Jump to content
IGNORED

Help me 'understand' Dominionism


Soldier of the One

Recommended Posts

I can propose all sorts of theories on why Dominionists believe what they believe but instead of listening to my own ramblings, I am really interested in what other people have to say, especially those who come out of this subculture.

 

So help me 'understand' Dominionism.

 

Why are Dominionists so obsessed with:

 

- Gender, sexuality and purity?

- Reinstating Biblical law and legalism as Christians?

- What is their eschatology?

- How deep is their Patriarchy/mysogyny?

- What is their ultimate 'vision' for America and the world?

- Their concept of God (Trinity) and humanity?

 

Is it really true that:

- VF instructs women to refer to their husbands as 'lord'?

- Women are not seen as created in the image of God but in the image of man?

- Dominionists rather see a woman die of the complications of a dangerous pregnancy than abort?

- They want to abolish universal suffrage?

 

In short, what is their obsession with WOMEN?

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it really true that:

- VF instructs women to refer to their husbands as 'lord'?

- Women are not seen as created in the image of God but in the image of man?

- Dominionists rather see a woman die of the complications of a dangerous pregnancy than abort?

- They want to abolish universal suffrage?

calling husbands lord: I don't know if VF specifically instructs women to do this, but I've seen articles written by some fundies that says they should.

women created in man's image: I've heard that John Piper teaches something similar to that. Not sure, though.

dangerous pregnancies: Doug Phillips wrote an article about how it was a sin for women to abort even with an ectopic pregnancy--there was a thread about it on the old board.

As for eschatology, most dominionists seem to be amillenialists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amillennialism

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, Dominionism is just about creating a Utopia for those who subscribe to Dominionist beliefs. That's the whole point - Dominionists want to live in a world where there is nothing but other Dominionists, because that is their idea of paradise.

I'm not sure why there is such misogyny - my best guess is that Rushdoony hated women (for whatever reason) and saw the world though that lens. Then other men who developed his ideas further (Gary North, Doug Phillips, etc) ran with that, because it made sense to them. Also, I think that Dominionism attracts two kinds of men - abusive men who desperately want control over the women in their lives and will jump on a philosophical bandwagon if it helps them to gain that control, and men who sincerely want to be good fathers and husbands but who are misguided about how to do that. The abusive men will become more and more controlling (as you can see with the stories on no longer quivering) and the sincere men will get further and further inmeshed in the "system" because of the promise that "this is what God wants." My own dad falls in this latter category - he's a gentle man at heart, and he never became tyranical, but he did things that he regrets because the system told him to - does that make sense?

Also - when I went to Dominionist church, there was a LOT of talk but no action - and by that I mean, they would talk in theory about how it was better for a woman to die than to get a life-saving abortion, about how homosexuals and rebellious children should be stoned, etc. But, no one ever picked up a rock at a gay pride parade. No woman died, in childbirth or otherwise. It was really easy to say - "this is how those other people should handle this situation" because no one was actually going through that situation. There was no empathy for anyone, just judgement. So it was really easy to villify the "gay agenda" and gay people, because none of us knew gay people. It was easy to say that a woman who had had an abortion was a murderer, because none of us knew women who'd had an abortion (or, more probably, we didn't know women who would admit to having an abortion). (As a side note, when an individual does take a message seriously and acts on it - say when he kills a doctor who performs abortions because his church filled his head with messages of hate against abortion providers - the church will tap dance forever about how that's not their message, that's not what they meant, it was hyperbole, etc. etc.)

The Dominionist movement is fairly recent - I think Rushdoony wrote his stuff in the 70's. When I was in Dominionist church, as a child/young teenager in the late 80's and early 90's, people gave lip service to the no birth control thing, but the biggest family in our church had 6 kids, for example (one woman went on to have 10, but we had lost touch before she had the younger kids). No one that I knew talked about having a reversal surgery done. So I think the movement has gotten more extreme as time has gone on - which makes sense. Back in the early 80's, The Teaching Home Magazine had articles about education styles, methods of learning, college prep, etc. I turned 13 in 1993, and at that point, the Teaching Home was running articles about courtship/betrothal (I think Jonathan Lindvall was a regular contributor), stuff about "is college the right path for me?" and the switch had occurred to take homeschooling from an educational choice to an all-encompassing lifestyle including courtship, no college, etc.

And yes, they DO want to abolish universal sufferage. In my dominionist church, we were even told that we should go back to only land-owning men having the vote. The concept of only men voting can sound kind of sugary - sweet - that the husband and wife are "one flesh" and they're so happy and compatible that of course they vote the same way! So there's no point for both of them to vote. In norma, healthy marriages/relationships, people can respect each other's differences, political or otherwise. But patrio/dominionist marriages, any difference of opinion is seen as a threat. That's why in the courtship world, there is a lot of emphasis on finding a spouse with the exact same opinions as you, in everything from politics to breastfeeding to organic v nonorganic food. Being of "one mind" is believed to be the key to a happy marriage, not basic compatability and respect.

