I do not usually respond to responses on devotionals but there has been a reoccurring theme that needs to be addressed. People who espouse NAR theology, especially in the area of dominionism, rarely think they are NAR themselves. Bill Johnson and Dr. Michael Brown for example pretend the NAR does not even exist at times. If you asked Stephen Strang or Eddie Hyatt they would both deny being NAR but they are deeply involved in sharing the theology of influencing this culture, which by definition is dominionism, which be definition is an NAR teaching. I say this as a back drop to the devotional I wrote recently about the false teaching that this world is somehow our home. It was in response to an article written by Gary DeMar, a man I admitted I had not heard about. That admission, led many to dismiss the devotional out of hand decrying that I had "not done my research." Many objected to the fact that I stated his website, which is clearly intended to be Christian, had the name "American Vision" and as such, is clearly NAR dominionist in nature. Mind you, I had of course reviewed the contents of the website, which backs up this assertion. The link to the previous devotional is above and in it you will see that not only did I link Mr. DeMar's original article but I recited the majority of it without omission and responded to each assertion. That is hardly the practice of someone looking to "smear" someone, as Mr. DeMar himself has accused me of.
So I reviewed my devotional as a professional courtesy because I can certainly be mistaken. The first point I made was not even taken from his article but rather from the American Vision "statement of faith." In this you find the typical and correct faith statements until you come to this:
"It is the duty of believers to apply God's Word to every area of life, and to bring all things under the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ seeking the transformation of our culture." -- American Vision
So with no apologies to anyone -- this is NAR dominionist. This is textbook dominionism. Not the applying the word to every area of our life, which is fine. The notion however to bring all things under Christ to seek the transformation of our culture is the definition of dominionism! It is the core of the seven mountains mandate! Quite frankly, I could have stopped here and been done but in fairness reviewed the article itself. Mr. DeMar used a slew of quotes from other dominionist thinkers who supported his pre-conceived notion. I get that this is what we usually do. After all it is difficult to quote people who disagree with us to prove our point. The reason I pointed this out was because it was the substance of his article. I do not need to hear what other humans pontificate -- tell me what God says.
Which led me to the real problem with this article. Now I understand that Mr. DeMar believes in this concept of cultural transformation through the efforts of the church but I disagree. When I disagree however, I provide scripture. I did so in my devotional. The bible clearly says that we are pilgrims and sojourners in this world and that our citizenship is in heaven. Gary DeMar appears to believe in dual citizenship but I do not think God believes that. Our mandate is to present the Gospel so that God might save people from the culture that Gary seeks to transform. As for the scriptures Gary did cite:
Philippians 3:20 -- Mr. DeMar just acknowledging that our citizenship is in heaven
Acts 21-22 -- Paul's appeal to his earthly citizenship. As I pointed out he did this so he could preach the Gospel to those trying to kill him. To try and apply this to mean that our earthly citizenship should somehow temper how we view Philippians 3:20 is simply unsupported by the scriptures.
Genesis 1:31 -- cited only to say that God said His creation of the world was very good
1Tim 4:3-5 -- in a discussion about what food we should or should not eat, Paul says that everything God created is good. To then apply this to mean that therefore the world must be good is beyond a stretch for the context. As the world was created, it was very good. What man has done to it through sin however is decidedly evil. If this was not so, why would the bible say then that this world is passing away? Scripture must always interpret scripture.
Hebrews 12 and 13 -- speaking about how we have a heavenly city that is yet to come -- no argument
Matthew 5:5 -- as I stated in the devotional, DeMar wildly misses the point here. This verse is the meek shall inherit the earth and DeMar's statement about it was, "The world is our inheritance in the here and now." No, it is not. That is not what this verse says at all. Shall inherit clearly implies a future event. This is in fact again, a core teaching of the NAR. It is dominionism theology all the way through. This is the point. I am not saying Gary DeMar wrote this thinking he was NAR or even a dominionist. I am saying regardless of what he was thinking, he was writing straight up NAR dominionist theology.
Philippians 1:21 -- To live is Christ and to die is gain, no issue
2Corinthians 5:1 -- as I wrote in the devotional, these verses show the opposite of what Gary was trying to say. It is proof to the temporary nature of our stay here on earth.
That is pretty much it. Let me just say here that in re-reading my devotional I could have been less personally confrontational. For example when I say "DeMar launches into a bunny trail meant to distract" I should not assume motives I do not know. He probably genuinely presented that part. To me it felt like a distraction to get into public education -- a point I agreed with him on wholeheartedly in the devotional. The wording however is regrettable. Apologies for assuming motive there and for a couple of other instances where my wording could have been more kind. I do however stand behind the substance of what I wrote. This article could have just as easily been written by Stephen Strang, Eddie Hyatt, Dr. Michael Brown or Larry Tomczak. In American Vision's archives are such titles as how to have dominion in a hostile world and defining worldviews so again, the title of NAR dominionism sure seems to fit like a glove. I understand that Mr. DeMar does not believe so but his opinion really does not matter. Only his teaching does. He offered up in this article the notion that this world is our home. He is wrong. The bible says he is wrong. The theology that sides with DeMar is dominionism and dominionism is a huge part of NAR theology. This is not meant to smear Mr. DeMar but maybe give him something to think about.