Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Biblical Dominion Comes by Obedience and Service - BY GARY DEMAR

 Leftist dominionists believe in “rendering all to a Caesar.” The State is their god so long as they are controlling the reins of power. They become the new gods. Consider the following dominionist worldview from atheist, homosexual, and globalist Yuval Noah Harari that globalist elites are operating under: 

Human rights are just like heaven and God. It’s just a fictional story that we’ve invented to spread around. It may be a very nice story. It may be a very attractive story. You may want to believe it, but it’s just a story. It’s not a reality. It is not a biological reality, just as jellyfish, and woodpeckers, and ostriches have no rights. Homo Sapiens have no rights also. Take a human, cut him open, look inside, you find … blood, the heart, lungs, and kidneys, but you won’t find any rights. The only place you find rights is in the fictional story that humans have invented and spread around. The same thing is also true in the political field. States and nations are also like human rights, and like God, and like heaven, they too are just stories. A mountain is a reality. You can see it. You can touch it. You can even tough it. But Israel, the United States … they are just stories. Very powerful stories. Stories we may want to believe very much, but still they are just stories. You can’t really see the United States. You cannot touch it. You cannot smell it.

People like Harari have taken on the role of gods. They are the new theocrats. With the true God out of the way, they will determine what your rights are.

Here’s the problem. God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, and self-sufficient (1 Tim. 1:17), something that no individual, group, or government can be. Any attempt to act like God results in tyranny because individuals, dictators, kings, groups, nations, or a confederation of nations have the attributes of God including His perfection and divine justice. Roland Watson captures the essence and evil of top-down dominionism: 

The State may indeed be God’s delegate for a particular duty at a particular time and place but when the modern State attempts to take upon itself the incommunicable attributes of God then there is a monstrosity in the making.


And as the eyes of God run to and fro across the Earth beholding the deeds of men, so the State aspires to an omnipresence which allows it to be present in every CCT camera or hidden wiretap. From the feared ubiquity of an army of hidden informers in a Stalinist country to the sophistication of supercomputers tirelessly scanning untold myriads of emails, the State strives to be as God where God does not intend.

And from a pretended omnipresence and omniscience proceeds a delusional omnipotence which has wreaked havoc and murder across the centuries in the hands of the basest of men. And if the State muses that the searing shock wave of its fusion blasts are akin to the breath of God and that it has become the Shatterer of worlds in the words of Oppenheimer then surely the time for change has come.

Another criticism, not voiced by Robert Bowman (see the previous article Dominion: An Inescapable Concept) but certainly implied in his critique, is that the dominion mandate of Genesis does not give dominion to some people over other people. But this requires a proper definition of dominion. In a sinful world, there are times for some men to have dominion over other men who are lording it over people. This is seen in Genesis 9:5-7 where the dominion mandate is repeated with the addition of giving man the authority to exercise restraint of certain activities. Stopping people from dominating other people who use theft, intimidation, political power, and violence is a necessary part of one aspect of dominion. King Ahab and Jezebel and what they did to acquire Naboth’s vineyard comes to mind (1 Kings 21). This requires an ethical premise for such actions and an understanding of jurisdictions, governmental boundaries. Consider the men of Issachar: “Of the sons of Issachar, men who knew how to discern the times, to know what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their relatives were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32). How would they know what to do? “All Scripture” is the starting point (2 Tim. 3:16-17). A good example is found in Exodus 18 when Jethro came the following advice to Moses. 

Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then admonish them about the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that they will bring to you every major matter, but they will judge every minor matter themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will carry the burden with you. If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their places in peace (vv. 19-23).

 Ultimately, the goal is so everyone can live in peace.

Never paying back evil for evil to anyone, respecting what is good in the sight of all men, if possible, so far as it depends on you, being at peace with all men, never taking your own revenge, beloved—instead leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17-21).

Notice that Paul appeals to the Old Testament (Deut. 32:35Ps. 94:1Prov. 25:21-22) to make his case. In chapter 13 of Romans, Paul appeals to the law on how to love our neighbors (vv. 8-10). Private vengeance and compulsion are not the attributes of biblical dominion (Matt. 5:38-48).

There is nothing in Scripture that indicates that the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:26-28 has been rescinded. The creation was good before the fall (1:31) and after the fall (1 Tim. 4:1-4). Sin is still present and manifested in different ways.

Psalm 8 reiterates the dominion mandate of Genesis by telling us that “Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands” (8:6). In his commentary on the Psalms, Bible commentator H.C. Leupold writes of Psalm 8:6: “How much [‘the works of Thy hands’] involves neither this statement nor Gen. 1 specifies, but it certainly cannot indicate a mere nominal control, for the parallel statement of v. 6 … extends man’s authority to ‘everything’ and … claims that these things may be said to have been ‘put under his feet.’”[1]

Because of sin, some men steal and kill other men to secure wealth and power for themselves. This sin must be subdued or ruled over. But what standard should be used? Scripture tells us that because of the transgression the law was given (Gal. 3:19). The standard has not changed.

