If the Colorado Springs didn't have enough Christian political organizations headquartered here preaching intolerance, we will have a real winner this summer. Coalition on Revival (COR), a reconstructionist organization, has announced it will be moving to Colorado Springs in June.
COR has plans to launch a "boot camp training school for radical world-changers" called Kingdom College. The purpose of Kingdom College is to train Christian Reconstructionists to "systematically and effectively rebuild their civilization on Biblical principles."
Reconstructionism or theonomy, holds that Old Testament laws, as interpreted by the New Testament, are required for all societies. Theonomists oppose plurality and the separation of Church and State and advocate a Biblical theocracy. In Grimstead's 24-point master plan, he proposes Christian takeovers in virtually all aspects of human endeavor: education, the arts, politics, the courts and even the military. In a May 1993 letter to COR friends, Grimstead writes, "At this moment of history, all humans on earth, whether Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, private person or public official, are obligated to bow their knees to this King Jesus, confess Him as Lord of the universe with their tongues, and submit to His lordship over every aspect of their lives in thought, word and deed."
Many Reconstructionists focus particularly on biblical prescriptions of capital punishment for such offenses as blasphemy, adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft, striking or cursing a parent and promiscuity. A society based on Reconstructionism would include no prison system--criminals would either be executed for their crimes or work as indentured servants to make restitution to their victims. There would be no credit system or public school education; indigents would be forced to work off their debts as slaves and children would be schooled at home.
COR's list of steering committee members have included such political Christian right leaders as Dr. Tim and Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women of America, Dr. Robert Simonds of Citizens for Excellence in Education, Dr. James Kennedy (who in conjunction with village Seven Presbyterian Church is opening a branch of Knox Theological Seminary here), Dr. R.J. Rushdoony and Pat Robertson's Regent University Board Chair, Dee Jepson. Because of COR's controversial beliefs and plans, some members have left the committee and others deny any connection with COR. Even Focus on the Family is a little uncomfortable with Reconstructionists. At a recent Community Impact Seminar, a Focus on the Family representative referred to Reconstructionists as "wing-nuts."
As a recent example of what we can expect from Grimstead and COR, here are excerpts from a letter to William B. Allen, who was running against Representative Bill Dannemeyer for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Grimstead wanted Allen to withdraw from the Republican primary so Dannemeyer could receive the nomination.
"This letter comes to tell you that we are calling on you, in the name of Jesus Christ the King of the universe, to immediately step down from this foolish attempt at the Senate seat and to publicly announce that you are throwing your weight and your campaign behind the Dannemeyer effort for victory...If, however, you choose to continue on this reckless, unaccountable, foolish path you may count on three consequences:
1. We will not only work harder than ever for the Dannemeyer campaign but we will also expose to our Christian networks the foolishness and destructiveness of your efforts and encourage them to see your campaign for what it truly is: a political abortion that can only aid the forces of darkness.
2. Any hopes you have for political office in this state will be greatly hindered for years to come...
3. We suspect that God Himself will make efforts to discipline you and judge this action of yours however He sees fit. As anyone who has been disciplined by our Heavenly Father can tell you, He can deal very forcibly with us."
COR is a small organization with a few militant followers and without the large amounts of money that Focus or Pat Robertson have. Their impact on a large scale may be insignificant. However, if their plans for Kingdom College materialize, we could be in for some unwanted spiritual warfare on a community that is already divisive along in the area of tolerance and religion.
>>>Text of article from "Church and State" by Fred
Clarkson Pp 9-12<<<
Mark Twain, reading today's papers, might observe that the news of the death of the Christian Right has been greatly exaggerated.
Examples abound, but one need look no further than the thumpingly successful crusades of the Rev. Don Wildmon's American Family Association and the broader Christian Leaders for Responsible Television (CLEAR-TV) against television programming they don't like. Most recently, Burger King, a sponsor targeted by the groups, surrendered and pledged fealty to "traditional family values" in full page ads, after a two-month boycott over the fast food chain's commercials on allegedly racy and anti- Christian TV shows.
But there is more to Wildmon and many of his allies than television trouble-making. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Coalition on Revival (COR), a secretive, theo- political movement that seeks to bridge theological gaps among conservative Christians and foster religious and political unity. The movement's goal is nothing less than the establishment of its vision of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
The Coalition is the epitome of the refocusing and retrenching of the Christian Right in the wake of the televangelist scandals of the '80's and the rise of the secular- minded presidency of George Bush. Its roots, however, grow from the Religious Right's heyday during the Reagan era, and it seeks the establishment of a government-enforced Christian nation. Working largely behind the scenes, the movement's influence has be subtle and significant. Prominent COR Steering Committee members have included: televangelists D. James Kennedy and Ron Haus, Robert Dugan of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. Tim LaHaye of the Traditional Values Coalition, former U.S. Rep Mark Siljander (R-Mich.) and Religious Roundtable chief Ed McAteer,
Founded in 1982 by Dr. Jay Grimstead, COR has sought to create a trans-denominational theology - a process that has included the creation of 17 "Worldview" documents, a Manifesto of the Christian Church, and a set of 25 key theological tenets called the 25 Articles. COR claims that "112 national theologians and leaders working with 500 experts in those 17 different fields worked together in 17 committees." The various COR papers have been distributed widely among sympathizers both here and abroad.
One major focus has been to reconcile two main evangelical eschatologies (end-times theology), Most evangelicals in this century have been pre-millenialists/dispensationalists, that is, Christians who believe it is not possible to reform this world until Jesus returns. The minority post- millenialists/Reconstructionist camp believes it is necessary to build the Kingdom of God here and now.
COR, which is led by post-millenialists and politically motivated by pre-millenialists (like Tim LaHaye), has sought to impose a non-quarrelling" policy on such matters. In response to a "Theological Summit" last year between COR advocates and critics, one critic astutely observed to Christianity Today that COR avoids defining both the means and ends of establishing to Kingdom and that "These (25) Articles seem to be devised to obtain if not the cooperation of the dispensationalists, at least their neutrality.."
Indeed, the pre-millenialist/dispensationalist avoidance of entanglements with "this world" has kept much of evangelical Christianity on the sidelines of politics and government. COR's de-emphasis of eschatology could effectively dissolve barriers to political participation for many and clear the way for political leadership by the Religious Right.
Although loath to admit it, many leading evangelicals have already been profoundly influenced by Reconstructionism, a movement that seeks to impose some variant of Old Testament law on all society. Sociologist Sara Diamond observes in her book Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right that Reconstructionism "has become the central unifying ideology of the Christian Right" and that COR is the cutting edge of Reconstructionism.
Reconstructionism has many variations - the "Biblical Law Revival," "Kingdom theology," "Dominion theology"- and all are represented in COR. The acknowledged leader of Reconstructionism, R.J. Rushdoony, is a COR Steering Committee member who is slated to teach the biblical view of law at COR's planned Kingdom College. Fellow Reconstructionist (and COR Steering Committee member) Gary North has said, "Rushdoony is the Marx of this movement. I'm trying very hard to be the Engles."
Reconstructionists seek to apply "Biblical Blueprints" to reform society, usually according to laws found in the Old Testament. Rushdoony's extreme views (not necessarily those of COR) include opposition to democracy and advocacy of the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, astrologers, witches, teachers of false doctrine and incorrigible children. (North takes that view one step farther and insists that the preferred biblical means of execution is stoning.) At COR's next "Theological Summit" - scheduled for the Crystal City Marriott, near Washington, D.C., Jan. 24-26 - the application of Old Testament law to modern life will be discussed.
COR's more general "world-view" would also not bode well for American traditions of church-state separation, pluralism, civil liberties and labor rights. One of the "25 Articles" state in part: "We deny that anyone, Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, private person or public official is exempt from the moral and juridical obligation before God to submit to Christ's Lordship over every aspect of his life in thought, word, and deed."
COR "Commitment Sheets" - which must be signed by COR leaders - require that one must be "willing to be martyred for Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth" and be "willing to submit to the hierarchical order that God has created in which we are willing to submit as to Christ [emphasis added] to employers, civil government and church leaders, and within families, wives to their husbands and children to their parents."
In 1990, COR created a political program and action arm called the National Coordinating Council (NCC), which advocates abolition of the public schools, the IRS and the Federal Reserve System by the year 2000, and seeks to Christianize all aspects of life from the arts and sciences to banking and the news media. (See "Kingdom Strategy," page 11.) The NCC hopes to accomplish its agenda in part by setting up a "kingdom" counter-culture of sorts, including a "Christian" court system. (In the meantime, NCC leaders propose an "aggressive fierce Christian version of the ACLU" to fight for its views in regular courts.)
The NCC plans call for a grass-roots effort to elect their kind of Christians to county boards of supervisors and sheriff's offices, and disturbingly, once in power, to establish county militias. COR chief Grimstead says the militias are needed because the federal government can't be trusted to defend the U.S. against an invasion from a future "Communist Mexico." This implies, of course, not Minutemen on the Lexington Green, but fully equipped local "Christian" armies.
The COR program is being taken to 50 North American cities over the next five years. The method is to hold invitation-only "Merge Ministry Seminars" geared toward the development of "councils of pastors." According to internal documents obtained by Church and State, COR/NCC teams are coming to San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Little Rock, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. in 1991.
"Our present war with the forces of darkness," wrote Grimstead recently, "will not be won in any city or county until the Christian leaders thee deliberately form a coalition of 'spiritual generals' who will work together as a single unit." Failing to create "such a unified D-Day approach," he continued, "is to ensure our defeat." He has invited COR members to move to the San Francisco Bay area this year  to create a model "D- Day effect" - and plans a national invasion of the Bay area Oct 11-20.
Grimstead's views of an ecumenism of the right may spring from his own pilgrimage through differing religious groups. The 57 year old activist started out in the Presbyterian tradition, but moved to an ultra-conservative off-shoot of the main denomination. An area director of the evangelical youth ministry Young Life for 1957 to 1877, he left that movement to form the now-defunct Council on Biblical Inerrancy. Grimstead is currently affiliated with a San Jose, Calif., congregation of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, a charismatic denomination.
Grimstead believes Christian Right sympathizers can put aside theological differences to work toward common political and societal goals. At a COR-sponsored "Solemn Assembly" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1986, he told one reporter, "We think we can influence every sector of American in the next 10 years so it will be almost unrecognizable. Not just this Coalition on Revival, but fundamentalist, evangelical, charismatic and Catholic Christians whose foundation is the Bible and the Lordship of Christ. We're going to bring America back to its biblical foundations.
"We're standing on a commitment to getting God's will done on earth as it is in heaven," he observed. "We think no Christian can argue with that, because it is part of the prayer the Lord taught us to pray. Anybody who can go for that is with us."
Early on, Grimstead seemed to be having some success. The COR Steering Committee, featured on the group's letterhead, includes a cross-section of conservative Christian activists. In addition to the prominent evangelicals mentioned earlier, names on the list include Robert Simonds of Citizens for Excellence in Education, Reagan administration official Carolyn Sundseth, "creation-science" advocate Duane Gish, anti-abortion leader Peter Gemma, "pro-family" activist Connaught Marshner, home- schooling attorney Michael Farris, Intercessors for America chairman John D. Beckett, Dennis Peacocke and Bob Mumford of the controversial "Shepherding/Discipleship" movement, and Edith and Franky Schaeffer, wife and son respectively of the late evangelical guru Francis Schaeffer.
