CREATING A COMMON PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE MONEYED ELITES AND THE RELIGIOUS ELITES

November 28, 1999
by: S.R. Shearer

[Much of the material that has gone into this report was researched by Gary Clem in Washington D.C.; in addition, much of the background material regarding Restoration came from Trish Tillin of Banner Ministries which is headquartered in the United Kingdom [email protected]. We urge you all to check her website out.]

"... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Tim. 6:9-10)

 

INTRODUCTION: THEOLOGY
AS AN EXCUSE FOR GREED

The apostasy and even heresy that has taken root in the church today is becoming ever more appalling and frightful to those serious students of the Word of God who have taken the time to study what's been happening in all that passes at present for "evangelical Christianity" - from the bizarre and even grotesque "goings on" in Toronto and Brownsville [such as people writhing uncontrollably on the floor, barking like dogs, crowing like roosters, laughing hysterically, etc. (and all the while calling such maniacal exhibitions "manifestation" of the Holy Spirit)] to the "New Age" deification of believers as taught by Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Bennie Hinn [for example, Hagin's belief that we are all "little Jesuses" - divine as Jesus is divine, and as much God as Jesus is God: Hagin says, "That's who we are; we're Jesus"[1]].

The false teachings of those people who are involved in all this - from the older so-called "Prophets and Apostles" of this modern, magical carnival show of "extraordinary and amazing Signs and Wonders" like William Branham, Stanley Comstock, Earl Ivy, Tommy Baird, Myrtle Page, Franklin Hall (and his brothers, Delbert, Harold, and Virgil), William Freeman, A.A. Allen, O.L. Jaggers, Gayle Jackson, Oral Roberts, David Nunn, W.V. Grant, William Hagen, Dale Hanson, Tommy Hicks to newer luminaries such as Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, Emanuele and David Cannistraci, Dick Iverson, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner, Chuck Pierce, Robert Stearns, Mike Bickle, Reuven Doron, Che Ahn, Frank Hammond, Cindy Jacobs, John Eckhardt, Bobbie Byerly, Dutch Sheets, Jack Hayford, Jim Goll, Frank Damazio, Ed Silvoso, Carlos Annacondia, Claudio Freidzon, Roger Mitchell, Ted Haggard, Tommy Tenney ad nausium - are so incredible that it is almost easy to forget that there is another factor motivating these men beyond their titillating teachings - specifically, their incredible and even egregious worldliness.

"WHITED SEPULCHERS" - PEOPLE PRETENDING
TO BE GOD'S SERVANTS BUT WHO ARE IN
REALITY THE SERVANTS OF HELL & GREED

Proud peacocks, all of them - more like presumptuous actors and haughty divas strutting their stuff on a stage than humble ministers of the Word of God - they swagger and prance in front of their audiences in their million dollar churches sporting coiffured hair, thousand dollar suits, golden crosses, and diamond rings - and all the while seemingly unaware of how far removed they are from the demeanor and comportment of the humble Carpenter of Nazareth who said of Himself:

"... foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Matt. 8:20)

To a man, they are all fascinated with Big Money! - and in that manner their mindset parallels the mindset of the moneyed elites of this world; both groups are bewitched by money (please see our article "The Elite, Money, and the End of Days.". They need it for their million dollar temples and their gluttonous life-styles. The lust for money fairly drips from their mouths, and they have elevated picking the pockets of their parishioners to an art form. These are those who "suppose that material gain (i.e., the acquisition of money and wealth) is godliness" (I Tim 6:5) against whom the Bible warns us, and solemnly admonishes us to "withdraw" ourselves from their presence (I Tim 6:5). Indeed, the Bible says:

"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." (1 Tim. 6:7-8)

Yet these monstrosities of Greed and Avarice seem scarcely apprised of such verses, and appear blissfully ignorant of the dire warnings of Scripture that -

"... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Tim. 6:9-10)

These are they about whom Jesus said:

"... ye are like unto whited sepulchres (tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
"Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt. 23:27-28)

THERE IS MORE DRIVING THESE MEN
THAN THEIR ABERRANT THEOLOGIES

Yes! - the aberrant theology of these men should, no doubt, be studied and debunked. But in doing so, we should never forget that there is something beyond theology that is driving them; something so great and terrible that it would not at all be unfair to say that their theology (such as it is) serves merely as a cloaking device for what they are really all about: which is to say, worldliness!

This is not to say that people like Kenneth Hagin, Bennie Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, etc. are not heretics. They are! - after all, what does one call a person who teaches the deification of the believer other than a heretic. But in today's church, the deviant theology of these leaders functions more as a cover for their greed and the avarice of those who follow them (especially the yuppies and "wanna-bes" who populate their churches - people who think that the best way to prove their godliness is to own a BMW and who concomitantly believe that the sole purpose of the church is to make them better "citizens of THIS world" so that they can all have more pleasant lives in the "here and now") than anything else! It is because of this kind of worldliness that today's church has found it so easy (even convenient) to fall into its unlawful alliance with the world and the "Fat Cats" of the Republican Party and the world's other elites (please see "The Versailles Phenomenon").

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LEADERS OF
OUR PRESENT CHURCH AND THE ELITES OF
THIS WORLD; IT'S NOT THEOLOGY - IT'S GREED

The relationship between the present leaders of our church and the moneyed elites of this world has nothing to do with a common world view or any other such thing: it's not that they share a common mindset that makes them partners, it's their common greed. The fact is, the people who make up this country's moneyed elite don't give a whit about the theology of Kenneth Hagin, Rick Joyner, Bennie Hinn, Bob Jones, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner, Chuck Pierce, etc. Think about it! - what real interest do men like William Buckley, Bill Bennett, Paul Gigot, George Bush, Steve Forbes and other elite Republicans have in the crazed ramblings of a Bob Jones or a Rick Joyner? There is none; and because such is so obviously the case, one of our subscribers, an extremely well-educated history professor at a mid-western college (secular), asked why we should even be interested in such people (i.e., Hagin, Hinn, Copeland, etc.), let alone be concerned about what they are thinking [he raised the question after we had encouraged many of our subscribers to read an article by Trish Tillin of Banner Ministries entitled "Doctrine of Demons" which detailed the aberrant theology (eschatology) of many of these people.] He wrote:

"I read 'The Doctrine of Demons' by Trish Tillin as Dene (McGriff) suggested. "I think what puzzles me most is that the Restoration movement talks big, but in this day of free market globalism, it seems like the military/commercial conglomerate has all the power and all they really care about is money ... It seems like material apostasy rules, whereas the Restoration movement is relegated to a lunatic fringe. They just don't seem to have any real power to carry out their threats. What am I missing?" [2]

And he has a point! The people who hold the real power in this world are not people like Kenneth Hagin, Rick Joyner, Bennie Hinn, Bob Jones, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner, Emanuele and David Cannistraci, Dick Iverson, etc. The people who hold the REAL power are this nation's corporate, political and military elites - men and women who hold the Kenneth Hagins and the Dick Iversons of this world in utter contempt and consider them to be nothing more than superstitious "know nothings" and buffoons.

I wrote back:

"I pretty much agree with you. I think that a lot of people - when examining these subjects - focus not enough on what's happening where the REAL power is (which is to say, as you put it, in the military/commercial conglomerate), and too much on the religious angle."

