By Kelleigh Nelson:
“Conspiracy theorizing about the Christian Right’s supposedly “secret” agenda involves highlighting the hate-mongering and bizarre ideas of a handful of Christian Right players while neglecting the broad popularity of dominion theology.” — Sara Diamond, “Dominion Theology: The Truth About the Christian Right’s Bid for Power”
Does the name Gary North ring a bell with anyone? For decades North has made a living predicting modern society will end in panic and ruin. In 1980, he forecast rationing of housing and a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. He warned his followers to buy “gold, silver, grain, a safe place outside the major cities.” Then AIDS became the threat, “In North’s 1987 essay, The Plague Has Come at Last, he predicted millions of deaths by AIDS, and stated, “In 1992, we will run out of available hospital beds…. The world will eventually panic.”
He was also the apocalyptic herald of the destruction which would result from Y2K with the computer changeover to the year 2000. Here is an archived page from his website on January 25, 1999, expounding on the tragedies which would result from the crash of our entire system. He was nicknamed “Scary Gary” in tech circles due to his fear-mongering. In a 1997 email, North made this statement, “Of course I want to see Y2K bring down the system. I have hoped for this all of my adult life.”
Gary North was selling fear, and he made a lot of money doing just that. Link He wants a crash of our system. Why? Because out of this wreckage, North and many other Christian Reconstructionist men hope to build a harsh biblical order where sinners, such as adulterers and homosexuals, disobedient children, etc., can be severely punished, even executed, preferably by stoning.
Gary Kilgore North, (born February 1942) is a Christian Dominionist/Reconstructionist (D/R) theorist and economic historian, and a charter member of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP). He is also a libertarian theocrat. North has authored or coauthored over fifty books on topics including Christian theology, economics, and history. He is an Associated Scholar of the libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute (the U.S. center for Austrian economics), recipient of its 2004 Rothbard Medal (Murray Rothbard was one of the founders), and contributor of hundreds of articles for LewRockwell.com, the newsletter of the Institute’s founder and chairman.
Rousas John Rushdoony
North is the son-in-law of the late Rousas John Rushdoony (also a charter member of the Council for National Policy). R.J. Rushdoony was the founder of Christian Reconstructionism. The most prominent example of Dominion Theology and Theonomy is the Christian Reconstructionist movement. Theonomy is from theos (god) and nomos (law) and is the idea, espoused by Christian Reconstructionists, that Mosaic law should be observed by modern societies, that we are to live under the Old Testament laws. Some components of (D/R) are very similar to Islam. They want a theocracy, and a theonomy which includes stoning sinners in the streets.
Born in 1916 and heavily influenced by the writings of Reconstructionist, Cornelius Van Til, Rushdoony founded the Chalcedon Foundation in California in 1965. His 1973 book, The Institutes of Biblical Law, remains the handbook of Christian Reconstructionism, laying out all its principles and goals.
A core of anti-Semitism exists in Rushdoony’s Reconstructionism. He has been accused of Holocaust Denial and racism. In The Institutes of Biblical Law, he uses the 1967 work Judaism and the Vatican by Léon de Poncins as a source for Paul Rassinier‘s figure of 1.2 million Jewish deaths during the Holocaust, and the claim that Paul Hilberg calculated the number at 896,292, and further asserts that very many of these died of epidemics. He calls the charge of 6 million Jewish deaths “false witness” against Germany. He never retracted this statement.
Just as his father-in-law did, North has endorsed Holocaust denial. When old issues of Reason Magazine were unearthed by journalist Mark Ames, he found that North had contributed a supportive article to an issue dedicated to denial of the Holocaust. This was the same year North was Ron Paul’s congressional aide. North’s article in Reason mocked the Holocaust as “the Establishment’s favorite horror story” and questioned “the supposed execution of 6 million Jews by Hitler.” North also painted other rabidly anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers in a positive light, praising the works of David Hoggan, author of “The Myth of the Six Million,” French neo-fascist Paul Rassinier, and American historian Harry Elmer Barnes, considered the godfather of American Holocaust denial literature. Link North states, “There is only one Bride; God is not a bigamist. He took no gentile wife under the Old Covenant, and He will not accept a pale imitation of Old Covenant Israel – modern Judaism – as His wife in the future.”
God doesn’t change, and the relationship between the Lord and the children of Israel is confirmed many times in scripture. In Jeremiah 3:14, we read the words, “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you.”
And the prophet Isaiah, in a chapter about the wife of Jehovah, plainly states, “For thy Maker is thine HUSBAND; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 54:5). The entire book of Hosea is about the Lord God and his Wife, Israel.
Having studied the Holocaust and anti-Semitism in the church for over 30 years, I fully believe there were far more than six million Jews, and six million Christians, Gypsies, and Homosexuals who were murdered by the Nazis.
Rushdoony was also an early advocate of home schooling, peppered with his religious doctrine. (North is now is the leader of Ron Paul’s home school curriculum.) Rushdooney was also a board member of the Rutherford Institute headed by John Whitehead (also a CNP member).
Originally an activist in libertarian and anti-communist groups, North came under the influence of R. J. Rushdoony and married his daughter. Beginning in 1963, Rushdoony helped North secure a series of jobs working for the Volker Fund and the Foundation for Economic Education. So by the time North went to work for Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation in 1973, he was a bona fide veteran of the libertarian movement.
