Trova il tuo prossimo libro preferito

Abbonati oggi e leggi gratis per 30 giorni
On Earth As It Is in Heaven: Answer God's Call to Transform the World

On Earth As It Is in Heaven: Answer God's Call to Transform the World

Leggi anteprima

On Earth As It Is in Heaven: Answer God's Call to Transform the World

valutazioni:
5/5 (2 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
237 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 5, 2012
ISBN:
9781441268969
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

There has been an intense and growing debate in recent years regarding "dominionism" and what it means for Christians' involvement in business, politics, education, entertainment and other realms of societal influence. Now Dr. Peter Wagner brings Spirit-inspired clarity to the conversation with this essential guide for believers who want to impact our world for God's kingdom. This invaluable study examines powerful strategies God has revealed to His people in recent days and answers persistent questions with clear, biblical wisdom: Is wealth a legitimate tool of the church? How do today's workplace apostles lead in spiritual battle? Does God allow His people to make some decisions about the future? How is dominion theology operational in our world today? This groundbreaking study lays a biblical, theological and inspirational foundation for the mandate God has given His people.
Pubblicato:
Oct 5, 2012
ISBN:
9781441268969
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

C. Peter Wagner (1930-2016), Ph.D., authored more than 70 books, founded Wagner Leadership Institute and ministered regularly all over the world. With graduate degrees in theology, missiology and religion from Fuller Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Southern California, he served as a field missionary for 16 years and taught on the faculty of Fuller's School of Intercultural Studies for 30 years.


Correlato a On Earth As It Is in Heaven

Libri correlati
Articoli correlati

Anteprima del libro

On Earth As It Is in Heaven - Peter C. Wagner

Index

PREFACE

Why did I write this book? Starting in the mid-1990s, I began to examine closely the church’s role in society. When I started my investigation, I did not consider becoming involved with culture, government, education, media and the marketplace a God-given assignment for us as believers. However, once I shifted my outlook, I began my usual modus operandi of researching and teaching the related issues and finally organizing my thoughts in a book.

As I was writing, I was aware that not all of my friends, even those who joined me in the charismatically inclined evangelical stream, would agree with all of the conclusions I was reaching. I expected the book to stimulate some creative tensions and fruitful dialogues that could help us all hear better what God is saying to the churches today. But I wasn’t envisioning the firestorm that ensued.

The book was first published under the title Dominion! with an exclamation point as part of the title. The subtitle was How Kingdom Action Can Change the World. The word dominion alone caused a stir of sorts, due both to my actual words about reforming society and even more so to a misrepresentation by some of what dominion means. From the outset, I was associated with people I do not know and a theology I do not accept. To call what followed a radioactive explosion of fear might fairly be an understatement. Some wanted me ousted from Christendom—immediately!

A fair number of observers sat nervously in the middle as naysayers slung out warnings about anything and everything called dominion. A few excitedly caught the vision for transformation, centered on what has come to be called the seven mountains. The silver lining was a media rush to my doorstep wanting me to explain, but not before the original book—this book you hold in your hands—under the original title Dominion! went out of print.

Now that this book is back in print, with a new title, let’s see if we can make some sense out of all this. The underlying premise of this book is that God wills that His people here on earth take dominion of the society in which we live, promoting the values, blessings and prosperity of His kingdom for everyone. The new title of the book, On Earth as It Is in Heaven, is meant to reflect the portion of the Lord’s Prayer that reads, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). You will read about this in considerable detail as you go through the book.

UNDERESTIMATING OPPOSITION

I now see that I severely underestimated the degree of opposition that had already developed in certain circles against what I call the dominion mandate. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that a network of Christian apologists had been opposing what they called dominionism for some time; and when I wrote this book, I had not yet even heard the term nor read what they were writing. What were they saying? Let me just randomly choose from the Internet some of their descriptive phrases relating to dominionism: a dangerous political movement, religious extremism, a betrayal of the political and social mores of our society, hate mongering, bizarre ideas of a handful of Christian Right players, aberration of true Christian theology, heresy and Christian imperialism, just for starters.

The more I have read and analyzed this material, the more convinced I have become that fear is one of the principal driving elements underlying the sincere opposition by some to dominionism. While there are many other specific objects of fear pinpointed in the literature, most all of them can be summarized in the fear that dominionism will lead to a theocracy. Oddly enough, I am as apprehensive of a theocracy as the critics of dominionism are.

THE RESURRECTION OF A BOOK

Obviously, my customary publisher, Regal Books, is not susceptible to the fear of biblical dominionism, so the book is now resurrected and re-released with some changes, and with a kinder, gentler title: On Earth as It Is in Heaven.

