Meet Lou Engle: The Apostolic Elder

A religious extremist from a dangerous cult, now being invited regularly to Republican Party events.  Oilwellian and I assembled this quick and dirty video montage, just to give you a sense of this con-man and his church of hate, overflowing with incredible levels of Christian demagoguery. revivalist chicanery, and raw political ambition.  But he's merely a taste of what underlies the core beliefs of Sarah Palin and millions of others who invest in these Pentecostal snake oil salesmen.  Unfortunately, they aren't merely a curiosity anymore. They are getting too close to power for that.  They are now officially scary. 

The Purpose of This Primer

As with many of my primers, my goal is not to provide a definitive resource. Rather, I want to provide starting points for others to travel. It is always my hope that one guide leads to another, and it to another, and so on, until perhaps someone can find and reveal some truth.

Christian reformations of all kinds, especially Dominionism and its variants, are a complex subject, but the more we know about them, the easier they are to track, and prevent from gaining any more power in our political system than they already have.

Starting from Lou Engle, I want to build this primer as a road map of where you can find the best info about these dangerous movements, and what we must do to guard against their ruinous influence in our politics. It's not an easy task, and this is merely a start. I plan to enlist friends like @karoli, who has a great deal of knowledge about these Christian movements, and others who I hope will come forward to help.

Please review these links and articles, and post to the comments anything you feel should be included. Please check back often for changes.

Back Story

The Rachel Maddow show has been one of the only mainstream programs to give more than passing mention of a growing threat to America and Democracy: The so-called "Dominionist"  movement(s), which overlap and intersect with "Apostolics"  such as Elder. While just a few years ago, this Pentecostal charlatan was one of hundreds of preachers running around screaming End Times rhetoric, he has now emerged as a leading figure with formidable ties to the Republican Party.

Engle's "Call to Conscience" revivalist-like ministry (and movement) gave rise to "The Call,"  prayer meetings led by Engle's ministry, but joined  by other Christian pastors in the US. The meetings request prayer and fasting by Christians in protest to legislation such as same-sex marriage, and healthcare reform.

While the term "Dominionism" is the subject of some controversy, it has been widely used, and serves to neatly label and group a broad range of similar Christian belief systems and groups with one umbrella term that codifies a majority of their views, politics, and activities.  I apologize to the the students of Christian theology who might object to this broad brush, but there are just too many aspects of this issue for any dozen posts of this type. Some kind of condensing is required to make these issues even marginally comprehensible to most of the citizens who are threatened by these Christian Zealots.

Backgrounders

"Gay Exorcist" Cindy Jacobs To Share Stage With Virginia GOP AG Ken Cuccinelli (Alternet)

Maddow observed, “A lot of conservative politicians admit they want to repeal health reform, but it takes a brave new Virginia style conservative politician to say they want to repeal health reform while appearing at an event with a faith healer — repeal and replace indeed.”
 

Theocracywatch.org — introduction

Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

In its generic sense, dominionism is a very broad political tendency within the Christian Right. It ranges from soft to hard versions in terms of its theocratic impulse.

Soft Dominionists are Christian nationalists. They believe that Biblically-defined immorality and sin breed chaos and anarchy. They fear that America's greatness as God's chosen land has been undermined by liberal secular humanists, feminists, and homosexuals.
Hard Dominionists believe all of this, but they want the United States to be a Christian theocracy. For them the Constitution and Bill of Rights are merely addendums to Old Testament Biblical law.

http://www.theocracywatch.org/

More

War on Secular Society (Theocracy Watch)

"We need to find ways to win the war" Karl Rove

President Bush's chief political strategist, and deputy chief of staff told a gathering of the Family Research Council in March, 2002. The Family Research Council is one of the most powerful lobbying organizations of the theocratic right today. Rove wasn't talking about the war on terrorism. He was talking about the war on secular society. 

What is Dominionism? Palin, the Christian Right, & Theocracy (Theocracy Watch)

Key Players in Dominionism and Related Movements

C. Peter Wagner (Wikipedia) — Former missionary, Founder of Global Harvest. Lives in Colorado Springs, where  his organization has made extensive inroads into the US. Airforce Academy

Lou Engle  — The Call is a series of prayer meetings led by Rev. Lou Engle's ministry Call for Conscience along with other Christian pastors in the US. The meetings request prayer and fasting by Christians in protest to legislation such as same-sex marriage, and healthcare reform.

Rick Joyner  — Rick Joyner heads MorningStar Ministries (also known as MorningStar Publications and Ministries), which he cofounded with his wife Julie Joyner in 1985. Supporters consider him to be a prophet and / or apostle. Critics consider Joyner to be unsound and dangerous.

Todd Bentley   — a Canadian Christian evangelist. He was the key figure of the Lakeland Revival.

Sen. Sam Brownback — Senior United States Senator from the U.S. state of Kansas. He has announced that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2010 and has filed papers to run for Governor of Kansas in the 2010 election

Becky Fischer  —)  a Pentecostal children's pastor best known for her role in the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp.

Tim LaHaye — American evangelical Christian minister, author, and speaker. He is best-known for the Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, which he co-wrote with Jerry B. Jenkins. He has written over 50 books, both fiction and non-fiction.LaHaye believes that the Illuminati is secretly engineering world affairs.

The Apostolic Organizations

Watch Dogs and Monitoring Organizations

  • Talk2action.org — Probably the most dedicated and concise of the groups tracking these people and their plans
     
  • Theocracywatch.org — raises awareness about the pervasive role of the Religious Right in the U.S. government. It disseminates information through its website,speakers bureau, powerpoint presentations, CDs. Also conducts interviews with the media.
  • Apologeticsindex.org  —- The Apologetics Index (apologeticsindex.org) 'family of web sites' provides 40,870+ pages of research resources on religious cults, sects, new religious movements, alternative religions, apologetics-, anticult-, and countercult organizations, doctrines, religious practices and world views.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center —  a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State —(AU) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
  • People For the American Way — Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

Videos

 

Definitions & Key Terms

  • Dominionism — tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians, especially in the United States, to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action—aiming either at a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.
  • Christian_Reconstructionism — A religious and theological movement within Protestant Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life.
  • Latter Rain Movement — also known as the New Order or New Order of the Latter Rain, was a post-World War II movement within Pentecostal Christianity
  • Charismatic movement — beliefs typical of those held by Pentecostal Christians by those within the historic denomination.
  • Pentecostalism — s a charismatic renewal movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit

Further Reading

   Reading Lists