Several weeks ago, I realized that no, they didn’t — and I realized why. The vast majority of people have little experience with Christian theology, even if they are church goers. If a person has never been involved in evangelical Christianity they almost certainly do not understand the arcane divisions within the “Born Again” movement. Why would a secular person, or a mainstream Protestant or Roman Catholic know what pre and post tribulational theologies are? Or what pre and post-millenialism are? Why would they know what the even more esoteric sub-sub divisions (like the Seven Mountains Movement) are? They wouldn’t. Therein is a major problem.
There is a real possibility that if Donald Trump implodes, Ted Cruz could become the Republican nominee for president. People know he represents the Religious Right, but most view that as a monolith. It is NOT a monolith at all however. People know that he has some extreme views, but most people do not, in my opinion understand how extreme those views probably are. Searching out enough facts to make a compelling case takes time, time that most people are not willing to spend on it, even if they are in the media. Understanding the connections, making all the dotted lines make sense, that takes even more work, and it takes an understanding of evangelical Christian theology, and that is in particularly short supply in the media, where it is always easier to lump somewhat similar things in together, rather than try to understand the different parts.
This therefore is my effort to provide people with an understanding of what we have every reason to believe Ted Cruz’s theology is, and what that means. I have divided what follows up into sections. It is not short, but it is as short as I can make it and still reasonably treat a complex and very important subject. So, initially I identify Ted Cruz’s religious identity as closely as is possible given what we know in a section on his faith; then I explain the theology of his likely faith subgroup in a section on Dominionist theology; then I point out the ramifications that we can logically draw from his involvement in that faith group and his statements regarding things like his faith in a section on ramifications. Finally I include a reference set for those who want to delve more deeply into that particular subdivision of evangelical Christianity. At the very end I provide a brief biographical note on myself, so that people understand something of my background and why I have a clear understanding of the theologies and faith groups involved in this.
Ted Cruz’s FaithWhile Ted Cruz has avoided being too explicit about his faith, it is very reasonable to assume that he is a Dominionist. His father is a major Dominionist minister. His father has said that Ted was anointed by other Dominionist ministers from something called the “Seven Mountains Movement” with holy oil as one of the sacred kings. Ted has not denied this anointing. Ted has spoken at meetings held by Kevin Swanson, an extremist Dominionist leader who advocates openly for gay people to be executed for the good of America and touts in writing the endorsement of Philip “Flip” Benham, another apparent Dominionist who considers all Unitarians, Homosexuals and Muslims to be “of” the devil, as well as the endorsement of the Reverend Mike Bickle. Ted has also used the exact wording of the Seven Mountains Movement’s statement on the seven spheres that Christians must take control of — without ever referencing them directly by name.
Perhaps most importantly, Ted has publicly said that he is Christian first, American second, Republican third. ( news.yahoo.com/… ). This is the opposite of JFK’s famous speech explaining that he would not take orders from the Pope or Church hierarchy in his faith. This is Cruz rushing to affirm that he WILL govern in exactly accord with his theology, not with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, if elected.
Dominionist TheologySo, assuming that all the evidence is correct and Cruz is a Dominionist Christian, what is that theology by which he will govern?
Dominionism, also called Christian Reconstructionism is, simply put, the belief that Christians must take over the planet, and only then can/will Christ return. It is the duty of the Church to take power, and use that power to establish “biblical law” across the globe over time.
RJ Rushdoony founded the movement, in its original form, founding the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965, publishing the Journal of Christian Reconstruction and later publishing the book “Institutes of Biblical Law” (1973) which greatly influenced the movement. His son-in-law, Dr. Gary North became one of its leading proponents.
Over the years many Dominionists have asserted that in order to purify America, which they assert was meant to be a Christian nation, unbelievers must be suppressed, or in some cases, put to death. Influential Dominionists have called for all homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers (those who use God’s name in vain) and various other groups to be put to death. Further Dominionists are deeply involved in home-schooling and private Christian schools, believing that those will forward their agenda.
As Gary North (previously mentioned) said "So let us be blunt about it, we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."
Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton went further yet. "The Christian goal for the world," he explained " is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics."
Ramifications of Cruz’s Faith if He Were PresidentBiblical Theocratic Republics — with the first one intended to be the United States. I see no reason at all to believe that Ted Cruz is other than he appears to be, a Dominionist, or if you prefer a Reconstructionist. His intentions, often masked, can easily be discerned by reading the writings and statements of people like those cited and are laid bare by his assertion that he is a Christian “first” and an American “second.” He has, by his own tacit admission, no respect for American laws and Constitutional provisions that disagree with his particular group’s interpretation of the Faith.
A Cruz presidency would certainly reflect these beliefs. He accepted anointing by a group of ministers from one of the most extreme wings of the movement, as a sacred king. The king of politics. A king, sacred or not in a democratic republic is an anomaly to start with, but it is, in my opinion, nothing compared to what you will see if he is elected president. I do not believe that he intends to accept Constitutional limits on his powers (he has already implied that by saying that he will simply reverse gay marriage by his word after he is president) and I do not believe that he thinks he can be stopped if he wins office.
It will be a tumultuous and possibly disastrous time if he is allowed in the office, and it is up to us to make sure that no matter who the Democrat is, Ted Cruz never sees the inside of the White-house except as a guest. It is not hyperbole at all to say that electing him to office is simply putting a Christian version of ISIS in charge of the most powerful military in the world.
House & Ice; Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse? An Analysis of Christian Reconstructionism (1988)
Jeff Sharlet; The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2008)