Ethics Daily has a story today about Chuck Colson's speech to the SBC's Pastors' Conference yesterday. What is rightfully getting the most attention is his thoughts on Islam, which involve the words "Islamofascism" and "a vicious evil." I have nothing to say about that except that I, for one, am glad that all Christians are not judged by all others on the basis of the behavior of our extremists.
What I find much more deeply disturbing, however, are Colson's statements that seem to allude to a belief in dominionism:
"What is our purpose in life?" Colson asked Southern Baptist pastors. "It is to restore the fallen culture to the glory of God. It's to take command and dominion over every aspect of life, whether it's music, science, law, politics, communities, families, to bring Christianity to bear in every single area of life. And that's exactly what Rick and I teach in that series. That's what I have been teaching."
The "Rick" there is Rick Warren, with whom Colson has been promoting a DVD study course on a Christian worldview.
Does Chuck Colson really believe that Christians are to have "command" and "dominion" over every aspect of life? He doesn't go so far as to say that we ought have a theocracy in the United States (which is essentially what true dominionists want), but I don't imagine he used that word by accident. More importantly, do many influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention?
I am not a dominionist. Certainly, we are called as Christians to influence our world. But I don't believe that we are called to take control of the government or other systems of culture. It's just not Biblical! Jesus never took political power, nor did he try to change music or science or the law. He lived a life of self-sacrifice and of servanthood, he told us to leave our ambitions and lust for power behind. Here's hoping Colson's remarks were an anomaly. I can't stand to think about the alternative.