Sorry for the novel :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

calling husbands lord: I don't know if VF specifically instructs women to do this, but I've seen articles written by some fundies that says they should.

women created in man's image: I've heard that John Piper teaches something similar to that. Not sure, though.

dangerous pregnancies: Doug Phillips wrote an article about how it was a sin for women to abort even with an ectopic pregnancy--there was a thread about it on the old board.

As for eschatology, most dominionists seem to be amillenialists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amillennialism

Thanks, Laika! Yes, there is some stuff on the VF Ministries site about 'Woman = in the Image of Man" theology, but carefully veiled.

Do you have a link or reference for the 'call your husband 'lord' practice'? Is a woman expected to call her husband 'lord' only under certain circumstances or under all conditions? And what justification is this given?

Personal note: I just cannot wrap my head around an intimate, loving and sexual relationship between two people being so fundamentally unequal as wifely submission and Patriarchy advocate. If there are any advocates of the system who would like to explain to me how that works, I am genuinely intrigued and happy to learn (ideological disagreements aside).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Liltwinstar, thank you for the 'novel', that was really insightful!

What do you think makes the movement become increasingly extreme and radical? (I.e. your story about the homeschooling catalogues). Do you think Dominionists are actually starting to twist generally accepted Christian dogma to further their cause? (I.e. the idea that the Son is eternally submitted to the Father in Trinitarian theology as a justification for wifely submission, see VF Ministries website).

Also, as a Jew I get confused about the 'legalism' and how this is both a phenomenon to be avoided in mainstream Christian churches and something Dominionists aspire to. How can you talk about resurrecting Levitical law (i.e. stoning of 'homosexuals' etc) when you reject so many other aspects of Levitical law (i.e. the dietary and purity laws, the Israelite/Jewish festivals etc). How do they justify this?

Sorry for all the questions! :) Thanks!

P.S. We Jews NEVER 'just' read Levitical law as something that stands on its own without its own self-regulating interpretative tradition behind it. No Jew, fundamentalist or non-fundamentalist, would argue for stoning homosexuals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, with the "law" stuff there was the idea that Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law (the laws about food, fiber, family purity, the regulations about the temple and the sacrifices and so forth) but that the civil law was still binding. Not sure how they differentiated between the two, but they did. They did talk about how there was no "ceremonial fire" with which to start the sacrifices, so we couldn't do that even if we wanted to. Also, we heard (over and over and over) that if you don't believe the Old Testament, you can't believe the New Testament because the New Testament Christians had the OT as their "Bible" if that makes sense. There's a verse in II Timothy (New Testament) that says something like "all scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine and for reproof and for instruction in righteousness." We were told over and over that the "scripture" referenced in that verse would have been the OT, since the first century Christians did not have the Bible as we know it. So that was taken to mean that we should still follow the parts of the OT that still applied to us - namely, the civil law.

Also, one of the tenants of Reformed Theology is "sola scriptura" - which means that you interpret the scripture based on the scripture. So you don't use things like culture or tradition or history to inform your interpretation the way Jews, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians do. Instead, you read the Bible and do what you think it says to do. Also in Catholic and Orthodox Christian circles, there are recognized "authorities" on certain parts/interpretations of the Bible, such as the Pope, the Bishop, etc, but those interpretations have to be in line with the rest of what that church teaches. So if an Orthodox or Catholic priest or bishop starts preaching wacky stuff, the larger body will step in and correct it through excommunicating/disciplining/defrocking the priest, etc - so you have some regulation of belief, tradition, and practice, and that oversight helps keep things in line and helps prevent the body of believers from getting to far away from the basic beliefs of the church. I know Judaism doesn't have bishops, but I know tradition is a big deal, and that would serve basically the same purpose - to safeguard the beliefs and practices of the religion and to keep errors from creeping in. In Protestant church, you don't have those safeguards - anyone can become a pastor, anyone can set up shop as an "expert" and claim to interpret the scriptures the way God wants. Further, there isn't discipline for errant pastors - they can just start a new church. An excommunicated/defrocked priest can't do that (well, he could try, but he would not be recognized by the larger body of the Catholic or Orthodox church). So, basically, Protestantism doesn't have the same protections that other, more tradition-based faiths do. (Yes, various denominations of Protestants have governing bodies to regulate beliefs, but if you're kicked out of the main Presbyterian church, for example, you can set up shop as "Bob's Presbyterian Church" and no one has the authority to stop you, discipline you, etc)

