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TransformationThinkingforDummies

ByOrrelSteinkamp
The concept of "transformation" is all over the place. One hears it in business seminars and in nearly every grouping of people imaginable from the local chapter of the Eagles to local school boards. One also hears it everywhere in Christian circles. There are pastors who are lauded as "transformational pastors" and churches who have undergone "transformation." But what is it really? For most people they just go with flow and have no idea what the idea is all about. It can become very wordy and heady but behind it all there is something we really need to understand. So this article will try to take all this mish-mash of words and explain it for us dummies. So if a pastor gets "transformed" or a church goes through the transformation process what happens to them? What makes them now different and apparently ready to really make a change in their world and in the church? First all we have state that it has nothing to do with spiritual transformation often called sanctification of the individual believer as taught in Romans 12:2. Rather, it refers to an orchestrated, systemic and revolutionary new world-view of the global church resulting in "transformation" of societies, cultures and marketplaces etc. Often when we "dummies" hear of "transformation" we think of changes in liturgy, worship styles, new technologies, etc. But "transformation" is substantial and deep change intent on re-forging the very foundations of Protestantism, western civilization, and the governance of the entire earth. The Transformational world-view originated in certain esoteric philosophies in the 1850's relating to the nature of man and society. These philosophical views eventually were related to transforming the workplace, schools, government and churches. This is today often called "systems theory", which sees a web of relationships coalescing which become something greater than the parts. We basically call it "networking" to achieve what can't be achieved alone. This networking needs to be always changing and evolving into new forms. So transformation doesn't refer to cosmetic changes like new church architecture, nor does it refer to personal spiritual growth in our own individual lives, but rather to a systemic "new administration" transformation of all things. But what do we encounter when transformation is supposedly taking place? What are the basic building blocks of this new transformational world-view? The basic component of transformation is 'systemic change" and its implications. 1. We are doomed to a slow death, unless radical change occurs. Change or die a slow death. 2. To succeed you must be ever changing and evolving and adapting to your surroundings. 3. Man has all he needs to effect change and thus success. By reforming his world-view he can effect his own success. All he needs he has and transforming his thinking will bring success and advancement. 4. But man needs training and coaching to transition from traditional thinking to transformational thinking. 5. There are certain methods to employ to change old and dying traditionalists into agents of change. This often occurs best in small groups led by people trained to lead people through to transformation without the people knowing what is happening. This called group dynamics. In more recent times transformation thinking and techniques has been used in the business world. But now it has migrated into the church and has been imported and adapted and mainstreamed into the body of Christ. It is now nearly gospel (pun intended) for business structures and churches. A little clue about

the pervasiveness of transformational thinking is in the "mission statement" phenomena. It is hard to find any organization that has not worked long hours to finally achieve a "mission statement" which they then display proudly. This is seen all the way from the local fire department to trans-national businesses like IBM. The mission statement idea is a result of transformational thinking. Someone may say that there will always be change and that is good in itself. Indeed, we don't use mimeograph machines or typewriters anymore. Just moving through time will bring change. First we plowed our fields with oxen, then horses and now tractors. But transformational thinking and it's worldview goes far beyond this obvious and cosmetic experience of change. It refers to an all encompassing world-view which sees man himself orchestrating systemic change and all of society must be forced to adopt this change. It looks purely to implementation of the mechanics of change. It makes transformation into a surrogate world-view supplanting all other world-views. Man can effect any change he is willing to network with others to bring it about. In biblical terms it is a kind of Tower of Babel. Man needs nothing more than his own sovereign will to intentionally change the entire world. It is in effect to reverse the biblical dictum "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." to unless man builds the house it will fall." Without anything being said change becomes a societal and man manipulated event and reliance on the Holy Spirit and spiritual disciplines are quietly sidelined. The program becomes the focus of success in the church and God is relegated to an observer and at best a cheer-leader. Transformational thinking suits Postmodern thinking in that the past and present must be deconstructed (demolished) and something new must be rebuilt according to the will of those now living. There can be no cherishing of antiques, they represent death. There can be no renovation or remodeling. Pragmatism controls the agenda. What brings success is good. It is similar to Mao Tse-tung's saying that it doesn't matter if it's a white or black cat, as long as it catches mice. It's a type of social Darwinism, a survival of the fittest and the evolutionary change is all that matters "no matter what it takes." Whenever people rise up and say they don't want to change or they prefer not to change, the change agents can suddenly become very direct and confrontational. The old fossils have to be led to then" ancient burial grounds so that transformation can continue on from one success to another. Transformational thinking is a wide and diverse movement just because anyone who wants deep and systemic change can utilize the teaching and techniques of the transformational process. Anyone who wants a clean and total break with the past can employ the process of change. In the church most all segments have been swept into the vortex of transformation. It promises change and most of all it promises a way to engineer success. Every Christian group, institution, agency and even denominations have undergone the transformation process to some degree. There is a particular theological segment of evangelicalism called Dominionism that has taken transformational world-view teaching implement its radical change teaching. This should be no surprise for Dominionism wants to utterly change and reconstitute the church to align with its views and this calls for dramatic change. Its view which we will shortly survey calls for total change in thinking and organization. So in Dominion circles they prefer to use the term "transformation" but it really is simply a code word for Dominionism. From this point when we speak of "Dominionism" it will be a synonym for the transformational mandate. I would like to recommend an article which can be accessed on the net. It is "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism" by Sarah Leslie. Simply go to Google and you can read it in its entirety. I will now include major excerpts of this article. But please do read the full article completely and notice the extensive documentation. Remember change to a Dominion world-view is the goal and transformation techniques are the means. "Dominionists have been able to function virtually incognito for several reasons: 1) They are deeply embedded in the evangelical subculture; 2) They cloaked Dominionism with new terminologies (transformation) and doctrines over a period of thirty years. They figured out how to package Dominionism using sophisticated mass marketing techniques. Also noteworthy:... they have operated in a dialectical fashion - while one group appealed to the TBN charismatics with all its emotional excesses,