THAT DOESN'T MEAN, HOWEVER, THAT
THE RELIGIOUS ELITES SHOULD BE IGNORED

On the other hand, we err greatly if we do not understand what people like those who are involved in Restoration are up to; they understand where "the people" are much better than do the elites If you want to know what "the people" are really thinking beyond the inane speculations of a Bill Bennet or a Paul Gigot, you must understand what people like Emanuele Cannistraci and Rick Joyner are up to; if the elites lose track of "the people," they will eventually fall prey to the mob - which is exactly what happened less than ten years ago to the communist elite, an elite most people thought could never be dislodged. And more than they care to admit, the American elite is well aware of all this. I continued:

"Christianity - as we know it - is being changed from within, and it is, therefore, very valuable to stay abreast of what's occurring there. While Restoration was at one time pretty much a fringe movement, elements of this movement have been adopted wholesale into the larger Christian community in recent years - especially those elements of Restoration that relate to the re-emergence of a CRUSADER SPIRIT in Western Christendom dedicated to taking back the West for Christ and the church. This kind of thinking infuses much of Christianity today. In addition, a very eerie and frightening emphasis on Signs and Wonders (i.e., miracles) has emerged throughout the larger Christian community - especially among charismatics - and this is true insofar as both the Protestant and Catholic communities are concerned. "Both these things - (1) the emergence of a CRUSADER SPIRIT and (2) the emergence of an emphasis on Signs and Wonders - bear careful scrutiny. These things bespeak a growing radicalization of ordinary Christians throughout the West. As globalism continues apace throughout the world, ordinary people in all eight of the earth's great civilizations are being radicalized (please see our article on the "Versailles Phenomenon") - and it is precisely these kinds of people [those who - because of the harsh and uncaring economic policies of the world's elites and their (i.e., the elites') total disregard for the cultural norms ordinary people consider important - have been radicalized] who are prone to accept the crazed mindset inherent in Restoration ... "If this radicalization continues to take hold in the West, God help the rest of the world - for then the world's elites could harness it (as I described in the "Versailles Phenomenon") for their own purposes ..."

We both agreed. Terry wrote back -

"Thanks for your insight. You reminded me what you have already written about--that the harshness of globalism will drive people into radical religious solutions. Thanks for taking the time. "I am going to try to develop this theme to present to my Latin American classes. You can expect to be quoted a lot."

FORGING AN ALLIANCE ON THE
BASIS OF GREED AND AVARICE

Thus, while the "Fat Cats" of the Republican Party's elite establishment hold the leadership of today's evangelical community in scorn, they are more than willing to partner with them insofar as their common economic aggrandizement is concerned. This is, after all, their modus operandi with regard to their lackeys in the so-called "Developing World," and if it works their with the thugs and goons they've placed in charge of those countries (please see "The American Empire"), why not with the Religious Right in this country? AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S HAPPENING! - a fact that many of today's political pundits and "talking heads" have utterly failed to grasp, and so much so that they have begun talking (rather ignorantly, it would seem) among themselves about the demise of the Religious Right in recent days. But people who are making such comments only reveal how superficial their grasp is on what's really occurring politically in the country at large. While it's true that many in the Religious Right have given up on "turning the country around" (at least for now) insofar as abortion, prayer in the school and other "hot button" Religious Right issues are concerned, a new effort has emerged which most political pundits seem hardly aware of - and it has to do with the disbursement of federal, state and county school and social welfare funds.

The effort here is directed at making churches and para-church organizations the main "allocaters" of the government's munificence (charity) - and while this is a little known or understood effort insofar as "John Q. Public" is concerned, most leaders in the Christian Right (for example, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, Beverley LaHaye, Dr. James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, etc.) are well aware of what's happening, and fully comprehend the massive social and cultural implications such a shift could portend - especially insofar as it would greatly enhance church power in this country.

Indeed, Republicans of all stripes - from "moderates" like George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey and Dennis Hastert to those considered to be Religious Right zealots - have embraced this concept. In addition, corporate America has become an extremely enthusiastic proponent of this effort. Unlike their involvement with the Religious Right's "hot button" issues (which brings them nothing but headaches politically), so-called "moderate" Republicans and the nation's corporate elites get a "twofer" here: the financial shift they advocate (1) defunds (and, ipso facto, renders impotent) one of the main bastions of liberal power in the country, specifically the massive government bureaucracy (county, state and federal), and (2) "buys-off" and placates their religious right allies - a constituency they MUST keep happy if they have any chance of maintaining the "American System of Client States" upon which their wealth and prosperity depends. (Please see "The American Empire" and "The American System of Client States.")

A COVERSION OF INTERESTS: A LITTLE BACKGROUND

The elites of the Republican Party have been stymied for years because of liberal control of the institutions of government. The hold that the liberal-left has had on these institutions stems principally from the unprecedented expansion of the nation's federal, state, and county bureaucracies which began with Roosevelt's New Deal - bureaucracies which, as Professor Daniel Bell of Columbia[3] has suggested, have come to be staffed principally by people who have emanated out of America's liberally oriented college and university system, and which is made up of "free thinkers" and liberal intellectuals who inevitably seem to possess an anti-business bias.

Over the years, as they moved into the bureaucracy, they brought with them their liberal-left orientations - orientations which have plagued Republicans and the corporate elites ever since. By now they have so entrenched themselves in the various institutions of government that it has become well-nigh impossible to dislodge them - regardless of which party holds political power in the country at large. So intertwined have the two (i.e., the liberal-left and the various bureaucracies of government) become that it would be difficult to destroy one without destroying the other - and the problem here is that many of the programs that the liberal-left administers are programs that are not only necessary, but ones which are enthusiastically supported by large numbers of people - both Democrats and Republicans.

What to do? - PRIVATIZE!! - i.e., move the administration of these programs (and even the nation's schools) from the hands of the public bureaucracies into the hands of private agencies. AND THIS IS WHERE THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT COMES IN!! THIS IS WHERE THE INTERSECTION OF INTERESTS BETWEEN THE REPUBLICAN ELITE AND THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT OCCURS.

For several decades now the Religious Right has been straining with every fiber it possesses to take over the country for "Christ and the church:" it has tried miracles ("Signs and Wonders"); it's forged shameful alliances with the Moonies, with the Mormons, with racists and a whole host of other suspect groups in order to enhance its power (please see our article, "Political Christianity"); it has written books; it has prayed; and various elements within it have writhed on the floor, barked like dogs and crowed like roosters. And what do they have to show for it? - not much! What cities have been actually taken for Christ? What regions? What countries? It has been pretty much a waste of time. Not only have they failed to make much progress politically, but church growth in the country has actually started to decline. What a terrible waste of time and energy!

But just as all seems lost, Bush and his elite Republican cohorts show up with a plan to inundate them with millions and millions - nay, billions and billions of dollars. What prayer couldn't do, what "Signs and Wonders" couldn't do, what writhing on the floor, barking like dogs and crowing like roosters couldn't do - MONEY CAN DO!!!

YES, THERE HAS BEEN A CONVERGENCE OF INTERESTS HERE BETWEEN ELITE REPUBLICANS ON THE ONE HAND AND THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT ON THE OTHER - AND WHAT A CONVERGENCE!!

ALL THIS MAKES THE
RELIGIOUS RIGHT SALIVATE

All this goes a long way in explaining why most of the "mainline" Christian Right organizations like the Christian Coalition, the Traditional Values Coalition, etc. have spurned the effort by religious-right activists like Gary Bauer, Pat Buchanan and Ambassador Keyes to push the abortion issue. It explains why they remain so wedded to the Republican Party and the candidacy of George W. Bush - a man who, at least on the surface, passes himself off as a "moderate" and seems to spurn "hot button" religious right issues - but who has been pushing a program aimed at making "private agencies" (read churches and para-church organizations) the main dispensers of the government's social welfare funds. The smell of money is making people like Pat Robeertson, Tim LaHaye, James Dobsom, etc. salivate in a most unseemly way.

