Dominion means “rule or power to rule” or the right to govern a certain area. For example, the mayor of Bellevue has “dominion” over Bellevue. One basic Christian principle is that there is a God who created the whole world and the human race; but that God also gave us the power and right to rule over the earth. Let’s talk about this concept of dominion as you see it.
Think of examples of dominion or power to rule – it could be governments or various kinds of leadership. What kinds of people have dominion over you? Do you respect those people? How do you live with their dominion?
Think of examples of your own dominion. Over what do you rule or have power to rule?
If we think of something as big as the whole world, we have shared dominion over it. There is no one human who has dominion over the whole world. Give examples of successful shared dominion. Give examples of unsuccessful shared dominion.
We have some terms like – “power-mad” or “power-hungry”. We also speak of people being on a “power-trip.” What do you think these mean? Please give examples of people who seem to be “power-mad.” Do you know anyone that seemed to be on a “power-trip?”
What do you think are right and wrong ways to use your dominion? Why do you think this? Give examples.
Often political arguments concern the human right to have dominion over the earth. Think of something like the forests in the state of Washington. On the one hand, it is an exercise or use of our dominion to cut down trees to build wooden structures and even to export logs to countries like Japan for their use. But on the other hand, if we cut down many trees without planning for the future, and planting more trees, we may be abusing our dominion. How do we balance all of these ways of looking at dominion of forests or other natural resources like water, air, mountains and rivers?
Give examples of other areas where there can be an argument about how we use our dominion, and both sides of the argument have some good reasoning.
In the first few pages of the Bible, we see the matter of dominion discussed.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule (dominion) over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it . . . “ Genesis 1:26-28