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Dominionism, Biblical Principles, And More – On Foundations of Freedom: What is a Dominionist? Should the Church be allowed to influence the “7 Mountains of Society”? How did the Founders intend to keep Biblical principles as the foundations of our government without establishing a theocracy? Tune in to hear the very important answers to these questions and much more – on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!

Air Date: 09/29/2022

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we take on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Thanks for finding us on a Thursday. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday around here. That’s where we take you your questions and we dive into those foundational questions about the Constitution, about the Founding Fathers, what does the Bible say about issues going on out there and you can send in the question. Send them into radio@wallbuilders.com, that’s radio@wallbuilders.com.

WallBuilders, what does that mean? If you’re listening for the first time, you’re probably thinking, what is this, a construction company? Are they building the wall at the border? What do these people do? Well, WallBuilders comes from a scripture Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls, that we may no longer be a reproach.

Friends, I would say America has been a reproach lately, wouldn’t you? I mean, let’s just be honest, the culture is crumbling right before our eyes. The good news, though, is that the principles of liberty that were sown into this country in the beginning, that produced the greatest, most powerful, most free, most benevolent nation in history, those principles still work, but we have to restore them, we have to bring them back into the culture. And that’s what we mean by rebuilding the walls today, rebuilding the foundational principles that made America great in the first place.

www.WallBuilders.com

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And it is my honor to serve here with David and Tim Barton. Tim is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. David is America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. And all three of us, you can learn more at our website, wallbuilderslive.com,  wallbuilderslive.com. 

That’s also where you can make a one-time or monthly contribution. We have archives of the program there, so you can go back a few weeks and months. And if you miss some shows or you just like more of these foundational Thursday programs where we take your questions, all of that is available at wallbuilderslive.com.

Alright, David and Tim, time to dive into some of those questions. First one is going to come from Nina McMillan. She said, “Dear WallBuilders, I’ve heard the term “Dominionist””, which I think guys, was a new term in the last few years, maybe. I don’t know. But boy, it sounds just awful, doesn’t it?

“A “Dominionist” on several podcasts I listen to, some use it in a negative connotation, while others say that it is the correct Christian doctrine. I even heard a pastor say that he was uninvited to speak at a conference because he subscribed to the seven mountains of influence, even though he did not believe in dominionism. I’ve heard you refer to the seven mountains of influence, and it makes sense to me that Christians should seek to influence those areas of the culture.

Can you explain dominionism and where our founding fathers dominionists because they were so intent on building a government that was based on Judeo Christian and principles. Thank you for helping us understand these issues. Nina, I recommend Skillet’s new album, ‘Dominion’.”

“Dominionism”

Okay, what do you think, guys? Dominionism, what exactly is it? Is it a made up term? Does it actually mean the same thing to most people or does it mean different things depending on your perspective?

David:

Rick, first off, just about any word that has an “IST” on the end of it today is going to be a bad word. The media has picked up so many things since about six weeks ago when CNN came out with this thing on Christian nationalist. You’ve got all sorts of things going and anything that has any flavor of Christianity, they’re attacking it. Washington Post just came out with a piece decrying the Black robe regiment; it’s another theocracy kind of move type thing. Wait a minute, that’s the Founding Father stuff, that’s back in the day they certainly did not create a theocracy. So anything with “IST”, first off, is going to be a real problem for the media side.

Tim:

Well, and I think it depends on how we define “IST” because if we said like a list or a fist or a missed, those might not be bad. But I think to your point, it’s the isms, the communism, the socialism, the dominionism, there’s a certain connotation that certainly the media I’d like to spin.

And Rick, I think to your initial question, which you’re really just tossing a softball and you know you are, is that certainly these words in many situations are being redefined based on who’s using it and the point of why they’re using it. And certainly, when you have the left stream mainstream media using these phrases, they are clearly going to put a negative spin, negative connotation on it and they’re going to try to paint that as widely as possible to encompass as many people as possible–

Calling Good Evil

Like when you hear Joe Biden talking about how evil the Maga Republicans are and then they apply the Maga Republicans to everybody who doesn’t support the current Democrat policies and the Joe Biden administration.

So literally, if you don’t support Joe Biden, they think you are evil. Well, that’s crazy. But this is where you are seeing them paint was so broad of a brush and they’re redefining terms so that they can try to villainize people who are doing things they don’t like and disagree with.

And as we look at the dominionism idea, there certainly are aspects of it where depending on how you define it, we’re absolutely against certain things that would be considered dominionism. But then there’s definitely things we support that some people would consider dominionism. And so it really does make a difference how we define this term for even our conversation today.