Add to all this the very real possibility that school vouchers may become a reality in the near future - where school money in the form vouchers could be re-routed to churches and para-church organizations rather than through public schools (another bastion of liberal power) - then the financial implications of all this become massive.

IT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW

And it's not just a dream - such a shift is beginning to get under way right now in many of the nation's largest cities, and it is proving to be highly successful. For example, in Los Angeles, a number of Christian organizations have been highly involved in the development and administration of alternative school programs, battered women assistance, counseling, English as a Second Language programs, drug assistance programs, job assistance programs, adoption services and a whole host of other programs, and there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that they are having more success developing and administering these programs than the traditional public agencies. Indeed, the success of the Los Angeles programs and other similar programs throughout the country have gone a long way in silencing many liberals who otherwise - one would have thought - would have (should have) opposed such a shift. There is no denying their popularity among the populations they serve.

Add to this the astonishing success of a number of limited school voucher programs in Minneapolis, Boston, New York and several other cities - programs which were aimed specifically at helping poor children in minority communities - and the impetus for expanding these programs grows with each passing election cycle. And what makes all this so terrifying to the liberal elites is that many of the people who are now pushing these programs are the very voting blocs that they have counted on before in supporting their liberal / left social agendas. The slogan, "Why should only the rich be given access to a private education," has proven to be devastating insofar as the liberal elites are concerned.

. BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS

There are billions and billions and billions of dollars involved here. The amount is breath-taking! - and all of this money flowing through the hands of the churches!! Again, it's this - not abortion and prayer in the school - that's making "in-the-know" Christian right activists salivate!! And it should! - stop for a moment and think what all this could mean. Take school vouchers, for example: in California, each student is allocated about $5,000 a year in state and federal funds that go directly to the public schools these students attend. Under the proposed school voucher program, for each child that drops out of the public school system and enters a private, church-based school, that child will be allowed to bring with him one-half of that allocation, or $2,500. Now, think what that would mean insofar as a moderately-sized church is concerned!

Most of these churches already have existing school rooms; they have them for their Sunday Schools. For most of the week, they stand empty and unused. Say a church has twelve such rooms - not at all unusual for a moderately-sized church - each capable of holding twenty students - all told, 240 children; that's 240 (the total number of students) X 2500 (the amount of "voucher money" each student receives annually) = $600,000.00 a year. Subtract from that amount the salaries of twelve teachers [say $18,000 a year (teachers at church operated schools are notoriously underpaid - something many of these teachers accept because they see what they are doing more as a "calling" than as a vocation) total for all teachers: $216,000 a year)] and you get $384,000. That's $384,000 free and clear!! You say, what about overhead, custodians, staff beyond teacher positions (i.e., counselors, principals, maintenance and repair, etc.? Most of these functions would probably be taken over by already existing church staff, and insofar as maintenance and repair are concerned, these functions are already being performed. And all this to say nothing about the incentive to add more students per class and more class rooms! THIS IS A HUGE BONANZA!!

MORE EXAMPLES

And what's true here with regard to school vouchers is also true with regard to many of the government's myriad of other social welfare programs; for instance, one particular Christian group in Houston, Texas called Somebody Cares is already beginning to transition (in a very willy-nilly fashion) into a conduit for government funds for the following services[ 4] [and while to date, the amount of money is small and flows into Somebody Cares in a rather indirect fashion, the potential for a much more massive flow of funds is there if Bush and his cohorts have their way (see below)]:

Alternative Schools
Work with Youth Gangs
Food Pantries
Housing Assistance
Pregnancy Assistance
On-Site Social Services
Literacy Programs
Financial Assistance
Transportation
Clothes Closets
Battered Women Assistance
Senior Citizens Programs
Employment for Homeless
English as a Second Language
Counseling/Educational Support
Personal Services for Homeless
Nursing Home Ministries
Work with At-Risk Youth
Soup Kitchen/Street Feeds
Humanitarian Aid - Orphanages
Counseling
Drug Assistance
Job Training
Eye Care
Referrals
Adoption Services
Shelters
Tutoring
Childcare
GED Tutoring

[And it should be noted in this connection that Governor Bush has made channeling government funds through private agencies like Somebody Cares (which, as Governor of Texas, he is familiar with) one of the most important programs he plans to initiate as President; he considers the shift of public welfare money away from public agencies to private agencies one of the most important domestic programs of his planned presidency.]

This is a staggering number of programs which could involve potentially enormous amounts of money for church and para-church organizations! - and, if Bush and his allies have their way, there exists the very real possibility that in the near future a good deal of this money will be flowing through private (read church and para-church) welfare agencies like Somebody Cares, and as it passes through these agencies, it will both empower and enrich them beyond measure.

WHAT ALL THIS WILL ACCOMPLISH

The potential shift of these funds from public agencies to private agencies (mostly churches and para-church organizations like Somebody Cares) will accomplish three things:

  1. By making church and para-church organizations dispensers of this largesse, it will greatly empower these organizations vis a vis the populations these funds have been designed to serve.
  2. It will help to cement the growing relationship between the state and the church.
  3. It will serve as an incentive towards further unity insofar as the Christian community is concerned because the feds (and, for that matter, state and county officials) prefer to work with coalitions rather than with a myriad of separate and often smaller competing groups. It's what I call the "United Way" phenomenon - a phenomenon at work in the private sector in which private donors prefer to give to one large group rather than innumerable smaller ones.
THE CHURCHES AND PARA-CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS
THAT ARE BEST POSITIONED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
ALL THIS ARE THOSE INVOLVED IN RESTORATION

Naturally, the churches which are in the best position to take advantage of these funds are those churches and para-church organizations that are already involved in ecumenicism - and the longer they have been involved, the better. And what churches are those? - those churches involved in the so-called "Restoration Movement." They champion an eschatology (i.e., "Dominionism") that possesses an internal dynamic which embraces the kind of "inter-denominational bonding" that the feds (and state and local authorities) are looking for insofar as the distribution of their (i.e., the governments') funds are concerned.

Perhaps, if government officials really knew what Restoration and Dominionism were really all about - and fully understood the extreme militancy of those who are involved in these movements - they might think twice about entrusting public funds into their hands. It's akin to handing a gun to someone who has sworn to kill you.

Oh, you think that we are being too much here? - too excessive or intemperate? Well, consider: these people possess a belief system that leads them to think that God has ordained them to rid the earth of all His enemies in a "cleansing action," helped along by the angels of heaven. In carrying out this "cleansing action," they believe that they will be purifying the earth for Christ's return. Bob Jones, a leader in this movement has said:

"As we see the day approaching there's going to be a cleansing ... there's going to be a purging ... coming forth ... and everyone that's living under the immorality cover ... will be brought down. And God's new breed will come forth ..."[5]

Another writer, Jack Deere, has written:

"Jesus is coming in power and he's going to have an army that is powerful, and this is the army that he speaks of in Joel. No one can stop it, and it will strike TERROR into the hearts of everyone ... This army is invincible ..." [6]

And R.J. Rushdooney writes:

"In winning a nation to the gospel, the sword (i.e., gun) as well as the pen must be used." [Please see our material on Rushdooney in our article entitled, "The Rutherford Institute."].

