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Vol. IX • 1987

Dominion Work

Joseph McAuliffe

The Scriptures present work as an attribute of God (the Creator) that is basic to man's identity (having been made in the image ot God) and as an activity by which man is to accomplish God's will (the dominion mandate). Six days a week man is to engage in work wholeheartedly as unto the Lord and not himself or anyone else.

Business is not a necessary evil, rather it is a divinely ordained spiritual activity and ministry. Business has been relegated to an inferior status due to a misapprehension of the Kingdom of God. Many Christians equate God's kingdom solely with the ministry of the church. This constricting view of the kingdom excludes all the other spheres of life that also are component parts of God's government. To use an anatomical illustration, the church may be toe heart of the kingdom but there are many other members of the body such as the individual, family, business, education, politics, and economics that are important aspects of God's order. The kingdom of God is more than the church; it is God's sovereign providential rule over every aspect of life.

God's kingdom is centralized under His Lordship alone. His Law-Word establishes a series of decentralized subsidiary institutions that are independent in identity, interdependent in function, and utterly subordinate to His rule. These institutions include the individual, the family, the church, business, and civil government. Because western civilization has rejected God's kingdom, these institutions are in opposition to one another as each vies for domination or survival. The problem with every institution is their efforts to corner the market on God's kingdom Certainly the state is the prime example of this, but given the opportunity, every institution endeavors to dominate, even the church Sadly the church has taken on a siege mentality and rather than working to reconstruct the other institutions by proclaiming the whole counsel of God, she has retreated into a pietistical cave

Business is an important sphere in God's kingdom. Sometimes the will of God may ne for a man to invest more time for a season in his business than either his family or church desires. In setting up a new enterprise, it often requires working eighty or more flours a week Why is it that we hear so much about making sacrifices for our church or our families but nary a word about sacrificing for our vocational callings? We must broaden our understanding of Gnu's rule over every area of life and in particular begin to emphasize the spiritual significance of the business sphere.

The problem of dualism has plagued the church since her inception. The dualistic philosophies of gnosticism, manichaenism, neoplatonism, pietism, and modern separationism have continuously waged war with the church and often have succeeded in blurring her witness. Essentially these demonic faiths posit two ultimates: the material as evil and the spiritual as good. Religious dualism tends to identify business in materialistic terms and thus undermines it.

The antidote to every form of dualistic thinking is the biblical doctrine of creation, which affirms the absolute ultimacy of God alone and the total subordination of every created thing to Him. God created the material universe and pronounced His work and world as good. God created man and woman in His image and similarly was pleased with His performance. They were given the mandate to work, to exercise dominion and subdue the earth. All of this was good.

Certainly man's disobedience marred every aspect of God's creation, but the Fall of man did not obliterate God's plan and provision for His creation. The fall of man did not establish a new ultimate being in the universe in the person of Satan, nor did God turn the title deed of the earth over to the devil, nor was the dominion mandate for God's people to subdue the earth revoked. Yes, a curse was put on the created order, but the curse that afflicts the earth and mankind was not of such a magnitude that God is no longer me sovereign over the earth and that mankind is nothing more than a helpless pawn, an impotent victim who is chained to the determinative forces of nature and the powers of darkness. Dualistic Christians make the mistake of tracing life and history back to the Fall of man rather than the doctrine of creation.

Because God is the creator, everything in life has meaning, value. and accountability to Him. To the question, what does Christianity have to do with business, our reply is that Christianity has everything to do with everything. The doctrines of dualism are inherently schizophrenic and debilitate all who subscribe to them. Dualism enslaves man into fear, confusion, passivity, despair, and defeat

God's original and sustained intention for His people has been that they would be the heads and not the tails, that they would triumph and exercise godly dominion over the earth. Christian business people have been held back from a dominion mentality by the deception of dualistic thinking. They have been warned to not take their jobs too seriously, to be wary of profiting, to feel guilty if successful, and to leave their vocations if they want to really serve God. This demonic faith has crippled the witness of the church and deprived countless men and women from apprehending the will of God for their lives. The church must condemn this false philosophy and work to establish God's kingdom over every area of life and extend support to God's people as they endeavor to apply God's kingdom in every sphere.

Editor's Note: Reprinted with permission from Chalcedon. P.O Box 158, Vallecito, California 95251 U.S.A.

"Dominion Work"
CSSHS • Creation Social Science & Humanities Society • Quarterly Journal

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