In an ongoing series I've posted, we started with an exploration of coercive tactics within dominionism, including direct comparisons
of "deliverance ministry" and Scientology, and continuing the comparison featuring a look at the Joel's Army movement
Today, we get to focus on just how deeply rooted dominionism is in these movements, and how long dominion theology and dominionist tactics have been used--and both the depth of the links and the length of time this has gone on will likely suprise even people who have been aware of some of the early history of dominionism.
Dominionism, or more properly, what Chip Berlet recently termed "Christian Nationalism" and what in the pentecostal and charismatic communities is alternatively referred to as "Kingdom Now Theology", "Dominion Theology", or "Restoration Theology" (yes, as in the Ohio and Texas Restoration Movements) has a bit of a complex history within the pentecostal community. However, it's an integral part of the theology of much of pentecostalism at this point, has been to greater or lesser extent a major part since at least the thirties and in some extent since the beginnings of pentecostalism, so it's important to understand--if, in part, to learn how even mainstream churches are being affected.
There are five major periods in time that I've identified specific influences in dominionism among pentecostals:
a) Some of the backgrounder (i.e. the belief they are an Elect, the whole Rapture thing, etc.) stem from the birth of pentecostalism itself in 1902 and even with predecessors of pentecostalism, in particular, with aspects of the Holiness and British Israelism movement (the latter also spawned Christian Identity).
Specifically, Pentecostalism itself is a descendant of the "Holiness Movement" in Protestant churches in the 1800's, and whilst most historians define two periods of "pentecostalism" of which "neo-Pentecostals" are the second main flavour, I'm not sure this is such a valid distinction--seeing as "neo-Pentecostalism" actually is descended from movements within "old school" pentecostalism.
The "Holiness Movement" was a movement within the Methodist church that aimed at "church reformation"--in fact, the principle of "baptism in the Holy Ghost", which is typically seen as the solitary proof one is a "true Christian" in those groups, started within Holiness. The pentecostal movement itself started out as a split from Methodism--starting in 1901, a large revival broke out at a church called the Azusa Street Mission, and the controversy over whether the "speaking in tongues" and other "signs and manifestations" were signs of demonisation or "God's Outpouring" ended up in the split between pentecostals and the Methodist Church.
In fact, much of the theology that was the basis of the "five-fold ministry" (remember that term--it becomes important later) was around as early as the 1830's.
The idea of "rapture" common in premillenarian dispensationalist dominionist groups (of which the majority of pentecostal groups supporting "dominion theology" tend to follow, and certainly most "Christian Nationalists" in the pentecostal movement) is also quite recent, Biblically speaking. DefCon America has done a good writeup on the subject, but here I'll refer to the specific sources that the DefCon America article used. John Darby was the originator of the "rapture theology" back in the early 1800s, and much of his theology is actually the basis of beliefs within the pentecostal flavours of dominionism:
Inspiration and Infallibility of Scripture Darby was unswerving in his belief that the Bible was the inspired, infallible Word of God, absolutely authoritative and faithfully transmitted from the original autographs. If the world itself were to disappear and be annihilated, asserts Darby, "and the word of God alone remained as an invisible thread over the abyss, my soul would trust in it. After deep exercise of soul I was brought by grace to feel I could entirely. I never found it fail me since. I have often failed; but I never found it failed me."
Once questioned as to whether he might not allow that some parts of the New Testament may have had only temporary significance, Darby retorted, "'No! every word, depend upon it, is from the Spirit and is for eternal service!'" Darby felt compelled to affirm his fidelity to the Word of God because "In these days especially . . . the authority of His written word is called in question on every side . . . "
Deity and Virgin Birth of Christ On the deity of Christ, Darby is no less compromising than he is on the place of Scripturein the believer's life. "The great truth of the divinity of Jesus, that He is God," says Darby, "is written all through scripture with a sunbeam, but written to faith. I cannot hesitate in seeing the Son, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the First and the Last, Alpha and Omega, and thus it shines all through. But He fills all things, and His manhood, true, proper manhood, as true, proper Godhead, is as precious to me, and makes me know God, and so indeed only as the other, He is 'the true God and eternal life.'" If Christ is not God, concludes Darby, then "I do not know Him, have not met Him, nor know what He is." As one of the truths connected with the person and work of Christ, Darby cites the "miraculous birth of the Saviour, who was absolutely without sin . . ."
Substitutionary Atonement Just as the doctrine of the deity of Christ is written all through the Bible, Darby maintains that the propitiation secured by the sacrificial death of Christ "is a doctrine interwoven with all Scripture, forms one of the bases of Christianity, is the sole ground of remission--and there is none without shedding blood--and that by which Christ has made peace; Col. 1:20."
Darby is convinced that without the atoning work of Christ, man must bear the guilt of his sin, and remain at a distance from God without knowledge of Him or of His love. But thankfully that is not the case, for as Darby points out, "There is death in substitution--He 'bore our sins in his own body on the tree'--'died for our sins according to the scriptures' . .."
Resurrection of Christ For Darby, "the Person of Christ regarded as risen," is the pivot around which "all the truths found in the word revolve." "Many have, perhaps, been able, in looking at the Church's hope in Christ," says Darby, "to see the importance of the doctrine of the resurrection. But the more we search the Scriptures, the more we perceive, in this doctrine, the fundamental truth of the gospel--that truth which gives to redemption its character, and to all other truths their real power." It is the victory of Christ over death which gives the certainty of salvation. It is the resurrection, asserts Darby, which "leaves behind, in the tomb, all that could condemn us, and ushers the Lord into that new world of which he is the perfection, the Head, and the glory." Consequently, this doctrine characterized apostolic preaching.
Return of Christ Darby believed that it was essential that the church have a right hope. That hope he understood to be the second coming of Christ. At his coming, Darby maintained, Christ would take the saints to glory with Him, to become the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
The combination of these two ideas in the crucible of pentecostalism led to the following--that pentecostals (and later dominionists) generally believe they are the first group since the early church of the Apostles to have actually gotten things right (and are proven so by speaking in tongues and "signs and wonders") but are also expressly an elect of God.
