ReVision

Dominion Anyone?

The Christian can only seek to persuade.

I understand that certain sectors of the media are beginning to be concerned about a Christian plot to take over the world.

The scare, as Cathy Lynn Grossman reported yesterday in USAToday, is over the idea of "dominion." Certain Christians, among them, prominent evangelical political types, are being accused of wanting to "exercise dominion" over culture and society.

Such talk sounds scary enough, and it is intended to, of course. But, in fact, a good many evangelical Christians are talking about wanting to exercise a more formative role in the shape of American life, morality, culture, and society. I tend to travel in those circles (perhaps you've noticed), but I don't much hear the idea of "dominion" thrown about, as though we were coordinating a program to seize power by force and to remake the nation in our own image.

The Christian can only seek to persuade. Using the combined power of a life rightly lived and conversation graciously, truthfully, and earnestly engaged, we may expect to make real progress in seeing the Kingdom of God come on earth as it is in heaven. And this is precisely what we seek, because we believe it's better to live in a world where righteousness, peace, and joy abound in the power of God's Spirit than one where the privileged and powerful take advantage of everyone else.

The "dominion" idea is silly, anyway. Everyone knows that Jesus Christ is King and Lord, that He already has dominion over all things, and that He is working all things precisely according to His good and perfect plan. Or, if they don't know that, then it's our duty to inform them. We seek only to implement His rule by faith and obedience, through works of love and words of truth.

Most Christians I know aren't too much "into" dominion. Probably because they're only a little bit into their Christian faith. And the real concern on the part of those who are exercised about dominion is not that Christians might actually achieve a measure of it, but that they would likely lose some of what they suppose themselves to possess.

Let's face it: Secularists, materialists, relativists, pragmatists, and progressives are running the show. They have dominion right now - or so they like to think. And they are not interested in relinquishing what they presume to hold in the way of moral and cultural influence.

But all they have comes from the Lord, and He knows how to revoke the stewardship privileges of those who seek to administer His world in ways other than according to His plan. When it suits Him, He can fairly quickly overturn the tables and drive the moneychangers from the place.

As for us, we who allegedly are seeking to have dominion, well, we're just trying to get into position to be able to leverage more of the power of truth and love for the benefit of our neighbors and the glory of God.

I have a hard time seeing that as a bad thing - except to those who stand to lose some status and clout as the tables begin to turn.

Related texts: Genesis 1.26-28; Psalm 8; Hebrews 2.1-9; Matthew 28.18-20; Matthew 6.10, 33

A conversation starter: "What would you say if I told you I was one of those 'Christian dominionists'?"

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore