Looking at Christian dominionism from the outside, I observe that its adherents seem to be very emotionally immature. The reliance upon unquestioning obedience, the absolutism, the simplistic philosophy, the irrationality, and the anger and lack of understanding towards those who have different viewpoints are the behaviors of a small child or an immature adult.
The reliance upon heaven and hell to motivate good behavior is like a small child needing punishment and rewards from a parent. This is exactly like the behavior of a five year old. Why can’t they do good for its own sake rather than to avoid punishment or to get a reward? Its all about themselves, not others. Luckily for me, I did not grow up in that sort of environment. It seems from others that I have met who did grow up in that environment, it would be very hard to get out of. A couple of people I know tell me that they matured out of this type of Christianity. They no longer attend these types of churches.
An example of someone who has changed is the Rev. Carlton Pearson. In this video, observe his earlier preaching style, compared to after he deconverted from dominionist, fundamentalist Christianity. He almost seems like a raving maniac in the earlier footage compared with the more thoughtful, tolerant and mature style he has now. They have declared him heretic and he lost most of his congregation. But I’m sure that he can live with himself much easier now. Money and power are not everything. NPR also did a special on him in This American Life in 2005.
I think this story illustrates exactly that dominionist Christianity is all about power with money a close second. These preachers are very often wealthy and seem to gravitate towards trying to influence and control politicians or their flock members. And those people that I know that are in dominionist fundamentalist Christian churches seem to crave being controlled and parented. It must have been very difficult for Pearson to give up all of the power, prestige, and wealth he had in his church.
In future posts I’ll continue this theme relating to both family members and co-workers. I’ve had encounters where the person has either tried to control me directly, lost interest in friendship when they realized I would never convert to Christianity, threatened me with death, or shown incredible ignorance of their own religion.