This becomes very important in later developments.
At least one source discussing dominionism even ties it to earlier theocratic movements.
b) Many of the coercive tactics were solidified in the very early years of pentecostalism, in particular, the concept of deliverance ministry. To give an idea of how long this has taken place, Aimee Semple McPherson (who is regarded as the world's first radio preacher; she was associated with the AoG and may have faked her own kidnapping) was preaching some aspects of deliverance ministry all the way back in the mid-1910s when she started her radio preaching empire. (McPhereson is still promoted in Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International literature, is still held as a pioneer in the Assemblies proper, and ended up founding a "breakaway" group from the Assemblies--the International Foursquare Church--which was the first "radio" church. Interestingly, the AoG and Foursquare split over the issue of divorce--which came up because her own husband sued to divorce her on grounds of abandonment.)
The role of "radio preachers", and later televangelists, in the role of promoting dominionism has IMHO been underestimated. Aimee Semple McPherson as early as the twenties was setting some of the foundation for "word-faith" theology and dominionist speech:
With God, I can do all things! But with God and you, and the people who you can interest, by the grace of God, we're gonna cover the world!
It's for your good! You have no business being sick - everyone of you should get well and get up and go to work, huh? Get up and go to work and earn some money and help send the gospel out! Amen! If these dear students, bless their hearts, are called to struggle and strive and pinch pennies and make their way through school and go out and lay down their lives for Christ, then certainly it's no harder to ask us to get a good job and work at it, and not give a tenth, but give the whole business, except just what we need to keep ourselves alive. That's what they'll be doing out there - what's the difference? Am I right or wrong? I believe that I am! "Wist ye not I must be about my Father's business?!" THIS IS MY TASK!!
The same site details how even at this early date "sheep-stealing" among dominionist churches was seen as acceptable, as well as infiltrating mainstream churches:
I was so interested (in this radio program). I awakened the young lady at our house and I said, "Listen to this!" When Joanne came, it came to the part about the nuns even waving their hands and the people all cheering, I told of an experience of mine in Illinois where we were in a Foursquare church that had just been opened and the power was falling. Right next door to us was a convent. The sisters became so interested in the shouting and people praising the Lord, that they came over to see what it was all about. They had such sweet faces - in these black and white headgear. People had been falling under the power of God! Just going down under God's power all around. Do you know, that God's power struck them and they went down just the same way! Under the power of God! By and by, the Mother Superior came in to see what had happened to their daughters, and the power of God struck her. Why, we're all the same! I mean, we all have a heart, we all have tears, we all have sins, we all need a Savior, we all need the blood, and every one of us can work for Jesus. Whether we go across the ocean or whether we stay at home, this is our task. Lord, make us soul-winners, every one of us.
The beginnings of "stealth evangelism" also are present even at this early date:
Mark 16:15 (says), "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature!" And if you're ushers, orderly, prayer tower, band, teachers, employees, members - get your uniforms on! Oh, let's all shine where we are!
And here, too, high demand to be blatant regarding one's demand that everyone
"convert or else" shows up even at this early date:
I heard a story this week of a man who wanted a gardener. He advertised and his friend sent a beautiful recommendation concerning a certain man and he said, "He's just a wonderful gardener!" He said, "He's capable of planting a kitchen garden. He's capable of nursing bulbs and bringing them up to fruition. He has the infinite patience of a gardener. He's able to put in a formal garden, and old-fashioned garden." The man began to say, "My that's just the man I want!" He came to the end of the page, turned it over and there were just three words there: "But he won't."
This man could do it, but he wouldn't. My, how many people are here that could pray in that Prayer Tower, but they won't? They could fill the last row in the choir, but they won't! They'd rather sit out there and see. They could be in the illustrated sermons, but they won't. They could be an usher, but they won't. They could fill-up the orchestra, but they won't. They could join the new club I'm talking about, "I Am Sending," but they won't. You say, "What is that club?" It's to pay $35.00 every six months or even one semester; to pay the tuition of a student through school, but they won't. They could draw from the bank if they had to - a good many people could do that - and buy one short-wave radio station, and say, "Sister, go to it! If you have this, this desire in your heart, God bless you and, more power behind you and prayers." But they won't.
Much, if not most, of the support for dominionism within the pentecostal and charismatic movement is based on support from televangelists and the "travelling pastor circuit" as I'll note further in this essay.
Lest people doubt this was just a radio phenomenon, the first major victory for "proto-dominionist" groups in the pentecostal movement as well as among Southern Baptists was none less than legal prohibition of alcohol. It was not until the 1930's--with the Depression and a crime wave directly related to bootlegging--that the constitutional amendment was reversed. Some of the major supporters of Prohibition were the very same denominations that now are backing dominionism. We forget the lessons of Prohibition at our peril.
In fact, Aimee Semple McPherson can in fact be blamed for one of the first political campaigns in which televangelists and the dominionist movement attempted to smear a candidate. Specifically, Aimee attempted to literally call a non-dominionist candidate a "closet Communist" during a 1930's radio campaign:
Religious Right broadcasters long ago learned an important lesson: Repeat almost anything often enough and many people will believe you -- even if it leads them to act against their own interests. Starting with radio evangelism in the 1930s, media-evangelists have perfected the use of each new technology to influence elections and legislation, hammering home reactionary theology with the clear aim of gaining political power.
Aimee Semple McPherson pioneered the approach in the 1930s on a powerful Los Angeles' radio station. Broadcasting from her "temple," McPherson styled herself a modern-day Joan of Arc in a titanic struggle against communism. Her crusade reached the boiling point in 1934 during the insurgent Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Upton Sinclair. The socialist author had pledged to "end poverty in California," but the evangelist, in an alliance with Republican leaders, Hollywood propagandists and political consultants, redefined the race in apocalyptic terms.
