Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Great Commission and Dominion Theology

I don't know the true definition of "Dominion Theology" and I don't think anyone can really pigeonhole what it is or isn't. My friend Gaye Stradwick opined that she didn't believe in it. Seven Mountains, Dominion Theology and all that? I don't know much about nuances of these things. I do know that we do NOT understand the essence of what the Great Commission is if we refuse to embrace the infiltration of our culture and eventual conversion of those in it by fulfilling HIS commission to us and it's greatness.  We are to be a people who touches others as we go about our day. Where and how we go about our day is the issue. Are we doing the commission behind walls or doing church without walls? Are we reaching others because we are in contact with them in a secular setting or are we wrestling to get people into our churches?

One of the flaws that has crept into the modern church is we are going to have a meeting, invite people in, they will experience the power of the Holy Spirit and be converted therewith. Who are we going to invite? If we only play tennis. hang out and work with believers in our own town, if we isolate ourselves from unbelievers we have no platform to speak life to them. Worse if we forfeit our presence in certain arenas we tell Jesus that his commission is great except for Banking, or Entertainment, or Government. We impose limitations Jesus never intended.

If we don't rub shoulders with friends and associates who are lost as we once were, we have no opportunity to fulfill the great commission.

Jesus said:

Matthew 28:16-20 (Young's Literal Translation)

16And the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mount where Jesus appointed them,

17and having seen him, they bowed to him, but some did waver.

18And having come near, Jesus spake to them, saying, `Given to me was all authority in heaven and on earth;

19having gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptizing them -- to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

20teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days -- till the full end of the age.'
The issue is the "Having Gone". The Greek (according to people I respect) is "as you are going or as you go about". In other words, wherever you are, you are there and if so, then disciple the nations peoples you are there wherever.

I think Keith Green said it best, "You don't have to be called to go, you have to be called to STAY!"

So where are we to go? How do we disciple nations? First we need a platform. A platform where people will hear us. People who need discipling. People in national influence. People who occupy mountains of influence. If we are to disciple nations we must focus on what that nation is comprised of. Church is a part of that, but today is far less than we might imagine.

It's the world that needs change. The church has missed it because it thought it could attract the world and change them behind closed doors in their meetings. The world isn't going to come to us, we must go to her and become a change agent.

as in days of Acts 17:6:

When they didn't find them, they dragged Jason and certain brothers before the rulers of the city, crying, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here also,

World English Bible

It's a difference in how we view reaching and discpling the nations, mountains, influences and people. We must be "all things to all people" (1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Acts 16:3; 18:18, Galatians 2) I am more and more convinced that we must be salt and light in the world, not just in the church. We must practice the Celtic Evangelism that won their world long ago. The Roman way no longer works.

Traditional Roman Evangelism (Believe in Jesus then belong to the church)

  • Gospel Message is presented
  • Hearers are called to make a decision about Christ
  • If an affirmative decision is made, the person is welcomed into the church.
  • Friendship is extended to the person
  • The convert is trained for service in ministry by being separated from culture

Celtic Way of Evangelism (Belong to the church then believe in Jesus)

  • A genuine spiritual friendship between a Christian and a non-Christian is built
  • The non-Christian sees authentic faith and ministry lived openly and participates in it
  • The Gospel is naturally present in word and deed within the friendship
  • The non-Christian's conversion to Jesus follows his/hers conversion to Christian friendship and the church
  • The church celebrates the conversion of their friend

There is a lot of talk about being Missional today. If we are going to be missional, we must act missional. That means, going, discipling, taking our places. Even in authority. If I am your boss I can influence you more than if I am the Janitor. I have a platform if I'm in a more dominant position. A rap star has more influence than most preachers over his circle of young people. Is it dominion to seek to become that influence? The Church must become a place that trains and develops her people to strive to become that influence, that position. We are training people to not mix with or take position in "evil" places. I have a friend who was bi-vocational as a bartender and a pastor during his church planting days. He built a Great Church. He took a lot of heat for this. His church meets within 5 miles of where I was NOT successful in helping plant one years ago using Roman Evangelism methods. Do we have what it takes to take the world? I think if we get over our religion we might.

I have a good friend who is an evangelist. She travels about. She infiltrates. She earns the right to speak into people's lives. She wins souls. She gets results. Not big outdoor meetings. I think those are great but when soul is won, who will nurture, disciple?

We must take our place in the world and turn it upside down. That sounds a lot like Dominion. Kingdom. Presence evangelism is wonderful. We see examples of it in

1 Corinthians 14:
20Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, "By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord." 22Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 23If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
But they have to have a reason to come. And that comes because they are bumping shoulders with people demonstrating by their life, dominion, and place that they are worthy of knowing the hope you have.

1 Peter 3:15 -but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
They won't ask if you aren't there. You can't be there unless you are missionally intentional in taking that place where they can ask. You taking that place can't be limited to church and family. It must be on all the mountains of influence in the culture. And the more in authority you are in those mountains, the more your capacity to answer will become of effect.

There is a reason to become more and more intentional in this. The enemy wages war to eliminate all evidence of Jesus from the culture. He has the cooperation of some in Government, Media, Entertainment, Education. They want to silence any witness. They can not yet tie us to a stake and burn us for witness. That may come. But, they are doing all under the influence of deception created by the Devil. Unless a Christian witness is there as restraint this will become a fight we will lose.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 (New Living Translation)

6 And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.
We are here on earth, filled with the Holy Spirit, his Body in Presence, we are commissioned.

IF that is dominion theology, then let's get on with it. I see nothing else that has any effect in our culture. My worldview changed when I read this book and recognized the effect the truth of Jesus has on a culture. We no longer believe this in the church. We have abdicated the throne. Therefore we reject the idea that invasion of a culture with Christians sold out (domination of mountains) has any value. Therefore we slip away into irrelevance.

We will know when the evil in the world; the rulers of the city, crying, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here also

Let me be among them. I hope you will be too.

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