News Release

The Christian Evangelical Right and the 2024 Election


Though some pundits have suggested that the power of white American evangelicals is waning, an important movement within the Christian right, known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), has broad implications for the 2024 election. NAR is a non-denominational movement whose followers believe that God has raised up modern-day apostles to carry out his will. 

    Gagné is professor and chair of the department of theological studies at Concordia University. His most recent book is American Evangelicals for Trump: Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and the End Times. 

Gagné told the Institute for Public Accuracy that evangelicals who ascribe to NAR ideals use a “marketing strategy called the Seven Mountain Mandate, [which calls them to] enact ‘dominion theology’ through seven spheres: government, education, the family, media, arts and entertainment, business, and religion. The idea is to put top Christians in each sphere to bring about social transformation. 

“Trump is a key figure in the Seven Mountain Mandate. Trump fulfilled his promises to evangelicals when he appointed three conservative judges to the Supreme Court and facilitated the overturn of Roe v. Wade,” as well as through foreign policy by opening the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. “These were significant for evangelicals. Trump kept his promises. It doesn’t matter [to the NAR] if Trump is morally upstanding or not. They believe God can use all sorts of individuals for his will; they take examples from the Bible of imperfect individuals and how God used them. Trump fits into their way of conceiving the world, and [they believe] he will help Christians return America to God. 

“Pundits should be very careful when they say this [movement] is dying out. That has been said before, and it didn’t die out. These groups have networks, money, churches, and a growing presence online. The public thinks that white Christians are losing their influence. But these people are more organized than the left has ever been… Some [apostolic leaders] have become more influential than pastors when it comes to their support for Trump. They will do everything they can to get Trump into office.”

The concept of the New Apostolic Reformation was coined by C. Peter Wagner, an American missionary, as a way to describe a longstanding movement of Christians who focus on apostolic governance. They believe that God chooses strong leaders to direct Christian networks and churches. Wagner worked to create networks of such apostles that extend beyond the United States. Christian leaders use these networks to strategize and penetrate politics. 

Gagné added: “These apostles are viewed as having the function of carrying out God’s mission for them––including the mission of establishing the kingdom of God on Earth by exercising dominion over every aspect of society. Dominion theology is the NAR’s theology of power.” In a three-part reporter’s guide on the New Apostolic Reformation, Gagné explains that NAR churches are driven by “theocratic notions of total societal dominion, including the end of democracy as we’ve known it,” by taking control of political, social, and cultural institutions