Pretty scary stuff - but such is the government's ignorance of these matters, that most of these officials have no idea what many of these churches and para-church organizations are really all about. All they know is that these organizations are doing a pretty good job insofar as many of the social welfare programs they are administering are concerned. That's all that they care about! - it's akin to a phenomenon already "afoot" in the Middle East wherein one finds that those groups that are most deeply engaged in charity work in poor communities are the radical Islamic groups such as Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza and the Gamas Islamiya and the Ikhwan el Muslemin (Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt - all of which function as benevolent neighborhood groups operating clinics, welfare organizations, centers for food distribution, etc.

But there is more to these groups than their surface benevolence reveals. Operating just below the surface is a radical religious mindset that aims at radicalizing the entire Middle East and beyond - and such is precisely the case with these Christian groups in the West, especially those in the United States - groups like Somebody Cares in Houston, Texas. Dominionism or Restoration is the mindset driving these groups. In throwing money at groups like these, all the government is doing is empowering them that much the more.

Yes! - there is another agenda beyond simple benevolence that's driving groups like Somebody Cares, and that's where Dominionism and Restoration come into the picture. We need to understand what these concepts are all about - because in funding these groups, the government is empowering and legitimizing them at the same time.

RESTORATION AND DOMINIONISM

"Dominionism" is a militant post-millennial eschatology (please see our material on post-millennialism in our last article, "Striking a Blow at Today's Pastoral System") which pictures the seizure of earthly (temporal) power by the church as the only means through which the world can be rescued; only after the world has been thus "rescued" can Christ return to "rule and reign." (Some dominionists see the seizure of the earth as the result of "signs, wonders, and miracles;" others picture it as the result of military and political conquest; most see it as a combination of both.) Al Dager writes,

"Some two decades before Pentecostalism found its way into the (mainstream) denominations (i.e., the Episcopalians, the Catholic Church, etc.) as the 'Charismatic Renewal', it experienced a new surge of experience-oriented theology within its own ranks. It was from this neo-Pentecostal experience - what came to be called the 'Latter Rain Movement' - that Charismatic Dominionism sprang. The more prominent leaders of that movement blended Pentecostal fervor with teachings that the Church was on the brink of a worldwide revival. That revival would result in a victorious Church without spot or wrinkle ... (which) would inherit the earth and rule over the nations with a rod of iron." Dager explains that at the core of the dominionist mindset is "a ... premise ... that when Adam sinned, not only did man lose dominion over the earth, but God also lost control of the earth to Satan. Since that time ... God has been on the outside looking in, searching for a 'covenant people' who will be His 'extension' or 'expression' in the earth to take dominion back from Satan ..."[7]

THE DOMINIONIST MODEL

The basic dominionist model is as follows:

  1. The world is plunged into a time of political and spiritual crisis, one which threatens the world with chaos and the church with destruction.
  2. The Lord brings revival to the church.
  3. This revival results in the end of the church's divisions and the rule of the "apostles and prophets."
  4. The "Gospel of the Kingdom" is preached to the whole earth which leads to the conversion of Israel, the conquest of the world, and the judgment of those who refuse to convert.
  5. The Lord returns.

Jewel van der Merwe of Discernment Magazine, elaborates; she writes that the "New Charismatics" are actively pushing a belief system which prophesies that

" ... (1) the greatest revival the church has ever known (is about to occur); (2) the greatest baptism of the Spirit the Church has ever experienced (will shortly happen); (3) the greatest army (Joel's Army) distinguished by invincibility, immortality and divinity (will be raised up); (4) the greatest purging ... in the history of the church (will shortly begin);1 (5) the greatest ministry - the Prize of all Ages (is about to break forth); and (6) the greatest miracles, supernatural signs and wonders far exceeding that of the Apostles and Prophets of old (will shortly take place)."[ 8]

THE DOMINIONIST MODEL IS AT VARIANCE
WITH THE OLDER PRE-MILLENNIAL MODEL

The dominionist model[9], however, is at total variance with the older premillennial model. The premillennial model pictures:

  1. The world is plunged into a time of spiritual and political crisis.
  2. The church is apostatized.
  3. The apostatized church unites with the anti-Christ and seizes control of the world.
  4. A great tribulation breaks out against those Christians who refuse to become a part of the apostatized church, resulting in their persecution and finally their destruction - after which the anti-Christ, who had at first appeared as the champion of Israel, turns on Israel to destroy her.
  5. The rapture occurs for those Christians who "remain," and Christ returns to bring judgment on those who had destroyed Israel and persecuted those Christians who had refused to be apostatized.

This model is essentially the model of Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth, with the exception that Lindsey postulates that Christians will be raptured out of the world prior to the beginning of the persecution of the anti-Christ. Premillennialists are divided on the point of the rapture; some argue that the rapture will occur before the tribulation, some say during, and some say afterwards - but the essential elements of the rest of the model remain.]

It should also be noted in this connection that in the dominionist model, the church is the "main player," while in the premillennialist model, Christ is the "main player."

In one way or another, all those listed on page one of this article - including Franklin Hall, William Branham, George Hawtin, Percy G. Hunt, Herrick Holt, George Warnock, Bill Britton, Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, Ern Baxter, Don Basham, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, D. James Kennedy, William Banks, Marilyn Hickey, Demos Shakarian, Ralph Martin, Steve Clark, Kevin Ranaghan, etc. - have all been involved in "Dominionism" and "Latter Rain."[10]

PROPHETS AND APOSTLES:
A LITTLE BACKGROUND

Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries[ 11] [Banner Ministries: [email protected]] writes that Restorationists believe that not long after the birth of the Church, it became stifled by tradition and laws, and the vibrancy and spiritual power of the Early Church was lost. This needed to be RESTORED, and the process took centuries. From time to time, certain individuals or groups would gain access to the secrets of power and authority, and they would begin preaching the "kingdom message" but up until this century they were seen as heretics and rejected by the established churches.[12]

Tillin says that the turning point came in the 1960's with a worldwide renewal accompanied by spiritual gifts. The conversion experience was seen as the Outer Court of the Tabernacle, Baptism in the Spirit moved the believer into the Holy Place of Ministry. However, the Holy of Holies containing the Presence of God had yet to be entered! One important feature to be restored in this latter-day church was to be the ministry of apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor and evangelist "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph 4:11-13).

Once the new structures had been set in place, and the people were willing to submit to them (shepherding and covering schemes all helped this process along), the PROPHETS would introduce NEW DOCTRINES by direct inspiration of the Spirit. This would begin the next phase of development, from the old structures to the new paradigm. Now not only the structure and form of the churches were changing, but the core beliefs - and the traditional pre-millennial mindset of evangelicalism was swept aside in favor of a post-millennial mindset (please see our recent article that touches on this matter: "Striking a Blow at Today's Pastoral System").

Tillin writes that it would be the duty of the new "anointed" apostles of the movement to uphold and enforce these new doctrines on the churches. These (i.e., the new apostles) were not to be mere servants of the people, but kings and rulers, beyond contradiction. To question them was tantamount to rebelling against God, since the Apostles were representatives of Christ on earth. Being "saved" was not now enough. Believers had to passive and obedient to qualify for membership in the New Church. A network of interconnected and related apostles was to be set up in every city, having headship of all the new churches.

