The Pentecostal Church's Seven Mountains Mandate is an affront to democracy and a danger to society, writes Bilal Cleland.
THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS mentioned in the Book of Revelations in the New Testament are taken by mainstream Bible interpreters to refer to the evil empire on the Tiber, the seven hills of Rome.
A minority of Christians, less historically oriented, have another interpretation.
A branch of dominionism, which sees adherents of their variety of Christianity as entitled to dominion over the Earth, interprets the Seven Mountains as aspects of human society.
The Seven Mountains over which they claim dominion are education, religion, family, business, government and the military, arts and entertainment, and the media.
This is an important part of American evangelical Christianity. It is widely supported by adherents of the collection of churches know as Pentecostal.
Again, because there are so many different sects of Pentecostals, beliefs tend to differ in some ways. Most of the churches share the belief that salvation is through Jesus, healing is possible through him.
Most Pentecostals believe in medicine and doctors, but also believe in divine healing. Most believe that baptism in the Holy Spirit begins when the person begins speaking in tongues.
While it’s hard to estimate just how many Pentecostals are in the world, a Pew Research study found that of the roughly two billion Christians in the world, about a quarter identify as Pentecostal.
An article on Christianity.com reveals:
‘According to the New York Times, some four million Americans belong to classical Pentecostalism.’
One aspect of Pentecostalism which has caused concern is its neglect of physical reality.
The fourth aspect of Pentecostalism’s dark side is its tendency to emphasise the spiritual over the physical in terms of the Kingdom of God’s “already-ness”. The Kingdom of God is often viewed as present where there is much manifestation of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit and many people being spiritually converted and filled with the Holy Spirit — to the neglect of social justice.
For most of its history, the Pentecostal movement in the U.S. was obsessed with anti-communism as its main form of social activism. Racial equality was not a major focus of Pentecostalism and, in general, Pentecostals have been complacent about segregation — even among themselves.
Whilst primarily an American phenomenon, this variety of Christianity exists in Australia with many high profile individuals, including leading conservative politicians and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
‘This is why further action on reducing carbon emissions to counter the environmental damage wrought by climate change may have little intellectual purchase with [Morrison]. If the end of the world through climate change is part of God’s providential plan, there is precious little that we need to or can do about it.’
He points out that Morrison's “have a go” philosophy ‘sits squarely within Pentecostal prosperity theology’. This is the view that belief in God leads to material wealth.
Professor Almond adds:
...the godly become wealthy and the wealthy are godly. And, unfortunately, the ungodly become poor and the poor are ungodly.
Only those who have been saved by Jesus (generally those who have had a personal experience of being “born again”...) have any hope of attaining eternal life in heaven.
...Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, and non-born-again Christians are doomed to spend an eternity in the torments of hell.
“No the whole deal is, again, he has told Satan I am going to do this great thing with my sons and daughters. They are going to awake; they are going to arise and they will begin to shine. And they will operate in my light in my authority and my power and they will change everything. I will not have to exert my own direct muscle. They will carry my muscle. They will crush you.”
According to Davies:
‘The zeal with which the Morrison Government is pursuing its agenda and the agenda of the Government itself, is a reflection of the Extreme World Makeover.’
Last week, we heard that NSW Nationals candidate Kimberly Hone was a supporter of the Seven Mountains Mandate.
The WA Liberal candidate for Pearce Linda Aitken is also believed to be a Seven Mountains Mandate supporter.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a Pentecostal. So is his best friend, Stuart Robert — a Gold Coast Pentecostal.
Given the increasing numbers of this sect, all people of goodwill would do well to be aware of this intent to exercise dominion over the Seven Mountains.
Attempts to influence academic curricula, political parties, community organisations, social policy and government will go on.
The subjugation of society to such an interpretation of Christian scripture would destroy any notion of participatory democracy, multiculturalism or religious freedom.
It is basically medieval totalitarianism.
Bilal Cleland is a retired secondary teacher and was Secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Chairman of the Muslim Welfare Board Victoria and Secretary of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. You can follow Bilal on Twitter @BilalCleland.
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