Everyone has a worldview – “a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true, or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic construction of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.”
James W. Shire suggests that “we should all think in terms of worldviews, that is, with a consciousness not only of our own way of thought but also that of other people, so that we can first understand and then genuinely communicate with others in our pluralistic society.”
Among the worldview prevalent today are theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism, Eastern monism, Marxism, secular humanism, new age philosophy, process and postmodernism.
I did not know much about dominionism when someone recently mentioned it to me, so I did some quick Google searches to get some idea what it is about. Here’s what I found:
Religion News Service recently published a commentary by John Fea about Dominionism – “a theocratic ideology which seeks to implement a nation governed by conservative Christians ruling over society based on an understanding of biblical law.” Washington Post re-published John Fea’s commentary on February 4, 2016, noting Ted Cruz’s Presidential aspiration “to ‘restore’ the United States to what he believes is its original identity: a Christian nation.”
Terry Gross’ 2011 Fresh Air interview of Rachel Tabachnick explains that “Dominionism is simply that Christians of this belief system must take control over the various institutions of society and government.” The New of Apostolic Reformation (NAR) espouses Seven Mountains Dominionism – that Christians must take dominion over seven aspects of culture: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government. “[Their issues are] anti-abortion, anti-gay rights — but they also have … the belief that government should not be involved in social safety nets, that the country is becoming socialist, if not communist …”
In January 2016 Ted Cruz’s father Rafael Cruz published A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America, where he implores that “people of faith should actively participate in the political process in order to combat the debilitating and deceptive progressive mantra that there should be a separation of church and state.”
The first amendment to the US Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” The two parts, known as the “establishment clause” and the “free exercise clause” respectively, form the textual basis for the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the “separation of church and state” doctrine.
Interestingly, R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec, authors of A New Apostolic Reformation?, name Bethel Church in Redding CA among other leaders involved in the NAR. However, according to an article by Martyn Jones in the April 24, 2016 edition of Christianity Today, when Bill Johnson was asked “So, what are your thoughts on the New Apostolic Reformation?” he replied, “I’m not completely clear on what it is… I’ve seen my name on the list, but if it’s what I think it is, all we’re saying is, we want the culture around us to change.”
Understanding someone else’s worldview does not necessarily make it easy to genuinely communicate, particularly if you see the world very differently! It’s a start, but where do we go from here? Maybe Jim Warnemuende’s 4-week, Wednesday night, Interpersonal Communication class will help? Join us.