Dominionism has wormed its way into mainstream Evangelicalism. The erroneous views of Francis Schaeffer and others have borne fruit. This report on the regional 'Christian' radio station exemplifies this.
While we are certainly to be Christians in all that we do, the sweeping of streets and wiping of tables is not part of the Holy and Redemptive (as in redeemed from the curse of sin) work of the Holy Spirit. These tasks are not sinful, but they're not holy either.
The viewpoint expressed in this broadcast, the teaching of Vocation basically turns the common society into the 'Holy'. The battles for culture become the battles of the Kingdom. Babylon becomes Zion or at least that the goal.
The Dominionist being interviewed would call me a heretic. I would simply point out that the New Testament does not teach his doctrine and it only arose with the titanic shift that occurred when Constantine decided to use the cross to establish his political power and thus transformed both the Empire and the Church forever.
It is both sad and repugnant that this fellow left work that was probably worthy for the cesspool of the financial world. Sacralism also bred another false and contorted doctrine...financial stewardship. The middle class values concerning respectability and security (which Sacralism has baptized) are contrary to the ethos and mandate of the New Testament.
The mindset of the financial planner and the social establishment are the antithesis of Christian ethics and literally flip the Kingdom of God on its head.
With Dominionism there is no antithesis. Sacral theology baptizes the society and confuses legitimate and necessary work with Kingdom work.
When you're out wiping tables you do it as a Christian with honesty and integrity. But our Kingdom work is not tied to the building up of profits for a restaurant (or any business) which will burn in the cleansing fires of the Parousia. The work is not part of heaven. We're pilgrims here.
Rather you look for opportunities to speak the Gospel and demonstrate it by your actions. You do your job to be sure, or sometimes as Christians we are 'called' to quit a job, walk away, speak out against and reject. The world will hate us. If we're being faithful we will never have 'success' or 'prosperity'...we will never be respectable or part of the social establishment.
Our only vocation, our only calling in terms of the Kingdom is to be Christians.
The ethic and calling of the New Testament does not 'market' very well. There's nothing about it that would please the flesh. The idea that you can market the gospel demonstrates a total misunderstanding of its nature. We don't become Christians because we get something out of it. It's not a door to success or a set of principles to help you work your life out.
We're Christians because the Gospel rooted in the person and work of Christ is the Truth.
Sometimes we can speak of 'calling' in terms of:
Fred is really gifted at carpentry. That seems to be his calling.
Jane is a fantastic housewife. Domesticity is her obvious calling in life.
But these callings and vocations are not the same as our calling to be Christians. We approach these things as Christians, but the work itself isn't Christian work. A pagan can do beautiful carpentry. A pagan can change diapers, cook and sew. Sometimes pagans are much better at these things than we are.
Sacralism teaches the work itself becomes holy. Fred's carpentry contributes to the work of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary.
Cooking and decorating are valid and can help create a warmer environment for the family. And as great as those things are, the work is not holy.
As Christians our marriages are certainly holy...something the pagan marriage is not. Why do we expect them to embrace Christian understandings of marriage? To understand the typology you must be Born Again.
Our children are clearly holy in both the Old and New Testaments, but the majority of the Church denies this reality both in substance and form.
The theology espoused by this Reformed man seeks to make the Kingdom applicable to all of life, but actually he's negating the work of the Kingdom by confusing it with the world.
The spiritual Kingdom which calls us to take up the cross is generally rejected. They don't want the cross, they want the glory and the power...now.
The mindset that is generated by the theology I'm espousing is one of detachment. We do our work but our lives are about something else. The aspirations of our culture should be of no interest to us. In a culture as affluent and covetous as our own, this will mean that we will seem like strange and peculiar people, alien to the culture around us.
As I've written elsewhere these types of people would accuse someone like me of being a 'Sunday only' Christian. Because I don't believe that today when I was changing out a hot water tank, that that actual physical work was contributing to the Kingdom...then I'm somehow a Gnostic who leaves my faith behind on Monday morning.
On the contrary, the baptizing of cultural norms means that for these people during the week they can engage in business (and the ethics of the marketplace) which often and normatively violate Scriptural mandates. They can hide behind 'office' or 'vocation' and ultimately sin. They can claim certain behaviours which would be wrong for them to do in an 'individual capacity' are okay and permitted in terms of the office they're fulfilling.
We can exploit people in the name of loyalty to the stockholder, or an economic doctrine but if we behaved that way individually we would be called unscrupulous.
If someone is a police officer or soldier, their 'vocation' allows them to use violence and intimidation even though such a thing would be worthy of excommunication if they acted like that as an individual.
It is this doctrine of vocation which allows Christians to leave their faith behind as they go to work. If they took their faith with them, many of these false kingdom builders would either quit or get fired. This doctrine has given them an excuse to compromise the Kingdom.
If this Dominionist calls me a heretic (as he would the Waldensians and certainly the Anabaptists both past and present) then it is a label I gladly embrace. Yes, your views are antithetical to what I believe the Bible teaches and are dangerous, destructive, and represent the same Judaizing spirit of Rome that has plagued the Church for centuries. It is a return to the forms of the Old Testament seeking to understand the Kingdom in terms of political power and unified civilization, a typology that has been fulfilled and done away with.
The Common Grace culture of the world is God's way of restraining sin while the gospel is at work. That's our business as Christians. The other things while valid and necessary are secondary.
My hot water tank and drywall work will not be part of the Kingdom. Cathedrals while theologically erroneous to begin with will look like silly tinker toy creations when we are in heaven. The works of Rembrandt will look like a child's crayon sketch. The scales of Bach will sound like a spoon beating on a pan.
The Dominionists who believe these things will be part of heaven have embraced an erroneous view of God's Kingdom. These works while perhaps enjoyable (and perhaps not) are not 'redeemed'. They are not the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The adherents of Vocation will say that my ethos is 'to not polish brass on a sinking ship', to just let the world fall apart. On the contrary, we are very involved in the world. We are truth-tellers. We are salt and light. Our presence, our antithesis drives the world mad and is a harbinger of the coming judgment. We are like Noah, building the ark (not the Cainite civilization) and proclaiming the coming Judgment. We live in their civilization and it vexes us but we don't transform it.
Like the Jews in exile, we live in Babylon, we raise our families, build our houses and tend our gardens. But we don't take over Babylon, we don't make it into Zion. We don't sanctify their temples or build ours in their capitals.
The Sacralist doesn't understand the nature of the Christian life. It is rooted in self-denial. We aren't ignoring the world, detaching ourselves from it and treating it as of no importance. We are not monastic's or ascetics. We live in the world but we're not of it. We bear witness and we glorify God by maintaining our faith and worshipping Him while the world seeks to destroy us.
Here are some links to other articles related to these topics....