David:

So what you’ve got with this term, this dominionist term, there used to be a very clear definition on this. And as people no longer know what the definition is, they’re redefining it to what the critics say or what people who really don’t have a clue, they’re offering their opinion of what the definition is. And so having lack the actual definition, it’s kind of like original intent. Once judges get away from original intent, they keep building on their own opinions and making their own definitions of what church and state means. Well, there was original definition of church and state. So let’s go back to dominionist.

This actually is a theological doctrinal term that goes back literally for hundreds of years, it goes back for centuries and it deals with your view of eschatology. And eschatology is the way you view the end times, what’s going to happen in the end times. And so Christians generally believe that Christ is going to return. 

Theological Views on Christ’s Return

The question is when and what time is he going to return? And there’s going to be a thousand year rain where he’ll reign and that’s when the saints will reign with him and then you go into eternity past there. That 1,000 years is what this is all about. What happens in 1,000 years? When does it begin? How does it start?

So for those on the reformation theological side, which tend to be Calvinists and those that would believe in what’s often called predestination, they take a postmillennial view that what happens is Christ is not going to come back until we have subdued the earth; when we get the earth subdued, when the church has taken control of everything and get it in place, then Christ is going to return. 

The other side is more Armenian view and that Armenian view says Christ is going to come back when he wants to come back. We have nothing to do with when he returns. What we need to be doing is occupy until he comes, which is what he tells us in Luke. So those are the two positions. From that, you get into what would be called this dominionism.

Tim:

Well, and with that too, obviously, we can acknowledge that there are so many nuances and variations, even inside of Christian beliefs and denominations. If you look inside of the Baptist churches in America, I think there’s literally hundreds of different Baptist denominations in America and they’re all Baptists.

And I’m saying that because if we’re going to say that generally Calvinists or people who performed theology have this specific view, but certainly not all of them do. But this was a view that came from people from the era of the reformed theological position and the Calvinist position.

But nonetheless, dad, to your point, the idea behind dominantism was that Christians needed to take care of the earth and have dominion. One of the very first commands that God gave demand was to go have dominion over the earth. And they think that we need to have dominion over everything and once we have dominion, then we fulfill what God told us to do and then Christ will return. So it really was a theological position.

Christians Involved in Politics

Now, with that being said, the way that some of this is used today is there are many on the left and even some in the center, some on the right who would argue that as Christians we shouldn’t get involved in some of these things and we shouldn’t try to bring godliness or righteousness or biblical truth to these different areas where for individuals–

I would think probably for us right now on the air, we definitely want to see righteousness all over America because the Bible tells us that when the righteous and authority people rejoice, tells us that righteousness exalts a nation, it tells us that we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

We want to see righteousness in every part of every aspect of our life, in every aspect of the nation because that’s what God wants for us and from us. But we also believe that there is free will and people do get to make a choice and it doesn’t remove God’s sovereignty. But this is a big theological position. And yet there are people today that would say if you are a Christian, you should not be allowed to promote anything that relates to Christianity or the Bible or Godliness. 

And this is where it really comes down to a misunderstanding of basic worldviews, the idea that Christians should not be allowed to promote their worldview, but everybody else can promote their beliefs because it’s not Christian. Well, that’s just idiotic that everybody can promote their beliefs except Christians when it comes to cultural impact and cultural influence.

But this is one of the big arguments against the idea of dominionism is to try to demonize Christians who are trying to have an impact in culture, who are trying to promote righteousness and godliness and morality and biblical truth, as there really is a very secular Left trying to oppose those things.

The Seven Mountains

David:

And you go back to this theological debate, listen, we don’t think that we control Christ. He’s going to come back when he wants to, is my belief. But at the same time, until he comes back, we’re supposed to be salt and light. And this is where the seven mountains idea comes in.

The seven mountains idea is, look, there are major areas of influence in the culture, the judiciary and government, education, family, business, all this. And you know what? We need Christian values in all of that. And even non-Christians benefit from Christian values.

If you’re not a Christian, it’s nice to have values that you don’t want to steal and you don’t want to kill, you don’t want to purge yourself. Those are Christian values. You don’t have to be a Christian to believe that. Folks like Ben Franklin, I don’t think Ben Franklin is a Christian, but he definitely appreciated the biblical morality that led to a very stable society.

So they’re saying, well, if you get involved in the Seven Mountain movement, then you’re dominionist, you’re trying to create a theocracy. No, you’re not. You’re trying to bring good principles in, and that’s what every Christian should try to do.

