Einleitung (Siegfried Schad) / A Founding Father of Dominionism: Campus Crusade’s Bill Bright (Kent Johnson)


Mit grösster Freude darf ich vermelden (siehe frühere Meldung hier), daß die ärztlichen Indikationen für meinen Freund und Co-Autor auf www.dominionismus.info (Anm.: dieser Blog existiert nicht mehr und wurde auf DER RUF importiert), Kent Johnson, POSITIV ausfielen – bittet haltet an im Gebet für Kent´s Heilung.

Fast in letzter Minute, bevor Kent den folgenden Artikel fertigstellte, entschied er sich für ein zusätzliches persönliches Zeugnis seiner sehr frühen Erfahrungen als Jugend-licher mit den dominionistischen Bewegungen in seiner Heimat Knoxville. Es ist sehr bitter und prägend, wenn man als junger Gläubiger, ausgegrenzt wird weil man nicht mit dem Strom schwimmt.

Kent hat erfreulicherweise die Arbeit wieder aufgenommen und erneut eine sehr gute Recherche über die dominionistischen Netzwerke und deren Protagonisten abgeliefert. Ich hoffe, daß wir noch viel von ihm lesen werden. (siehe hier seine Rubrik „voices of dominionism.org: USA, Kent Johnson)

Eine weitere sehr erfreuliche Nachricht ist, daß so wie Kent für die USA, ein ebenfalls wunderbarer Bruder David Choiniere, wohnhaft in Guatemala-City, uns seine Erfahrungen mit den extrem einflussreichen dominionistischen NAR-Kirchen in Mittel- und Süd-Amerika forthin als Co-Autor von www.dominionismus.info beschreiben wird – ein persönliches Zeugnis Teil 2 ist bereits in Planung, Teil 1 und seine Artikel über die dominionistischen Aktivitäten und Situationen in Guatemala und Kolumbien liegen bereits vor (siehe hier seine Rubrik „voices of dominionism.org: Central- & South-America, David Choiniere“).

Ausnahmsweise möchte ich auf „Der Ruf“ einen englischsprachigen Artikel veröffentlichen, was ich bsiher immer vermieden habe und meine Zeit nicht ausreicht Übersetzungsarbeiten zu leisten. Rechts auf der sidebar gibt es den Google-translator, der recht zuverlässig und gut übersetzt.

Kleine Ironie am Rande: Aus dem Namen „Bill Bright“ wird in dem folgenden Artikel übersetzt mit dem Google-translator, der Name „Bill Hell“ (hell das Gegenteil von dunkel)… und „Hell“, bedeutet im Englischen „Hölle“ … ich möchte mich nicht zu leichtfertig äußern, jedoch diese Kategorie an Irrlehrern, wie Bill Bright, Loren Cunningham und C. Peter Wagner, die Hunderttausende verführt haben, werden ihr verdientes Urteil erhalten.

Jud 1,4 Es haben sich nämlich etliche Menschen eingeschlichen, für die schon längst folgendes Urteil geschrieben worden ist: «Gottlose, welche die Gnade unsres Gottes in Ausgelassenheit verkehren und den einzigen Herrscher und Herrn, Jesus Christus, verleugnen.»

by Kent Johnson www.dominionism.org 03/18/2014

[Note: I am very happy to see Kent Johnson back on dominionism.org and that all indicators for his healing are good! Pls. continue to pray for him – God bless you , Siegfried Schad www.dominionism.org 03/18/2014]

Author’s Note: Thanks to Mr S. Schad,who has been a steadfast friend and an engaging editor through some very trying times. Much of what I’m writing on this site began in casual conversations with him. He has reminded me of a happier time in life, when the word „Chriistian“ was synonymous with „friend“.

As a teenager I saw this Dominionist scourge roll into my Appalachian city with one of Billy Graham’s deputies in the vanguard. I watched in awe as this megachurch grew almost overnight to dominate political and religious life in my city. I despaired as this protestant cathedral lured away talented young men from neighborhood churches of various denominations with business and political opportunities. The local Dominionist plan pre-dated my awareness of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and their new Religious Right.
My family lived in an area that was late to be wired for cable television, so I was only faintly aware of the rise of politically-oriented TV preachers like Falwell, D. James Kennedy, and Robertson in the late 1970s. It would be decades before I understood the connection between what I witnessed locally and the global Dominionist plan.
Our area was suburban.
Most of us were hundreds of miles from our extended families. Our modest neighborhood church of a few hundred members provided us with stand-ins for aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. Our immediate families were small. I had no brothers at home, but from before I could remember, I had friends at church who were as close as brothers.
The Dominionists cared nothing for the bonds of natural affection that were intertwined with Christian love. They didn’t think in humble terms of families or neighborhoods but of claiming whole cities and the entire world for their „King Jesus“.
I lost some of my best friends to Dominionism, both at church and at school. My high school was rent asunder by the aggressive, badgering evangelism of parachurches like Campus Crusade for Christ, Heartily supported by the business elite of the Dominionist cathedral. To fill their sales quotas, the college-aged Crusade recruiters enlisted high school volunteers with a strategy called „friendship evangelism“–sort of a multi-level marketing approach to manipulating the hearts and minds of young people. They targeted the B students who were popular athletes–nominal „leaders“, ,eager to please, but not quite smart enough, at a tender age, to ask questions. Kids from Christian backgrounds were favored, but not those who knew much Bible.
Some of my old friends have freed themselves from that toxic religio-political ideology; others remain stunted, spiritually and intellectually, still feeding on cherry-picked Bible verses that they hope will open the gate to worldly „Success“ and „Leadership“…still searching for what what Bill Bright called „God’s Plan for Your Life“.

Blessings to all from Knoxville,Tennessee,USA
Kent Johnson

A Founding Father of Dominionism: Campus Crusade’s Bill Bright

The two best known Dominionist masterminds are are Rousas John
Rushdoony and C. Peter Wagner. Rushdoony was architect of the gradual, legalistic Christian Reconstruction form of dominionism, intricately explicated in his tome Institutes of Biblical Law (1973). Wagner identified the neo-Pentecostal New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) while serving as a Church Growth expert at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Then in 1992 the Holy Spirit miraculously called him — so he says– to be the chief apostle of NAR, the self-styled „new apostles“ who are on a fast track to a grandiose „new Reformation“ of global Christendom.

A third name, closer to the modern evangelical mainstream and dear to the hearts of countless orthodox Christians, deserves mention among the fathers of Dominion Theology: The man who founded and operated the world’s largest parachurch ministry,Campus Crusade for Christ International (now “ Cru“), William Rohl „Bill “ Bright.

Three of a Kind: Dominionism Kingpins Rushdoony, Wagner & Bright

Many will protest that Bill Bright was a traditional Christian, a lifelong Presbyterian; furthermore, that if Bright’s theology wa errant, it was watered- down neo-evangelical ecumenism, ala Billy Graham— quite unlike the toxic novelties peddled by Rushdoony or Wagner. In fact, Bright was one of Graham’s closest associates, serving on the original board of Campus Crusade along with fellow neo- evangelical titans Henrietta Mears, Dawson Trotman, Dan Fuller, and J. Edwin Orr. Graham also served of the Christian Embassy. Almost a quarter century later, Bright was working closely with Graham to organize the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism and was serving on the board of Christian Embassy a defunct Campus Crusade outreach to members of the Washington diplomatic community.

Billions and Billions Sold

To be sure, the young man who came to Hollywood selling „fancy candies“ to the stars –while his contemporaries was fighting fascism in the Second World War– matured into the most successful mass-marketer of Christ in history. His genius was in distilling the Gospel message to its essence, appealing to the lowest common denominator of his global audience with commercial advertising techniques. Bright accurately boasted that his Jesus Film is the most viewed movie of all time; his leaflet „The Four Laws of Spiritual Success“ has been read by more people in more languages than any other piece of printed material in history.

