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Christian Reconstructionism etc.

Main authors. Assessment by evangelicals.
Interface with evangelicals. Resources

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Leading authors in the movement:

bulletGreg L. Bahnsen of the Southern California Center for Christian Studies.
 
bulletDavid Chilton. He adopted hyper-preterism, (a.k.a. full or complete perterism) a particular belief about end time events. He was basically ostracized from the Christian Reconstruction camp afterwards.
 
bulletGary DeMar, a member of the steering committee of the Coalition On Revival (COR), and a leading Christian Reconstructionist author and lecturer, .
 
bulletKenneth L. Gentry, Jr., author and pastor of the Reedy River Presbyterian Church, in Mauldin, SC
 
bulletGary North of the Institute for Christian Economics. He is a prolific author.
 
bulletLarry Pratt: head of the Gun Owners of America and English First, a group opposed to non-English speaking immigrants and bilingual education. Author of "Armed People Victorious" which documents Guatemalan and Philippine militias and para-military death squads. He was campaign co-chair of the Buchanan presidential campaign in 1996.
 
bulletJohn Quade, a member of the board of the Chalcedon Foundation.
 
bulletRousas John Rushdoony (1916 - 2001) of the Chalcedon Foundation is often considered the founder of Christian Reconstructionism. Author of Institutes of Biblical Law (3 volumes), The Nature of the American System. The Foundations of Social Order: Studies in the Creeds and Councils of the Early Church, Roots of Reconstruction, Law & Liberty, The Biblical Philosophy of History,The Mythology of Science, Christianity and the State, etc.

Assessment of Reconstructionism by evangelical Christians:

Ralph Reed, the executive director of the conservative public policy group the Christian Coalition, has criticized Reconstructionism as "an authoritarian ideology that threatens the most basic civil liberties of a free and democratic society."

John Beardsley of the Beardsley Ministry, a counter-cult group, comments:

"... the Puritans were the direct forerunners of today's Kingdom/ Dominion / Reconstructionist heresy. The Puritans believed that they were carrying to America true Christianity as decreed by God, especially as written in the Old Testament. They believed too that they were on a divine mission to America, a place specially appointed by God to be the 'New Israel,' a theocratic 'city upon a hill.' The Puritans viewed themselves as God's special people, replacing national Israel, and that the American Indians were the 'new Canaanites'."

"The fruit of the Puritan's theology was brutal. They saw their mission as convert these 'Canaanites' to Christianity, or slaughter them in the name of Christ. For example, the Puritan massacres of the Pequot Indian tribe on May 26, 1637, and again on July 14, 1637, were deemed by the Puritans to be directed by God. Captain John Mason declared, 'God laughed his enemies and the enemies of his people to scorn, making them as a fiery oven ... Thus did the Lord judge among the heathen, filling the place with dead bodies.' 1 Converting the pagans for God was acceptable to the Puritans, but killing the pagans for the Lord was also acceptable!"

"Nearly three and a half centuries later, the 'New Puritans,' called Reconstructionists, want to do what the earlier ones could not. Believing they have a mandate from God to reconstruct American society, they want to establish a theocracy or Theonomy (God's law) by instituting the civil code of the Law of Moses under which all Americans, and eventually all the world must live. They propose to eradicate democracy and reinstate a form of slavery. (Most Reconstructionists are also anti-Semitic and racist, views deeply seeded in the old Identity Movement that purported to be Christian.) Reconstructionism has married politics and attached its agenda to that arena. Under the cover of fighting abortion, homosexuality, witchcraft, pornography, secular public education, and other anathemas to Christianity, it has made enormous strides in religious and political affairs."
Lewis Loftin writes:
"To be a Nazi is an attitude that doesn't always involve revering Hitler. Anyone who promotes genocide, slavery, anti-Semitism, racism, and just out-right terror to obtain a political goal is a Nazi in my book. Christian Reconstructionism is Nazism in every important way. Reconstructionism is only two things, power and hate. It is evil cloaked in religion." 2
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Interface with other fundamentalist Christian groups:

Dominionism differs from other, more common, forms of fundamentalism in a number of key areas.

Dominionists:

bulletEmphasize the importance of the Hebrew Scriptures vs. the Christian Scriptures.
 
bulletBelieve that all Christians must attempt to reconstruct society along Biblical lines.
 
bulletBelieve that, once they attain power, they will suppress other religions through genocide and mass murder, rather than through proselytizing.
 
bulletWould require all religious groups to strictly follow the Mosaic law.
 
bulletBelieve that Jesus' second coming is in the far future.

Dominionism thought is finding considerable support among Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations and churches. According to the Public Eye Magazine:

"Gary North claims that 'the ideas of the Reconstructionists have penetrated into Protestant circles that for the most part are unaware of the original source of the theological ideas that are beginning to transform them.' North describes the 'three major legs of the Reconstructionist movement [as] the Presbyterian oriented educators, the Baptist school headmasters and pastors, and the charismatic telecommunications system'." 3

Additional resources:

bullet An essay on Dominionism with many links is at Theocracy Watch. See: http://www.theocracywatch.org/
 
bullet The Chalcedon Foundation founded by the late Dr. R.J. Rushdoony has a home page at: http://www.chalcedon.edu
 
bulletThe Southern California Center for Christian Studies (founded by the late Dr. G.L. Bahnsen) is at: http://www.cleaf.com/
 
bulletThe Institute for Christian Economics, (ICE) founded by Dr. Gary North, has many books free for downloading. See: http://www.freebooks.com/
 
bulletJoseph Conn, "Christians Stoning Teens," at: http://members.aol.com/

Books:

bulletG.L. Bahnsen "Theonomy in Christian Ethics"
bulletG.L. Bahnsen "By This Standard"
bulletG.L. Bahnsen "No Other Standard"
bulletDavid Chilton's "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators"
bulletGary DeMar, "Christian Reconstruction: What it Is, What it Isn't
bulletGeorge Grant and Mark Horne, "Legislating Immorality: The Homosexual Movement Comes Out Of The Closet." (This book advocates the death penalty for homosexual behavior.)
bulletR.J. Rushdoony "Institutes of Biblical Law"

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Segal and Stinenback, "Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny,", Pages 111-112, 134-135).
  2. Lewis Loftin, "The Royal Race of the Redeemed? Christian Nazism Exposed," at: http://www.sullivan-county.com/
  3. Frederick Clarkson, "Theocratic Dominionism gains influence," The Public Eye Magazine, Volume 8, #1 and 2, 1994-MAR/JUN. Online at: http://www.publiceye.org/

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Copyright © 1998 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-FEB-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

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