I have taken a lot of heat from Ted Cruz supporters for my recent Religion News Service post (published in The Washington Post) about the candidate’s connection to dominionism and the so-called “end-times transfer of wealth.” If the e-mails filling my mailbox are any indication, Cruz supporters think I am engaging in the logical fallacy of “guilty by association.” Perhaps this is the case. Cruz has never mentioned “Seven Mountain Dominionism” or the “end-times transfer of wealth” on the campaign travel. But as Rod Dreher, blogger extraordinaire at The American Conservative points out, I think it is at least time for Cruz to address some of the theological and political ideas put forth by his father, Rafael Cruz, and others in the evangelical world with whom the candidate has connections.
If Barack Obama had to explain the views of Jeremiah Wright, then Cruz needs to explain the views of his father, Larry Huch, Glenn Beck, and David Barton.
The last time I checked, Cruz does not believe in the separation of church and state because, as he rightly notes, the phrase is not mentioned in the Constitution. He is a strong defender of Christianity in public life and believes that a candidate’s Christian faith should inform his or her politics. So I think it is fair to say that Cruz himself has opened a door to questions about his religious approach to politics.
Here is a taste of Dreher’s post at The American Conservative:
Shoot, I’m a Christian and I don’t get this at all. That video is up on Drudge now. It was taken four years ago at a Dallas-area Pentecostal megachurch, New Beginnings, pastored by a husband and wife team, Larry and Tiz Huch. Everybody’s talking about how, in his appearance at the church, Rafael Cruz, father of Ted and a Pentecostal evangelist, preached about Dominionism, and how, in his view, it is God’s will that Christians take the property of non-Christians, and rule over them. John Fea wrote about this in the Washington Post:
Anyone who has watched Cruz on the stump knows that he often references the important role that his father, traveling evangelist Rafael Cruz, has played in his life. During a 2012 sermon at New Beginnings Church in Bedford, Texas, Rafael Cruz described his son’s political campaign as a direct fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
The elder Cruz told the congregation that God would anoint Christian “kings” to preside over an “end-time transfer of wealth” from the wicked to the righteous. After this sermon, Larry Huch, the pastor of New Beginnings, claimed Cruz’s recent election to the U.S. Senate was a sign that he was one of these kings.
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.”
Now, it is unfair to Ted Cruz to assume that everything his father believes, he also believes. But this stuff is so extreme that he has to talk about it publicly, and either defend it or separate himself from it in a clear way. What’s striking to me about that video is that this megachurch has no cross above its stage, but rather a menorah. Again, don’t blame Jews for this; I’m sure most Jews are as mystified by that as most Christians would be.
Read the entire post here.