What is Christian Nationalism? It is the identification of a nation-state, race, or political party and its candidates with the Christian Faith or Church in such a way that the two identifies are equated. When this occurs the proper bounds of both are crossed, their unique role is distorted, and their distinctive missions under God are abandoned. In making patriotism, party platform, and candidate support & defense the litmus test of fidelity to Christ, Christian Nationalism not only denies the Faith but also endangers the American Republic.
Christian Nationalism does its deceptive work subtly by supplanting Christ as Lord, Savior, and Head with an idolatrous loyalty to civic institutions and public officials while seeking to impose on the social order – including persons, communities, states, and nations – a version of Christian Faith in whatever form is most agreeable to those who are able to achieve power. This agenda is viewed as the coming of the Kingdom, and political, judicial, para-military, and fiscal weapons are employed by Christian Nationalists to impose their agenda. Opponents are viewed as ‘traitors’ to the state and unfaithful Christians.
When a Church is overtaken by Christian Nationalis, the ultimate outcome is the loss of the Church’s first love for Jesus and its vitality in the Spirit and the Gospel. Sadly, this dreadful confusion leads to exclusivism, extremism, and even violence.
Christian Nationalism is a destructive heresy that betrays the Gospel, sullies the Church’s witness, and leads to death, not life. It poisons the soul, divides the Church, and destroys people. Seeking power to reign rather than the humility that is marked by service, it reflects hell rather than heaven.
Christian Nationalism takes a legitimate subordinate love – the love of one’s country – and makes it a sinfully supreme love. This is obvious by its willingness to ignore the teaching of Jesus in the name of its cause, to kill and destroy rather than love and serve.
In so doing, it makes this love an idol – and thus a demon. And it is the unleashing of the demonic, of the hellish, of the fearful and horrid, of death, that we saw unleashed in Washington DC this past week, and all surrounded by Jesus banners. It was like a sight from the 1100s with crusading Knights yelling, ‘God wills it!’ as they advanced against the walls of Jerusalem to retake the Holy City. We have often seen faux faith on display in the US too – from slavery to the KKK. This is but the latest example.
This darkness will be overcome by the light of the Gospel, and the Church does have an opportunity to remember, repent, return to its FIRST LOVE, and make Jesus known through our FIRST works of Gospel proclamation, faithful worship, and deeds of love and mercy.
The confusion of Christ’s glorious Kingdom with fallen, fallible, and finite human governments & party politics must come to an end. Our love for Jesus must be renewed and repentance born of remembering his love for us in his cross is the only way ahead.
Categories in: General