On Dominion Theology


“… Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB77)
Through out my years in the charismatic renewal movement and in the circles of the “full gospel” churches, I learned of an emerging philosophy, sort of a newly constructed theology, if you will, called “dominion theology.” The idea goes something like this; it is based on the Old Testament covenant promise to Israel that the “wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous.” It is also based upon the account in Genesis that God gave dominion to Adam over all the earth. The idea often conveyed in the preaching is that Christians have the “God-given” right to wealth and prosperity, even if it means taking it, and taking it from others.
Recently, I have been in two different minor business transactions with other people who indicated that they were believers, and most probably fundamentalists in their theology. Now, whether they actually hold to dominion theology or not I have not a clue. But my experience with both of them got me to thinking about why we as Christians would treat one another the way we do, and then about how I have observed some in the past who have treated nonbelievers the way they did. My suspicions are that there may some of the dominion theology at play. I hope not.
You see, this theology is, in my opinion, is in direct opposition to what Jesus really taught. One of the first principles I learned about the Old Testament is that it should always be interpreted in light of the New Covenant. Jesus came to reveal the answer to God’s dealing with Israel in the old, and to fulfill the meaning of the lessons of the Old. Christ also exposed new revelation on the Old Testament, amended that covenant, and outright changed many of its precepts and concepts. However, the prosperity and dominion theology proponents of today insist on bringing back concepts of the Old Covenant that just do not fly in the face of the Gospel.
The insistence that one can take dominion over property or cash that belongs to someone else, just because one thinks that the person is evil, is indeed misled. I do not believe it is in our providence to judge the hearts of other people, or where they may be on their own journey in life. They may not be living for Christ, but that does not mean they never will. In fact, how do we know that a person might not be on the brink of some spiritual awakening, just to have a “Christian” insult them, or use them in a business transaction, and then drive them further away from the light? For a Christian leader to insist that it is OK for other Christians to take advantage of others for the sake of the kingdom, or their own personal gain directly opposes the words of Jesus who said “do to others as you would have them to unto you…” and “if you have done unto the least one of these, you have done it unto Me as well.”
I think it best if our brothers and sisters of the dominion clan could lay down this mistaken path, and perhaps adapt another, the one called “surrender theology.” The one calls us all to give into the mercy and compassion of our loving Father, and to convey that eternal love to the lost world; To bring light and life to all, and to give and not take.
“If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:1ff NASB

About Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Disciple of Jesus Christ with a Progressive Message, Author, Franciscan Friar, Musician, Social Activist, and Urban Missionary View all posts by Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

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