But Grimstead's radicalism seems to be threatening the group's unity. In addition to the goals already mentioned, his recent NCC "ministry merge" document also called for all "leadership Christians" to practice fasting and learn how to cast out demons. Local church groups, he said, must form a Christian voting bloc and be linked together into a "single, area-wide, mobilizable, spiritual army."
In addition to evangelizing all junior and senior high schools, NCC goals include taking control of all school boards, with a view toward replacing public schools with private Christian schools by the year 2000.
Grimstead's ideas have led to some schisms with COR. Defectors include Religious Right activist and Biblical Scorecard publisher David Balsiger, Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, Gary Amos of Regent University, and Robert Dugan of the National Association of Evangelicals.
Among other's who seem to be scuttling away from the taint of Rushdoony's views and the emerging militance of COR/NCC is Don Wildmon, who actually sued an official of the National Endowment for the Arts for slander after she inaccurately attributed Rushdoony's views on capital punishment and democracy to Wildmon and his American Family Association. (Rushdoony himself is a long accepted leader in conservative circles, having served on the Board of Governors of the elite Council for National Policy, and on the advisory board of the Conservative Caucus and Conservative Digest.) Gary Amos now claims that the COR/NCC agenda exists only on paper and blames it on Grimstead. NAE's Dugan says COR has gotten too Reconstructionist for him.
In his own defense, Grimstead told Christianity Today that the COR/NCC program is a fair representation of the views of Pat Robertson and D.James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries. Top Kennedy aides George Grant and Charles Wolf are listed as two of the NCC's 45 activists.
The ties to Robertson are also clear. Joe Kickasola, a professor at Robertson's Regent University (formerly CBN University), was a principal author and with Gary Amos, defender of the 25 Articles at last year's Theological Summit. Regent U. Board Chair (and COR Steering Committee member) Dee Jepson is another link that shows the influence of FOR and Reconstructionist thought.
According to Robertson, Jepson was the main advocate of the name change from CBN to Regent University. Robertson explains that the meaning of the new name states the mission of the school. He says a "regent" is one who governs in the absence of a sovereign." And Regent U. trains students to rule until Jesus, the absent sovereign, returns.
"One day, if we read the Bible correctly," he predicts, "we will rule and reign along with our sovereign, Jesus Christ. So this is a kingdom institution to teach people how they may enter into the privilege that they have as God's representatives here on the face of the earth." regent U. has 700 graduate students in education, communications, religion and law - with plans for 3,000 (possibly 12,000 through "extension programs").
The Christian Right is clearly building for the future, and COR is playing a pivotal role by building the theological and political alliances for the 1990s and beyond.
Fred Clarkson, a Washington D.C. freelance writer, reports extensively about the Religious Right. This story is an expanded version of a piece that appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Mother Jones magazine.
>>>>>TEXT OF LETTER FROM C.O.R. HEADQUARTERS TO SUPPORTERS.<<<<<
We wanted to communicate with you faithful donors who have been the Lord's servants to provide our daily "manna" on this Sinai journey this past two moths. Thank you for loving us and for caring enough about the reformation of the Church and the rebuilding of society on a biblical base to donate to C.O.R. We honestly could not do this ministry without your help and we are genuinely grateful for you.
On June 18th and 19th I have a meeting in Colorado Springs with a few national leaders to begin exploring a 25 year plan to turn our nation around and rebuild it upon the biblical principles laid down by our founding fathers and the Puritans of the 1600's.
Donna and I will be taking two weeks there in Colorado to have some vacation and to look over the housing situation in Colorado Springs with the possibility in mind of moving there next spring if God continues leading in that direction.
As you know, the possibility of launching Kingdom College there in the fall of 1994 is becoming more and more of a probability. This month I have met with 6 leadership friends who would be willing and eager to move there with us to be a team if God makes it very clear that is His call for me at this time. The possibilities and potential are enormous. Also, the thought of my being able to function in the work of reformation and rebuilding the civilization upon the Bible with a team of like-minded fellow reformers who are sold out to King Jesus is positively exciting to me. At nearly 60, I am looking forward to establishing some long-term co-worker relationships in a team setting with men who can become "old patriarchs" with me over the next 30 years and who will be willing to die to accomplish our mutual goals.