Bill Bright intruded into my own life when thousands of bumper stickers bearing the cryptic message „I Found It“ began appearing in my native Knoxville around 1977. At the time, most of us local Christians assumed that this was just the announcement of a locally – sponsored ecumenical revival. We didn’t suspect that this was a sophisticated marketing campaign by the world’s most lavishly endowed parachurch (Current budget: Half a billion dollars). We didn’t even know what a „parachurch“ was! Nor did Bill Bright reveal what he had found: An accelerated form of Christian Dominionism called the Seven Mountains Mandate. For years he had been using the far-flung Cru parachurch and his personal connections to wealthy businessmen to build a political juggernaut that we would come to know as the New Religious Right. The next year, when I began public high school, Bright’s Campus Crusade recruiters were prowling the lunchroom hoping to fill their „sales quotas“ with new converts.

Although Bright didn’t tell the public at the the time, in 1975 he had „found“ the Seven Mountains Mandate–the „Kingdom Now! “ Dominionist plan to „claim the Seven Mountains of culture for King Jesus“. That’s the exact strategy advocated today by Wagner’s NAR. Bright discovered 7MM dominionism\ after answering the call from Colorado oilman Gilman Hill to a luncheon with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) parachurch leader Loren Cunningham. As YWAM megadonor Hill recently told the story, Bright and Cunningham each received the Seven Mountains Mandate directly from God while isolated from one another, a discovery they made jointly after the multimillionaire had brought them together. Cunningham, who is one of Wagner’s NAR apostles, has corroborated the story of the 7MM epiphany.

(Link to videos of Hillman and Cunningham: FIRST: Conquer the mountain of Business (Kent Johnson))

What was Bright’s angle?

Politically, Bill Bright was an ardent anti-Communist with close ties to key leaders of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society. According to Campus Crusade staff member Frank Kifer,“many of the early people attracted to support Crusade financially were of the John Birch Society.“ At its founding in 1958, JBS had vowed to build a global „Christian-Style“ society governed by anti-democratic businessmen, with conservative Christians in the political vanguard. The Birchers believed that all welfare state programs, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, would inevitably lead to communism. Moreover, the JBS predicted that all democracies would be subverted by communists. JBS implemented an,authoritarian command structure for its own ranks.(The Blue Book by Robert Welch, John Birch Society 1958) Curiously, the Birchers seldom expressed fears about fascism, and the Fedearal Bureau of Investigation monitored them as a serious right-wing threat to American democracy.

Said Campus Crusade staffer Peter Gilquist,“He (Bright) had a lot of John Birchers supporting Crusade, a lot of men that were very politically conservative like the [Nelson Bunker and William Bunker Hunt] brothers, and others that really saw Crusade as the answer to the spreading threat of communism on the campus.“ Gilquist adds „He told our staff leadrs in 1964, that if we don’t elect Goldwater in 1964, the communist flag will be flying over the White House.“ Bright expanded Campus Crusade in the 1960s to counter the anti-Vietnam War movement at American colleges and universities, eventually spinning off his own band of right-wing Jesus freaks, with the politically subversive- sounding name World Christian Liberation Front led by Gilquist (Quotations from Campus Crusade for Christ: the Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America by John G.Turner, University of North Carolina Press, 2008.).

In 1971, with America’s involvement in Southeast Asia beginning to wind down, Bright began collaborating with the man who was doing more than anyone else to steer the American conservative movement to toward the hard reactionary right– another Colorado businessman, Joseph Coors of the giant Coors Brewing Company.

Joe Coors was the principal financial backer of Ronald Reagan from Reagan’s run for governor of California through his tenure at the White House, where Coors actually maintained an office. Coors financed numerous fronts that steered conservatism to the far right: The Free Congress Foundation, Heritage Foundation, The American Legislative Exchange Council, the Council for National Policy — and of course, the Moral Majority.
(The Coors Connection: How Coors Family Philanthropy Undermines Democratic Pluralism by Russ Bellant, South End Press/Political Research Associates Series, 1991)

Devout Christians frequently dismiss Reagan’s ties to the Religious Right as a mere expedient, because he was an infrequent churchgoer with a wife who frequently consulted astrologers. But Reagan himself was advised on military policy at the White House by End Times soothsayer Hal Lindsey, a former staff member of Bright’s at Campus Crusade. Moreover, as early as 1970 Reagan had been schooled in the Dominionist Latter Rain theology by the Rev.Harald Bredesen, mentor to Pat Robertson of TV’s 700 Club.

