Grrr! Thanks for sharing.

          • And here is wisdom. In my Baptist days, I was once pastor to the Gore family. I spent much time and energy defending him from vile political attacks on his faith. While my position on the unborn and homosexuality were and are well known, I was told that I was under God’s judgement for pastoring a baby killer. I still have the hate mail. What I fought against then I still resist now. I have also defended President Obama [I voted for McCain and Romney] from guilt by association and sanctimonious moralizing over the Reverend Wright’s frankly peculiar sermons. I expect hard ball politics from Glen Beck but not from fellow pastors. This smear against Ted Cruz comes from the same well of guilt by association. Like Glen Beck we are now claiming a window not on Barrak Obama’s but on Ted Cruz’s soul based on his father’s frankly peculiar sermon. Whether from the right and left wing fundamentalist bile still corrodes the body.

            Please have a cool head and a warm heart in terms of political matters, since God desires mercy not sacrifice.

          • With respect, it sounds like apples and oranges to me. Christian dominionism is a radical way of understanding the relationship of the church to the polis. It is a label that Rafael Cruz self-identifies with. I tried to reword what I wrote to make it clear that a journey I began with Ted Cruz does not speak to Ted Cruz’s theology so much as to his father’s. Rafael incidentally gave these speeches on a tour organized by Heritage Action. I do believe that the church should have a much larger role than it does in taking care of people. But I don’t think that sabotaging the federal government in order to completely shift that responsibility overnight is the way to accomplish that.

          • Ted Cruz is a “Dominionist” in the same way that Barack H. Obama is a “Black liberationist”. These rotten apples and oranges all come from Jeremiah’s fruit basket.

          • Right. I’m not claiming Ted Cruz is a dominionist, though it wouldn’t surprise me if his theology was pretty much the same as his dad; they do a lot of talks together. Ted Cruz was just my starting point for looking into this issue. His dad is the preacher. But it is legitimate to make a connection between his dad and Heritage Action which is the catalyst for the government shutdown since they’ve been organizing his speaking tour.

    • You are correct. Many people do not realize that the Ancient languages contained several meanings per word.To teach the masses the simplest meanings were taught, but not the others.Today many are convinced that they fully understand the Bible even though they are clueless as to the social environment of the life and times of Christ. Many verses do not mean exactly what people think. Then you have later “scholars” paid by the Church to rewrite some passages to make the dogma fit…..If you start comparing Bibles and listen to the Rabbis you will discover radically different meanings within one simple passage. Thus many are making up “Bible” interpertations without any real credentials, and putting out a “fresh out pouring” of what they call the Holy Spirit, but what most of us would reconginze as baloney.In some cases the “meanings” attributed are directly OPPOSITE of what Christ modeled and taught. It does make one wonder if the so called Anti-Christ is not alive and well WITHIN some Churches….

  18. Pingback: What the shutdown means: Unnecessary pain.

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