For you who may feel a leading from God to pray for Donna and me, please pray for His guidance, His unmistakably clear call on my life to move my ministry to Colorado and launch this kind of training school, or, to make it clear that is not the plan or now is not the time. Thank you in advance if you do that for us.
May you and your family be blessed this summer. May you financial needs be met abundantly. May you grow speedily this next six months in those special areas where God is working on you as he is on us.
With love and gratitude,
Jay and Donna Grimstead
>>>>TEXT OF LETTER FROM CHURCH COUNCIL STEERING COMMITTEE TO
SUPPORTERS<<< list of steering committee members to follow
Dear friends of C.O.R. and Crosswinds,
Thank you for your support of C.O.R. and your interest in Crosswinds.
This letter comes to you on the new Church Council stationery with the list of our 40 member Steering Committee for the Church Council. Plans for the first phase of the Council for July 25-30, 1994 are shaping up well. That Council meeting will be held at Campus Crusade's Arrowhead Springs Hotel in San Bernardino. If you care to do so, you may help us locate official delegates from the different denominations, schools and organizations by suggesting their names on the enclosed response card.
One of the 24 topics to be debated at that Church Council will be, "The Kingdom of God and Christ's Present Rulership Over Civil Governments Today." As you know, that is a very hot topic both for theologians and pastors within the Church as well as for politicians, lawyers and government officials.
Our committee is presenting to the wider body of Christ the 25 Articles on the Kingdom of God which our theologians created, and which appears on pp. 103-113 of the Nov. issue of Crosswinds. That is the topic assigned to me for its defense and presentation at the Church Council. It is the opinion of most of us listed on the left hand margin that the Kingdom of God is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the present day evangelicalism and that it is more central and foundational to all proper Christian thinking than most other doctrines of the Bible.
Up until around 1830, the theologians, pastors and informed lay persons of large portions of the Church held to a more biblical view of the Kingdom of God than is now generally taught inmost churches worldwide. And that more correct view was what was generally taught by those we would call the great heroes of the Church, such as Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Edwards, Spurgeon, Livingstone, Warfield and Machen. That view which we claim was taught by the mainstream Church differed in these ways from what is generally taught mistakenly by most Bible-believing churches today.
The major leaders of the mainstream Church taught that:
1. The Kingdom of God was inaugurated and the King was installed and seated in the First Century A.D. and we need not wait for the King's second coming to get the Kingdom started here on earth.
2. Satan was completely defeated by Christ at the Cross and resurrection and is therefore no longer the "ruler of this world" and can be stopped from doing anything at any time by Christ and by us Christians if we simply choose to employ the power and authority already placed into our hands by the King Himself since the First Century.
3. King Jesus will be given no more power or authority at His second coming or throughout eternity than He already was given by the Father when He ascended to the throne of heaven.
4. At this moment of history, all humans on earth, whether Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, private person or public official, are obligated to bow their knees to this King Jesus, confess Him as Lord of the universe with their tongues, and submit to His lordship over every aspect of their lives in thought, word and deed.
5. Biblical evangelism according to the Great Commission of Matt. 28:18-20 is not truly accomplished unless that message of Christ's lordship from point #4 above is give to the person being evangelized so they know that an attempt at personal neutrality before King Jesus is sin and treason in this universe.
6. Submission to the lordship of Christ is essential to salvation so we may say that no human may become a "saved" Christian who only "receives" Jesus as his saviour without also eagerly receiving Jesus as his Lord and King at the moment of salvation.
7. The Lord's Prayer stating that "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" was meant to be prayed by us with the hope that this condition would happen on earth before Christ's second coming wherever and whenever the Christians of any geography decided to band together to help make it happen.