"Someone has cast in the poison herb," she bellowed on the Sunday before Election Day, "and if we eat thereof we shall all perish and the glory of our nation as it has stood through the years shall perish with us." At first the front runner in an era of mass unemployment and hard times, Sinclair had become the target of the nation's first "media campaign," and ultimately lost by 200,000 votes. McPherson had seized on growing fears of revolution, convincing her flock -- many of them poor -- that the real enemy was satanic communism and its Democratic messenger.
I'm not the only one to have seen this, either--Ronald Reagan
listed her as a major influence in anticommunist speech, and other researchers have noted this as well.
Interestingly, Herbert Hoover himself was largely elected due to promotion by radio preachers as an anticommunist--and even he ended up passing the Communications Act of 1934 due to dominionist radio preachers going all over the dial and interfering with other licensed stations. (One of the worst offenders was Aimee Semple McPherson herself, who broadcasted "at whatever frequency and power the Lord told her to use" and claimed she was not obliged to follow the government's "wave length nonsense"; Hoover actually investigated whether it was possible to shut her down but found he did not have the legal authority to do so under the Radio Act of 1912.)
By the 1940s, the situation had actually gotten so bad with radio-preachers (including the infamous Father Coughlin, who was actively supporting Nazis based on the fact that the Nazis were "anti-communist") that the four radio networks (NBC, the new ABC which had just split from NBC, CBS, and Mutual) issued broadcast guidelines heavily restricting the radio preachers (and in fact, NBC, CBS, and ABC had stopped selling time at all--Mutual was effectively the only radio network left for televangelists to buy time on); the radio preachers in turn founded the National Religious Broadcasters to essentially act as the 800 pound gorilla for the preachers.
At least one other sites notes that the roots of dominionism may go all the way back to the very founding of the pentecostal movement--pentecostalism is itself an outgrowth of a "Restoration" movement that occured in the Holiness churches in the late 1800s, and pentecostals generally see themselves as the "restoration" of the original church (aka everyone else has screwed it up before they came along and they're the first in 1900 years to get it right). This is also, likely, where the Ohio and Texas Restoration Movements get their name--the "father church" of the Restoration Movements and Vision America is a pentecostal-esque "independent charismatic" church in Ohio.
c) A great deal of the foundation for dominionism within the Assemblies and other pentecostal groups is the "word-faith" movement--aka "name it and claim it". Early word-faith preachers operated back in the 30's and 40's and "word-faith" teaching is pretty much the basis of nearly all modern televangelism and radio preaching.
As I've noted, Aimee Semple McPherson may well have been the first "name it and claim it" preacher on the airwaves--and was certainly one of the first radio preachers to have crossed the line to explicit political endorsement. She was followed by several others--in fact, this is one of the areas that is pretty much "core theology" in much of the Assemblies of God and other pente churches, and is viewable on pretty much any religious network.
The basis on how "name it and claim it" is less known among those who've never been involved in pentecostalism. In fact, "name it and claim it" is an extension of dominion theology, or rather, dominionism and "word-faith theology" have identical roots.
In the dispensational churches (including the pentecostal-flavoured dominionist groups) it's believed that God gave man dominion over the earth, but God (and man) lost dominion when Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It was with Jesus's death (and, in some variations, spending three days in hell literally either being tortured by or wrestling with the devil--more on this in a bit) that people finally regained the ability to gain dominion but the world outside of the True Church (in their eyes, the pentecostal and charismatic movements) is still literally Satanic.
This, in a word, is the root of the spiritual warfare theology that is practiced in dominionist churches within the pentecostal movement.
d) At around the same time, "latter rain" or "manifest Sons of God" theology arose at or around the same time; William Branham has been generally recognised as the "father" of that movement, and it dates all the way back into the 30's and 40's (notoriously, William Branham has been associated with the Ku Klux Klan--not uncommon in Indiana in that time period; Christian Identity groups including the Aryan Nations have also been known to use Branham's speeches in their literature). This sitehas some further info on Branham in regards to the latter-rain stuff; of note, Branham was quite influential in regards to the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, and in fact an FGBMFI newspaper from 1961 crows:
In Bible Days, there were men of God who were Prophets and Seers. But in all the Sacred Records, none of these had a greater ministry than that of William Branham, a Prophet and Seer of God.... Branham has been used by God, in the Name of Jesus, to raise the dead!
Latter-rain theology actually was so far out that even the Assemblies of God initially rejected it (in 1948), but due to the lack of practical enforcement in the church "latter rain" theology was still heavily promoted and mixed with "word-faith" theology.
(As an aside--and other have asked this, so I'll clarify: The AoG actually has two main groups of churches--one operated by the denomination itself in Springfield, and a much larger body of churches who are affiliated with the AoG but own their own properties, etc. Procedures for becoming an AoG preacher are incredibly lax compared to other churches (literally signing a statement of faith, getting a recommendation from another AoG preacher, and paying a fee), similar to those in Calvary Chapel or Vineyard (which skip the preacher recommendation step altogether--essentially becoming ordination mills). There is no vestry that they report to; generally the preacher is the head, and control goes from there to deacons, then to "cell church" heads, sometimes to "shepherds" of smaller cell churches, and so on--not unlike the setup in a typical pyramid scheme.)
(Dominionist churches in the neopentecostal movement, in general, have no effective oversight--the preacher's word tends to be law, and people who disagree generally are stuck unless a deacon is willing to form another church (and more often than not, they are usually kicked out of the church first and disfellowshipped). Many older neopente churches are effectively family-run, even the large megachurches. This is part of why spiritual abuse tends to be rife in these groups.)
Interestingly, "latter rain" has quite an early history in the pentecostal movement.
