November 19th, 2008 by M. French

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Here are some more updates with regard to the Castro story we’ve been following. A woman that was at the Castro confrontation and Lou Engle, father of the JHOP movement, share their story in the video below, taken from the IHOP-KC (International House of Prayer – Kansas City) webstream: [link to video]

Accusations are starting to be made about the JHOP – San Francisco team, and their leader, Lou Engle. For example, Joe. My. God., winner of 2007’s Best LGBT blog according to the WebLog Awards, has posted an article containing the above video, and a crude explanation of Lou Engle’s beliefs, reprinted below:

Lou Engle is a pastor with Joel’s Army, a group that demands that the United States be ruled by strict Biblical principles. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Joel’s Army believers are hard-core Christian dominionists, meaning they believe that America, along with the rest of the world, should be governed by conservative Christians and a conservative Christian interpretation of biblical law. There is no room in their doctrine for democracy or pluralism.

Dominionism’s original branch is Christian Reconstructionism, a grim, Calvinist call to theocracy that, as Reconstructionist writer Gary North describes, wants to “get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”

Notorious for endorsing the public execution by stoning of homosexuals and adulterers, the Christian Reconstructionist movement is far better known in secular America than Joel’s Army. That’s largely because Reconstructionists have made several serious forays into mainstream politics and received a fair amount of negative publicity as a result. Joel’s Army followers eschew the political system, believing the path to world domination lies in taking over churches, not election to public office.

Another key difference between the two branches of dominionism, which maintain a testy, arms-length relationship with one another, is Christian Reconstructionism’s buttoned-down image and heavy emphasis on Bible study, which contrasts sharply with Joel’s Army anti-intellectual distrust of biblical scholars and its unruly style.

Some Castro residents have described the group that was chased out of the neighborhood as “peaceful and harmless”, but their affiliation with Lou Engle and Joel’s Army is chilling indeed. Joel’s Army is a militantly dangerous group that will settle for nothing less than the complete end of secular Democracy in America.

Let’s get the facts straight.

Firstly: Lou Engle is not a “pastor with Joel’s Army”, he is a revivalist that founded The Call, and the Justice Houses of Prayer, and according to his bio page, is currently a senior leader with IHOP-KC.

Secondly: Not only is he not a “pastor with Joel’s Army”, which according to Joe. My. God.‘s sources are “hard-core Christian dominionists”, but the ministry he’s involved with has openly rejected dominionism, and has openly dealt with the Joel’s Army misunderstanding. Consider what IHOP-KC has posted on their website in their Affirmations and Denials page with regard to these “Joel’s Army” and “Dominion Theology” rumors:

Dominion Theology
WE AFFIRM that God’s purpose is for Jesus to come back to fully establish His Kingdom rule over all the Earth. After the Second Coming, the saints will rule the Earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ when He sets up His government on the Earth in the Millennial Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 5:10 and 20:3–6). We believe that believers in this age are called to serve Jesus in politics and to help establish righteousness and justice in legislation. We do NOT have the assurance that ALL laws and governments will be changed until after the Second Coming of Jesus to establish His Millennial Kingdom.

WE DENY the Church will take over all the governments of the Earth before the return of Christ.

Explanation: some teach and believe that all governments on the Earth will be transformed by the Church before the Second Coming of Jesus.

Joel’s Army
WE AFFIRM that the army in Joel 2:1–11 was an ungodly Babylonian army that destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC. We believe that this passage has a double fulfillment as it points to the Antichrist’s army that will attack Israel at the end of the age. We affirm that Joel was prophesying of the lifestyle of godly believers in Joel 2:12–17.

WE DENY Joel 2:1–11 describes the end-time church.

Explanation: The term “Joel’s Army” has been used to signify the people who walk out the principles of prayer with fasting as taught in Joel 2:12–17. The term has been used much like “Joseph Company”, “Gideon Band” or “David Company” to signify the people who embraced the godly qualities that Joel taught about prayer, fasting and wholehearted obedience. Paul Cain had a prophetic word about a “Joel’s Army in training,” referring to a group of people who would give themselves to prayer and fasting according to Joel 2:12–17. When used like this, “Joel’s Army” does not refer specifically to the destroying army mentioned in Joel 2:1–11, but to people who walk out the Joel 2:12–17 lifestyle. The misunderstanding comes from giving the title “Joel’s Army” to both the destroying army (Joel 2:1–11) and the group of people who give themselves to fasting and prayer (Joel 2:12–17).

Thirdly: Whether or not this dominionist “Joel’s Army” described in Joe.My.God.’s article really exists or not, I cannot say, but clearly since Lou Engle has rejected dominionism, there is no proof that he is callling for “the complete end of secular Democracy in America”. Neither does Joe.My.God. have any proof that Lou Engle or his ministry associates are “militant” in a physically or verbally violent way.

Joe.My.God. would do well to check on his facts before publishing such easily debunked rumors.

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