As a result of man being created in the image of God, and under covenant obligation, all men seek some sort of dominion. Mankind is naturally inclined to overcome, subdue and take dominion over his environment. He is by nature an entrepreneur. Yet, natural man, void of the grace of God, seeks dominion for his own purposes. He sets himself as king over nature and attempts to subdue it according to his own agenda, and solely for his personal gain. Natural man does not desire to glorify God nor show Him reverence, but rather suppresses the knowledge of God in unrighteousness, and seeks credit for all his accomplishments.
Regenerate man, on the other hand, seeks dominion on God's terms, and for God's glory. Unlike natural man, regenerate man has sound priorities. God is always first. His heart is turned upward, toward God, without abandoning his commission upon the earth. He understands his purpose; to Glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Regenerate man seeks dominion God's way, according to God's terms, and only for God's Glory.
The Vision sets the Direction
If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there. Natural man generally lives life passively. He allows circumstances to direct him and lead him along the path of life. Situations become the guiding force, often turning into harsh taskmasters and dictators. Even those unregenerate souls who seem to have a specific life-long plan are living their lives apart from the purpose to which God created them. At best they are at odds with God even though they seem to be successful and highly regarded in this world. Any vision apart from, or in conflict with God's vision is a truncated view of life. This ultimately leads to a confused and often desperate life. Without a steadfast vision, as the writer of the Proverbs states, "the people perish". Modern people, even many of today's Christian people, are perishing for want of vision.
Without a life vision it is impossible to find the right direction. The Apostles had similar concerns. When Thomas confessed that he did not know the way, the Lord answered that HE was the way. That answer still holds the same weight of truth today as it did during Christ's life upon the earth. The Christian way must conform to God's Way. Our vision must be in direct and perfect harmony with God's vision, and God's vision is revealed to us in His Word.
The Mission Stated Clearly
Since the Resurrection the Kingdom of God has been advancing upon the earth. Coupled with the coronation of Christ after the ascension, and the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, the Lord's Dominion has been advancing in a consistent and bold fashion upon the earth. According to the eternal plan, God's people have been, and forever will be an intricate part of the Kingdom's advancement and ultimate conquest. It is through God's empowered people that the Kingdom is brought to the finality of its comprehensive victory spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:24. This is the mission of each and every Christian; i.e. to so dramatically influence every area of life with Christ-centered doctrine, principles and practice that the culture is subdued under them to the praise of the Glory of God, in Christ.
What the church has failed to realize is that the Lord has established and empowered her for the express purpose of regaining and re-claiming that which was lost in Adam's transgression. Christians are called to re-claim the entire global culture to the Glory of God. Since God claims dominion and ownership over the entire global community, He desires it to be subdued under Him. This means that the Gospel commission is a global, evangelical commission consisting in bringing captive every thought, philosophy and practice to the obedience of God.
This does not mean that all flesh will be redeemed or that every soul will be obedient to God's Law-Word. It does mean however, that overall, there will be an atmosphere of Christ-centered Lawful obedience in every land to a God glorifying high degree. Whereas the world was predominantly pagan before the coming of Christ, it will be predominantly Christian during the New Testament age and will steadily progress until His appearing. If more Christians would embrace the positive and comprehensive nature of the Gospel commission of the Cultural Mandate more of our culture would be righteously influenced.
Re-Claiming the Culture through Humanism
Sadly, the task of re-claiming the culture has been relinquished to almost every religion, party, person or program. Science, technology, politics, American bankers, international security, presidents, ambassadors, education systems, the military and a host of others have taken center stage with competing bids to become the Supreme Savior of the World. Today's hodge-podge of Deliverers have wearied the public to the extent that they no longer can distinguish between what is authentic and what is cosmetic.
What is so disturbing is that the Church is also confused by the deafening noise of these self proclaimed problem solvers. Instead of properly analyzing the global/national situation from a Biblical vantage point, the church has made a federation with the wisdom of this world, abandoning the wisdom of Christ and His Law. Proclaiming themselves to be wise, they have become fools.
