The return of Christian terrorism

Christian terrorism has returned to America with a vengeance.

Threats of right-wing violence have doubled in the past year. What is behind the latest upsurge in the movement to create a Christian theocratic state?

Some excerpts:

Theological Illogic

At its hardest edge, the movement requires the creation of a kind of Christian politics to set the stage for America’s acceptance of the second coming of Christ. In this context, it is significant today that in some parts of the United States, over one-third of the opponents of the policies of President Barack Obama believe he is the Antichrist as characterized in the End-Times Rapture scenario.

The Christian anti-abortion movement is permeated with ideas from Dominion Theology. Randall Terry (founder of the militant anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue and a writer for the Dominion magazine Crosswinds) signed the magazine’s “Manifesto for the Christian Church,” which asserted that America should “function as a Christian nation.” The Manifesto said that America should therefore oppose “social moral evils” of secular society such as “abortion on demand, fornication, homosexuality, sexual entertainment, state usurpation of parental rights and God-given liberties, statist-collectivist theft from citizens through devaluation of their money and redistribution of their wealth, and evolutionism taught as a monopoly viewpoint in the public schools.”

At the extreme right wing of Dominion Theology is a relatively obscure theological movement that Mike Bray found particularly appealing: Reconstruction Theology, whose exponents long to create a Christian theocratic state. Bray had studied their writings extensively and possessed a shelf of books written by Reconstruction authors. The convicted anti-abortion killer Paul Hill cited Reconstruction theologians in his own writings and once studied with a founder of the movement, Greg Bahnsen, at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.

Leaders of the Reconstruction movement trace their ideas, which they sometimes called “theonomy,” to Cornelius Van Til, a twentieth-century Presbyterian professor of theology at Princeton Seminary who took seriously the sixteenth-century ideas of the Reformation theologian John Calvin regarding the necessity for presupposing the authority of God in all worldly matters. Followers of Van Til (including his former students Bahnsen and Rousas John Rushdoony, and Rushdoony’s son-in-law, Gary North) adopted this “presuppositionalism” as a doctrine, with all its implications for the role of religion in political life.

Recapturing Institutions for Jesus

Reconstruction writers regard the history of Protestant politics since the early years of the Reformation as having taken a bad turn, and they are especially unhappy with the Enlightenment formulation of church-state separation. They feel it necessary to “reconstruct” Christian society by turning to the Bible as the basis for a nation’s law and social order. To propagate these views, the Reconstructionists established the Institute for Christian Economics in Tyler, Texas, and the Chalcedon Foundation in Vallecito, California. They have published a journal and a steady stream of books and booklets on the theological justification for interjecting Christian ideas into economic, legal, and political life.

According to the most prolific Reconstruction writer, Gary North, it is “the moral obligation of Christians to recapture every institution for Jesus Christ.” He feels this to be especially so in the United States, where secular law as construed by the Supreme Court and defended by liberal politicians is moving in what Rushdoony and others regard as a decidedly un-Christian direction; particularly in matters regarding abortion and homosexuality. What the Reconstructionists ultimately want, however, is more than the rejection of secularism. Like other theologians who utilize the biblical concept of “dominion,” they reason that Christians, as the new chosen people of God, are destined to dominate the world.

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3 responses to “The return of Christian terrorism

  1. som

    A large number of Christian Zionists in the U.S., Christians believe that the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and so deserves unconditional political, financial and religious support. Christian Zionists work closely with religious and secular Jewish Zionist organizations and the Israeli government,
    Christian Zionism has significant support within Protestant fundamentalism, including much of the Southern Baptist Convention and the charismatic, Pentecostal and independent churches.
    The movement can also be found in the evangelical wings of the mainline Protestant churches (Presbyterian, United Methodist and Lutheran) and to a lesser degree in Roman Catholicism.
    President Barack Hussein Obama is under pressure of his prior
    Gorge W.Bush policy.
    Openly it is National Security Policy but actually promotes Christian Dominance policy.
    The dominance of Christian right, Christian Zionist and Likud policies in the Bush administration reflects political realities, In 1987 polls indicated that the Christian right represented 26 percent of the total membership of the Republican Party. By 1999 that number had increased to 33 percent and was rising. The influence of pro-Israel groups and Christian Zionists in such vital swing states as Texas, California and all-important Florida may well have been the deciding factor for Bush in the 2000 election. Bush is very aware that he owes a political debt to this voting bloc.
    The Christian Zionist distortions of historic evangelical and orthodox theology must be debated and confronted primarily by evangelicals but also by mainline Protestants, whose churches sometimes absorb these doctrines.
    Christian Zionist and dispensationalist thinking appears to be growing in influence, especially in the Bible Belt and pockets of the West Coast and rural America.

    • karan

      Control the font and reality of earthly power-Jerusalem AND RULE THE ENTIRE WORLD
      “Jerusalem” is the Zionist symbol of the dream that Jews will always control the font and reality of earthly power?
      Christian Zionists work closely with religious and secular Jewish Zionist organizations and the Israeli government,
      Christian Zionists are wrong; this is not a religious conflict

    • karan

      Red letter edition Bibles are those in which words spoken by Jesus, commonly only while he was on the Earth, are printed in red ink. This is not to be confused with the Red-Letter Christian movement, which emphasizes the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, particularly in regards to social justice.
      Christian atheism is a theological position in which the belief in the God of Christianity is rejected or absent but the moral teachings of Jesus are followed.

      Christian atheism is related to Jesusism, the Christian theological-philosophical movement named for its understanding of Jesus as a simple teacher of morals, in direct contrast to orthodox Christianity, which claims that Jesus is divine.
      Most Christian atheists believe that God never existed, but there are a few who believe in the death of God literally. Thomas J. J. Altizer is a well-known Christian atheist who is known for his literal approach to the death of God. He often speaks of God’s death as a redemptive event. In his book The Gospel of Christian Atheism he speaks of how

      “Every man today who is open to experience knows that God is absent, but only the Christian knows that God is dead, that the death of God is a final and irrevocable event, and that God’s death has actualized in our history a new and liberated humanity”.

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