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Christian Nationalism: The Sin that Unifies Us All

I wrote this some time ago and my thoughts have changed some, but ultimately have the same sentiments. I hope you do not hear what I am not saying. I am very grateful to live in America. In my opinion, It is the best country to live in as of right now, but I think that we need to have the right mindset about God and Country. We need to evaluate if we are serving God or if we have selfish intentions. We also need to recognize if we are serving God, our political parties, or just our country in general.

The Back Story

Growing up I remember hearing things like, “America is a Godly nation.” or “God has his hand of protection over America.” I was also brought up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal church where questions were frowned upon. I grew up believing that America was God’s kingdom as long as America was on Israel’s side. Once I began to read the Bible, I found that this is not at all true. Greg Boyd wrote a book called “The Myth of a Christian Nation”, which helped shape and mold some of my theories on why the Bible and my church were saying two very different things.

A Comparison Between two Kingdoms

Human beings have a tribalism quality due to the fall. There can be tribalism due to sin as well. There is only one tribe that matters and that is God’s tribe and those not in his kingdom. Tribalism has a mixed history. It has the belief that our team is better than your team, or my tribe is good and your tribe is bad. This is one way in which violence can become so prevalent in our world. This is very apparent in our culture today. John 8:44 talks about how Satan is the ruler of the world and he is “a murderer from the beginning.” If we believe this, then it is even more apparent why violence runs amuck today and throughout history. This election between Trump and Biden is a prime example. “Trump’s Tribe” is Better than “Biden’s Tribe” or the opposite. This caused violence on both sides. We saw extremists on the political left and right using violence to promote their agendas. I use the word extremist very intentionally here. We are shown that Democrats or Republicans are the worst. (The hasty generalization fallacy is sometimes called the over-generalization fallacy. It is basically making a claim based on evidence that it just too small. Essentially, you can’t make a claim and say that something is true if you have only an example or two as evidence.) When in reality, people on the left and right are closer in some ideologies than you think. A great book on this subject is “The Righteous Mind” by Johnathan Haidt. Both sides try and flex their muscles over their subjects by force and the sword. We saw this with Black Lives Matter protests and the capital storming.

God’s kingdom is radically different. Matthew 26:52 says that, “those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” Greg Boyd also states, “Any peace achieved by violence is a peace forever threatened by violence, thus ensuring that the bloody game will be perpetuated.”  God does not flex his power over his servants to ensure his power will remain. Instead you see him washing the feet of his people and dying on a cross for his enemies, by the way, we are the enemy to God. Jesus used what Greg Boyd calls “serving under power.” Jesus never operated in terms of the worldly kingdom. Jesus even rebuked Peter for cutting of the ear of someone who was by worldly standards an enemy. Jesus then brought about a revolution. He picked the ear up and healed the person who hours later is going to kill him.

That is God’s Kingdom.

The world is under Satan’s authority. I know that this may sound hyper spiritual, but that is what the bible says. We learn this from Jesus in John 12.31, 14.30, 16.11. We must be careful when using God to promote some political agenda. I think that there are things that we see in the Bible as morally wrong and we vote for people with those same principles. We should look at our intentions behind our ideas, so that we can rid ourselves or impure motives and make sure that we are honoring God in our decisions. The world uses power over people which only modifies behavior. God’s kingdom uses power under people and by serving people changes their hearts. We need to take a step back and be careful before we use God for our political views or to justify why worldly kingdoms should do this or that, because we are then close to falling into the sin of nationalistic idolatry.

We try to evoke the name of God to often to make our lives easier. Instead of using God to make our worldly kingdom better, we should pray for God to use us and make his kingdom greater.

5 comments on “Christian Nationalism: The Sin that Unifies Us All

  1. Good thoughts. This is have been on my mind as well. I have had lot of conversations with friends regarding politics and Christianity. Very important subject. Thanks for the post. P.S. I enjoyed Greg Boyd’s book as well. I don’t agree with all his theology, but he always makes me think through what I do believe.

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  2. Politics in our day is no longer about serving (if it ever was), it’s about power and how tax revenues will be spent to keep that power.

    I’m old enough to remember Kennedy saying “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Can you imagine any candidate talking like that on either side, left or right?

    At this point in my life, I’m thoroughly jaded concerning politics. I’m convinced there are ZERO answers coming from our political system (left or right) for the exact reason you specify: the kingdom of this world is under the dominion of the enemy.

    That said, I’m just as convinced that there actually is hope: following the Way of Jesus, specifically the harder “ways” … like loving our enemies. Now, if we Christians could just get a grip on that and quit the yelling social media …

    P.S. I found your site after watching your interview with Alisa Childers. Great stuff! Keep up the good work!

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  3. Pauline

    A nationalistic view can certainly become idolatrous but I think we need to keep in mind that nations are God ordained institutions. Tribes, tongues and nations exist to hinder man’s ability to form one rebellious body against God as they did at the tower of Babel. While our primary focus as believers should always be on a heavenly Kingdom, we should also recognize and honor the institutions God created and called good. Consistently railing against nationalism can lead people into a state of apathy toward something God instituted for a purpose. As with every issue within Christianity we must find the proper balance between maintaining a kingdom perspective and earthly obedience and living.

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  4. Brenda S

    I agree that God’s kingdom should be our priority, but are we supposed to sit back and allow corrupt powers to destroy our country? We certainly should stand against anti-Biblical issues, but isn’t loyalty to the land we live in supposed to encourage us to do our part to see that it flourishes?

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  5. I think most of what you said was warranted and carefully thought out. God should always come first above country. Otherwise, we have nothing. Someone on an Alisa Childers podcast said it’s better to be a patriot who can recognize when their country makes an error rather than a nationalist who may refuse to recognize the same. However, people came to the New World and ultimately founded America based largely, if not entirely, on religious freedom because of what the King of Great Britain was doing to Christians. That part of history is trying to be erased by the left. I wish Jan 6 didn’t happen but it has been stretched and distorted to demonize Trump supporters, in strikingly similar fashion to Hitler and the Reichstag arson.

    There may be some truth to people “on both sides” having things in common but it’s no secret that the official Democratic platform is vehemently anti-biblical, anti-Christian, and often anti-Semitic, while the conservative platform is largely if not completely compatible with the Bible. Now, I believe a large portion of the GOP is hopelessly corrupted by now, but which platform are you going to vote for?

    In my view, I am not using God for my political views, rather my political views are dictated by God. I cannot stand by while anti-Christian Democrats are elected, so I must vote for “the other side,” the lesser of two evils. We are to comply with government so long as they don’t order us to do something that God forbids or prevents us from doing something that God commands. We have the right and civic duty to vote. In the grand scheme of the history of the world, being able to vote is a privilege. I believe we can both put God first and above country, serve Him to further His kingdom, while also doing our duties as citizens in a Godly way.

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