Is Modern Prophecy Leading Its Followers To a Religious State?

By Paul A. Djupe, Denison University

“This is a biblical belief that every Christian should believe. We want God to be on the throne over America. We want holy ghost, spirit-filled believers that fear God to be in this building (the Texas state house).” Sean Feucht, April 25.

If you thought that Christian nationalism died down in the aftermath of January 6, 2021, you’d be mistaken. Not only has the average commitment to Christian nationalism not changed in a year and a half (it’s right about the same level as it was in September 2021), but conservative religious and political elites are continuing to proclaim a Christian nationalist identity and Christian nationalist ideas. It helps explain why red state Republicans are pressing forward in a number of states with abortion restrictions and bans, free speech clampdowns (e.g., “don’t say gay”), and now in Texas legislation to post the 10 Commandments in classrooms. I thought the US resolved this in 1980 in Stone v. Graham, but there’s a whole new Court since that time.

The critical role that people like Sean Feucht can play is to whip up public opinion behind such efforts and he’s sure been doing some whipping. I’m going to let Matthew Taylor tell you who Sean Feucht is, but simply he’s an entertainer in the charismatic world associated with the New Apostolic Reformation who is getting quite a lot of attention. It’s pretty clear what Sean Feucht and other apostolic leaders like Lance Wallnau want the US to become – check out the tremendous Charismatic Revival Fury podcast for more. But what we don’t know is what average people who believe in prophecy want the US to become.

So let’s get down to brass tacks – do prophecy believers want a religious state? Do they want a theonomy? (theonomy is governing according to religious rules; theocracy is rule by religious officials like clergy). I’m using data collected last month using Qualtrics panels to recruit 2300 participants according to Census-defined quotas to match the adult population (I use weights to balance the sample on education, race, gender, region, and age).

Because the typical Christian nationalism scale seems awfully vague about adherents’ true intentions, we decided to ask some straightforward questions to assess whether people want rule by religious law that you’ll see in a moment. We also asked people several questions to capture their belief in prophecy that we combined into a scale –

  • God reveals his plans for the future to humans as prophecy. (39% agree)
  • Modern-day prophets continue to reveal God’s plans to humanity. (28% agree)
  • God has given some people the power to heal others through prayer and the “laying on of hands.” (36% agree)
  • God is in control over the course of events on earth. (37% agree)

The figure below shows how prophecy belief (on the horizontal x axis) is linked to agreement with each theonomic question (on the vertical y axis). The blue line shows how the level of agreement changes as prophecy belief grows. In each case, prophecy believers are much more likely to agree with the theonomic statement, though not always a majority of them do so. The least agreement from prophecy believers is that the US should only award full citizenship to Christians, but it’s important to note that a third agree. What is perhaps most troubling about that link is that politically-active prophecy believers are more likely to believe in only Christians receiving full citizenship. The inactive are 25 percentage points less supportive of only Christians receiving full citizenship.

Fifty percent of the most ardent prophecy believers agree that the Church should have a veto to decide whether legislation becomes law. And more than 50 percent of prophecy believers agree that it’s more important to enforce God’s will than to protect people’s freedoms. An even 50 percent think that biblical offenses (it was not defined further) should be enforced in American courts, while about two-thirds of prophecy believers think the scope and power of the US should be limited to what is consistent with the Bible. Focusing on an idea that has been terribly popular in the NAR thanks to Lance Wallnau, two-thirds of prophecy believers agree that God wants Christians to stand atop the 7 mountains of society. That means a desire to exercise dominion over family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business, and government.

We provided some other statements that elicited more agreement from prophecy believers, suggesting most all prophecy believers want a strident, vigorous Christianity in office and prominent in society even if some are not quite willing to grant the church veto power over legislation. For instance, just under 75 percent think public officials should swear an oath to uphold Christian values in office and three-quarters of believers agree that Christians are essential to the revitalization of America. While these may sound scary to some, they suggest a belief that their group has a beneficial role to play in advancing the US. Of course, most prophecy believers do not stop there as we have seen.

How do these measures line up with Christian nationalism? There has been some debate about this. And I’ll easily concede that it was entirely reasonable to have doubts about the typical scale – what does “advocate Christian values” in government mean, anyway? Love thy neighbor? Or something much more exclusive?

With our theonomic scale (I used all of the questions from the previous figure), it should now be clear that greater support for the commonly used Christian nationalism scale should be understood to be strongly linked to desired theonomy. The most ardent Christian nationalists would adopt 80 percent of the theonomic measures.

And that relationship is conditioned by prophecy belief. Without strong prophecy belief, the link between Christian nationalism and theonomy is about 20 percent weaker. That means prophecy belief boosts theonomy too, but especially when they adopt a Christian nationalist worldview. Those two measures – Christian nationalism and prophecy – are strongly linked themselves (r=.71 – a very strong relationship). Of course, elites have been doing the work of selling the biblical basis of Christian nationalism with their ‘prophetic gifts’, so it’s no surprise to see this link.

These are clearly not the only theonomic statements we could have presented (e.g., Christianity is the state religion; atheism is “crushed”, etc.), and the actual debates about what theonomy would entail are quite diverse. But we have good evidence here that the most ardent prophecy believers support clearly theonomic statements. They are mostly not unified on this path, but their support is much more substantial for a religious state than anyone else’s. I feel comfortable saying that the strongest prophecy believers wish the US to become governed by (their interpretation of) God’s law rather than the Constitution’s rule of law. And they would impose a set of rules and institutions respected only by some Christians onto all Americans. That is, their goal is Christian dominion over the United States.

These findings stand in accord with prior investigations posted on Religion in Public. For instance, we found that prophecy believers are more likely to back groups engaged in extreme, even violent actions. They express support for the potential need to use force to protect traditional ways of life. And they are much more likely to believe in election fraud dictated the 2020 election outcome for president. As I put it in that post, “Prophecy believers are likely to adopt Trump’s fraud claim because they strongly believe in the rightness of their choices as anointed by God.” When God’s mouthpieces are proclaiming the rightful president is the one who lost, that is a strong signal to prophecy believers that the forces of evil are active and winning. And the logical conclusion to that belief is what we see in this post – prophecy believers must stand on top of the mountain for God to prevail and for the devil to be vanquished. Stay tuned for more of this sort of work from me, Andy Lewis, and Jake Neiheisel.

Professor Paul A. Djupe directs the Data for Political Research program at Denison University, is an affiliated scholar with PRRI, the series editor of Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics (Temple), and co-creator of Further information about his work can be found on his website and on Twitter.


  1. As more of a libertarian conservative and Catholic, whaaaaaat in the world? This is neither Christian nor conservative. It is anti-Christian and anti-conservative. America was FOUNDED on religious liberty, from the beginning. If people don’t believe in religious liberty, they should get the heck out of America. Such disbelief is unAmerican.


  2. You should ask them if they’d welcome Catholics. Are we Catholics considered Christian? If not, should we not be allowed citizenship according to them?


  3. Also, please list the racial makeup percentages for those with these wild discriminatory beliefs. That would be quite interesting to know.


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