Per this link, many of the spiritually abusive tactics that existed in the AoG related to "latter rain" and word-faith and "spiritual warfare" teachings have a very early history.
e) One of the more interesting facets--and one of the most disturbing in its consequences--is a particular concept that Branham came up with and which has later been adopted by both the "spiritual warfare" neopentes and Christian Identity--the concept of "Serpent Seed" theology. Much of dominion theology takes symbolism from the concept of "British Israelism"--a belief popular in the 1800s that taught that the British, or white people in general, were the "ten lost tribes of Israel"; this article details more:
This Mercaba symbol of the ox, man, lion and eagle are the same symbols used for British Israel, George Jeffrey's Elim Movement, and Aimee Semple Mcpherson's Foursquare.
"...British-Israelism is a religious doctrine first elaborated in 19th century England as a justification for British colonialism. It claimed that the English Anglo-Saxons were one of the so-called "ten lost tribes of Israel," and that the British monarch was the direct descendant of "the throne of King David." In short, the British were "God's Chosen People." The British-Israel movement spread to Canada and the US at the turn of the century.... The Canadian British-Israel Association (CBIA), through its Internet website, sells a wide variety of white racist and anti-Jewish religious propaganda. At least 40 of its books are by Howard Rand and Destiny Publishers. Rand was the major figure in establishing British-Israelism in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s..."
British Israelism spawned the Christian Identity movement, which was incorporated in Los Angeles in 1948. Spawned from it are the Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations, The Christian Patriot branch, The Committee of the States, the Unorganized Militia and other white supremacy swill.
"...Wesley Swift's Church of Jesus Christ Christian was initially a racist sect which became Christian Identity. The central belief in Identity doctrine is the existence of two races on earth: a godly white race descended from Adam and a satanic race fathered by Satan. Swift, a Klan leader and preacher at Amy Semple McPherson's Foursquare Church in Los Angles, was never able to make much of a success out of his doctrine, but it attracted several people who became central to what was later named "Christian Identity": San Jacinto Capt, William Potter Gale and Richard Girnt Butler."
"Capt was a California Klan leader and a believer in British Israelism, a doctrine which holds that the Israelites of the Bible are not the Jews, but rather Aryan/Anglo-Saxons. Gale was a stock-broker and former Army officer who briefly served on Gen. MacArthur's staff in the Philippines. Gale in turn recruited Butler to Swift's church during the 1950's. In 1970, Swift died, triggering a dispute between Gale and Butler. Ultimately, Butler assumed control and moved the church to Idaho, where he renamed it Aryan Nations - Church of Jesus Christ Christian." 69.
Along with Charles Parham, William Branham, reportedly also KKK, taught the "two seed" theory.
* "Now remember, Satan's son was Cain..."
* "Now remember that Eve got pregnant by Satan, and in the same day..." 70.
The "two seed" theory can be found in a number of variations, however it, "...is the central tenet of Identity doctrine and the basic justification for Christian Patriots' racism and anti-Semitism. The essence of the "two seed" theory is that there are two races on earth: one godly and one satanic."
"According to the racist and anti-Semitic "two seed" theory, the white "Adamic" peoples descended from the union of Adam and Eve. But there was also another race beginning with Cain whose father was not Adam, but Satan -- who mated with Eve in the guise of a serpent. The descendants of Cain became known as the Jews. The Adamic peoples became the Aryans or Anglo-Saxons. The Pre-Adamic (non-white) races were not human at all, but descendants of the "beasts of the fields" described in Genesis, without souls and no more than cattle in the eyes of their Aryan betters. All three races could interbreed, but the non-Adamic blood acted like a poison to exterminate the Aryan race. In the eyes of white supremacists, race-mixing became a Satanic plot to exterminate God's chosen people, the white race."
"By the "two seed" theory, Jesus was not a Jew, but an Aryan. The Adamic (Aryan) people were the lost tribes of Israel, fled to northern Europe and later became the Christian nations. There are many corollaries to the "two seed" theory which provide justification for racists to claim God's favor..."71
(Yes, it may surprise you to learn that in fact Christian Identity descended
from dominionist churches. Frighteningly, it's true, though.)
Charles Fox Parnham (who in fact is regarded as one of the "founding fathers" of pentecostalism in general and the Assemblies of God in particular) and William Branham were both quite racist (Branham being an actual Klansman as noted above, and Parnham condemning the allowing of African-Americans at the original Azusa Revival which is credited with spawning the pentecostal movement--there is some evidence suggesting that Parnham may have also been a Klansman); however, the promotion of "Serpent Seeds" was originally aimed at people rejecting dominionism and being critical of it.
Christian Identity has run with the racist interpretation of this (claiming that all non-Anglo-Saxons are in fact part of the "Serpent Seed", which is precisely what the Church of Jesus Christ Christian did when it split from Foursquare); neopentecostal dominionists, particularly those into the "spiritual warfare" movements, have embraced the original concept of pretty much almost all non-dominionists (and especially critics of dominionism) being part of the "serpent seed" and thus literal sons of Satan. (This would end up being extremely influential especially in the case of the "Third Wave" pentecostals--"serpent seed" theology is part of the core theology of these groups, and in this light it's obvious how things like "Jesus Camp" and--more disturbingly--things like "Christian Patriot" militias are justified.)
f) "Latter rain" and "word-faith" theology combined in the 50's in the Assemblies of God traveling-preacher crucible to form what is now known as "Brownsville", "Toronto" or "Third Wave" theology which is a major basis for dominionism in that denomination. Again, we have an identifiable "origin"--in Paul Yonggi Cho (nee David Yonggi Cho), who also is head pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea (which is not only the largest Assemblies of God church in the world, but may be the largest Protestant chuch in the world--the main church itself holds about 18,000 people but if membership in the thousands of satellite churches throughout Korea is any judge membership is closer to a million). Yoido Full Gospel was founded literally only ten years after the AoG entered South Korea.
Cho originated some of the most coercive practices within the Assemblies of God (including the use of "prayer gangs" and prayer cells, the entire Brownsville thing, etc.); this, and the existing coercive tactics in the AoG and pentecostalism itself (including holding "men of God" as sacrosanct, the emphasis on Biblical literalism, etc.) combined with "manifest sons of God" theology (borrowed from the Oneness Pentecostals) and the existing "word-faith" theology in AoG churches combined in a deadly crucible to form the basis of "spiritual warfare" within that church.