In terms of the radicalization, I think it came from fear. Parents who began homeschooling in the late 70's and early 80's (as mine did) became increasingly isolated, while their kids got increasingly older and posed more challenges (such as college, dating, etc). Also, some homeschooling parents felt the need for a lot of guidance, because they really didn't know what they were doing. So they were ripe pickings for extremists who preyed upon their fears and told them that they would lose their children if they didn't do things the "right" way ("right" being whatever that leader decreed was right). Also, I think the anti-abortion movement played heavily into this too. As a kid, I attended a lot of Operation Rescue events, and they would get speakers who would whip up the audience with doomsday predictions of a world where forced abortions were the norm, where God would kill us for murder if we didn't "rescue" the unborn, that kind of thing. While clearly not all homeschoolers or Dominionists participated in the Operation Rescue movement, the abortion debate was huge in terms of spreading fear of persecution and cultural demise.

Frank Schaeffer has written an excellent book that talks about this, called Crazy for God. I read it, and it gives a pretty good explanation for the rise of the Religious Right/Dominionist movements - if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also - there was a whole teaching about "blessings" and "curses." The general idea was that if we, as a nation, "blessed" God by obeying his commandments (the civil law of the OT), then He would bless the country with peace, prosperity, etc. And if we "cursed" God by disobeying Him on a national level - say, by making abortion legal, making gay marriage legal, etc He would curse us with war, pestilence, etc. So not only was personal holiness required - as it is in most of Christianity - a sort of national holiness was required as well, to placate the wrath of God.

(As a side note, when the Jeremiah Wright "God damn America" thing came out during the 2008 presidential election, I was not at all shocked by his rhetoric. I'd heard that kind of language in Dominionist/Reconstructionst church, only we believed that God was damning America for abortion and gay rights, not for racism. When I first heard Pastor Wright's quotes on the radio, my first thought was "I heard that stuff all the time!! What's the big deal??")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another great book about Dominionism is Jeff Sharlet's "The Family"--about the inroads Dominionism has made into American government. It's chilling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for this thread. Very informative. I've often wondered if it was also a matter of timing. In the 80s the culture at large was becoming more conservative with the so-called "Movement of the Right" and people such as Regan and Thatcher in office. If they had tried to sprout up in a more liberal decade I doubt they would have gained the same traction. It's kind of scarily Malcolm Gladwell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So are dominonist anti-birth control/abortion because they think if they have enough children they can take over the world with their worldview? Is Geoff Botkin a Dominionist since he is totally obsessed his future generations of grandchildren. However he "only" had 7 kids. (I recall him stating he prayed over the ovaries of his daughter when she was a newborn, that she had lots and lots of babies.) There was something else about the botkins contributing some letter to a time capsule and the letter indicated they expected to be hundreds of Botkin family members in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Laika! Yes, there is some stuff on the VF Ministries site about 'Woman = in the Image of Man" theology, but carefully veiled.

Do you have a link or reference for the 'call your husband 'lord' practice'? Is a woman expected to call her husband 'lord' only under certain circumstances or under all conditions? And what justification is this given?

Sorry, I don't have links for this, it's just something I've seen occasionally while looking through fundie sites.

They got the idea from this bible verse, 1 Pet. 3:5, 6... 3:5 For in the same way the holy women who hoped in God long ago adorned themselves by being subject to their husbands, 6 like Sarah who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You become her children when you do what is good and have no fear in doing so.

I think it was mentioned on the old board that Rebekah Anast calls Gabe lord. And some other woman on their site 7xSunday, does it too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So are dominonist anti-birth control/abortion because they think if they have enough children they can take over the world with their worldview?

Yes, they do. It is deep in the VF mindset, not paraded about generally, but that is definitely Doug Phillips' ultimate goal. (other than finding the key to the closet)

Doug Phillips/VF in general believes some pretty sick stuff about women... :x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, part of it is wanting to take over the world through one's children. Another huge part is the idea of God's Soverignenty - the basic idea being that you have to trust God with everything, no matter what. Since God said "be fruitful and multiply" - that's what you do, period. If you use your own common sense to decide to limit/plan your family, you are, in effect, second-guessing God and not submitting to his "lordship." If it was fore-ordained that you are going to die giving birth to your 18th kid? Well, then, that's your destiny and you embrace it. There isn't any room for self-determination - the whole concept is that God has a path for you and it's your job to find it and walk it, and do it with a big ol' smile on your face.