Humanism is very Satisfying to the Flesh
As carbohydrates are to the body so too is humanism to the soul. Carbohydrates are painfully addicting. The more the body indulges in them the more the body craves them. Yet, most carbohydrates only satisfy temporarily, turning to sugar, and then stored as fat. They are not a sufficient source of protein, and an abuse of carbohydrates can result in obesity. In society, individuals who abuse themselves with abusive diets, high in fat and carbohydrates, sometime blame the makers of those foods, shifting the blame from themselves to another. This is synonymous to much of the Christian community today.
Humanism is addicting to the natural, sinful tendency of man. It satisfies with temporary solutions but remains void of real, long term problem solving. In fact, humanism exacerbates the problem while disguising itself as the "answer". It is this human-centered wisdom that the Apostle Paul condemns as carnal and foolish. This wisdom is not from God, but rather from the sinful root of rebellious man, claiming God-like capabilities. David also condemns this in Psalm 1 where he cautions the saint against the sinner and the scornful humanist.
Humanism is man's carnal reason trying to put "Humpty Dumpty" back together with spit. It simply cannot be done. All the king's horses and all the king's men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again because they did not have to tools to do so. It is not in human reason where we find the answers, it is in Revelation - God's Revelation. The Revelation of God's Law is the tool for Biblical Dominion. The application of God's Law to all spheres of life is the road to a God glorifying reclamation of the culture. Through Divine Revelation society can, and must be cultivated to the Glory of God. But it must be done God's way, according to His Law, His plan, His design.
The Beginning Point of Biblical Conquest
How does one begin the long road back to Biblical Dominion? Where is the staring point? Has it already been initiated? To what degree? Where does the 21st century church fit in? All these questions are simple to answer, but not easy to put into practice.
Divine Intervention and the New Birth
The Cultural Dominion is a Divine commission, and as with all things Divine, the starting point also must be Divine. The intervention of God, unto the salvation and regeneration of the soul is the starting point for His plan for Global conquest. Reformation always begins with transformation.
As with all military Generals, God too establishes an army and equips them for real battle. It is a battle of a spiritual nature. This does not for a minute mean it is not physically real, nor that it does not manifest itself in historical confrontation between men and men. It simply means that the battle is one of philosophy and presuppositions. It is a battle of World views. It is an epistemological battle - a battle of knowledge, understanding and power often fought through action and policies. It is a battle which has not only temporal consequences but eternal consequences as well. This is what makes this battle more frightening and more severe than any other.
The pre-requisite of this battle is the New Birth. Before battle can be waged successfully, the soul must be regenerated. This regeneration transforms the individual and equips him/her for the battle at hand. The regeneration causes a soul to "think God's thoughts after Him", relying upon the Divine Revelation of the written Word over and above the faulty reason of man-centered Humanism. It is this faithful adherence to the Divine Law of God which ultimately brings victory and dominion to the saints.
Without the intervention of God's Holy Spirit there can be no conquest. This is why the Gospel of salvation is declared. In the hope of recruiting others to the front lines of the battle, the Truth of the Lord Jesus is declared by the saints. The Gospel declared and embraced by individuals, for their personal salvation, is not an end in itself as so many pastors teach. It is a means to an end. It is a means to global reformation. It is a means to Godly reclamation. It is a means to Christ-centered righteous dominion.
The Second Point of Conquest: Intelligence
It is a misunderstanding to equate intelligence with knowledge. Intelligence is rightly defined as to inform, understand or to collect data. One who is intelligent is one who is widely informed of world events, historical events, economic or political events, et al. Intelligence is that faculty which enables an individual to be well equipped against life's challenges. Intelligence gathering in the National security arena is the collection of information, its proper analysis, and its application to current situations. To know one's enemy is invaluable. God encourages us to know the devices of every and any anti-Christian assault. All the military campaigns of the Old Testament generals were victorious because they were successfully based upon intelligence gathering concerning the enemy. Intel gathering is crucial in the battle for cultural dominion.