8. The Bible is the plumb line for all Nations, Christian or non- Christian, by which nations are to measure the justice and wisdom of all their laws, governments, procedures and society in general.
It is easy to see that just the exact opposite of these 8 points above (which reflect the Articles #4,8,9,10,11,13,14,18 of the Kingdom document) is taught regularly from most Bible-loving pulpits of our land. If we are right that the Kingdom of God is basic, and that indeed the above 8 points are truly biblical and do reflect the general teaching of the major heroes of the Church the first 18 centuries, then is it any wonder the Body of Christ, which has been teaching falsehood (unknowingly) regarding these points the past 160 years in now like the church of Laodicea: "wretched, poor, blind and naked" and is not even aware of its own horrible condition?!!!
By Gods' grace, this theological misunderstanding of the Church at large is one of the matters which can be cleared up and corrected by this coming Church Council.
If any of you have questions or concerns about what I have just said here, feel free to write tome and tell me about it. A response card is provided for any input you may have for us about this issue, or other items listed on the card.
Again, we thank you for standing with us in this ministry. Please know that your part is essential, and we are encouraged by your faithfulness.
May God help us to accomplish our destiny in him, Jay Grimstead
>>>>>Text of article from Mother Jones, by Fred Clarkson, page 11.<<< Wildmon Kingdom?
You may have heard of Rev. Don Wildmon's crusades against porn, racy TV, and "obscenity" in the arts - from Robert Mapplethorpe to the 2 Live Crew. But there's more to Wildmon and many of his associates. They are part of the Coalition on Revival, a theopolitical movement that seeks to make a fundamentalist Christian nation out of the United States. And they may be coming soon to a city near you.
Prominent COR members include Dr. Tim LaHaye of the Traditional Values Coalition; televangelists Dr. D. James Kennedy and Rev. Ron Haus; former congressman Mark Siljander; Robert Dugan, Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals; and Dee Jepson, board chair for Pat Robertson's Regent University.
This year, a de facto political arm of COR called the National Coordinating Council emerged with a twenty four-point program, a copy of which was obtained by Mother Jones. Among other things, it calls for the abolition of public schools, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve System by the year 2000. While the agenda is national, its strategy is grass-roots - targeting elections in sixty North American cities in the next five years. "We are trying to form a political network that will be awesome," NCC chief Dr. Jay Grimstead (who also heads COR) told Mother Jones. While hoping to take over city councils and school boards, the group places special emphasis on county government - sheriffs and boards of supervisors - and once in power, the creation of county "militias." Grimstead explains that the feds can't be trusted, thus private citizens must be armed and prepared to fight a future "communist Mexico," which "will march across the Rio Grande."
Pilot projects are underway in Orange and Santa Clara counties in California, and the NCC plans to organize "spiritual armies" in a dozen cities in the next year, including Atlanta, San Diego, and Phoenix. One NCC candidate, Sara C. Nelson, recently won a city- council seat in Gilroy, California, according to Grimstead, "by doing it right": she ran as a conventional politician who happens to be Christian.
A strong faction within COR follows Reconstructionism, which seeks to impose its version of "Biblical law" on society and call it the "Kingdom of God." While not expressing official COR policy, some Reconstructionists explicitly oppose democracy, notably R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionism's acknowledged leader. He also believes homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, astrologers and incorrigible children should be executed, preferably by "stoning." Rushdoony is a member of the COR steering committee and is slated to be a faculty member at COR's planned Kingdom College in San Jose, California. In a COR recruitment letter for the college, Grimstead, who says his views are less extreme than Rushdoony's, wrote that he seeks "young warriors who will be thrilled and challenged to go through a Christian 'green beret' boot camp training school for radical world changers."
All NCC members are required to sign the COR manifesto, and thus have signed pledges to be "willing to be martyred for Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth." We tried to ask Rev. Wildmon where he stood on Reconstructionism and the NCC program. He didn't return our calls.