The Top-Down Political Dominionism of Leftism and the Democrat Party
The following is from an anonymous article titled “The Retribution for Evangelicals Who Sold Their Souls to Trump Is Coming” posted on Alternet:
Trump is arguably the logical culmination of some strains of right-wing evangelical Christianity in America, from the political theology of dominionism to the hermeneutics of presuppositional apologetics, dogmas which see no inconsistency to rendering all to a Caesar whom they have declared to be a Christ. We may have yet to see the arrival in the United States of a type of powerful, theocratic, fascistic Protestant Falangism enabled by the opportunism of a Trump, and which makes the traditional Christian Right look positively liberal.
The person who wrote the article uses words like “dominionism,” “presuppositional apologetics,” and “theocratic.”
I’m familiar with all three terms. It’s unusual that someone would insert the phrase “presuppositional apologetics” in a discussion about politics. I don’t often see the phrase used by hard-core Leftists. It looks like the author found the terms on a website somewhere and added them to the article to give the impression that he or she is well informed on what’s taking place in Evangelicalism.
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Presuppostionalism is an inescapable concept. Atheists are presuppositionalism. Consider, for example, Richard Dawkins:
In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.1
Following Dawkins’ type of atheistic presuppositionalism, we get the following logical outcome:
It’s obvious, however, that the author of the Alternet article is misinformed if he or she believes that someone who believes in dominionism from a Christian perspective and promotes a presuppositional apologetic methodology over against Evidentialism and Classical apologetics would in any way work for “rendering all to a Caesar” and declaring the State “to be a Christ.”
Dominion theology advocates believe in limited government at all levels, from the Federal to the county level. I wrote a book on the subject titled God and Government: A Biblical, Historical, and Constitutional Study. Joel McDurmon, who also believes in the biblical view of dominion, has written Restoring America One County at a Time. Advocates of dominionism from a Christian perspective focus on localism not nationalism, self-government under God, not the civil government that dispenses with the individual (“it takes a village”) and where the State, to use Hegel’s phrase, is “the march of God in the world.”
A Christian dominionist would never advocate for rendering all to a Caesar. The person who wrote the article is either lying or misinformed or both.
Dominion is an inescapable concept as is a theocracy. What we have today are people in politics who believe the National Government should have more power and taxing authority and control over individuals. Those on the Left are the ones who believe in “rendering all to a Caesar.” The State is their god so long as they are controlling the reins of power.
Here’s the problem. God is omniscient omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, and self-sufficient (1 Tim. 1:17), something that no individual, group, or government can be. Any attempt to act like God results in tyranny because neither an individual nor a group has the attributes of God including His perfection and divine justice. This truth is the operating presupposition of those who promote dominionism – limited and decentralized earthly governments under the true God. Roland Watson captures the essence and evil of top-down dominionism:
The State may indeed be God’s delegate for a particular duty at a particular time and place but when the modern State attempts to take upon itself the incommunicable attributes of God then there is a monstrosity in the making.
And as the eyes of God run to and fro across the Earth beholding the deeds of men, so the State aspires to an omnipresence which allows it to be present in every CCT camera or hidden wiretap. From the feared ubiquity of an army of hidden informers in a Stalinist country to the sophistication of supercomputers tirelessly scanning untold myriads of emails, the State strives to be as God where God does not intend.
And from a pretended omnipresence and omniscience proceeds a delusional omnipotence which has wreaked havoc and murder across the centuries in the hands of the basest of men. And if the State muses that the searing shock wave of its fusion blasts are akin to the breath of God and that it has become the Shatterer of worlds in the words of Oppenheimer then surely the time for change has come.
Our anonymous author fails to note that the choice for Evangelicals in 2016 was between Hillary and Trump. The choice was easy when Hillary and the political worldview she represented was the alternative. Evangelicals would rather have a flawed Sampson than a Jezebel.
As we’ve seen in the past two years, and most recently in the past few weeks, the Democrats are a violent bunch that will do anything to regain power. Consider the income tax where the richest 1,409 taxpayers pay more income tax than the bottom 70 million taxpayers and yet the Democrats want to raise taxes if they regain power. They are top-down dominionists. They want to use the power of government to confiscate and redistribute wealth in the name of the next “noble cause” and force compliance to arbitrary laws of their own design.
Don’t you dare refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding or someone celebrating his or her sexual “transitioning.” Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakes, was fined $135,000 for not making a cake for a same-sex wedding. This is top-down dominionism where governments at all levels are used to force compliance in the name of some nebulous definition of equality.
- Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: HarperCollins/BasicBooks, 1995), 133. [↩]