Tillin continues:

"A most important factor in the restoration of the worldwide Church was to be the unity of all believers, for without this the glory could not return to the spiritual Temple. Remember, that Ephesians verse promising fullness, perfection and Christ-likeness had said "Till we all come in the unity of the faith...," Accordingly, all dissent and inter-denominational strife had to be silenced (or, swept under the carpet). Treaties and covenants were drawn up for ministers to sign, wherein they vowed not to"criticise each other." The Roman Catholic Church (especially and mostly its charismatic wing) was also incorporated as part of the Restored Church."[13]

THE END OF IT ALL

What Restorationists and Dominionists are ultimately pushing for is the establishment of a worldwide network of apostles governing whole nations and regions within those nations, and under them a whole edifice composed of submitted pastors, prophets and other elders all of whom give allegiance to those above them: a giant pyramid-like structure to which all the churches of the world are submitted.

Naturally, in such a system - one that aims at taking over the world in the "here and now," - it would be fair to say that money - lots and lots of money - would come in very handy. After all, that's what the "here and now" is all about - MONEY. And the way the system is set up, the more unity that can be forged, the more money will be forthcoming - again, the United Way phenomenon!

In this way, an upwardly spiraling vortex is set in motion wherein unity begets more money, which draws in more churches, which in turn begets more money still, which in turn draws more churches in - ad infinitum. Greed is the driving force here - the lust to get in on the action! It's pretty hard for a church to stay on the sideline in this kind of a dynamic; to stand silently by and watch all your sister churches expanding their school programs, their ministerial programs, building bigger sanctuaries, etc., etc. Look at all the good that can be done with all that money. Pretty hard to resist that kind of a dynamic. But there is a pretty hefty price to pay to get in on the action - your indpendence; doctrinal purity; etc.!! Yes!! - there is a price to be paid!!

Tillin says that no longer will churches be independent, self-governing, and autonomous. All that will end under this new scheme. Pastors are called to submit to their local Apostle, and each city or area will be required to come into unity with all other city churches and to sign covenants pledging not to discriminate, nor to poach each other's members, nor to criticize one another's doctrine - and as bizarre and Orwellian as all this sounds, the whole thing is well under way in some quarters. Tillin quotes from a pastor in Baltimore who has enthusiastically involved himself (and his church) in the process:

"... We have just closed one of the most powerful months in God that I believe I have experienced! First, we gathered over 80 pastors from Baltimore city and county for a retreat called Peace For The City. This was the largest INTER-DENOMINATIONAL gathering of pastors that this area has seen. Our guest speaker was Dr. David Schoch, a true father in the faith. He provided the insight, impartation and guidance of a patriarch. The Peace gathering was marked with reconciliation; both denominational and racial. Then, in a sovereign move of the spirit, a covenant was written and signed by the pastors. This covenant (which, like most covenants of this kind, limits people from speaking out against the dogmas and teachings of those other churches which are signatores of the covenant - editor) knitted the congregations, ministries and PULPITS of their churches together into ONE CHURCH in Baltimore. On May 2, 1999, these pastors will trade pulpits and preach in each other's churches! Already, this covenant has been adopted by churches in other cities and has even been taken to Argentina!"[14 ]

Phil Townend, a Restorationist in England, elaborates on what's going on here:

"At this very moment in history God is beginning to cover the world with a network of interlocking relationships between groups of believers in every place. ...In the process, God is releasing the Body of Christ world-wide from many of its traditional and 'neo-traditional' constraints in order to make room for new developments and allow for the level of joining that is required ... "Nowhere is the change that is taking place more evident or needed than at a local level. The biblical concept of a 'city' is helpful, if understood to include a town, borough or other administrative area... The principle to bear in mind is to pursue as far as we can unity at EVERY level... Bearing this in mind, we can define local church, in its simplest, biblical terms, as the sum of believers in a given area ... "What will emerge is one interlinked network of believers in a given area... Relational unity among recognized leaders is a clear prerequisite for what is coming... United leadership is needed to bring cohesion within the wider local Body ... "It is important that each local congregation ask itself a fundamental question about how it views its life and ministry. Does it operate out of an independent mindset, expressing a unilateral vision, with only a secondary or optional regard to what else is going on locally? Or does it seek out fellow local believers, desiring a corporate vision for an area together, looking to find its place in the wider context? The latter situation must become normative for everyone to prosper ... "Rebellious, divisive and critical attitudes and behavior on our part with regard to God's people and any existing church structures are never justified, and will seriously hamper, if not severely undermine, what God is doing at the present time."[15]

Now, this is precisely what is needed by the government if the Religious Right is to be properly positioned to act as a conduit for government money - the creation, as it were, of a kind of religiously-oriented United Way through which government funds could be channeled in an efficient and expeditious fashion.. The two (i.e., the Republican elites and the Religious Right) are playing a game that feeds into each other.

BACK TO HOUSTON AND "SOMEBODY CARES"

From all this we can easily see that what's going on with "Somebody Cares" in Houston - and a myriad of other similar groups throughout the country - is not occurring happen-chance, but is part of a larger process with vast implications for all of us. Moreover, there is a pattern to what is happenin. These groups are not just coming together willy-nilly.

There is a very discernable pathology here - a pathology which is - almost without exception - initiated by churches and para-church organizations with ties to the Restoration Movement: the process is launched around an altruistic goal - such as preaching the Gospel, prayer, reaching out to the poor, etc. - all of which, NO DOUBT, are worthwhile endeavors!! Moreover, it is based around - as Restorationist Phil Townend describes above - a "relational dynamic" - a dynamic that is predicated on the hypothesis that, all things being equal, relationships trump ideas in the affairs of man; that communities, once they are established, will fight to preserve their integrity even if it means that members must ultimately jettison their own individual beliefs in order to preserve harmony within the larger group.

The power of the dynamic rests on the very human impulse to preserve friendships and relationships at almost any cost, and that - therefore - people will hesitate to attack one another on an ideological or theological basis once relationships have been formed or established. And this is true!! - hence, our assertion that, under normal circumstances, relationships almost always trump ideas (i.e., theologies or beliefs). This, of course, is what Restorationists like Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, Emanuele and David Cannistraci, Dick Iverson, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner, etc., and groups like "Somebody Cares" are counting on. When this human impulse is then greased with money - AND LOTS OF IT - it takes on an almost irresistible impetus.

RELATIONSHIPS vs DOCTRINE (i.e., THE TRUTH)

Many people, of course, will say, Well, what's wrong with that? And the answer to that is, "Biblically, much in every way," and so much so that Jesus somberly warns us about it - which is exactly what He was doing when He said,

"He that loveth father or mother more than me is NOT worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is NOT worthy of me. (Matt. 10:37)

Pretty harsh! - especially when one considers that there are no relationships closer than these relationships. And remember here, Jesus was not talking to people who were at that time considered to be outside the "Community of God," but to people who very much thought of themselves - and rightfully so - to be members of the same common, God-ordained community: Israel.

What? Does this mean that following Jesus may sometimes cost us our relationship with other believers? Yes! - indeed, it does!! This probably is not what most well-meaning Christians have been told - but, in the church (if not within human communities), theology trumps relationships! - fidelity (i.e., loyalty) to the Word of God ALWAYS takes precedence over relationships. (Please see our article, "The Establishment Church: Working Within or Outside of It; What Should We Do?")