they still managed to appeal to a more intellectual public image that conforms to traditional evangelical standards. Traditional Christianity teaches: The gospel of Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. The emphasis is placed upon repentance and conversion of individual souls. The Kingdom of God is spiritual and grows through efforts of evangelism based solely on the Bible. It is not of "this world" (John 18:36), but is a spiritual rule in the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21). The Kingdom of God is finally realized upon Christ's second return to earth, whereby He Himself establishes His literal and physical reign. Dominionism teaches: The Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the "kingdom of God" as a literal and physical Kingdom to be advanced on earth in the present age. They assign to the church duties and rights that belong scripturally to Jesus Christ. Dominionism includes the esoteric belief that believers can "incarnate" Christ and function as His body on earth to establish his kingdom rule. An inordinate emphasis is placed on man's efforts; the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is diminished. Evangelical Dominionism has wrapped itself in slick packages - one piece at a time - for mass-media consumption. This has been a slow process, taking several decades. Few evangelicals would recognize the word "Dominionism" or know what it means. This is because other terminologies have been developed which soft-sell Dominionism, concealing the full scope of the agenda. Many evangelicals may adhere to tidbits of Dominionism without recognizing it. This is because Dominionism has "crept in unawares" (Jude 4) to seduce an undiscerning generation. To most effectively propagate their agenda, Dominionist leaders first developed new ecclesiology's, eschatology's for the targeted audiences along the major denominational fault lines of evangelical Christianity. Then the 1900's Promise Keepers men's movement was used as a vehicle to "break down the walls" for the purpose of exporting Dominionism to the wider evangelical subculture. This strategy was so effective that it reached into the mainline denominations. Dominionists carefully selected leaders to be trained as "change agents" for "transformation" (Dominionism)...