Deception in the Church, a watchdog website following the "third wave" movement and more generally the word-faith and "latter rain" movements in pentecostalism, has more info on Cho specifically. This link has info on Cho and the "Third Wave" stuff (including specific mention of the dominionist church in Kentucky I walked away from, which was practicing "third wave" theology back in the 60's). I will also be doing a full series on Cho next week--as Cho is incredibly influential in dominionist circles (and very under-acknowledged as being one of the major sources of a lot of this garbage) it's important to know more info.
This expose notes the "Third Wave" origins from within the word-faith movement.
(A bit of explanation re this whole "third wave" stuff so I don't sound like I'm speaking Greek. Generally, pentecostal groups following this particular flavour of theology see three major "outpourings of the Holy Spirit"--the first being at Pentecost itself, the second being the beginning of the Pentecostal movement, and the third being placed generally anytime between the sixties to the eighties depending on when the "third wave" movement entered the church. (Some sources list the waves as starting with Azusa and the second and third waves being the "Charismatic" (actually, neopentecostal) movement and the Brownsville-esque "third wave" revivals.)
Much of the neopentecostal movement started during the early days of the "third wave" in pentecostal churches and is heavily influenced by this--Ted Haggard's New Life Church is a primary example of this, as are other dominionist megachurches that only identify as "independent charismatic". Rodney Howard-Browne especially popularised "Third Wave" stuff in the 80's (and is--incorrectly--attributed as the "inventor" of the Third Wave).
Regarding dominion theology in and of itself, at least practiced in dominionism:
This link notes a few names of note that haven't been already mentioned--Earl Paulk, Kenneth Copeland (who is a major televangelist), and Ed Silvoso. Kenneth Copeland is a major televangelist; the other two are best known in the "travelling preacher" circuit. The same link details some of the decidedly peculiar (in comparison with, say, mainstream Christianity) beliefs in "Restoration Theology":
Using Earl Paulk's words as his primary point of reference, Robert M. Bowman, Jr. has written about Kingdom Now / Dominion teaching. In the process he has given us a condensed summary of the Kingdom / Dominion ideology. Remember, current SW practice finds its conceptual home in this setting. Bowman writes:
"In the very beginning God created the universe and populated it with spirits (or angels) who lived in perfect obedience to Him. However, a third of these angels, led by Lucifer, rebelled against God's authority; becoming the demons... The angelic rebellion occurred in a "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The result was that the earth, which was the "capital city" or headquarters of the demonic Evil Empire, was brought into chaos and made formless and void (Gen. 1:2). In order to win back unchallenged dominion over the universe, God introduced into the earth, Man, a race of creatures which God intended to become a resistance movement that would conquer the Devil's home planet and thus lead the way in taking back dominion over the entire universe. Man was to be a race of "little gods," exercising divine sovereignty ... thus overwhelming the devil's forces. Unfortunately the father of this race was tricked by the devil into forfeiting Man's place in this plan and actually brought God's first plan to naught. God was then forced to come up with a "Plan B" to take dominion over the earth. His solution: to introduce into this fallen race a man in whom the divine nature dwelled fully, who would become the prototype of a new race of human beings in which the original godhood of Adam was restored. This divine Man was Jesus Christ, a perfect manifestation of God, the Father, and the "first fruit" of the "incarnation of God." This race of "little gods" who are spiritually united with Christ as members of His "body" is the church, constituting collectively with Him the complete incarnation, a corporate manifestation of God in the flesh, which together will overcome the devil and restore God's dominion unchallenged on the earth. Ultimate victory over the devil, then, depends finally upon the church accepting the calling to be little gods. It further depends on the church's submitting to the fivefold ministry through whom God is seeking to mobilize the church into a unified army prepared to take dominion back from the devil."
As stated above, Adam was tricked out of his real identity. Kermedi Copeland states, "After Adam had given it away, God didn't have any more authority here." Ed Silvoso echoes: "Because Adam, God's deputy on earth, transsferred his legal dominion to Satan, God became obligated to recognize Satan's legal standing."
According to Copeland, Pauk and Silvoso, God's authority was terminated on planet earth and he was now on the outside looking in. Jesus' death and resurrection was an attempt to regain from Satan what Adam had transferred to him. It was an attempt to reclaim legal authority over the earth, authority which Adam had forfeited. In what is called "identification teaching" some spiritual warfare enthusiasts teach that after Jesus' death He descended into hell, was attacked by Satan, and became a sinner. But God raised him from the dead and Jesus was "bom again." He became the first bom-again man and the prototype or "pattern son" for all born-again believers. Believers are meant to partake of the same power and authority as Jesus and, with this endowment, reclaim the earth and the heavenlies through spiritual warfare. But the Church, like Adam, botched the plan because of its unbelief and ignorance. Finally, now at the end of the age, in the time of the Latter Rain (since the 1950's), the Church has been given new prophets and apostles to lead the church to establish God's lost rule in the earth. Using Spiritual Warfare techniques and tactics, the Church will take whole cities and nations for God and will at long last take control of the heavenlies, having cast Satan down.
Ed Silvoso writes: "The Church now has been placed potentially in the control of the heavenly places once ruled by the prince of the power of the air. But this reconstituted church must engage and defeat the enemy and retake the heavenlies in the name of her Lord, so that the eyes of those still being held captive by Satan will be opened."
This is the Kingdom/Dominion plan of-the-ages. It is the master plan out of which flows the sundry variety of techniques, tactics, and rationale found in the SW movement. Leaders, who espouse SW theology and push it, operate knowing the whole of the plan, but often it seems like the movement is marketed like a jigsaw puzzle without the cover picture. Saying this another way, many followers just "belly-up" to the SW smorgasbord and choose those selections that most appeal to them with the hope that these choices will help their plans of evangelism--they are dangerously unaware of the larger and distorted context of the Spiritual Warfare movement.