THE CHURCH IS THE PILLAR
AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH

The Bible says that the church is -

"... the PILLAR and GROUND of the TRUTH" (1 Tim. 3:15)

But if the church doesn't "abide in that truth" (I John 2:27) can it really be called the church any longer? The answer is obviously, No! Just because people who call themselves Christians meet together and profess love one for another does not in itself mean that they meet as the church. The Mormons, the Moonies, the Jehovah Witnesses and countless other similar sects call themselves Christian and claim to love one another - but does that mean that when they meet together, they meet as (or constitute) the church? No, of course not! Why? - because they do not meet on the "ground of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15), despite the fact that they call themselves Christians. Take away the truth, and you destroy the church! You can't have one without the other! Jesus said,

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." (Matt. 5:13)

- that is to say, if the church loses its savour, [i.e., its standing insofar as the truth ("sound doctrine) is concerned], it no longer can be considered the church. It loses its standing as the church. Evangelicals like Paul and Jan Crouch, the late John Wimber, Chuck Colson, etc., therefore, make (made) a big mistake in thinking that church unity can be achieved by compromising doctrine. We repeat, doctrine cannot be compromised without at the same time compromising the church's standing before God. The harsh fact of the matter is, the Bible says that those who abide not in "sound doctrine" are of the devil:

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

GOD AND TRUTH ARE SYNONYMOUS

And remember here, if one thinks these sayings (i.e., verses) are too harsh, his or her controversy is not with us, it's with God. The truth is, on the basis of John 8:44, one should seriously ask himself - What's this say about Paul Crouch, Bennie Hinn and Charles Colson? We repeat, Christianity and "sound doctrine" can't be separated! On the contrary, the Bible plainly teaches that "... the true worshippers MUST worship God in spirit and truth" -

"... the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.(John 4:23-24)

The very real fact is, God and "Truth" are synonymous - they are intrinsically one; they cannot be separated - and it is for this reason that the Bible calls the "Comforter" (i.e., the Holy Spirit) the "Spirit of Truth:"

"... when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me ..." (John 15:26)

EXPLORING MORE DEEPLY THE DYNAMIC AT
WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS LIKE "SOMEBODY CARES"

But it is exactly Truth (doctrinal purity) that groups like Somebody Cares seek to jettison (or compromise) in their efforts to achieve unity. And make no mistake about it, doctrinal purity does not rate very highly in any of their thinking. Indeed, it's no accident or the result of a "moment of indescretion" that Paul Crouch, president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, one of this country's premier Christian broadcasting networks, said of those who oppose the "unity movement" for doctrinal reasons:

"... that old rotten Sanhedrin crowd ... they're damned and on their way to hell and I don't think there's any redemption for them ... the hypocrites, the heresy hunters that want to find a little mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian's eyes ... when they've got a whole forest in their own lives ... I say, to hell with you! Get out of my life! Get out of the way! Quit blockin' God's bridges (of ecumenicism)! I'm tired of this! ... This is in my spirit. Oh Hallelujah ... Pharisees, heresy-hunters, all of you that are going around pickin' little bits of doctrinal error out of everybody's eyes and dividin' the Body of Christ ... get out of God's way, stop blockin' God's bridges (of unity) ... let Him sort out all this doctrinal doodoo (i.e., sh-t)! ... I refuse to argue any longer with any of you out there! Don't even call me if you want to argue ... Get out of my life! I don't want to talk to you ... I don't want to see your ugly face."[16]

Crouch calls doctrine "sh-t"!!! Clearly, then, one can't say that doctrine plays much of a role in Crouch's scheme of things - and Crouch can't be written off as an aberration; after all, he is an extremely important person in evangelicalism today. No! - he's not an anomaly! (though some would probably refrain from Crouch's graphic terminology). He pretty much reflects the thinking of most in the evangelical community today - so wide has the influence of Restoration concepts spread in the larger Christian community!

And be clear here, this is exactly the animus that is behind groups like Somebody Cares insofar as doctrine is concerned - despite the sweet smiles, limp wrists, soft voices, and "other worldly" demeanor of many of the leaders involved in Restoration - indeed, by such a standard, Ghandi - clearly no Christian - would have been adjudged a "Man of God." Is this where we are headed? Obviously so if people like Paul Cain, Rick Joyner, etc. have their way.

COVENANT OF UNITY

What follows is the "Covenant of Unity" to which all those who wish to be a part of Somebody Cares must adhere. Note carefully points #3 and #8 - provisions which - if strictly enforced - would limit, if not completely eliminate, all honest criticism and open dissent. Churches which "sign on to" such covenants have, whether they realize it or not, "signed on to" a one-way trip into APOSTASY and from there to oblivion. This covenant is similar to hundreds of others being promoted throughout the country by organizations like CitiReach International in which countless churches are signing their independence away. The covenant reads as follows:

Covenant of Unity
We believe Jesus Christ has one church, His beloved bride, for whom he gave Himself. The church of Jesus Christ in Houston is comprised of many believers and congregations throughout the city. Jesus has sanctified and cleansed her with the washing of the Word of God so that she might be presented to Him, a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. Christ has committed the care, cleansing and preparation of the bride to us as shepherds. Endeavoring to keep unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, we solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant, pledging that by God's grace we shall:
  1. Love God with our all, and the church fervently, doing all things in love.
  2. Pray for and encourage each other and our congregations on a regular basis.
  3. Speak well of one another at all times, especially in our preaching and teaching, putting to silence those who would be used by the adversary to spread evil reports among us.
  4. Hold one another accountable in regard to lifestyle, integrity and devotional life, meeting together regularly.
  5. Keep the bond of peace within the Body of Christ by carefully receiving members who have informed their previous church leaders as to their leaving, seeking to resolve any conflict to the best of their ability.
  6. Be real and transparent with one another, resisting the temptation to impress each other with our size, abilities, or accomplishments.
  7. Advertising in a manner which is positive for the whole Bride of Christ, and not self-promoting at the expense of other churches or ministries.
  8. Respect and pursue relationships with those who may be of different distinctives. We are crossing racial and denominational lines, meeting at the Cross. We believe in the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love.
  9. Follow the Good Shepherd's example by giving our lives for God's flock in (Your City).
  10. Prepare the Bride for the return of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, by mobilizing our members and promoting area-wide strategies and programs designed to evangelize and impact our city with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Covenant of Unity calls for those who sign it to -

"... speak well of one another at ALL times, especially in our preaching and teaching."

At ALL times? Where is there any room for correction here? - there is none! People who seek to suppress honest criticism within the larger Christian community by recourse to covenants like these often point to Matthew 18:15-17 as justification for what they are doing. But this is bogus and nothing more than a limpid sham. These verses deal with carnal sin, not public pronouncements on questions of doctrine and politics. Statements made openly and in public should be answered openly and in public, not behind closed doors, unless, of course, suppression is what these covenants are really all about - which, naturally, is exactly what they're about!

It's obvious! What else is one to think when these covenants call on all those who have signed them to -

"... put to silence those who spread evil reports ..."

- by which they mean, make no mistake about it, criticism of any kind vis a vis the teachings of the leadership.

And what exactly do they mean, "Put to silence?" That's an intriguing question - and a very disquieting one!! - especially when uttered by people who say,

"As we see the day approaching there's going to be a cleansing ... there's going to be a purging ... coming forth ..."[17]

LIVING ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF HISTORY

CityReach International is headed up by Jack Dennison, formerly of Multnomah School of the Bible. It is one of a myriad of other conservative Christian organizations headquartered out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colorado Springs has become a bee hive of activity in recent years insofar as Restoration is concerned.