So don’t call the seven mountains. Just say, Jesus said, go be salt and light in the world. Well, there are seven mountains of influence. But if that sets somebody off, you don’t have to say that at. But the other thing is, and here’s what’s so ridiculous, if you get involved in these areas, you’re trying to establish a theocracy. Wait a minute. As long as you have elections, you cannot have a theocracy. 

Theocracy is God appoints a leader and whatever that leader says, everybody does it. It’s that leader is God talking to the people. And there’s not one of us that I know of Christian conservatives that want anybody that tells us what to do. We want to choose our own leaders. We want to elect our leaders. We want everybody else to have that.

A Theocracy?

Now, the thing we’ve been saying recently, we want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. So we do want to elect our leaders. So we would like to have fair elections when that happens. And that’s not a throwback necessarily to the presidential election. That’s the way it should be.

And we’re just seeing so much fraud that has come out in the last two years with Attorney General. So this is where it goes. Now, one more step.

Back when George Bush was president, we worked on a human life amendment, and the media went crazy and said, they’re trying to establish a theocracy; these are dominionist because they worked on a human life amendment. We also worked on trying to establish marriage, a Federal Marriage amendment, and again, the Left said, oh, they’re trying to establish a theocracy, they’re trying to impose their theology.

No. These were values that we thought were very healthy, and the majority of Americans at the time overwhelmingly believed it.

So typically, the charge of theocracy and dominionist comes out when you start trying to get traditional values back in for very secular people who want nothing to do with any God value, they want to be anarchist and do their own thing. And it’s really unfortunate when Christians pick that up and start repeating it, and they generally do because they really don’t know what it means, and they don’t want to be a theocrat, and they don’t want to establish the theocracy. 

None of us do. But that’s not what happens when you call for elections and try to have a constitutional amendment where it takes two thirds of the Congress and three-fourths of the states, that’s not a theocracy when you have the elections at that level.

It’s a Good Question

And so the whole question, it’s a good question, but it comes from a flawed premise of people who really don’t understand that this is a theological debate. And that’s not what this is about. It’s not about theology. This is about values and about just being solved in life or Christians being engaged, involved in voting. And it’s as simple as that and shouldn’t be more complicated than that.

So when people start throwing out those “IST” words other than list and fist and things Tim mentioned, I mean, that’s an attempt by the Left to really try to make us feel ashamed of what we’re doing and change what we’re doing. Well, I don’t want to be part of that and I don’t want to be a Christian nationalist. What’s a Christian nationalist? They only have a good definition for yet. But the Left is trying to make it anyone who’s a Christian who is active in the civil arena, that’s a Christian nationalist.

And now we’ve got pastors saying, well, we’re not that. Well, now wait a minute, you need to be active in the civil arena. You’re a voter. You should be voting. You should be encouraging everybody in your church to vote. We would want 100% voter turnout in America. What’s wrong with that? Does that make us a Christian nationalist if we want everybody in the church to vote? And by the way, I’d like to see everybody in America vote. I think we’d be a healthy nation of 100% of people voted.

So does that make me a Christian nationalist? Well, I’m certainly going to try to turn Christians out to vote, but I’m not going to keep anybody else from going to vote unless they’re illegally registered to vote. Or like the one we found in Virginia, one guy registered to vote 27 times. Yes, I’m going to try to oppose that, but that doesn’t make me a Christian dominionist or anything else. 

I think we should not let them define us with their words and push us into running in a direction we don’t really want to run. And that’s away from involvement and away from being salt and light. I’ve got the same right to carry my values in the public arena. Everybody else does. And that doesn’t make me a theocrat or dominionist or anything else.

Who’s Influencing Culture?

Rick:

Yeah, so let me just kind of try to summarize this, guys. So what you’re saying, first of all, define our words, make sure we know what we’re talking about and that there’s a meaning to it. And what they’re trying to project on to us is a meaning that says somehow you got to be a Christian or you can’t live in America or whatever other rules, a theocracy like you’re talking about. Nobody we know is pushing for any of that.

But if it means that you’re simply allowed to influence just like any other American is, of course, we are that we think that everybody should vote and everybody should be involved. And also there’s just the responsibility part of it. Not only should you have the right to do it, but if the church doesn’t do that, if they aren’t influencing the culture and voting and teaching people about culture, then they’re really advocating their responsibility. 

And like we’ve often quoted Charles Finney as saying in the Second Great Awakening, I mean, politics is just part of a religion in a country such as this, so Christians do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God.

So what he’s saying is it’s just another area of our life. And like I said, David, some people call it the seven mountains because they’re just trying to say, hey, look, whether you’re an artist or you’re an educator or you’re in media or you’re in business or whatever you’re in, no matter what area you’re in, it’s still Gods, it’s still an area that if you’re a person of faith, you’re supposed to let God’s word influence how you act. 