According to this definition, therefore, it is incumbent upon the Christian community to be well informed in the affairs of this world's events. The Christian cannot be ignorant of the situations and circumstances surrounding the history in which he lives. To remain willfully ignorant presupposes a mindset of escapism, which is nothing more than covenantal irresponsibility from the Dominion Commission. The Christian must be well informed. In this way he can analyze and critique the popular theology of the day in order to correct or confirm its authenticity.
One method of intelligence gathering is through reliable news sources. To be apprised daily in the affairs of the world from reliable news sources is invaluable. Liberal, anti-Christian news sources too have their worth since by studying them we can glean the opposing argument, and strategy, and gear up for that assault to the Christian advantage. All information, as long as it is filtered through a Biblical World View, is valuable. Every Christian must be well informed. Otherwise the ill informed will be at a loss when they are needed most. The fact of the matter is that God will only call those who are well informed, since being well informed is being well armed. "To be fore-warned, is to be fore-armed."
A practical use of the internet can equip the Christian like never before in the world's history. In the economy of God's providence, the saints can be both locally and globally informed. Moreover, from the comfort of the Christian home, diligent Christians can launch Biblical assaults on the world of humanism without too much effort. In earlier years, the Reformers, Puritans and founders of America did so much with so little. Today, the Christian community does so little with so much.
The Third Point of Conquest: Forming Godly Alliances
Networking with faithful organizations and individuals is crucial. The wall of Nehemiah was filled with many saints. They had one goal and one vision, yet they varied in their geographical location and in their duties. Such it is with the saints in the world. Comprehensive conquest and dominion is contingent upon the forming of Godly federations. These can be either long or short term, consistent or intermittent. In any case, no man, nor organization is an island, nor should ever considered as such. Faithful Christians must work together.
The use of Christian networking is a wise strategy. This immediately strengthens all parties involved and is they are diligent and selfless, having the goal Christ-centered, they will fare valiantly for Christ and contribute much in the cause of the Cultural Mandate.
The Fourth Point of Conquest: Psychological Warfare
Wicked men are cunning men. They can easily spot the hypocrites in the Camp of Christ. They know who are true and who are the Pharisees. Surprisingly they often know more than those who profess themselves to be Christians. This is why it is so very important to have a spotless, blameless testimony.
Ethical obedience to the Law of God is of utmost importance. This fidelity must be exhibited in every area of life. In personal matters as well as business matters. In our affairs with the public and our testimony in private. In what we say, in where we go, in what we wear, in how we act. Moreover, our testimony is manifested by our family - our husbands, wives and our children. They testify as to our fidelity, influence and control. They also need to be mindful of their behavior and associations.
Covenantal obedience is intimidating to those who hate God and an encouragement to those who love Him. Obedience gives rise to Godly intimidation which translates into respect and holy fear. Men like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli and the pious Puritans were men of holy obedience who commanded holy awe as a result of the power of the Holy Spirit at work within them. Only a true witness comes with True Grace.
This is the first step in psychological warfare. Remember, this is a spiritual battle. It is a battle of ethics and moral character. It is a matter of Law empowered by the Grace of God. Once a strong, God fearing character testimony is established, the enemy is rendered fearful. They begin to make mistakes. They may manufacture lies as to the moral stability of the saint, but make no mistake, they are worried. They are worried because intuitively they know they are dealing with the real thing. They know they are dealing with a vessel of clay molded by the Master's hand, filled with the Power of His Spirit, the Word of His mouth and the Water of Life and Truth. True saints are as a Rod of Iron in the Lord's hand and arrows of the Mighty Hunter. To this fact, the enemy cannot help but tremble.