In the interim, quite a few individuals ended up with copies of the controversial book. A flurry of public interest surfaced in mid-2011 when Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. Some of his opponents attempted to find ways of associating him with dominionism, and the Internet lit up with animated discussions on the matter for about three months. TIME magazine ran a cover story on Governor Perry, accompanied by an article, In God We Trust, that described dominionists as those who believe the Bible should govern society. The article reports, "What is new in the 2012 race is the emergence of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which was named by C. Peter Wagner, a Colorado Springs-based minister who writes books with titles like Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World and believes the world is in the grip of evil…. The NAR’s mission: to achieve dominion over the darkness through Christian activism in politics and beyond."¹ In essence, the article states our purpose quite accurately.

Please allow me to say it in my own words.

A FOUNDATION FOR OUR MANDATE

I have written On Earth as It Is in Heaven to provide a biblical, theological and strategic foundation in order to help undergird the urgent mandate of God for the church to actively engage in transforming society. As I have said, this is a relatively new perspective or paradigm for many of us, both in the nuclear church and in the extended church of the workplace. In order to see the big picture, I will try to pull together many important conceptual threads, such as the biblical government of the church (such as the roles of apostles and prophets), dominion or Kingdom theology, an open view of God, the church in the workplace, the great transfer of wealth, and other related themes.

My basic premise is that God’s kingdom should come and that His will should be done here on earth as it is in heaven. This is clearly a Christian principle because, as I have said, these are the very words that Jesus taught His disciples to pray every day in the Lord’s Prayer. What would this look like? Every segment of the society in which we live would be permeated with the peace, justice, prosperity, health, righteousness, joy, harmony, love and freedom that characterize God’s original design for human life. All earthly societies, including the United States, would be happier and more fulfilled with these qualities of life fully realized than they would be without them. With this, you can see why my book’s title is On Earth as It Is in Heaven.

While committed Christians will embrace these values, Christians are not the only ones who do. Many non-Christians also agree that the societies in which we live should move in the direction of experiencing more peace, justice, prosperity, health, righteousness, joy, harmony, love and freedom, and they also want to participate personally in such a transformation.

Obviously, right now we all find ourselves on earth—not yet in heaven. Consequently, we must follow certain earthly rules if we are going to change our society for the good. A starting point is to recognize what many of us have been calling the seven mountains, which are the supreme molders of culture. These are religion, family, education, media, government, arts and entertainment, and business. For a given society to change, each one of the seven mountains needs to be influenced, or dominated, by persons of goodwill, whether Christians or non-Christians. This is a positive way of looking at dominionism.

My hope is that those who agree with God’s ideal for human life will be those who find themselves, at the end of the day, in positions of influence over society, whether it be within cities, states, nations or other territories or people groups. The biblical ideology underlying this vision is called dominion theology, which I explain in some detail in chapter 3.

NOT A THEOCRACY!

I recognize the baggage the word dominion carries. The overriding fear on the part of those who oppose dominionism is that it might end up advocating a theocracy. For example, the Religious Freedom Coalition produced a paper with the apprehensive title, Could There Be a Theocracy in America’s Future?² Though well researched, the paper draws the questionable conclusion that dominion theology threatens to open the door to a much-dreaded theocracy in our country.

The fear is so pervasive that a substantial book by Kevin Phillips carries the title American Theocracy. This is an attempt to heighten the theophobia characterizing many Americans today. One of Phillips’ major culprits in supposedly moving America toward a theocracy was George W. Bush, who, from time to time, was bold enough to affirm his faith in God publicly as well as his desire to hear from God and do His will for the nation. Phillips fears a strongly leader-driven theocracy and refers to George W. Bush, Theocrat-in-Chief.³

I must admit that certain individuals in the circles with which I identify have, perhaps in moments of over-enthusiasm, made statements that could be interpreted as advocating theocracy. This is regrettable, but understandable. In calmer discussions of the issues involved, none of them, to my knowledge, would suggest that any human government should be a theocracy.

WHAT IS THEOCRACY?

Theocracy means a government headed up by God. Those of us who believe the Bible agree that the whole earth will someday be ruled by God. Since God is the Creator of the universe, He has the ultimate right to rule. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is predicted by the Bible to return to earth once again, this time not as a sacrifice on the cross but as a warrior on a white horse. He will take charge of human society once and for all, and when that happens we will experience a new earth different from anything we have known since Adam and Eve.

However, all of this is in the future. No one knows when this will happen. It may be in our generation, or it may be many generations from now. Meanwhile, we humans who represent God have the responsibility of doing the best we can, with all of our shortcomings and imperfections, to establish human societies that, as far as possible, reflect the blessings of God on all of humanity. In my opinion, the best way to accomplish this is through a democracy, not a theocracy.

