There are Christians and then there are Dominionist Christians — the ones who think they have a biblical mandate to take dominion over the entire world for Christ. But up until recently, not too many people were familiar with the term “Dominionist,” coined by Fred Clarkson and Chip Berlet nearly two decades ago. In recent months, however, with the parade of Dominionist candidates in the GOP primary race, the term has started to make its way into the mainstream, causing the Dominionists to have to do some damage control. Some are denying that anything called Dominionism even exists; others are changing the definition of Dominionism, claiming that the word dominion is just used figuratively and doesn’t really mean that they want to control all areas of American society and eventually “reclaim” the world for Christ. And, of course, there’s been no shortage of sarcasm and tin foil hat jokes about us crazy secularists who write about the threat of dominionism in America.
So, let’s hop in the time machine and go back to a time when the Dominionists weren’t so worried about their real agenda being exposed and wrote freely about exactly what they meant by Dominionism.
There are few examples as clear as the following explanation of Dominionism provided by George Grant, formerly of D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, in his 1987 book The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action, published by the aptly named Dominion Press. This, my friends, is what Dominionism means — not in the words of one of us tin foil hat wearing secularists, but in the words of a prominent Dominionist.
“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
“But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.
“It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
“It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
“It is dominion we are after.
“World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.
“If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.
“Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.”
Yeah, that doesn’t sound at all like they want to take over the world and turn America into a theocracy, now does it?