(Yes, you're reading this right. They think they are the only
ones who are "really Christian".)
Per this link, C. Peter Wagner and the founders of Youth With A Mission (a group that itself is a front-group of the Assemblies of God) are also listed as major promoters of dominion theology within pentecostal circles. Earl Paulk, a major fixture in the Assemblies of God traveling-preacher circuit, is again mentioned as the possible inventor of the term "Kingdom Now Theology" (which is often used as a synonym for dominion theology in these groups).
The spiritual-warfare emphasis in dominionist pentecostal groups dates all the way back to the Latter Rain, per the same article.
Wagner in particular is a major promoter of "spiritual warfare" theology; in fact, he's one of the people who is most heavily into promotion of Pax dominionista by targeting Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa for conversion. Among other things, he's one of the major parties promoting the concept of "territorial demons" (which has inspired such things as members of New Life Church in Colorado Springs "annointing" an entire city block with Wesson oil in a five-gallon garden sprayer) and has blamed resistance to conversion on these "territorial demons"; he's also written a book called This Present Darkness where demons try to control a town through environmentalist movements. (Many "spiritual warfare" groups consider environmentalism "goddess worship" and in violation of the dominion mandate, thus environmentalism is satanic in their view.)
Youth With A Mission is particularly infamous--nearly all exit counseling groups consider it a bona fide Bible-based cult, and YWAM is probably most well known nowadays for setting up a front company for production of the biased (and in sections, false to the point of being potentially libelous) Path to 9-11 "documentary". Less well known is Youth With A Mission's connections to Rod Parsley's "Patriot Pastor" movement; reportedly the Ohio State coordinator for Impact World Tours is a member of Reformation Ohio (Impact World Tours is yet another frontgroup for Youth With A Mission) and YWAM is a heavy financial backer of Reformation Ohio.
Many sources have noted Earl Paulk's part in promoting dominion theology, and there are hints he may have coined the phrase within the AoG itself.
"Restoration" (sometimes rendered "Reformation") is also a common code word in pente circles in particular for dominionist theology--this article speaks about this in detail in several articles, including the links between the Third Wave movement and Christian Reconstructionism. (Many of you are familiar with the Ohio and Texas Restoration Movements--well, that's where they get their name from. It's a pentecostal codeword for "dominionist".) This link also notes how "restoration" is a code-word or synonym for "dominion theology". Per this article, George Warnock is mentioned as possibly having coined the phrase "dominion theology"; again, it is squarely linked to Latter Rain teachings.
John Kilpatrick and Rodney Howard-Browne are listed as influential in spreading dominion theology per this link, which also details the relationship between "third wave" teachings, dominionism, and "word-faith" theology. (Howard-Browne is also influential in spreading "third wave" teaching in general and is often listed as the person who brought it to Toronto and later Brownsville; Howard-Brown and Cho are probably the two closest "parties of blame" for spread of "third wave" flavours of "spiritual warfare" dominionism.)
Per the same article, Assemblies of God televangelists Benny Hinn and Kenneth Hagin are listed as promoters, and in fact Hagin and Hinn may have coined the phrase "dominion theology" in part (if anything, the phrase was part of a preexisting movement in the AoG, but it's difficult to determine who actually invented it).
This article notes, again, strong connection between dominion theology and Third Wave theology (including the idea of "cursing people in the name of Christ").
One particular area of spread of these doctrines, too, is the role of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International. The FGBMFI is essentially the Assemblies of God's first "front group", and was originally set up as a front to target businessmen for conversion.
FGBMFI started in 1953 and has actually been one of the most active of the forty-plus AoG front groups in both explicit attempts to interfere in international politics and is also the front-group most consistently associated with dominionist movements in the US including Vision America (Ohio and Texas Restoration Movements). (An example of some of the kinds of stuff taught at FGBMFI get-togethers is here--this is a testimonial from a walkaway from the group.)
FGBMFI is also one of the major sources for spread of the "Third Wave" aka Brownsville movement in the AoG (which is highly spiritually abusive and is much of the basis of dominionism in these churches) starting in the 50's from Paul Yonggi Cho's Yoido Full Gospel church in South Korea. Cho has been saluted by FGBMFI and in AoG-affiliated churches the FGBMFI and Cho's church are often cross-promoted (see http://www.krt.org/... for an example--this is from a dominionist church, and the links section is a veritable who's who of dominionism in pente and charismatic circles).
Regarding the FGBMFI, they have a rather long and ignoble history with dominionist movements:
(from this Dark Christianity post
My starting plan was to help dogemperor with the Big NOLA list. I was suspicious of a local national/international relief organization - Northwest Medical Teams.
I became suspicious when they attended a Full Gospel Business Men "Mayors Prayer Breakfast" AFTER they had been informed that FGBMFI went ON THE RECORD last year not allowing a Muslim Iman to lead a prayer. FGBMFI "interfaith cover" was blown.
I was suprised when NW Medical Teams attended the event even with the knowledge, so I made a note to dig deeper.
Stories about the Prayer Breakfast
When digging stuff up a number of names surfaced. For those of you who are bona fide researchers I am sure bells will ring: Greg Feste, Malachai Foundation, Council on National Policy, Morning Star International, Champions for Christ, Every Nation. Ultimately...that history was way too convoluted for me to follow and I decided it was not relevant to NW Med Teams per se. I just wanted folks to know as you dig, things come up.
ENTER: Pastors Resource Council, stated to be organized by Tony Perkins of the Louisiana Family Foundation. Names: Lee Dominique and Tony Perkins
The Pastors Resource Council has a Compassion Fund, on the bottom of their page, they are copyrighted by Chest of Joash.
Chest of Joash is registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State:
Names associated with Chest of Joash:
Riley Hagen, S.Chris Herndon, W.Lee Dominique (oh, snap!)