The people involved in CityReach and the other myriad of church and para-church organizations headquartered in Colorado Springs, believe that they are living on the cutting edge of history. For example, the website of CityReach reads:

"Many people are convinced we are living in a day that is unparalleled in human history and unprecedented in Church history. Our day is surpassed in significance perhaps only by the First Century itself. There is a current and widespread agreement that God has breathed into the hearts of believers everywhere an expectation that He intends a move in our nation, and around the world, of unmatched magnitude. "We are convinced this visitation is intended to transform the religious, social, economic and political structures of our culture and spark an awakening and response among the unsaved of unprecedented proportions. The uncertainty regarding this grand expectation is neither in God's willingness nor in His ability to do it, but in the Church's readiness to receive it. "At CitiReach International we love the city. Any city. Every city! Our agency and this site are designed to serve the Church's efforts to fulfill the Great Commission in every city and community around the world. Like a great spiritual tsunami the expectation for divine visitation is cresting and will soon envelop the Church and the world in the greatest spiritual and social movement in history. The time to get ready is now!" [18]

FINANCIAL BACKING

The group responsible for bringing many of these ministries to Colorado is El Pomar. The purpose of El Pomar, as written in its "Statement of Purpose" on file at the Secretary of State's office in Denver, is to -

".. maintain funds and apply (these funds) to such charitable uses and purposes (as it deems fit)." The distribution of these funds is to be left to the "... absolute and uncontrolled discretion of the trustees."

In other words, El Pomar is a financial conduit for people who wish to hide their identities. While there is certainly nothing wrong with such giving - indeed, there is much to commend about it - this kind of giving is relatively unique to, and has all the hallmarks of, "Old Money."

And this indeed appears to be the case. El Pomar is headed up by William Thayer Tutt, President; Adrian J. French, Vice President; and Frank T. Rea, Secretary / Treasurer.[19] These same men are also associated as directors and "movers and shakers" with the Broadmoor Country Club and the World Senior Golf Federation, two EXTREMELY powerful social organizations associated with "Old Money" families.

What all this is suggestive of - especially to anyone familiar with how socially interlocked the nation's country clubs are - is that these ministries are "tapped into" - and are receiving substantial financial backing from - some of the nation's most powerful, traditionally oriented, "Old Money" families. The people associated with the Broadmoor Country Club and the World Senior Golf Association are not "rednecks" and "bozos" - something the liberal elites would be well advised to take note of (on the contrary, they are the kind of people associated with the CFR, the Heritage Institute, the WTO, etc.). In addition, our source[ 20] for this information (a source which has proven to be extremely reliable in the past) has indicated that the Catholic Arch Diocese of Denver is one of the many contributors to El Pomar - and hence is a conduit for Catholic money into the ministries El Pomar supports.

If this is true - and it very much appears to be so - it attests to how closely conservative social elites (of the CFR, Heritage Foundation variety), the Catholic Church, and evangelicals have been working - all under the table, of course. There's been more afoot over the past several years than most people realize; it is, as Constance Cumbey has suggested, more of a "Planned Deception" than one which is merely coincidental. In these kinds of affairs, money speaks volumes - and money is not something which is particularly coincidental. Add to all this the flow of government funds, in addition to the already substantial flow of private money, and one is well on the way towards creating the monster of Revelation 17 and 18 - and we are closer to that eventuality, if Bush and his allies have their way, than most people might realize.

THE CONVERGENCE

The fact is, a real convergence of interests has developed between the agendas of elite Republicans, on the one hand, and the Religious Right, on the other with regard to the use of public funds. Elite Republicans are seeking to render impotent the liberal-left by destroying the bastions of their power: (1) the government bureaucracy, and (2) the nation's public school system. It is seeking to do so by PRIVATIZING both the bureaucracy and the school system. The Religious Right is playing into this dynamic by setting in motion a process (Restoration) aimed at unifying its disparate elements so that it will be in a position to act as an efficient conduit for the funds elite Republicans are hoping to divert from the public agencies of government.

If all this proves successful, it could very well set up a dynamic in this country that will enable the Religious Right to FUNDAMENTALLY alter the character of the nation - and God help the rest of the world when that happens, because we are not talking about just any country, but by far the most powerful nation on earth! The mischief that it is capable of far surpasses the potential for mischief of any other nation that has ever gone before it, and any nation that presently exists (or any possible combination of nations). [Please see "The Revolution in Military Affairs and American World-Hegemony," and "The American Empire and the U.S. System of Client States."]

A FAST-ACTING PATHOLOGY

Take, for example, what the privatization of the nation's school system would mean from a cultural and a sociological standpoint. While, no doubt, vouchers would be available for use in secular as well as religious environments, religious institutions are far better positioned to take advantage of these funds than are secular institutions. For the most part, churches already possess the classrooms necessary to set up these schools; they possess already existing staffs and they possess devoted followers willing to take far less pay than would be the case in secular schools. As a result, churches and para-church organizations would be way out in front of their secular counterparts insofar as privatization is concerned.

Most studies indicate that if vouchers became a matter of widespread public policy, as many as one-quarter of the nation's student population would immediately seek to leave the nation's public schools system for private schools (and, ipso facto religious schools), so terrible are conditions in many of the nation's public schools today. Studies further indicate that those students who will probably leave are most likely to be the "best and the brightest;" in addition, these are precisely those students who are the ones most likely to have intact families with caring parents. The impact of such an exodus would be devastating to the public system; it would immediately deprive public schools of exactly the kind of students and parents it most needs to succeed.

As these students flow into religious schools, both they and their parents are very likely to find it convenient to become regular attendees of the churches to which the schools are attached. As a result, as attendance at religious schools increases, attendance at churches will probably likewise increase, creating an environment in which conservative Christian values could spread almost exponentially in the wider population.

Meanwhile, liberals will be stuck with failing schools and a failing cultural ethos, which will only serve to increase the exodus of still more students, whose parents - for whatever reasons - might not have been initially disposed to pull their children out of the public system, but who now begin to do so if only to save their children.

As these children enter the religious school system, they too will begin to imbibe heavily in conservative Christian values (and along with these values, they will also, no doubt, begin to absorb the Crusader mindset of people like Jack Dennison, Rick Joyner, Bob Jones, etc.) more deeply than would have ever been previously possible, and their parents - like the parents who preceded them - will also likewise begin to find it convenient to attend the churches to which their children's schools are attached, thereby becoming prisoners of the same pathology that their children have become prisoners of.

As this dynamic continues, it will begin to work itself out into the general population in a kind of cascading, wave like action, and with each succeeding wave, a little more of the ability of people to think for themselves will be eroded. And what will be driving this process? - the desire of ordinary people to provide an escape for their children from the chaos of the public school system. And make no mistake about it, this kind of pathology is quick-acting. When Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, he took power with only thirty-seven percent of the population behind him; nevertheless, at the end of three short years, over 90 percent of the population enthusiastically supported him!! - such is the power to persuade people that is given to those who control a nation's school system and social welfare bureaucracies.

Think about it! - the high point of Nazi success when they stood outside the institutions of government was thirty-seven percent of the vote (about the same percentage of voters in the general population that the Religious Right presently commands) - and that after years and years of strenuous activity. But three short years after taking over the institutions of government, ninety percent of the population had become ardent followers of Adolph Hitler. Ninety Percent!!

COULD THE SAME THING
HAPPEN IN THE UNITED STATES

Could the same thing happen in the United States? - you bet it could!! And the reality is closer at hand than most people realize!! And how will all this be accomplished? By "signs and wonders? By prayer? By words of knowledge? By writhing on the floor, barking like dogs, and crowing like roosters? Well, what's all that accomplished in the last one or two decades? - not much! The fact is, there are very little results to show for all this. As Gary Clem points out, Dr. Cho has the largest church in the world in South Korea. He has more people praying in tongues all day every day than anywhere else on earth. Yet - the government of South Korea remains one of the most corrupt governments in the world, the sex trade in Soul is shameful beyond imagining, and student unrest continues to be a serious problem.

