Is the seven mountain mandate biblical? What is the 7-M mandate?
In short, the seven mountain (7-M) mandate or seven mountain prophecy is a conceptual means of influencing the modern world for Christ. The concept is often credited to Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, and Bill Bright, founder of Cru (formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ), both of whom say the idea came from God in a vision. Francis Schaeffer is also sometimes listed as an originator. Today it is most popular in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. The actual term seven mountain mandate is credited to Lance Wallnau, who is one of the movement's prominent teachers.
The concept is simple enough: there are seven large spheres of influence in society, and believers will be most effective in evangelism and expanding God's kingdom if they focus on bringing change in those areas.
The seven spheres—or "mountains"—according to the seven mountain mandate are:
The "mountains" are also referred to as "pillars" or "shapers" or "molders." In essence, they are seen as the primary means by which a society's thoughts and behaviors are formed. Those who adhere to the seven mountain mandate desire to "occupy" or "invade" these spheres of influence in order to "transform" or "take back" society.
Isaiah 2:2 is sometimes used as a supporting text. It states, "It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it." Some correlate the seven mountains to the seven nations God told Israel to war against in Canaan (Deuteronomy 7:1).
Believers are called to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19–20). Lance Wallnau posits that since there are believers in most nations already, those believers should now focus on influencing the systems within the nations, namely the "mountains." Rather than leave the major sectors of societal influence to be run by those who don't know Christ and thus susceptible to the schemes of Satan, Christians should seek to lead in those areas.
Those who advance the seven mountain mandate tend to apply Old Testament promises given to Israel to the church today. The seven mountain concept can also sometimes drift into dominion theology, or the belief that God wants Christians to be in power over and govern nations according to biblical principles. Some who are involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, such as Bill Johnson, C. Peter Wagner, and Che' Ahn are strong proponents of the seven mountain strategy.
The idea at its core, that believers should take the message of Christ to the world in all areas, is certainly biblical. The more believers are engaged in society, the more opportunity they will have to share the truth and love of Christ. Focusing on areas of influence in a society as a strategy for evangelism makes sense. Given that we believe God's commands are for our good, it also makes sense that if believers lead according to godly wisdom and godly principles, society at large will have better outcomes. We would certainly rather have people following Christ in positions of societal influence than people who do not know and do not care about God.
That being said, believers are nowhere explicitly called to "invade" the top tiers of society, nor does the Bible talk about any particular "mountains" of society. In fact, it would seem that God's method is often to use the least influential people in a society to make the biggest changes. Jesus did not tell His disciples to seek positions of leadership, but to love as He did. Jesus Himself came humbly (Philippians 2:5–11) and often chose those of low esteem in society as His followers and witnesses. He told Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world" (John 18:36). First Corinthians 1:26–29 says, "For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."
God has called each individual believer to live faithfully to His call on their lives (1 Corinthians 7:17–24). We are each to love God and to love others (John 13:34–35; 1 John 4:12). We are each to participate in sharing the truth of the gospel with those who don't know Jesus (Romans 10:11–17). We are each to pray for all people, including leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–7). Some believers will have positions of leadership in a role esteemed by society (Acts 17:12; Philippians 4:22), and they should use those for the glory of God. Others will have "normal" lives perhaps of seemingly small influence in the present. Recall that Jesus did not spread His message through kings but through a group of twelve men and others who had followed Him. God works in the "big" things of nations as well as the "small" things of the lives of individuals. Regardless of our position, we are entrusted to sow and water the seeds of the gospel, knowing God is the one who gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:5–8). "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17; cf. Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
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