God and Government

God and Government

With a fresh new look, more images, an extensive subject and scripture index, and an updated bibliography, God and Government is ready to prepare a whole new generation to take on the political and religious battles confronting Christians today. May it be used in a new awakening of Christians in America—not just to inform minds, but to stimulate action and secure a better tomorrow for our posterity.


The Bible gives instructions on each of the following subjects, all considered the domain of Christians: civil government, the judicial system, economics, indebtedness, the punishment of criminals, foreign affairs, care for the poor, animal husbandry, ecology, journalism, science, medicine, business, education, taxation, inflation, property, terrorism, war, peace negotiations, military defense, ethical issues like abortion and homosexuality, environmental concerns, inheritance, investments, building safety, banking, child discipline, pollution, marriage, contracts, and many other worldview issues.[2] This is the dominion mandate. If God instructs us on an issue, then we are mandated to follow those commands according to His Law in every area of life.

As with all God-given mandates, people often misuse and abuse them. Jesus’ dealings with the religious leaders of His day are a perfect example. Any form of dominion can be abused. There is something James Jordan defines as the “Dominion Trap.” 

There is, however, a precondition for such dominion: Godliness. When Adam rebelled against God, he was cast out of the Garden, and lost much of his dominion privilege. Men who do not repent eventually lose all dominion by being consigned to hell. 

Godliness, in the sense we are speaking of here, is not an instant affair, however. It is not a matter of saying, “Well, now you are a Christian. Go out and take dominion!” Such a simplistic formula is fraught with spiritual danger, and the history of Christian social movements illustrates it well….

What the Bible actually teaches is that spiritual maturity or wisdom results from a process of growth, and it is the precondition for dominion all along the way. This is fairly obvious to us if we think of children. We expect our children to grow and become mature and wise before we burden them with adult, dominion tasks. To load such a burden on a child would be to crush him. For a child to presume to take such adult responsibilities on himself would be arrogant and destructive. We don’t wish, after all, to be ruled by children.

There is a Dominion Trap and an Anti-Dominion Trap that ends up giving dominion to “worthless fellows” (Deut. 13:13-18; Judges 9; 1 Kings 21:132 Kings 17:15Acts 17:5) who then rule over everyone and make their lives a living hell.

The modern welfare state is a sophisticated form of slavery. Consider the subtitle to Star Parker’s book Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It. She understands the nature of government-sponsored slavery since she lived as a slave on Uncle Sam’s plantation and experienced its dehumanizing effects.[3]

The author of the letter to the Hebrews makes the point that some (many?) Christians were not equipped for anything more challenging than what a nursing baby would be able to do and this would be susceptible to abusers of dominion. Maturity takes time, experience, and practice. 

Concerning [Melchizedek] we have much to say, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become poor listeners. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the beginning [ἀρχῆς] principles [στοιχεῖα] of the actual words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil (Heb. 5:11-14).

If we can’t get basic principles of God’s Word right in terms of ourselves, how will we be able to apply them to the broader world? The starting point for dominion is the new birth and self-government under God.

Here’s how I defined dominion in the 1988 book The Reduction of Christianity that Peter Leithart and I co-authored as an answer to the anti-dominion worldview of Dave Hunt. 

The exercise of this dominion is ethical. It does not come automatically, nor is it imposed top-down by a political regime or by an army of Christians working frantically to overthrow the governments of the world. Such a concept of dominion is rather the essence of secular humanism: the religion of revolution. God’s people exercise dominion in the same way that Jesus exercised dominion—through sacrificial obedience and faithfulness to the commandments. Dominion comes through service.[4]

This is not the endpoint; it’s the beginning of greater accomplishments.

The Reduction of Christianity

The Reduction of Christianity

In this capably written, courteously argued and comprehensively detailed book, authors DeMar and Leithart show us how to confront the error of "New Age" thought with the power of the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The Reduction of Christianity is a must-read for anyone concerned about the New Age movement while at the same time desiring to be faithful to the fullness of the Christian Faith


[1] H. C. Leupold, Exposition on Psalms (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, [1959] 1977), 104-105.

[2] For a comprehensive discussion of most of these topics see Gary DeMar, God and Government, one-vol. ed.(Powder Spring, GA: American Vision, 2011).

[3] Star Parker, Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It (Nashville: WND Books, 2003).

[4] Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart, The Reduction of Christianity: A Biblical Response to Dave Hunt (Ft. Worth, TX:  Dominion Press, 1988), 24-25.