Dominion is the job – not domination
When God issued the job description for Adam, he said Adam should “Take Dominion.” Of course, God is in charge of His Universe, so what God was doing was delegating some of His authority to mankind.
Dominion. What does it mean? Did Adam take God seriously and tell the serpent, “I am in dominion here; do things my way? Get up and walk on two feet!” No. Did he go to the dog and shame the dog for walking on all fours? Hardly. He viewed each animal as having individual characteristics and capabilities and he worked within those intelligent parameters to live in peace with God's creation. At least he behaved that way before his fall into sin.
Dominion does not mean “dominate.”
Tell that to the neo-cons who say,“If you are not for us you are against us.” What gall. They demand that we walk on all fours as they are. They walk the soil of internal oppression, over-regulating their citizens with their hind feet, and with their forelegs they spread violence in countries around the world.
They believe we are under their domination, their sacred dominion, so we must obey them, must honor their deeds without thought for what motivates our leaders or for the disasters fostered by their acts.
Heading the neo-con effort are well-intentioned prominent Christian preachers who believe the nation would be in better hands if Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court were controlled by evangelicals. “Then we would have things our way,” they preach. Then righteousness would rule. God would again “Take Dominion” of His Creation. That, however, is not how the Bible tells us God thinks. God does His work through one-on-one contact with individuals. He shows throughout scripture how God plus one empowered hero is enough to get the job done.
Political frameworks that allow the domination of one party or another are political frameworks that will turn on their makers. A Congress that places Bibles in every classroom today will change someday and become a Congress that burns all Bibles and places some obscure philosopher's writings in the classrooms instead. A Congress that refuses to dominate the classroom, a Congress allowing local school boards to operate as they see fit, that Congress opens the channel between local leaders and our Omnipotent Creator.
Christian leaders, if they want to be empowered to “Take Dominion” will reject dominent structuring of any political framework. They will insist that all belief systems within their community or nation are free to express views. To limit freedom is to limit self-expression: to defeat our ability to promote the Gospel.
To take the view that the Gospel under the power of God's Holy Spirit is so weak, so lacking in power, that it needs artificial political buttresing involving domination by Christian politicians is to emasculate the very heart of our message.
-- Richard Palmquist
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