PLUS its mailing address is SUGAR LAND TEXAS.
On the PRCCompassion site, there is a list of their "Partners"
On this list is the "Northwest Medical Teams, President Bas Vanderzalm"
Information on Bas Vanderzalm, from NW Medical Leadership page
Note: Previous Jobs of Bas Vanderzalm:
Salvation Army Harbor Light Center Boston AND World Relief
(Both of which are on Dogemperor's Big NOLA list as Bad Guys)
(AERDO, as an aside, is an umbrella group for dominionist "charities" including multiple Assemblies of God fronts and Pat Robertson's "Operation Blessing".)
The "prayer breakfast" article mentioned in the quotes notes how the FGBMFI is in fact associated with the Ohio Restoration Movement.
Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International is also one of the primary conduits for spread of coercive tactics that are associated with dominionism and dominion theology in these churches. Among other things, the FGBMFI were a major force in integrating the Red Scare into premillenial dispensationalism (an effort which led ultimately to an attempt to amend the Constitution), and there are multiple reports of spiritual abuse from the group. The FGBMFI was also one of the founders of the charismatic movement; per this link there are evidences that "Charismatic" movements were started in mainstream churches by Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International as a deliberate attempt at "sheep stealing" (targeting other Christians for conversion).
The Peace Corps article on FGBMFI is especially telling:
Most members agree that we are "living in the last days," and that they are called to harvest souls before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Most of the group's members are businessmen, but prominent U. S. members include high military officers, ex-officers, or managers in the military-industrial complex, many of whom worked within the nuclear weapons establishment. Many of them believe that the Gog-Magog war prophesied in the Bible will culminate in nuclear war, but that they will be raptured before the apocalypse.
(References: 1. Larry Kickham, "The Theology of Nuclear War," inset on The Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, Covert Action Information Bulletin, No. 27, Spring 1987. )
One of the persons linked in this way is Oliver North, who post-Irangate commonly gives talks at pentecostal churches.
FGBMFI is, much like the Assemblies of God itself and several other pentecostal groups with dominionist tendencies, strongly linked to televangelism and the "parallel media" of dominionists:
FGBMI produces books, a magazine called The Voice (in seven languages), and Christian TV programs which are aired on networks such as Trinity Broadcasting and PTL, as well as independent stations. In fact, the group provided the seed money to found the Christian Broadcasting Network, PTL teleministries, and Trinity Broadcasting. The fellowship holds national, regional, and world conventions. Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, the evangelical ex-president of Guatemala, spoke at the world convention in 1984. At the 1986 world convention, people gathered the signatures and addresses of potential supporters for Pat Robertson for President.
A legitimate case can be made that the FGBMFI is the first "modern" dominionist movement:
Washington DC: Since 1964, FGBMFI has held regular military prayer meetings in the Washington area. There are now three chapters there, including one in the Navy Officers' Club, and the Secretary of Defense even arranged to have two prayer rooms built in the Pentagon. Reagan administration staff members have been instrumental in organizing FGBMFI prayer meetings among the Washington elite. A 1986 FGBMFI brochures list people "vitally affected" by the prayer meetings: Lt. Gen. Dick Shaefer, Col. Speed Wilson, Col. Hank Lackey, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Operations, Maj. Gen. Jim Freeze, Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, Col. Andy Anderson, Chief of Staff of Army, Chief of Staff of Air Force, Sgt. Maj. Bud Nairn and 1st Lt. David Nairn, and Brig. Gen. Charles Duke. (Some of the above people were unnamed in the brochure. ) FGBMFI founder Demos Shakarian was a participant in the Washington for Jesus rally in April, 1980. (See also Govt Connections. )
Honduras: FGBMFI has been forming affiliates in Honduras since 1978, and currently has more than 20 chapters in the country. Most chapters meet in exclusive hotels and restaurants, and they collaborate closely with World Gospel Outreach. The Hotel Honduras Maya chapter of FGBMFI supplied seed money to a military school for teenagers (Nido de Aguilas or Nest of Eagles) with the hope of creating disciplined, anticommunist, and God-fearing future leaders. It was reported that a CBN film crew traveled with members of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Association (sic) to film contra forces in Nicaragua (actually in Honduras).
(Yes, that's right--they actively supported the Contras.)