Also, I do think that a lot of the rank-and-file patrio types do really love their children. Children are socially acceptable status symbols in that world, and in a sense, they can be a great equalizer. In the larger world, status is tied up in people's careers, gagets, trips, etc - things that are not accessible to very poor people. In patrio world, status is about your family, and even poor people can have a loving, happy family. So having large families can be an equalizing force that gives everyone in the community something in common, regardless of economic status. (I should say, this paragraph is based on my own experiences in patrio church. It seems things have changed now with all the patrio royalty and giant European trips, which does not seem right. Also, obviously, infertile women/couples could potentially feel very isolated in patrio world; however, at least at the church I went to, adoption was totally cool and if a couple chose to build their family that way the community would have been very accepting of that)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always seemed very convenient to me that Jesus just happened to fulfill all of the laws that are the most difficult to follow. I mean, if you're not gay, it's pretty easy to just keep right on not being gay. Keeping kosher, though, or avoiding shatnez? That's a royal pain in the neck. From the outside, it just looks like a bunch of misogynistic men cherrypicking Levitical law to justify their own agendas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always seemed very convenient to me that Jesus just happened to fulfill all of the laws that are the most difficult to follow. I mean, if you're not gay, it's pretty easy to just keep right on not being gay. Keeping kosher, though, or avoiding shatnez? That's a royal pain in the neck. From the outside, it just looks like a bunch of misogynistic men cherrypicking Levitical law to justify their own agendas.

Fred Phelps does the same thing, there's an FAQ on his website which justifies why he protests pride parades and performances of the Laramie project but Red Lobster restaurants (www.godhatesshrimp.com/)

I do give fundies a lot of grief for picking choosing but it does occur to me that nearly every liberalized version of religion (especially reform Jews and cafeteria catholic) also requires a certain picking and choosing what practice. But then I don't go around telling people who's going to hell because they're not following my interpretation of the bible.

I will say that as much as some of their antics border on cultural appropriation and can be obnoxious, I kind of admire the messianic for a least taking a consistent approach. Although I guess they couldn't be considered sola scriptura when they just crib off Talmudic practices and then do wacky things with it (like unmarried women wearing headscarves, mikvah in a swimming pool)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



  • Trending Content

  • Recent Status Updates

    • 47of74

      47of74

      Yeah, that's me.  Though to be fair I am trying to learn Italian and Spanish.

      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      IT'S BASEBALL SEASON!!!!!
      ⚾❣️
      · 3 replies
    • mango_fandango

      mango_fandango

      It’s not supposed to be mosquito season right now but I still appear to have been bitten twice on the side of my foot. Bastards. I know I shouldn’t scratch but it’s so tempting… 😑
      · 0 replies
    • Therapy Outside the Box

      Therapy Outside the Box

      Hello,
       
      I'm brand new to this forum. It was suggested to me by former and outspoken Remnant Fellowship member (Natasha Pavlovich) that I join this forum and put out here what I do. She also warned me that no one on here trusts, or trusts easily, and that I'd likely be assumed to be a Remnant plant or spy until vetted and verified as not that. Fair enough. 
      In short, and in truth, I'm a psychotherapist with 25 yrs experience in Franklin TN (less than three miles from RF incidentally) with a special interest in working with people formerly associated with cults, cult-like or any and all high control intitutions. I'm especially interested in working with those desiring not only deconstruct, recover and learn to thrive post-indoctrination, but those desiring to recapture or cultivate an authentic sense of theology without walls, or spirituality with borders. 
      To date, I've worked with former Amish, Mennonite, LDS/FLDS, FOG, and a those representing a whole slew of evangelical, fire and brimstone fear/shame/guilt-inducing institutions.
      I am especially interested in working with former Remnant Fellowship and Scientology members. I view RF as basically Scientology without the budget. 
      I'll leave it there. Much more can be gleaned about me through my website: therapyoutsidethebox.com or IG: @ therapyoutsidethebox
       
      Peace,
       
      Chris Hancock, LCSW
      Franklin, TN

      · 3 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I have a friend with untreated autism and ADHD. I've tried so fucking hard to help. He refuses. It's a mess. I'm really really tired.
      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      Making Jill Duggar's brownie recipe because why not stay up late.
      · 2 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Party on aisle 15....

      Also no interest if fully paid in so many months.
      · 0 replies
    • WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

      WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

      Happy Supper Bowel Sunday!!  No, wait. That isn't right...
      Anyway, enjoy the game (or the half time show, or the ads)!
      And a very happy Sunday to everyone who doesn't care about the NFL! 
      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I'm a huge baseball fan. This year, MLB TV showed Liga Dominicana games in December and January and it was a fucking revelation. The players had so much fire and joy. The announcers with their charming DR accents were a blast, though I could hardly keep up with the Spanish. DItto the Serie del Caribe. As a White Sox fan, the MLB season is going to suffer by comparison. Te amo los Tigres del Licey!
      · 2 replies
    • bea

      bea

      I've just realized how long I've been on FJ.  Holy cow.
      · 0 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.