June 2024 Church & State Magazine - June 2024

National Day of Prayer veers into virulent Christian Nationalism

 

Militant? NDP logo invokes conquest

The National Day of Prayer Task Force this year adopted images and language that reflect “Seven Mountains” theology, a growing and virulent form of Christian Nationalism.

The controversial movement refers to an extreme form of theology whereby “dominionist” Christians — that is to say, literal theocrats — work to take over American society by seizing control of seven key “mountains” or institutions: family, education, media, government, business, arts/entertainment and religion.

Seven Mountains theology has been around since the 1970s but didn’t really take off until 2013, when evangelist Lance Wallnau published a book titled, Invading Babylon: The 7 Mountain Mandate.

Prior to the May 2 event, the National Day of Prayer Task Force issued a promotional graphic with militant sword-and-shield imagery, and its official prayer echoed Seven Mountains beliefs.

The prayer read in part, “Jesus, we profess our faith in You. Lead us forward to dispel the darkness and bring light throughout the Church, Family, Education, Business, Military, Government, and Arts, Entertainment, and Media.”

As AU Vice President for Strategic Communications Andrew L. Seidel wrote on AU’s “Wall of Separation” blog, “That list may seem random to the casual observer, but it reflects the Seven Mountains, or seven spheres of influence, in that eponymous strain of Christian Nationalism. Different prophets of Christian Nationalism have issued different versions of the Seven Mountains Mandate, but the goal is the same: conquest and influence. The graphic here is representative and closely reflects the content of the prayer: Religion/Church, Family, Education, Business, Government (including Military), Arts & Entertainment, and Media.”

Seidel noted that the prayer was apparently written by Kathy Branzell, president of the NDP Task Force. She is also the author of a book titled, Prayer Warrior: The Battle Plan to Victory. Chapter 1 is titled, “Onward Christian Soldiers” and kicks off with more conquering rhetoric: “How sweet to know that we follow Jesus into battle. He is the leader, our commanding officer if you will, and we march behind the cross of Calvary, perhaps with drops of Christ’s blood staining the path. Set your sights on Him and set your mind to battle as Christ set his mind ….”

Seidel concluded, “The graphic for this year’s National Day of Prayer underscores the militant, conquering, crusading message.”

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