Human history is replete with experiments in theocratic government, both Christian and non-Christian. Today the most prominent examples would be Muslim nations under sharia law, which is Islamic law based on the Qur’an. The god—or theos— supposedly governing those societies is Allah, who by no stretch of the imagination should be confused with Jehovah God, the Father of Jesus Christ. I need not catalog the long list of officially sanctioned violations of human rights inherent (not just accidental) in sharia law. Worth mentioning, however, just as an example, are laws against the crime of apostasy, which include (among other things) leaving Islam for another faith such as Christianity and which prescribe capital punishment by stoning or beheading. Religious freedom is not considered a human right under Islamic theocracies.

When America gained independence from England, it separated itself from a state church that was essentially a form of theocracy. In theory, God was the ruler over England, and the king or queen was seen as God’s appointed head. In turn, the monarch appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was over the Church of England, or the Anglican Church. Our American Constitution broke from this tradition and prohibited the United States government from establishing a state church like the Anglican Church, which in effect ruled as a theocracy. Democracy took the place of theocracy/monarchy; and democracy has worked very well, at least for America, for more than 200 years.

That is why I reject not just a theocracy but even more so an imagined ecclesiocracy, in which the church would rule. In Romans 13:1-4, the church is instructed not to go in this direction. Referring to the government of the Roman Empire, Paul wrote, Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Rom. 13:1). Returning for a moment to the seven mountains, the church, as an organized body, should recognize that its activities and influence operate in the religion mountain, not in any of the other six. Civil government should be seen as a function of the government mountain, and the two should not be confused.

None of this detracts from the central thesis of this book that God’s plan is for His kingdom to come to earth as it is in heaven right in the here and now. This means that Kingdom-minded and Kingdom-motivated individuals in all seven of the mountains must strive toward influencing and taking dominion of whatever sphere of society God has assigned them. When this is applied to the government mountain, it means that God’s people with high biblical standards should seek to occupy the highest possible government offices within whatever form of government they find themselves. This is biblical dominionism, not theocracy.

DEMOCRACY WORKS!

Democracy has proven to be the best choice for civil government because of its built-in checks and balances that help counteract our inherent sinful nature, which has been passed down since Adam’s fall. Let’s look more closely at how taking dominion over society and infusing the values of the kingdom of God can operate within a democratic government.

Democracy, by definition, is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In a democracy, while there is no established religion, religious people can be elected to office as freely as can non-religious people, and they can also rise to the highest and most influential positions in any of the seven mountains. If Christians win elections, gain influence and occupy pubic offices, it should be expected that they will propagate and implement their personal values. This is not theocracy; it is a normal outworking of democracy. I agree with Rick Joyner, who states, You can have the best form of government and still have bad government if you have bad people in it. God is seeking to write His laws on the hearts of people. The form of government is the scaffolding, but the character of the people is the real government.

Christians understand that Kingdom values should penetrate all areas of their personal lives, families, businesses, political choices, and the rest. While we in America constitutionally avoid a state church, we must never imagine it possible to separate a person’s religion or faith from the way he or she thinks, makes decisions, votes and governs on all issues of life. Anyone who would vote contrary to his or her spiritual values would be a hypocrite and thereby disqualified from public office on the grounds of defective character.

Freedom and personal liberty are part and parcel of a government undergirded by godly Kingdom principles. Consequently, people of other religious faiths or those who have no faith at all are welcomed and respected. Each one has a vote. True democracy honors religious pluralism. If those of a certain faith are a majority, they are expected to elect leaders who share their values. If they are a minority, however, they should not expect to rule.

If Christian principles happen to be directing the government, freedom of non-Christians is essential. Why? It is because people are Christians only when they have made that personal choice. True believers are not born into their faith—they are believers as a result of their personal decision to open their lives to Jesus Christ. That is what being born again means. No true Christian has ever been taken hostage and forced to convert to Christianity as the price for his or her release. Nor do people remain Christian out of the fear that if they apostatize, they will be subject to capital punishment, as those under sharia law are. Christians have no reason to put non-Christians in jail or deny them civil rights simply because they have decided not to be born again but to follow other religions instead. Religious freedom is highly valued in God’s kingdom here on earth.

THE MAJORITY RULES

To clarify a bit further, if Christians happen to constitute the

Hai raggiunto la fine di questa anteprima. Registrati per continuare a leggere!
Pagina 1 di 1

Recensioni

Cosa pensano gli utenti di On Earth As It Is in Heaven

5.0
2 valutazioni / 1 Recensioni
Cosa ne pensi?
Valutazione: 0 su 5 stelle

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Absolutely exceptional teaching on stewarding the great wealth transfer! A must read for any Kingdom minded believer. Awesome content!