Posts Tagged ‘Christian Zionism’

The odd theology of Ted Cruz’s dad

April 13, 2016

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Opponents of Ted Cruz link him to Dominionism, a little-known Christian theology espoused by his father, the Rev. Rafael Cruz, a traveling Pentecostal preacher and lecturer.

Rafael Bienvenido Cruz

Rev. Rafael Bienvenido Cruz

They’re circulating videos of a sermon that Rev. Cruz gave at a Dallas-area mega-church, New Beginnings, in 2012, about how true Christians are “anointed kings” whom God has appointed to take dominion over the earth.

When I watched the short version of the video, which at the top of this post, I found his ideas both strange and alarming.  When I watched the complete version, which starts at the one-hour point in the next video, my alarm was a lot less.

Rafael Bienvenido Cruz was born in Cuba in 1939 and raised a Roman Catholic.  He came to the United States in 1957, worked his way through the University of Texas and went into the oil business.  He married, fathered two children and divorced, then married a second wife, Eleanor Darragh Wilson.  They were in the oil business in Calgary, Alberta, when Ted was born in 1970.

Somewhere along the line Cruz lost his religion.  He had a drinking problem, left his wife and 3-year-old son and returned to Houston.   He accepted a co-workers’ invitation to join a Bible study group, had an epiphany and became an Evangelical Protestant.  He turned his life around and invited his wife and son to rejoin him.  Ted Cruz said that if not for his father’s conversion, he would have been raised by a single mother.

Rev. Cruz accepts a theology called Dominionism.  In the sermon, he said that God has created “anointed priests” and “anointed kings” with dominion over society  He said is the right and duty of the “anointed kings” to “go into the marketplace and … take dominion over it” as part of an “end-times transfer of wealth”.

That’s the short version.  If you have the patience to watch the long version, you’ll see that what this means in practice is that people become “anointed warriors” by being baptized in a church and pledging to turn over a large portion of their income to the “anointed priests,” the pastors of their.

The test of faith, according to Cruz, is how much of your income you are willing to turn over to the “anointed priest”.  A tithe (10 percent) is the minimum, half your income is desirable and there are those who give 90 percent.

When you make the commitment, you will move immediately from the “land of not enough” and “the land of just enough” to the kingdom of abundance.  The priest, of course, does not use the money for his own benefit, but to advance God’s purposes.

This is foolish and sad.  I don’t question Rev. Cruz’s sincerity.  But a lot of people who believe this will be disappointed.  I wonder what Rev. Cruz will say to poor people who give to the church at great financial sacrifice in the hope of becoming “anointed kings” and then find they are still poor.  Perhaps that their faith was not strong enough!.

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Religious extremists warp U.S. policy on Israel

April 29, 2015

Many of us Americans distrust the Iranians because we think of them as apocalyptic religious fanatics who can’t be trusted to behave rationally.   We ought to look at the apocalyptic religious fanatics in our own midst—and in Israel.

These are the evangelical Christian Zionists such as John Hagee and Pat Robertson who say that the United States should give unconditional support to Israel because Biblical prophecies say the foundation of Israel is part of God’s plan.

-1x-1A recent Bloomberg poll indicated that 46 percent of Americans—and 58 percent of American born-again Christians—believe that the United States should support Israel even when it is not in the American national interest.

Now there is a sense in which I believe this myself.  I think it was right for the U.S. government in the 1970s to send aid to Israel when Israel was in danger of being wiped out, even though the United States lost some geopolitical advantage by doing so.  This is a different thing from saying today that the United States should attack Iran for Israel’s benefit.

It is also a different thing from Mitt Romney saying in 2012 that Americans should not allow any “daylight” between American foreign policy and Israel’s.  Or Ted Cruz a few months ago making support for Israel a litmus test for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians.

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