What Exactly Do Ted and Rafael Cruz Want to “Restore?”

Here is Rafael Cruz talking to a Dr. Michael Brown, host of the show The Line of Fire.

In the first part of the interview, Rafael describes how Ted Cruz became convinced that God was leading him to run for President of the United States. Some might think that such a decision-making process is crazy.  As a Christian myself, I have no problem with potential candidates praying to God for wisdom about whether or not to run for office.  In fact, I encourage it.  I do, however, have my doubts when people say that God has anointed them to hold this or that office.  Ted may not be saying this (at least not yet), but Rafael and his friends have made it clear that the Texas Senator is anointed by God.

In the second part of the interview, Rafael Cruz shares his conversion story.  It is a powerful and moving story of redemption.  I take it seriously.

But in the last part of the interview, which begins about the 18:00 minute mark, Rafael starts talking about “restoring America.” He uses the terms “restore,” “restoring,” “restored” or the phrase “go back” at least five times in the span of about three or four minutes.

So I ask again: what exactly do Ted and Rafael Cruz want to restore?  Well, Rafael makes it clear when he says, on multiple occasions, that America needs to be restored back to its Christian foundation.

This raises two more questions:

  1.  What does this restoration look like? What would it look like to “go back?”  Brown is clearly a Cruz fan, but to his credit he did push Rafael on this point near the end of the interview.  Rafael did not really answer the question. Perhaps his answer would look something like this.
  2.  Was the United States really founded on Judeo-Christian principles?  That is a very contested issue.  I tried to give it an honest treatment in my Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction?  

Has God Anointed Ted Cruz to be President?

As a Christian, I am glad that Ted Cruz is a man of prayer.  I am glad to hear that Ted Cruz sought God’s guidance before he decided to run for president.  I seem to remember that Barack Obama did the same thing.  So did George W. Bush.  I am guessing that a lot of my readers might feel uncomfortable with a President or a presidential candidate praying to God for wisdom and guidance.  I am not.

But this goes a bit too far for my taste.

I think what we are seeing in this video counts as a form of dominionism.

Ted Cruz: Dominionist

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi speak to the press aboard a plane en route to a campaign event in Piedmont

I have always shied away from interpretations of the Christian Right that place too heavy an emphasis on Christian Reconstructionism and dominion theology.  I am not sure why that is the case, but I think it has something to do with the way left-leaning journalists and pundits with an axe to grind against conservative Christianity have applied Reconstructionism to the Christian Right in a reductionist way.  I am not convinced that every person affiliated with the Christian Right is a disciple of R.J. Rushdoony.  Not every Christian who thinks Christianity might be a useful source for making us a better country is a Reconstructionist.

But some of them are.  I am not sure if Ted Cruz has ever heard of Rushdoony, but his political rhetoric, and the people he surrounds himself with, certainly place him in the Seven Mountain Dominionist camp.

Never heard of Seven Mountain Dominionism?  Then check out my recent piece being circulating today in newspapers around the country through Religion News Service.  Here is a taste:

According to his father and Huch, Ted Cruz is anointed by God to help Christians in their effort to “go to the marketplace and occupy the land … and take dominion” over it.  This “end-time transfer of wealth” will relieve Christians of all financial woes, allowing true believers to ascend to a position of political and cultural power in which they can build a Christian civilization. When this Christian nation is in place (or back in place), Jesus will return.

Rafael Cruz and Larry Huch preach a brand of evangelical theology called Seven Mountains Dominionism. They believe Christians must take dominion over seven aspects of culture:  family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government. The name of the movement comes from Isaiah 2:2: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains.”

Barton’s Christian nationalism is a product of this theological approach to culture.  Back in 2011, Barton said that if Christians were going to successfully “take the culture” they would need to control these seven areas. “If you can have those seven areas,” Barton told his listeners to his radio show, “you can shape and control whatever takes place in nations, continents and even the world.”

Seven Mountains Dominionism is the spiritual fuel that motors Cruz’s campaign for president.

Read the entire piece here.

 

 

Ted Cruz: The Anointed One

I had never heard of Rafael Cruz before his son, Ted Cruz, became a United States Senator. If the media is correct (and I am not sure that they are), Rafael is a pretty big deal in certain sectors of Pentecostalism.

The video is obviously edited to make a political (and perhaps theological) point, so please keep that in mind. (View it critically).  But this pastor, Larry Huch of New Beginnings Church in Bedford, Texas, does seem to imply that Ted Cruz will be one the “kings” who will somehow transfer wealth from the “wicked” to believing Christians.  The video of David Barton and others praying over Cruz and “anointing” him implies that the Texas Senator is receiving this anointing.  I’m not sure if that is really what is going on, or if it is just simply the members of Cruz’s circle praying for him.

If all this is true, then Barton is also involved with this kind of dominionism, which is also called “Seven Mountains Dominionism.”  Listen to Barton talk about this so-called Seven Mountains strategy.  He uses phrases like “take the culture,” “shape and control…nations and the world,” and “occupy” the culture.  His Christian nationalism goes beyond simply historical argument.

I have not paid a lot of attention to this kind of dominionism here at The Way of Improvement Leads Homebut this kind of Reconstructionism seems to explain Cruz and Barton’s support of Cruz.

Heck, this stuff makes Donald Trump look sane and electable.

If you want some context on this kind of dominionist theology see Michael McVicar’s Christian Reconstruction: R.J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism.