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“Many Believers in South Africa are Jumping on the Bandwagon of Dominionism”
by Professor Johan Malan   
June 14th, 2010

Christians are increasingly mobilised towards efforts of controlling and reforming the world by reminding them of their long-forgotten dominion mandate. This is particularly the case in the US and South Africa from where the global Transformations Movement is orchestrated. Disciples of Christ have allegedly, like believers in the Old Testament, neglected their biblical mandate to rule over the world and are now held directly responsible for the serious moral and spiritual crisis in which the world finds itself.

Joy magazine in South Africa is one of many voices challenging Christians to reclaim their God-given mandate which they have consistently shunned for almost two millennia. One of the recent wake-up calls by which believers are implored to assume their position as kings, can be seen in the Addendum below. The following comments are made to expose the weaknesses and wrong applications of the arguments in support of dominionism during the church age, and to offer the correct biblical perspective on the end-time revelation of God’s kingdom:

The nature and fulfilment of the dominion mandate
The original mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion over it (Gen. 1:26-28) was given before the Fall. It was based upon the assumption that human beings who were created in the image of God would always act in accordance with the divine nature which was instilled in them. As children of the light they were called upon to be co-rulers with God over His creation. However, the depraved nature of humanity after the Fall rendered them unfit to rule over the works of God’s hand. Profs. John Walvoord & Roy Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 29) say: “Because of sin all things are not under man’s dominion (Heb. 2:8). But Jesus Christ will establish dominion over all the earth at His second coming.”

In Hebrews 2:8 Paul further explains man’s present status: “You have put all things in subjection under his feet… But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” The fulfilment of the dominion mandate will be Messianic and eschatological. Christians are not in control of the world now and are nowhere commissioned to be so.

During the church age true Christians have always been a small minority in the world, and this situation will prevail until Christ comes (Matt. 7:14; Luke 13:23-24; John 3:19). We were called to be the light of a spiritually dark world and the salt of a morally corrupt earth (Matt. 5:13-14). As such we are in opposition to the works of darkness which are practised by the vast majority of unsaved people (Eph. 5:11). The world will hate and persecute us (John 15:18-19; 16:33) while we are shining as lights in the midst of a crooked generation (Phil. 2:15).

During the present dispensation we are not kings but witnesses for Christ who are often despised by the world. As soldiers for the cross we are admonished to put on the full armour of God to remain standing against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-12). We have to contend against “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). Even fellow-Christians will criticise and reject us when we raise the standard of holiness to the level expected of us by the Lord.

Spiritual warfare in the church age is clearly applied to individual believers. We are taught how to prevail over the temptations of Satan and to become spiritually strong in the Lord. We are definitely not commanded to expel Satan from communities, cities, regions or entire countries, thereby to deliver the world from demonic bondages and strongholds as a prelude to re-establishing the kingdom of God. The enemy might even laugh at organised mass-meetings as efforts to bolster power against him and make him flee from that area. He will be around until Christ comes to bind him in a pit and to establish the kingdom of heaven. Until that time we, as individuals, must stand fast in the liberty of Christ and always resist the devil.

Satan rules in the hearts of unsaved people. Since they are in the majority he has considerable influence on worldly affairs. We as Christians live in a hostile environment and must learn to do so victoriously until the Lord comes. Without succumbing to negativity we should rather expect more problems in the world than believing that we can physically establish God’s kingdom before the coming of Christ.

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