A CHILLING CONNECTION BETWEEN
NANJING, CHINA (1853) AND MOSCOW,
Nick Gier, Professor Emeritus, University of
For more on Douglas
Wilson see this link
scholarly version see this link
Bible . . . was to propel Hong Xuiquan�s transformation of his Society of
God Worshippers from a religious movement with political overtones into a
full-fledged political rebellion.
I have received the immediate command of God in his presence;
the will of Heaven rests with me.
Taiping Rebellion has been called the �greatest civil war [and] the greatest
popular rebellion in history.� Between 1852 and 1864, an estimated
10 to 20
million Chinese lost their lives in a conflict initiated by group of militant
Christians led by Hong Xiuquan, who, after visiting God�s extended family in
Heaven in a 1837 vision, came to believe he was Christ�s younger brother with a
sacred sword to kill all evil doers.
After successfully evangelizing in Guangdong and neighboring
Guangzi Province in the 1840s, Hong and his followers raised huge armies that
marched northward, taking as many a 600 cities, and eventually conquering
Nanjing in 1853. Hong had already crowned himself Heavenly King in 1851, and he
now declared Nanjing as the capital of the New Jerusalem ruling over the 10,000
nations. In Nanking Taiping soldiers preach the Gospel with swords drawn, and
converts who committed adultery and other major sins were beheaded.
Hong�s religious views have significant parallels to American
dominion theologians, of which Moscow pastor Douglas Wilson is a local
representative. In both an exclusive Christian identity has been fused with a
militant nationalism. Sometimes called Christian Reconstruction, dominion
theologians believe that godly men such as they will rule the world enforcing
the laws of the Old Testament.
George Grant, a frequent visitor to Moscow on Wilson’s
invitation, has this to say:
has as its primary intent the conquest of the land—of
men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the
Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme
over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions,
and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions
of men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule" (The
Changing of the Guard
[Dominion Press, 1987], pp.
In many pronouncements Hong envisioned that his new dynasty was
to include all the nations of the world. Hong claims that he has God�s
authority to �unite all elements whether up in heaven, down beneath the earth,
or in the human world to be one grand dynasty at all times and in all places.�
Initially European and American missionaries were thrilled to see
so many Chinese converted to Christianity. But as the evidence of Taiping
brutality came to them, they distanced themselves from Hong and his fanatical
They were also concerned about strange doctrines that were emanating from
the Taiping capital. Like the early Mormons, Hong believed that Jesus had a
wife and that he, Hong, was the second son of God and his wife. Also like the
Mormons, Hong believed that God and Christ had physical bodies and that they
dressed as Chinese royalty did.
Hong�s Christian motto could be summarized as �Slay the demons and their
followers and worship the one true God.� Once Hong had identified the Qing
emperor as the one who �led the people to behave like imps, worships demons and
disobey the true God,� the stage was set for a total religious war against any
all forces who would dispute God�s will.
Hong�s first encounter with the Devil and his demons was during his visit to
Heaven in 1837. After being given a sacred sword and seal, Hong received God�s
permission to slay demons, and he is joined by a host of angels in a great
battle. With Christ himself holding Hong�s seal, which both bedazzles and
blinds, Hong killed demons and forced those remaining in Heaven down to earth.
Hong�s reading of the Book of Revelation, God and Christ will descend to earth
and help both Hong and his son, �the Junior Lord,� govern all the nations of the
earth. As the Apocalypse unfolds, Hong will destroy the Devil and his demons
and will establish �Universal Peace under Heaven.� In
the early 1860s Hong became increasingly isolated and paranoid in his lavish
palace in Nanjing, and his troops,
not as disciplined as in the early days, were finally defeated by imperial
forces in 1864.
Writing about this same period in America, Wilson and his neo-Confederate
associates want us to believe that the Confederate army, dominated, they claim,
by born again Christians, were right in their rebellion against a federal
government that had been misled by Christian liberals.
history lesson is that we should be ever vigilant about leaders–Christian,
Muslim, or Hindu–who wish to fuse religious identity and national identity. In
all its possible forms, dominion theology is a recipe for disaster.