This psychological warfare also has another result coupled with the result of "fear"; i.e. anger and frustration. As a result of a Godly testimony coupled with intelligence, wisdom, courage and power, the Godless are also enraged. They are enraged because they know that they are out gunned as well as out smarted. This rage is a tearful rage of frustration since they can offer no concrete or logical argument against the Law of God. It is the Law of God which renders all who oppose it foolish and without the power of a convincing argument.
The second plateau of psychological warfare is waged in another fashion. By consistently and publicly analyzing current events, in the light of the Holy Scriptures, the Christian begins to both establish himself as a watchman and sets in motion a string of events which will root out the enemy. To be silent in the face of sin and iniquity is sin itself. To sin by silence is not only loathsome to God it is also the sin of cowardice. Cowards were always asked to leave the ranks of the brave before going into battle since it would infect the entire camp. cf Deut 20. There is no excuse for cowardice in the assembly of the saints.
One arena to voice our analysis is in the letters to the editor section of the local newspaper. This is a perfect venue for bringing to light the Christian world and life view and placing it smack into the lap of the American populace - whether they like it or not.
Another arena mentioned earlier is the internet. A simple web site can host hundreds of pieces dealing with various topics of interest. Once the site is up and running, the church, or the individual can promote it throughout the community. If done properly, and with the blessing of God, this can be a power tool for cultural change.
Newsletters, flyers, and tracts are just a few ways to launch psychological warfare on any community. Coupled with effective networking, this strategy can be explosive.
The Fifth Point of Conquest: Covenant Obligation and Covenant Promise
The motive behind Christian service is love toward God. All other motives are unacceptable. Wherever the heart is, the mind will follow. The Christian is sensitive both to the obligation he has before God as his Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver and King, as well as the promise of victory given by Christ. Not to act on the promise of victory is to deny faith in the Promise-giver.
Modern Christians have widely misunderstood this promise, or are simply giving lip service to it. The promise of victory is for a time in history. It is not for a time outside of time, nor outside of history. It may be for a time appointed in history which we will not see in our life, but it will be accomplished in time and in history. I the promise of Christian Dominion is not a victory promise in the hereafter. It is a promise for this earth's existence, and it will be the culmination of the New Testament Age.
The Eschatology of the Covenant saint is one of victory not of defeat. Therefore they continue in the fight of faith, here and now, preparing their children to continue that fight after they are gone to be with the Lord.
The Final Point of Conquest: Territorial
Christians must also be territorial. They must be jealous over their family first, then their church, then their community, then their nation, then the world. If they stop short of any of these areas, if they fail to be territorial, a vacuum is created. That vacuum allows any idea or policy to fill the void. It is the commission of the Christian not to allow any void whatsoever. It is for them to fill, not some pagan, God-hating humanist. Christians need to be sensitive to these pockets of opportunity and developed the skills to fill them. Areas of law, science, literature, economics, art, history, education, industry, etc. all have pockets which need to be first filled by Christians and then controlled by Christians.
In 1776, as the Declaration of Independence was being signed, Samuel Adams declared his vision of territorial Christian Dominion over the New Republic of America.
"We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come."
If the promise is to us and to our children that we shall inherit the earth, the task must be done diligently and consistently. The call of Christ centered Cultural Dominion is given to the Christian. It is the Christian who alone can accomplish it, by the Grace of God, God helping us. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria
Originally published in 2003
is the founder and dean of the New Geneva Leadership Academy, pastor of the Reformed Bible Church in VA, and lecturer and CEO of the Institute for Theonomic Reformation. He has been involved in Christian education for more than 30 years operating a home school academy in addition to writing many monographs, articles and curricula in the area of Christian education. Dr. Raymond lives with his wife Jane and has three grown children and two grandchildren. Rev. Dr. Raymond's current projects include: teaching 40 new students from Rwanda, expanding his student reach to Australia and working as a court advocate in the local juvenile Justice system.