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  • Writer's pictureAsk Pastor Adrienne

Dominion or Domination?

Photo by visuals on Unsplash


Dear Pastor,

Why is there such angst? It seems like everyone is trying to control everyone else. I don’t remember the world in such a depressing state. What happened to “live and let live?”


We are all uneasy as we observe this trend. We also must realize that countless seasons of human history have displayed and experienced far worse, for example: Noah and his ark survived God’s reboot-button on the human race in similar circumstances. One could argue that we may be back on the wrong track and ripe for another reset. (Have mercy, God!)

The phrase, “live and let live” is actually a twist on a similar phrase that became popular in the early 1970’s with the making of the James Bond film, Live and Let Die. The latter sentiment expressed the mind-set of an international spy whose vocation included the occasional murder of a villain who threatened to disrupt global peace. In response to the violent film and the phrase that went with it, the Jesus-people (and their gentle, drug-induced counterparts, the “flower-children”), coined “live and let live” to reflect John 3:17: “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (NASB95)

The Bible explains that Jesus himself doesn’t judge people, so why should we? Yet, there is judgment going on in firehose doses within our land. This self-righteous indignation on all sides of the political and spiritual spectrum leads to unrest and violence, and we’re seeing it everywhere.

Why, you ask, is this happening?

It’s a simple case of the misapplication of power. Let me explain:

From the very beginning—from day one of human history and the first breath of man, God intended people to be the most powerful force in the world. He made all of us male and female, as well as, all colors of the spectrum—in his image (his essence) according to the Bible’s book of Genesis, chapter 1, verses 26-31. We must therefore conclude that we look a little like God…we possess the ability to think and create like God…and we share some of his power. God called this power, “dominion,” which was a gift with a purpose. Here’s the purpose: dominion describes a type of power much like a gardener in a garden; working with the animals, nurturing plants and tending the creation in a benevolent way. This is called “stewardship of the earth” and it was God’s first vocation for mankind. Dominion never included abuse, control and oppression of the earth or people. Our power, on loan from God, wasn’t imbued in us so we could rule over each other like bullies.

Dominion is never the same as domination. But it all depends on a human being’s interpretation of how to use the power God freely gave to people. We’ve got to know the difference in these days because domination is what the world system (the Kingdom of Darkness) is selling like hotcakes right now. You see, there are two kingdoms raging on the earth and they are clashing violently…as they always have been…but never so loudly or visually: the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of darkness.

Here’s what that domination-darkness looks like as it’s permeating our media, governments and culture:

“You WILL accept my demands. You will agree with my worldview or else.”

“You WILL leave your Christ out of my government, my schools and my workplaces.”

“You WILL wear a mask when I tell you to do so.”

“You WILL NOT question what I say, even when I tell you a lie.”

God decided to share his power with mankind for righteous causes and goals. Christians must remember that we are all part of another kingdom…another culture and another way of living. There are no bullies in heaven. There are no oppressors and thieves of American freedoms (such as those well-listed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.) No, Christ-followers do not subscribe to that channel. It’s high time we turn the channel back to what God has already asked us to do: “He has told you, O man, what is good— and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

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