Theocracy: Imposing Faith into Politics in the US and Abroad

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Look out! The Theocratic Christians are on the move. The warm-fuzzy theocratic megachurch phenomenon starring Rick Warren has its roots in C. Peter Wagner’s Dominionist theology.  Wagner, the founder of Global Harvest Ministries, is the Convening Apostle in the New Apostolic Reformation and recently recruited the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council into his fold. Wagner is also chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute which

equips men and women for leadership positions in churches and translocal ministries. It is designed especially, but not exclusively, to meet the needs of leaders who have become a part of the New Apostolic reformation.

Wagner recently enlisted Sammy Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council into the International Coalition of Apostles . Rodriguez,  nicknamed the Hispanic Karl Rove, claims to represent over 15 million US Hispanics in the Protestant evangelical and five million Charismatic Catholic sects. That’s significant electoral heft. And he’s preached:

We have radical Muslims. Radical homosexuals. Radical abortionists. We need radical, born again, spirit filled Christians to arise ! Do you follow me ? We don’t need any sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians. We need prophetic, devil stomping, demon rebuking, blood washed, Bible believing, free-from-sin Christians.

Rodriguez also played a part in crafting the Third Way’s Come Let Us Reason Together mission. The Third Way calls counts as co-chairs eleven members of the US Congress from the Democratic Party: six House members and five Senators. Their mission is

finding common ground between centrist evangelicals and progressives on the most divisive cultural issues of our times

which sounds pretty reasonable and moderate until you read between the lines regarding abortion and LGBT marriage rights.

  • Reducing abortions (reducing abortion through reducing unintended pregnancies, supporting pregnant women, and increasing support for adoption)
  • Supporting employment protections for gay and lesbian people (protecting the rights of gay and lesbian people to earn a living, while protecting the freedom of religious organizations to follow their own beliefs)

No abortion, and I wonder if “reducing unintended pregnancies” means birth control or abstinence.  LGBT workplace protection, but not marriage equality? A vast number of religious organizations are opposed to marriage equality, and have fought hard against it, feeling their rights would be compromised by civil marriage equality.

Rodriguez

prayed together with Barack Obama, in a special private ceremony prior to the new president’s inauguration.

Rick Warren wrote his 1993 dissertation, New Churches For a New Generation: Church planting to reach Baby Boomers for his Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminar under Wagner’s supervision. Sarah Palin has been linked to Wagner through Thomas Muthee who cast out witches while blessing her at Wasilla Assemblies of God Church and Mary Glazier, one of the Prophets of Wagner’s inner circle of leadership, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders.

Warren has a plan, P.E.A.C.E . (Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation) which TIME Magazine describes as

an attempt to radically re-engineer Evangelicalism’s huge missionary culture, connecting individual churches in the U.S. to congregations in target countries rather than funneling aid and evangelism through agencies that send trained professionals into the field.

C. Peter Wagner has a slightly different view of P.E.A.C.E., as religion writer Bruce Wilson explains on Talk2Action:

In his 2008 book “Dominion”, C. Peter Wagner describes the process through which this brand of Christianity can take dominion over government and society, and Wagner claims that this can be done within a democratic framework. Wagner clearly states that Rick Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is an example of “stage one”:

“I think the P.E.A.C.E. plan fits most comfortably into Phase One, the ‘social action’ phase of strategies for obeying God’s cultural mandate. The Phase Two emphases on strategic-level spiritual warfare and associated activities have not been placed front and center. And crucial to Phase Three, as I am defining it, are such things as apostolic/prophetic government of the Church, the Church (including apostles) in the workplace, the great transfer of wealth, dominion theology and the 7-M mandate.” [page 174, Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, by C. Peter Wagner, published in 2008 by Chosen Books]

Rick Warren very close pals with Martin Ssempa who has appeared on stage at Saddleback Church, has burned condoms in the name of Jesus, called on newspapers to publish the names of known homosexuals and urged the imprisonment of gays.

A bill currently before Uganda’s Parliament would impose a life sentence as

minimum punishment for anyone convicted of having gay sex…If the accused person is HIV positive or a serial offender, or a “person of authority” over the other partner, or if the “victim” is under 18, a conviction will result in the death penalty.  Members of the public are obliged to report any homosexual activity to police with 24 hours or risk up to three years in jail…

[W]ithin Uganda [is] deeply-rooted homophobia, aided by a US-linked evangelical campaign alleging that gay men are trying to “recruit” schoolchildren, and that homosexuality is a habit that can be “cured”…

Warren told Newsweek:

In 2007 we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own. Our role, and the role of the PEACE Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation. (emphasis added)

Yet Warren inserted himself in the political process during Prop 8, by hosting presidential debate at Saddleback Church, and told the Orange County Register:

I believe in separation of church and state, but I don’t believe in separation of faith and politics.

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