Former President Ronald Reagan has close ties with the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship. In 1970, five FGBMFI members, including Pat and Shirley Boone, Harald Bredesen, and George Otis, prayed with then-California Governor Reagan at his home in Sacramento. Otis, a former Lear executive, was overcome with the Spirit and began to speak in the voice of God. He compared Reagan to a king, and prophesied that Reagan would "reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" if he continued to walk in God's way. Apparently Reagan took the prophesy very seriously. James Watt and Herbert Ellingwood were among the members of the Reagan administration who participated in FGBMFI. Ellingwood and others within the administration organized hundreds of prayer meetings and Bible study groups in the Washington area. Carolyn Sundreth, a Reagan aide who later worked on Pat Robertson's presidential campaign, invited Nita Scoggan, the wife of a FGBMFI member, to form a prayer group in the White House. Reportedly, Col. Oliver North attended the prayer meetings. In 1978, Reagan confidante Herbert Ellingwood told the Los Angeles Times (in a story which Reagan confirmed) that a FGBMFI prayer group healed Reagan's ulcers. Ronald Reagan has also given his testimony at FGBMFI prayer meetings. (See Activities for further Washington DC connections. )
Prominent right-wing activists, such as Joseph Coors (Heritage Foundation) and Sanford McDonnell (McDonnell Douglas Corporation), are members of FGBMFI. The connections between FGBMFI and Pat Robertson are numerous. Robertson has preached at FGBMFI prayer meetings. Long-time FGBMFI member Harald Bredesen was Robertson' mentor and teacher, and has been on the CBN board of directors since 1962. He is a frequent speaker at FGBMFI meetings, and was present at the Reagan presidential prophesy. On the board of regents at CBN University is FGBMFI member Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry. George Otis, also present at the 1970 meeting with Reagan, formed Middle East Television ("broadcasting from the Armageddon bowl") in Israelioccupied Lebanon, which he later turned over to CBN. Herbert Ellingwood, FGBMFI member and formerly of the Reagan administration, worked on Pat Robertson's presidential campaign. In Honduras, the fellowship works with World Gospel Outreach. The 1986 FGBMFI president, John Arevalo, was also the World Gospel Outreach director. The mission of that religious and charitable organization, led by a banker turned evangelist Rev. Allen Dansforth, is to prevent commmunist revolution by serving the Honduran poor, particularly children whose "minds are soft" and who are "naturally dependant. "
The FGBMFI's history of political interference is particularly relevant in the case of Guatemala--and particularly nasty. The last military ruler of Guatemala, Efraín Ríos Montt
, is linked to acts of gross genocide against the Mayan population and his abuses were so extreme that they literally launched a resistance that led to civilian rule in Guatemala--and Montt is well known to be linked to the FGBMFI. (In fact, he was a minister at a dominionist neopentecostal church
in California before he took over the government. (The denomination, Verbo Ministries
, has links to dominionist groups including one of the names that Maranatha has operated under--Morning Star Ministries.)) In fact, the Wikipedia article is particularly revealing re Montt's hijacking of the government:
On March 7, 1982, General Ángel Aníbal Guevara, the official party candidate, won the presidential election. On March 23, with the support of fellow soldiers, General Horacio Egberto Maldonado Schaad and Colonel Francisco Luis Gordillo Martínez, Ríos Montt seized power in a coup d'état, that was quietly backed by the CIA, deposing General Romeo Lucas García. They set up a military junta with Ríos Montt at its head. The junta immediately suspended the constitution, shut down the legislature, set up secret tribunals, and began a campaign against political dissidents that included kidnapping, torture, and extra-judicial assassinations. The coup was described as being of the Oficiales jovenes (young army officers), and prevented Guevara from being installed as president on July 1.
Initially, there was some expectation that the extremely poor human rights and security situation might improve under the new regime. Drawing on his pentecostal beliefs, Ríos Montt invoked a modern apocalyptic vision comparing the four riders of the Book of Revelations to the four modern evils of hunger, misery, ignorance and subversion, as well as fighting corruption and what he described as the depredations of the rich. He said that the true Christian had the Bible in one hand and a machine gun in the other. On April 10, he launched the National Growth and Security Plan whose stated goals were to end the extermination and teach the populace about nationalism. They wanted to integrate the campesinos and indigenous peoples into the state, declaring that because of their illiteracy and "immaturity" they were particularly vulnerable to the seductions of "international communism."
It is estimated tens of thousands of Mayans and peasant farmers died under his rule (and this is probably a conservative estimate) and over one million Mayans were displaced--including literally being forced to live in concentration camps. To this day, Montt is probably the most infamous of Guatemala's rulers, and there have been multiple attempts to have him charged on grounds of crimes against humanity and genocide.
One of his advisors, Jorge Serrano Elías, was affiliated with the dominionist El Shaddai church in Guatemala and was also a dominionist pastor; in 1990 he won only the third fully democratic election in Guatemala's history (and the first transfer of power not involving a military coup ever)--and proceeded to launch an auto-coup in 1993 giving him dictatorial powers and near-total control of the country. Again, the Wikipedia article is telling:
He became the presidential candidate for Solidarity Action Movement (MAS) in the 1990 presidential elections. He won the first round on November 11 with 25.7% of the vote, and won the second round against Jorge Carpio Nicolle on January 6, 1991 with 68.1% of the vote. On January 14 he replaced Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo as President of Guatemala. He was the second non- Catholic to gain power in Latin America, after Efraín Rios Montt, Guatemalan president 1982-1983. The transfer of power was the first transition from one democratically elected civilian government to another since 1951. As his party gained only 18 of 116 seats in Congress, Serrano entered into a tenuous alliance with the Christian Democrats and the National Union of the Center (UCN).
The Serrano administration's record was mixed. It had some success in consolidating civilian control over the army, replacing a number of senior officers and persuading the military to participate in peace talks with the URNG. He took the politically unpopular step of recognizing the sovereignty of Belize. The Serrano government reversed the economic slide it inherited, reducing inflation and boosting real growth.
On May 25, 1993, Serrano illegally suspended the constitution, dissolved Congress and the Supreme Court, imposed censorship and tried to restrict civil freedoms, allegedly to fight corruption. The autogolpe (or autocoup) failed due to unified, strong protests by most elements of Guatemalan society, at the forefront of which was the Siglo Veintiuno newspaper under the leadership of José Rubén Zamora. This was combined with international pressure, and the army's enforcement of the decisions of the Constitutional Court, which ruled against the attempted takeover. In the face of this pressure, Serrano resigned as president and fled the country. He was replaced on an interim basis by his vice president, Gustavo Espina Salguero, pending the re-establishment of the constitutional order.
Of particular note, Serrano Elías is also
linked to genocide--specifically, he has been accused of hiding members of his friend Rios Montt's regime
who committed genocide against Quiche Maya.
In particularly disturbing info, Rios Montt was explicitly backed by the CIA--partly because dominionist churches explicitly described themselves as anti-Communist--and the present district church director for Ted Haggard's New Life Church was the former director of the Bible Institute at El Shaddai (Serrano Elías church).
In fact, per at least one history of the hijacking of the Republican Party, the FGBMFI are likely some of the prime architects (notably, they are listed as being just the Assemblies of God, which IS accurate--the FGBMFI is an Assemblies front group).
As to how many of these groups there are? Unfortunately, nobody really knows. Upwards of half of the membership of neopente dominionist churches are in large "independent charismatic" megachurches which are big enough to be practically denominations in and of themselves; the largest neopente religious denomination, the Assemblies of God, claims 3 million members alone in the US. Nobody really knows if they're exaggerating.