The3FactionsofEvangelicalDominionism
1. Spiritual warfare prayer movement: The Kingdom of God must be advanced on earth through hyperspiritual (often extra-biblical) "warfare" activities against the devil. A veritable supermarket of verbal and physical techniques such as chanting, prayer walks, and marches are employed in this effort. Believers are told their prayer power creates spiritual "canopies" over regions, preparing the way for "revival." In this sense, prayer warfare is seen as preparatory work so that the kingdom on earth can be built. Recently the contemplative prayer movement - which includes meditation, fasting, and labyrinths - has been brought into the spiritual warfare prayer "arsenal." All factions utilize massive statistical data banking resources (e.g., the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs) and sophisticated psycho-social group manipulations to forge kingdom "transformation." Promoting these prayer warfare activities are people from the signs and wonders movement which can include self-anointed, self-appointed "apostles" and "prophets", who are preparing to govern the world through the- "New Apostolic Reformation." This Dominionist group is a direct offshoot of the Latter-Rain movement (also known as Joel's army). Chief architect of this movement for the past two decades is C. Peter Wagner, President of Global Harvest Ministries and Chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute. His spiritual warfare teachings have been widely disseminated through mission networks such as AD 2000, which was closely associated with the Lausanne Movement. A prominent individual connected to this Dominionist group is Ted Haggard, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals. 2. Missions as a Transformation Movement: The words "revival", "reformation" and "transformation" now carry embedded Dominionist connotations. "Fulfilling the Great Commission no longer means only spreading the gospel message... The Dominionist focus is placed upon the phrase "making disciples" .. .Traditional mission evangelism, done one-on-one using the bible is being replaced with a slew of "kingdom building" corporate activities for cities, regions and nations. The disingenuous phrase "bless the nations" is often used to conceal Dominionism. Campus Crusade for Christ and Ralph Winter, founder of

the U.S. Center for World Mission and editor of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement curriculum (which has taught corporate discipleship evangelism to an entire generation of missionaries), have been among the chief architects of the movement. 3. Patriotic American Movement: Patriotic Dominionists teach that political action will advance the kingdom of God in America. Using the vehicle of Christian media, almost every evangelical in the pew has been influenced in one way or another by this movement. Patriotic Dominionist leaders and their organizations have been closely interlocked financially and politically with the secular conservatives from the political Right. The secular supporters purport to uphold morality, which appeals to evangelicals. The combined force of conservative and evangelicals flexes its political muscles in Washington. One of its most powerful leaders is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. The Phenomena of Rick Warren: Rick Warren has single-handedly accomplished the convergence between the movements of Transformational teachings. Warren received his doctorate from Fuller Seminary and wrote his thesis under the tutelage of his advisor C. Peter Wagner referred to above. He is embarking on an aggressive marketing campaign to "transform" Rwanda under the banner of missionary endeavor. Warren has launched his plan to "transform" Africa - to cure Aids, end poverty and "fulfill the Great commission. Warren transcends evangelicalism. He easily moves in internationalist circles (Aspen Institute) and aligns himself with rock stars (Bono). Warren calls his P.E.A.C.E. plan a Second Reformation. Warren intends to amass the worlds largest volunteer army of "one billion foot soldiers, to implement his "Transformation Plan." There is a notable increase in the urgency of "strategic level" prayer warfare which is linked to global "transformation" (Dominionism). Prophets regularly pump out new "prophecies" and "decrees" to shore up the kingdom mandate. These prophecies function like oracles communicating God's plan for the next step of transformational kingdom building. Restored apostles are being appointed for regions around the world and charged with wielding the king's authority. The organizations promoting this can be found on the web at the Elijah List and they all have interlocking boards of directors. George Otis of the Sentinel Group suggests that by taking dominion of the earth (he calls it "transformation"); paradise can be restored (as in Genesis 1 before the fall). Since 9/11, patriotic fervor has combined with neoconservative goals. There is a disturbing rise of actual military activity for "kingdom building" purposes. Bill Gothard has set up paramilitary training camps for evangelical children. Christian Right leader Michael Farris, connected with COR is recruiting homeschoolers for CIA type training at his Patrick Henry College.

Myconcludingremarks
Transformation thinking birthed in the mid 1800's has now come of age. It's everywhere. Its essence is that man can sovereignly do anything he wants if he will just undergo a systemic change of transformational thinking. The tools are there waiting for the brave and committed to pick up and wield. But the old ways of thinking have to be purged and the global mind must be transformed. The secular nature of this seems so obvious that one wonders how it is the church could be seduced into it. But as we have seen well-intentioned clever people have been trained to transition the church into transformation. The simple gospel preached lived and witnessed cannot bring success for church fast enough. If we don't change, the church will die and Islam will rule the world etc, etc. In transformation thinking it is not the gospel that is the power of God to salvation of individual sinners; rather the church must leap-frog ahead of the tune consuming business of preaching to individuals and transform whole cities, regions and nations. But for this to happen the church must change systemically and here is where systems theory and transformational tools can be employed. The church can employ the weapons of the world and complete the Great Commission. That's heady stuff. The Tower of Babel can be built if the church can be changed, transformed and thus bring in the Kingdom of God without the presence of the King.