Bill Bright’s former staff members say they had to coax him to keep his authoritarian political views out of Campus Crusade’s simplistic evangelism. Instead he built his parachurch as a portal into the evangelical churches that have formed the heart of the Religious Right. Bright did, however, vigorously promote political participation of his Christian conservative audiences– as in this widely distributed handout– Your 5 Duties as a Christian Citizen. Its Dominionist implications are transparent. Along with this brochure, Bright would hand out a ludicrously cherry-picked quotation from America’s master satirist, notorious atheist, and noted whiskey lover Mark Twain, facetiously imploring Christians of his era to turn out and vote to ban alcohol. Ironically Bright’s beer- making partner Coors was financing Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, which gladly told the newly saved exactly how to please God at the polls.

When Bill Bright and Joe Coors first teamed up in 1971 the evangelical churches were split evenly between the two major American political parties. Today those churches are much larger, 80% Republican, and they have been the leading cause of the reactionary tilt of the United States manifested recently by the Tea Party.

Unlike the overtly Dominionist Christian Reconstructionists and NAR, most of these churches in the neo-evangelical mainstream do not openly espouse Dominion Theology. The vast majority of evangelicals can honestly say they’ve never heard of Dominionism, even as they have gradually accept its major tenets during the last three decades The best example of this creeping Dominionism– far from the glitter, feathers, holy laughter and exorcisms of Wagner’s NAR or the Old Testament legalism of the ultra-Calvinist PCA,– is probably the Southern Baptist Convention, where the doctrines of freedom-loving Roger Williams and John Leland have are given way to the corporate McChurch model of Rick Warren and the authoritarianism of Al Mohler.

But wasn’t Bill Bright was a conventional Presbyterian?

Well, yes, when Bright first arrived in L. A., he joined the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, but that was after he had been baptized and discipled by Dawson „Daws“ Trotman. Trotman, founder of the The Navigators parachurch known for his overbearing style of „discipling“ new converts went on to be a „key man“ in Abraham Vereide’s infamous National Prayer Breakfast FAMILY. Trotman would also convert and disciple Vereide’s successor as Washington’s spiritual power broker, the mysterious Douglas Coe.

Vonette & Bill Bright

At First Pres Hollywood, Bright was mentored by the eccentric Miss Henrietta Mears, a Baptist, whose Sunday School, operating independently of Presbyterian church authority, was the cradle of the post-World War Two New Evangelical movement. Bright and his wife Vonette lived in the home of Miss Mears in posh Bel Air for several years, imbibing her Keswickian „Higher Life“ teachings that posited a super-grade of Christian leaders.
Keswickians believe they have received a „Second Blessing“ of the Holy Spirit, Who communicates directly with His Christian elite, much as He did with the Apostle Paul in the First Century. Miss Mears’s doctrine of an exalted corps of Christian shock troops mystically led by God harkens back to Frank N. D. Buchman’s Moral Re-Armanent. The teaching also jibes with the „leadership“ philosophy of the National Prayer Breakfast FAMILY, which was originally called… International Christian Leadership. Buchman’s globe-trotting envoy, Irishman J. Edwin Orr, another Keswickian, was a founding director of the National Association of Evangelicals, a mentor of both Bright and Graham, and ultimately a faculty member at Fuller seminary alongside C. Peter Wagner. Bright attended Fuller but flunked out.

The „Higher Life“ doctrine anticipates the „Leadership“ mania of today’s NAR and neo-evangelical churches, Its influence on the FAMILY and neo-evangelicalism is manifold.

And a final note…the young intern, Kermit Sutherland who led the „I Found It“ bumper sticker campaign for Bill Bright in the 1970s? He went on head Prayer Breakfast Network as full- time organizer of affiliates for the National Prayer Breakfast FAMILY. One of his advisory board members is Adolph Herman Joseph Coors Coors IV, who also serves on the advisory board of Campus Crusade’s Family Ministry, not– in this one instance– to be confused with the National Prayer Breakfast FAMILY!.

(re-published by Siegfried Schad www.dominionism.org 03/18/2014)

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