And with politics, it’s all about how you treat your neighbor, how you form your societies, what kind of justice system you’re going to have. And of course, as Nina asked, did the Founding Fathers want to have a government that was based on Judeo Christian principles, that they want those kind of things to be decided based on Judeo Christians principles? Absolutely, they did, and we do as well.

Alright, folks, going to take a quick break. We’ve got a lot more questions coming your way. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read. And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. 

And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundation of Freedom Thursday. Alright, guys, got second question is somewhat similar to the first one, it does use some of the same terminology that we talked about, and it’s from Veronica. She said, “how did the Founding Fathers intend to keep biblical principles as the foundation to how our government would run in the long run?

I hear so many people say that that would make our government a theocracy if we could only use biblical principles in our government. I understand the Founding Father’s desire for religious freedom, but they had to have known that people that weren’t Christian would be involved in our government and want to steer the government away from Christianity.”

The Founders and Our Christian Foundation

So sort of the same theme, guys, and I mean, just because you want biblical principles to influence the country we’ve already established that doesn’t make it a theocracy to not allow anyone to live in the country or to vote if they weren’t of the exact same religion or maybe even the same sector religion. 

Now you’re getting close, but nobody’s asking for that. Nobody’s demanding that. So what do you think the Founders were thinking in terms of how you keep freedom of religion but then also keep your foundational Christian principles upon which you build everything?

David:

Well, let me also point out that Christian principles are not limited just to faith in the sense of how we express our faith. And I’ll go as an example, I’m going to take Federal Practice and Procedure, the Federal Law Books volume 30 where it says, hey, the due process clauses are built on biblical principles.

The right to confront your accuser, the right to compel witnesses on behalf, all that comes out of the Bible, so does that make us a theocracy if we have due process and if we allow juries and if we allow things? Certainly not. That’s not related to theology. That is a biblical value and that does not establish theology.

What the Founding Fathers did a great job of was we’re not going to tell you what your faith has to be. Now we have a set of values that we think are very helpful, but we’re not going to tell you that you have to be an Anglican or you have to be a Catholic or you have to be an atheist or anything else. 

And so there’s a big difference between theology and values and biblical principles and biblical values is not the same as Christian theology. A theocracy is what tells you what your faith is going to be, what tells you how to practice your faith, where and when you’re going to practice your faith and everything else in life. And that’s just not what we’re talking about in America.

Washington, Adams, and the Founders

Tim:

Well, this is to where we go back and look at what the Founding Fathers said, even regarding the First Amendment, where they clarified that there would be no establishment of religion. Well, they didn’t mean that we weren’t going to be a religious people. In fact, the Founding Fathers largely promoted the idea of religion and Christianity in the Bible, where George Washington, in his farewell addressed, said without religion and morality that we would not subsist as a nation, that our political institutions would fail without religion and morality.

John Adams said that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It was wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” These were not anti-religionist guys.

But dad, to your point, when they said that there would be no establishment of religion, understanding the historic context over in Europe where they established religions, you were Lutheran or you were Catholic or you were Anglican or you were whatever denomination a king chose for the land in the territory that the king was over. 

And generally speaking, for the history of monarchs and the history of state established religions and churches, if you are not part of the state established church or religion, you underwent some significant and severe persecution. The Founding Fathers dealt with that. In fact, many of them personally fled from some of that persecution. Some of them, it was their parents or their grandparents, their great grandparents.

This was part of the history and legacy of the founding fathers that had come from Europe coming to America, escaping religious persecution in Europe, seeking religious freedom in America. And the persecution they were escaping was from a king or a religious magistrate or a church or a state established religion telling them they all had to believe a certain way, it was is compelling them in specific doctrines. 

Religious Practices in the Nation

And they said, we don’t want to compel people to all be Methodist or to all be Baptist or all be Catholic or all be Presbyterian. You should have the freedom to believe as you want to believe. But they didn’t actually encourage the same notion that we hear today.

Well, freedom of religion, that means that the Muslim faith or the Buddhist faith or the Hindus or the Christians that it all should be equal. Well, certainly, we all have equal rights under the law. We all have equal opportunity in America.

But they recognize that even the value structures were not the same as those religions, which is why the Founding Fathers explicitly said that without the Bible and Christianity, America would not last and would not succeed as a nation. So this idea that we don’t establish religion, the historic context really does matter. They were referring to not establishing what we would know as a denomination.