The two had a falling out over an obscure bit of doctrine and stopped speaking. North moved to Tyler, Texas, and founded the Institute for Christian Economics where he focuses on economic aspects of Christian Reconstructionism. He is the primary publisher of Reconstructionist material today.
Let’s take a look at the origins and tenets of Dr. North’s Reconstructionist doctrine.
The earliest expression of Dominionism is in the writings of Francis Schaeffer whose book, A Christian Manifesto, was long an important text for the whole Christian Right. Schaeffer argued that America was founded as a Christian Nation, that humanists had replaced God with their “concern with human progress,” and that Christians must reestablish control of all human institutions. They desire a theocracy, which is a country ruled by their form of religious leaders.
The Biblical, and most important, basis for their belief in Dominion Theology is Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth..” For most Christians, this simply means that humans have dominion over the natural world; for Dominionists, this means that Christians have, and must take, dominion over everything, including other people. Mix in Rushdoony’s Reconstructionism, and you have a blend that is quite different from orthodox Christianity.
Basic Beliefs of Christian Reconstructionism
Christian Reconstructionism is an explicitly hyper-Calvinist movement. Christian Reconstructionists look to 17th century Geneva under John Calvin for inspiration. In Geneva, he rejected Papal authority, and established a new scheme of civic and ecclesiastical governance. He is famous for his teachings and writings and infamous for his role in the execution of Michael Servetus. Reconstructionists accept that there should be separate spheres under governmental and church control, but that the government must submit to biblical precepts as defined and interpreted by the church (their doctrine, of course). There is little practical distinction between this and a Christian theocracy. So from the very beginning, according to Dominionism, God has commanded the creation of a totalitarian government.
Reconstructionists agree on the following principles
- God’s sovereignty over all humanity and the world.
- A Christian theonomy (the idea, espoused by Reconstructionists, that all 613 Mosaic laws should be observed by modern societies, eliminating only a few.)
- A Christian theocracy – Most evangelicals are pre-millennialists, believing that Christ will return before establishing a utopian 1,000 year reign of believers. However, Reconstructionists believe that this 1,000 year reign must come first, and only after this will Christ return. Jesus is literally waiting for Christians to establish a Christian theocracy. Christian Reconstructionism is thus more optimistic than evangelicalism and fundamentalism because it teaches that a perfect Christian society is possible.
Since 1963, when I was a Goldwater girl, I have watched society crumble, the culture decay, the total corruption of all political realms, and the failure of the churches to speak the truth and lead their congregations to the truth of the Bible, and to work to save our God given rights in this Republic. Highly unlikely we’re headed for a “perfect” Christian society.
For Reconstructionists, the Christian Church is the New Israel. Christians, not Jews, are God’s chosen people and are those whom God has a special covenant. If Christians keep the covenant, they will be rewarded. If they don’t, they will be punished, as will the whole nation. The basis of this belief is called “replacement theology” and leads to anti-Semitism. More on this in part 21.
Well-known Christian Reconstructionists include Jay Grimstead, Greg Bahnsen, David Chilton, Gary DeMar, D. James Kennedy, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Rev. P. Andrew Sandlin, Randall Terry, George Grant, David Barton, Howard Phillips, Chuck Colson, Earl Paulk, Rick Joyner, Tommy Tenny, Fred Price, Francis Frangipane, Kenneth Hagin, C. Peter Wagner, Gen. Jerry Boykin, Don Wildmon, and many others who are/were leaders in the Christian right and/or members of the Council for National Policy. Link
Who Practices Dominionist /Reconstructionist Theology
D/R is prevalent in the Pentecostal community as “Kingdom Now“, “Dominion Theology“, and/or “Restoration Theology.” The Pentecostal charismatic churches are where some of the earliest strains of dominionism showed up, and dominionism is actually an integral part of the theology of some of these groups. However, this theology has wormed it’s way into the more mainstream churches as well. D. James Kennedy’s Presbyterian Church in Coral Ridge, Florida is a good example, but there are countless other mainstream denominations who have, knowingly or unknowingly, adopted all, or parts of D/R.
Restoration theology has been an integral part of the majority of ‘shepherding’ (discipling) fellowships and house churches, and is now a guiding force behind the heretical and apostate New Apostolic Reformation, the Transformations Movement (one world religion, all denominations together), the P.E.A.C.E. Plan and Purpose-Driven materials of Rick Warren, and the Word-Faith movement. However, there are problems with these doctrines which make them unorthodox theology. The fact of its popularity is no proof of its authenticity. The truth is not always popular, and truly biblical Christianity has always been a minority religion. (I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. Galatians 1:6)
Reconstructionism offers an appealing solution to all of society’s ills. They believe human laws cannot govern human institutions. Therefore, they must return dominion over human institutions to God. Submission to the moral principles of the Bible guarantees that everything will turn out well because God and the Bible are perfect. Unfortunately, D/R’s don’t take into account that man is not perfect, and this is why God gave us grace.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
D/R denies repentance, mercy, and grace. Was not St. Paul a persecutor and blasphemer? Yet, he was changed by grace, by the knowledge of his Saviour. Had he lived in a D/R world he would have been stoned, just as he stoned those he called transgressors.
In the next article we’ll look at direct quotes from Gary North, an overview of replacement theology, and at North’s involvement since the 70s with Ron Paul, and his leadership in Ron Paul’s Home School Curriculum.
© Copyright by Kelleigh Nelson, 2015. All rights reserved.