Then there's Tulsa, Oklahoma, the home of Rhema Bible Training Center and Oral Robert's City of Faith - yet gang violence, substance abuse, abortion, pornography, etc., remain major problems there. And the same is true of Brownsville and Toronto. There is no major city on earth that has been "taken for Christ and the church," (at least in the way that these so-called "Apostles and Prophets" are talking about) even though this teaching has been around for a number of years now. No! - none of these things will bring in what Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, Dick Iverson, etc. are aiming at. IT'S MONEY - lots and lots of money; that's what will do it. But wherever money is, Satan is not far behind!!

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR
INDIVIDUAL WALK WITH CHRIST

Now it's not without reason that in our last article, "Striking a Blow at Today's Pastoral System," we spent a lot of time on the importance of our individual walk with Christ, and our trichotomous nature which makes that walk possible. And why is that? - because the Bible clearly indicates that in such a system as we have been describing here, there will be no place for real Christians. Indeed, the Bible says that we are to,

"COME OUT OF HER" (Rev. 18:4).

Moreover, the very real fact of the matter is, it may not be so much a question that we will have to decide to leave, as it is that if we try to remain faithful to our persuasions and refuse to be silent about them, we will be "invited" to leave - and, as time goes on, maybe much worse. Indeed, the Bible warns that there will come a time when -

"They shall put you out of the ... (churches): yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." (John 16:2)

Obviously then, for us to be able to stand against the pressure to conform - to resist the temptation to give in and surrender to the current of the day - our individual walk with Christ will have to be very solid indeed! [And for this reason, we urge you to re-read our last article, plus our article of November 21, 1998 "Individual Responsibility Before God."]

In addition, we must also bear in mind, as we described in our previous article, that just because we have been asked to leave the "Organized Church," we are not thereby released as Christians from our obligation to "produce" the church - and if that means retreating to our homes and establishing "house-churches" in order to carry on, so be it!!

Remember, no matter how disappointed we are in the concept of the church, no matter how much we have been hurt by our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we can never give up on the church. The church is God's testimony, and if we give up on the church, we give up on that testimony! The reality is, the Bible specifically warns against giving up on the church; it says -

"... hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging {one another}; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." (Heb. 10:23-25)

REMEMBERING THAT THE CHURCH FLOWS OUT
OF OUR INDIVIDUAL WALK WITH CHRIST,
AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND

But, we repeat! - in all of this, we must continually bear in mind that the church begins not with the "collectivity," it starts, rather, with us as individuals. Our individual walk with Christ makes the church-life possible, not the other way around. Contrary to what so many teach today, the church is not something that must be organized; it's not something that comes "alive" when you get your 501(c)3 approved by the Feds; it emanates from us as individuals.

First there is the individual Christian; then there is the church!! It's we - as individual Christians - who are born again, not some collective entity called "the church." It's we - as individual Christians - who contain the life of Christ, not some airy abstraction we call Christianity. It's, therefore, with us - as individual Christians - that the church-life begins. The church has no standing apart from its individual members. It does not exist as some kind of separate entity which we must strive to enter. If we are Christians, we are already there.

As the storm clouds begin to gather around us, as we begin to suffer persecution not only by the "Organized Church," but by our loved ones as well, we must - as Mary did so many years ago - learn to "practice the presence of Christ:"

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
"And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
"But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)

To this end, Jesus said,

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

And this is why Jesus could say to Martha,

" Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part."

It, therefore, doesn't matter how alone and cut off you may feel yourself to be as you begin to be edged out of the "Organized Church," if you take care of your individual walk with Christ, if you learn to "behold and reflect Him" in your daily life, you will eventually produce the church - maybe not in a grand, organized fashion, but in the small fellowships of our daily life, in our homes, in our jobs, in our after-hours, etc. And this will happen just as surely as grapes are produced by the vine. You will find that believers and non-believers alike - will be drawn to you, and as you begin to meet with these people, the Gospel will be preached (indeed, you will find it quite impossible not to preach the Gospel), and the church-life will be effortlessly produced, and God's testimony will be upheld!! And all the killing, and all the MONEY, and all the organizing of the "Organized Church" will not be able to extinguish that testimony.

A HARD SAYING, BUT ONE THAT IS TRUE

It is indeed a hard saying, but one that is nonetheless true -

"... that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)

And that, therefore, we should -

"... glory in tribulations ... knowing that tribulation worketh patience; "And patience, experience; and experience, hope: "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Rom. 5:3-5)

God bless all of you!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

FOOTNOTES

  1. Hagin, Zoc., pg. 41.
  2. From: "Terry T. Pascher" <[email protected]>
  3. Daniel Bell, "The Dispossessed," Columbia University Forum (Fall, 1962), pg. 4-12.
  4. http://www.somebodycares.org/member.html
  5. Bob Jones, message preached in Kansas City 1989; tape sold by Vineyard Ministries International.
  6. Jack Deere "Joel's Army" message preached in 1990, tape sold by Vineyard Ministries International.
  7. Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, pgs. 43-44.
  8. Jewel van der Merwe, "Joel's Army," (Holly, Michigan: Discernment Newsletter Publications, pg. 1.
  9. And there are not just a few who have remarked on the similarity between the phraseology that is being used here and the phraseology that was used in the Third Reich
  10. Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, pgs. 49-50.]
  11. Tricia Tillin, Banner Ministries: [email protected]
  12. Mostly, those who embraced this type of thinking adhered to an eschatology called Latter Rain: which postulated the "dry bones" prophecy of Ezekiel pertained to the church more than it did to Israel, and sooner or later, once the flesh of the dry-bones-Church had been revived by the restoration of early church principles and government, the Joel outpouring of the latter days would begin, and this would bring back spiritual gifting, revelation, and apostolic authority to the Church. The "new thing" would come, the skeleton would rise up empowered by the Spirit, and world revival would follow. Several groups began claiming the latter-rain outpouring from the early years of the 20th century, notably the 1940/1950 Latter Rain Revival in Canada. However, all these prototypes fizzled out, and were later proclaimed to be "mere sprinklings and drops of the rain to come."
  13. Tricia Tillin, Banner Ministries:[email protected]
  14. Pastor Bart Pierce, Rock City Church of Baltimore, March 99.
  15. "THE NET" Phil Townsend - taken from Trish Tillin's "Doctrine of Demons."
  16. Quote taken from Dave Hunt's CIB Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 7, July, 1991.
  17. Bob Jones, message preached in Kansas City 1989; tape sold by Vineyard Ministries International.
  18. http://www.citireach.org
  19. These were the men who were directly responsible for bringing these ministries out to Colorado Springs (1993). Many of them have since been replaced. But the people who have replaced them are all of a similar disposition.
  20. This source has been providing information to our ministry for a number of years. He is very deeply involved in a leadership capacity in one of the most prominent ministries in Colorado Springs. He has asked us to keep his name and the name of the organization with which he is associated secret. He feels that if the name of the organization he was associated with were named, it would be tantamount to naming him.

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Antipas Ministries
P.O. Box 160863
Sacramento, CA 95816-0863

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We DESPERATELY need your continued SACRIFICIAL financial help as we get settled up here in Canada. Time is short - and we need to be about the Lord's business as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions, please call us in Canada at (250) 397-2555 or email us at [email protected].

NOTE: Please note that we are still using our account in Sacramento, and will be doing so until we get an account up here. Until then, just continue sending your help to Sacramento. Our address in Canada is:

Antipas Ministries
Forest Grove Lodge Ranch
Box 99
Forest Grove, British Columbia
Canada
V0K 1M0