But without exception, the Founding Fathers promoted the Bible beyond anything else when it came to a foundation for the religious practices of this nation.

David:

And going with that and Tim, what you just hit, that’s what so many people think religious principles are. The religious principles, it just relates to faith, expression of faith, how you express your faith by going back even to that concept of the due process clauses. I mean, think about how that it was John Adams and George Washington and Alexander Hamilton and James Madison who all pointed to Jeremiah 17 as the reason that they believed there should be separation powers and checks and balances. 

That’s not a theological debate and that’s not a theocracy to have separation powers, checks and balances or pointing to Isaiah 33:22 while we have three branches of government, or when they chose a Republican former governor and rejected a democracy, they also did so on the basis of biblical principles, particularly Exodus 18:21. I mean, there’s so many concepts of our government.

Consent of the Governed

Even self-defense, the right of self-defense is a God-given right established in scriptures, that’s not a theological debate over whether we’re going to have a theocracy. These are principles. And I don’t think enough of us recognize that so much of what we enjoy in the way of freedom comes from biblical principles. And to say we want biblical principles gone or we’ll have a theocracy, oh my goodness, you won’t even have the same form of government, you won’t have the same economic system, you won’t have the free market or anything else.

Tim:

And this also this context makes a difference for even reading things like the Declaration of Independence where Jefferson writes that we owe these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, government’s instituted among men deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.

That’s a phrase that probably most of us have heard. Most of us may have even memorized it at some point. Hopefully, you still know it today.

But Jefferson said that we have some common ground where we all see together. The Founding Fathers, right, if you remember your history, they did not get along in a lot of areas, a lot of disagreements, a lot of arguments, a lot of debate, a lot of frustration at times, both in the Declaration era, the American Revolution. But certainly even then going to the Constitution era, when they’re at the Constitutional Convention, they have a lot of disagreements. But in the Declaration, Jefferson identified that these are truths that we all agree on. We owe these truths to be self-evident.

We Hold These Truths

Well, what were the truths? That there was a God and that God created us in his image and therefore we are equal and that God gave us rights; and among those rights were life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And government’s primary purpose is to protect those rights. All of those are biblical ideas.

Now, that’s not specifically a theological doctrine, but those are theological ideas or biblical ideas. The Founding Fathers, they drew their political philosophy from a biblical premise in what they did, but they did not get into specific doctrines. And that’s where there was a distinct difference. And so when people today talk about theocracy, usually, the proper way to understand that was the Founding Fathers did not want specific doctrines to be in place and people would be penalized for not following those specific doctrines.

But certainly, the way we understand the question right now is if the Founding Fathers would have said, hey, all religions, anybody, just do whatever you want, we don’t need any basic truth, we don’t need the Bible as a foundation. Wouldn’t the Founding Fathers have seen that we would have rejected the Bible? Well, yes, on the premise of that notion, certainly, they were smart enough to see that, but that’s not the position they took.

The position they took was we should not do what the kings of Europe were doing and saying, do what we say or we will throw you in prison. We will torture you, we will execute you if you don’t follow these specific religious practices based on the denomination that we’re using in our state established church. That’s not what the Founding Fathers did, but they still recognize the value and the foundation of Biblical truth for all we did in America.

Dominionism, Biblical Principles, And More – On Foundations of Freedom

Rick:

Alright, friends, thanks for listening today. Be sure to check out the website wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you can grab a link to the program and share it with your friends and family. Thanks so much for doing that. That allows us to reach more people. Equipping and inspiring and educating them gives us a chance to save this constitutional republic, folks. 

Hard at work right now, a lot of good things happening and you are a part of the team. You can make a donation to wallbuilderslive.com. You can share the program with people. You can sign up to be a constitution coach. Do something, folks. We got to take action, action, action right now if we’re going to save the country.

And I don’t mean to say if in order to scare you or any of that. I mean, it’s just being truthful. As a student of history, no nation lasts forever. I believe America broke the mold from the very beginning. And we’re not going to fall apart at the 250 year mark if we get engaged, if we do our part to turn this thing around. But we will fall apart. The nation is going to be lost if we just sit on the sidelines and do nothing. It is up to us. And God’s given us all the tools we need. He’s blessed us with an amazing system, an amazing Constitution.

But we’ve got to bring that Constitution back to the forefront. We’ve got to restore it as the law of the land instead of the “courtstitution” as you’ll learn about if you take our constitution class, there’s so many things you can do. Check out wallbuilderslive.com today, get signed up as a constitution coach and become the catalyst in your community for restoring our biblical principles and values and making sure that our Constitution is once again, again the law of the land.

Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.