Ted Cruz: Crazy Holy Roller Dominionist?
Candidate Ted Cruz is being accused of being a messianic figure who is heading up an evangelical coup d’etat -- at least according to the author of an article published in the East Orlando Post and featured as the leading headline in the March 11 issue of the Drudge Report. The piece is entitled Ted Cruz: Closet Pentecostal.
Author Jacob Engels, who describes himself as a “political operative,” writes that Ted Cruz’s father’s pastorate was rooted in “a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism.” Why is Ted Cruz hiding his pentecostal past?
As Engels relates it:
“Dominionism calls on anointed Christian leaders to take over government to make the laws of the nation in accordance with Biblical laws. Rafael Cruz, at the Pastor Larry Huch’s New Beginnings mega-church in Bedford Texas, outside Dallas, on Aug. 26, 2012, in a Dominionist sermon proclaimed his son, Ted Cruz, to be the “anointed one,” a Dominionist Messiah who would bring God’s law to reign. By identifying Ted Cruz as the “anointed one,” Rafael Cruz has designated his son as what he believes is God’s choice to lead an evangelical coup d’etat.”
“So to pull all this logic together, God anoints priests to work in the church directly and kings to go out into the marketplace to conquer, plunder, and bring back the spoils to the church. The reason governmental regulation has to disappear from the marketplace is to make it completely available to the plunder of Christian ‘kings’ who will accomplish the ‘end time transfer of wealth… Then “God’s bankers’ will usher in the ‘coming of the messiah.’ ”
Where have we heard the world is run by conspiratorial bankers of religious or ethnic origin? Who has been accused of using banks to plunder the people in order to have global domination? Answer: Such accusations have been leveled against the Jews for centuries. Now we read Engel’s variant of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy, but this time, it is leveled against Cruz and his followers who supposedly hold extremist dominionist/Christian Reconstructionism views. Never mind that Cruz has described himself as an evangelical Christian and has never outlined a plan for plundering and taking over the banks of the world.
But perhaps an even greater issue is Engel’s description of Cruz as a “closet Pentecostal.” The term “closet Pentecostal” implies those who are Pentecostal Christians have a lot to hide -- maybe they even serve Kool-Aid at lunches. It even implies Cruz, if he is a Pentecostal Christian, is something of a nut case whose spiritual sensibilities are so out of line with orthodox Christianity he is automatically disqualified from holding office. Further, just who are the crazies who are following him?
It’s all nonsense.
Those who know America’s religious history will recall the First Great Awakening in the eighteenth century. It had a huge impact on Protestant Europe and America. The revival included Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists, all of whom argued that physical manifestations such as trembling and falling to the ground as if dead were signs of divine power. Most often the symptoms of being overcome by God’s presence were followed by an experience marked by peace and joy.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, thought the strange experiences were testimony to the power of God’s love. George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, the last great Calvinist of New England, both recorded instances of people who were so overcome by experiences of God’s love, they fell to the ground. Later, during the Second Great Awakening, Peter Cartwright and Charles Finney also noted similar behavior.
Fast forward to today’s progressive equivalent of spiritual awakening; namely, the divine and infallible inner voice that speaks to one’s destiny: Put knowledge of your destiny in secularist progressive terms, or as discernment that comes from within -- “my inner goddess told me I was born to be a dancer” -- and you will get nothing but applause from the Left. Small wonder, as many even believe in the supernatural ability of a man to declare himself a woman.
But if your dad puts your destiny in terms of a divine call from God, suddenly he and you are nut cases. You are even nuttier if you feel a calling from the Almighty is confirmed by certain spiritual means embraced by some 300 million Pentecostals worldwide -- including a large number of worshippers within America’s black churches, where it is considered quite acceptable to be so overcome by the power of God, one is “slain in the Spirit,” falling to the ground because of being overcome by the presence of God’s love.
Further, in just about every part of the world, glossolalia can be observed. Pagan religions all over the world are preoccupied with speaking in tongues. Shamans in the Sudan, the Shango cult of the West Coast of Africa, the Zor cult of Ethiopia, the Voodoo cult in Haiti, and the Aborigines of South America and Australia all see glossolalia as an indication of deep mystical insight.
For the progressive movement, pagan experiences such as glossolalia (speaking in tongues), or being overcome by the supernatural (slain in the spirit), or having the experience of being lifted out of this mortal coil into a supernatural realm (near death experiences) are just fine and dandy as long as they are anomalies or found within obscure cults that can be incorporated into the leftist doctrine of multi-culturalism. As long as ecstatic supernatural experiences can be kept on cultural reservations where spiritual exotica are confineable and non-threatening, they are acceptable.
But God forbid some three hundred million Christians in America, South America, and Africa should show persistent signs of spirituality that cannot be controlled or explained away by progressive politically correct doctrine that refuses to acknowledge the supernatural power of God’s love. God also forbid that any man or woman could believe his or her destiny has been determined by God Almighty.
Why, to believe that sort of nonsense is to be a crazy “closet Pentecostal.” America certainly can’t have a religious nut case like that in office, can it? After all, just ask Jerry Falwell, Jr., who says we aren’t electing a pastor in chief, and who advises Christians to vote for an agnostic secularist rather than for a person who actually believes in a God who is sovereign over earthly affairs and whose moral laws transcend and inform earthly rulers.
And the loving sovereignty of God over heaven and earth is exactly what is meant by the vast majority of evangelical (and Pentecostal) Christians when they speak of the dominion of God. That same vast majority would laugh at the idea of an evangelical coup d’etat by an anointed messianic figure who is determined to put the equivalent of the Mosaic laws for ancient Israel into place over all Americans.
After all, evangelicals and others have already seen a messianic figure with narrow religious ideals in the office of the presidency for the last seven years. They have seen this haloed and anointed leftist messiah, who promised to slow the rise of the oceans, seek to enact a leftist, progressive orthodoxy that has proved to be a dominionism so severe and draconian it has alienated and divided American society in ways never before seen.
So why would any Pentecostal, evangelical, orthodox Catholic, or Calvinist (and non-Pentecostal) Presbyterian like the author of this essay ever wish to see another so-called messianic figure anointed as president?
One of them has been enough.
Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology. A frequent contributor to American Thinker, her thoughts also have appeared in many online publications such as Fox News, CNS, RealClearReligion and National Review. She was selected as one of the Delaware GOP’s “Winning Women” of 2008, and has spoken about her views on church and state as well as other conservative issues on radio and television talk shows. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org