Optimism Is Not Enough

Let me say, however, that if all a person gains from the Christian Reconstruction movement in general is its optimistic eschatology, then he is skating on thin ice. Optimism is not enough. In fact, optimism alone is highly dangerous. The Com munists have a doctrine of inevitable victory; so do radical Muslims. So did a group of revolutionary communist murderers and polygamists, the Anabaptists who captured the German city of M√ľnster from 1525-35, before they were defeated militarily by Christian forces. Optimism in the wrong hands is a dangerous weapon.

Ray Sutton has explained the problem, and I can do no better than to cite his position at length.

Here's where we are: We have a lot of people who believe some of the correct things, but they don't believe in or understand the covenant. Consequently, they are making some very serious mistakes in their teaching and practice.

First, there is the dominion without covenant group. They believe in dominion. They like dominion eschatology. They believe in Christians taking charge in society. They want Christians in political office. They want Christian influence. But dominion without covenant can be very dangerous. Dominion without covenant means people who take to the streets without law and structure. Dominion without covenant means influence without a clear, objective standard for having, or even gaining influence.

You know what this means? It means we could get a repeat of the Anabaptist radicals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, like the group at Munster, the precursors to the modern revolutionary movements. 20 It means that we could get men in office who act on the basis of hearing voices, instead of listening to God's already-Inscripturated-Voice, the Word of God, the covenant in written form. Men who hear voices tend to make careless mistakes.

It has always been this way. If we get this kind of dominion without covenant, Christianity could experience its worst setback in the history of America. That's right. A Christian leader who finally rises to power, but who doesn't understand the covenant, what it is, and how it works, could drive this country into an even worse spiritual condition, simply because he listened to

20. See Igor Shafarevich, The Socialist Phenomenon (New York: Harper& Row, 1975); Also, see David Chilton's Preface 3, which reviewed this book; write I.C.E. for it: P.O. Box 8000, Tyler, TX 75711.

the wrong voice one day. The bottom line on dominion without covenant is that we don't get the blessing of God. z]

If I, as the publisher of Paradise Restored and The Days of Vengeance, did not warn readers against making too much of the idea of dominion, as such, I would be abusing my authority. As Christians, we need to preach dominion, but dominion must always be on God's terms, not man's. Dominion is always by covenant. I should have written this in an earlier edition, but Sutton had not yet worked out the details of his thesis on the covenant. Now he has. If you take seriously the optimistic Christianity expressed in Paradise Restored, then you need also to read Sutton's book, That You May Prosper: Dominion By Covenant ($12.50). The book is published by the non-profit Institute for Christian Economics, of which I am the unpaid president. I do not make a penny on the book. I am recommending it only because I truly believe its message. Order from:

Institute for Christian Economics P. 0. Box 8000 Tyler, Texas 75711

21. Covenant Renewal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1987). Published by the Institute for Christian Economics.

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