Sunday Adelaja: Peddling Dominionism
Partisan politics has taken too central a role on this blog lately. While the reality show we call the presidential race makes for good theater, it’s a distraction from truly important matters.
For example, this item should disturb American Christians more than the prospect of another President Clinton:
A week after its release, the book entitled ChurchShift by the founding pastor of one of Europe’s largest churches [Sunday Adelaja] broke Amazon.com’s top 10 Bestsellers list.
Marketing of the book has been unique in that it ties its mission to change U.S. churches with performing well on Amazon.com’s Bestsellers list. The ChurchShift Web site urges Christian leaders to buy the book on Feb. 8-23 through Amazon.com so that Adelaja could receive the “press coverage he needs as a catalyst to accomplish the ChurchShift mission in the United States.”
It’s too bad the word “heresy” seems to be obsolete is modern English, because it fits.
Sunday Adelaja is preaching Dominionism, a repackaging of the age-old occult doctrine that we can bring about a literal heaven on Earth. It shifts the gospel of salvation by grace to salvation by our works. The logical outcome of this worldview is nothing less than despotism in the name of Jesus Christ.
The emphasis on “seven spheres” of influence on society (point #6 in Adelaja’s list of the ten benefits of ChurchSHIFT) is noteworty. The phrase describes an ancient occult concept adopted by Theosophists, spiritual descendants of Madame Blavatsky. Some within the Dominionist camp prefer “seven mountains” to “seven spheres”, perhaps because of its connection to theosophy. Either way, and regardless of whether the occult reference is intentional, there is no reference in the Bible to taking dominion of seven of anything.
More important, there is no scriptural basis to believe that man can affect the timing of Christ’s return. Our only scriptural imperative is to preach the gospel to the ends of the Earth — and not through political action committees.
It should bother Christians that Adelaja wants us to buy his book in order to force change through press coverage of his movement. Financial success isn’t necessary to legitimize Christ’s message. And Pastor Adelaja’s invitations to speak to the UN and the Clinton Global Initiative don’t make me feel better about his true motives.
One final note: Sunday Adelaja’s congregation took an active role in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. Not surprising, since he pastors the Embassy of God in Kiev, a megachurch of about 40,000. However, this “grassroots” movement was financed by the United States through the “Democratic party’s National Democratic Institute, the Republican Party’s International Republican Institute, the US State Department and USAID”, “as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Institute.”
This adventure in democracy-building cost American taxpayers some $65 million — and doesn’t include the cost of the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and the Jeans Revolution in Belarus. How much of that support went to Pastor Adelaja’s church?
That may sound like the paranoid suspicion of a raving conspiracy theorist, but considering that Pastor Adelaja claims partial credit for toppling governments in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, and has been active in trying to plant churches in Belarus and Russia for at least 15 years (he’s officially barred from both countries), it’s a fair question. Sunday Adelaja’s message is as much political as spiritual. And that’s not scriptural.
Besides (putting on my foil hat), his wouldn’t be the first allegedly Christian ministry used for American political ends. Sunday Adelaja could be the next Pat Robertson.