Stop Christian Nationalism

I started thinking about the recent events in Atlanta and it lead me down a bit of a rabbit-trail. I shared some thoughts on Christian nationalism, empathy for those who are hurting, and some general thoughts on the state of the American Church.

I also announced the winner of THE RANK GAME giveaway.

Here’s Chris Staron’s episode on Christian Nationalism

Nick Cho’s recent Instagram post

I picked a winner!

This was another really heavy episode but I still have hope. I have hope in Christ and I have hope that, we, the Body of Christ can function as one rather than individual parts.


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John

Husband, Dad, Podcaster, Blogger, Writer, and Speaker struggling every day to follow Jesus.

4 thoughts on “Stop Christian Nationalism

  1. My wife and I adopted a girl from China in 2005. She is a believer and gifted musician. She is approaching college age and all I can think about is limiting her choices in colleges and life in order to protect her. I know that is unreasonable. I also don’t care.

    So with my stake in this issue made clear, I also wonder where you stand with regard to David Barton and Wallbuilders?

    1. Hi Mike,

      I only have a passing knowledge of WallBuilders but based on what I’ve heard about them and read on their website I’d say I’m not a fan.

      With regard to your daughter, if you think limiting her choices in college will protect her you may want to reconsider. My two oldest went to Christian colleges. You’re not protecting her from anything.

      Cheers,

      John

      1. It was difficult for me to determine your proposition in your podcast about “Christian Nationalism”. My questions:

        I am a financial supporter and general fan of Voice of the Martyrs persecution.com And I generally accept that I have no choice but to agree with you about a certain inevitability of persecution in a believer’s life. Jesus did warn his disciples about this before sending them on the first apostolic journey in Matthew 10. But I don’t think He was positing it as a virtue but as an impediment. Jesus avoided capture long enough to give Himself time to carry out His purpose. I think He was giving His disciples similar advice. This could be a podcast in itself.

        I also consider myself a fairly strong libertarian with regard to our federal government’s limited role in moral decisions people should make for themselves. But, is there not a coincidental if not benign overlap between that sort of legal and political framework which guarantees the isolation of ever seething power-lust found in men from people and a Biblical view of the world? What I mean is that, doesn’t what you are calling for require something other than what is normally produced by a monarchy?

        Our nation’s founders called the formation of our union an “experiment” for a reason. Because no where else in the world could someone decide for himself who or what he would worship in the way intended here. What I am saying is that given man’s insatiable appetite for dominance over one another, how could you carry out the experiment without a legal bulwark established not by a king but by “self-evident” or intuitive knowledge imparted upon us all: that since every human possesses inherent dignities and volition respected by God, how then could we not codify our agreement with such among one another expressed in law? Are you proposing some sort of charitable anarchy? Now that would be an experiment indeed.

        Where our thinking might converge is upon the age of so-called Christendom in the middle ages. The monarchs who sought to blend their sovereign authority with that of the church was a serious problem resulting in the many crusades varying in merit, but quite wicked for the most part. But even then you have to consider what they were up against at the time. My point here is that I think we might agree that this sort of blending of government with the authority of the church is bad in principle.

        If I have an overarching point, it is that you seem to be pontificating, vaguely, based on an oversimplification of our current situation and not really explaining how you got there. But in a spirit of charity I try to engage with your point about voting decisions for believers.

        First, your thoughts strike me in a similar way as did the thoughts of WWII pacifists seemed to strike C.S. Lewis. I would recommend you check out his essay called: Why I am not a Pacifist.

        I am not quite sure why you would discourage believers from voting for a candidate/agenda which encourages more religious freedom than another. Maybe you didn’t say that. If not I apologize. Like I said, I am having difficulty with your proposition. Maybe you are just saying that we should not pursue national conquest via national policy in the name of our faith. On that we agree. This usually refers to matters of foreign policy. And given the lack of intervention let alone zero military conflict during the previous administration, I can think of no reason not to renew America’s subscription for more of that. In general you sound to me like you are making perfection the enemy of that which is good; or at least better than all available options.

        As for your response about my daughter’s safety I guess I should have been more clear if I wanted to avoid getting such a flippant response. What I meant is that my daughter is Asian. Many of our cities are insane and run by insane and unsurprisingly monarchical power fiends. Who can tell under such conditions, who will be the target of tomorrow’s rhetoric or the edict of such fools? The recent violence against Asians is enough evidence to suggest that many cities in the country will not be reasonably safe for a long time. So I will discourage her from going to any of them. That is what I meant about my effort to protect her and what it is I mean to protect her from. I’ve heard that the person carrying out such violence might be a xenophobic Christian. Forgive me if I’m skeptical. The Colorado shooter was supposed to be something similar.

        I am interested in your experience about Christian Colleges. I have heard the warnings for many years about the folly of sending kids to them without the wisdom Jesus called for in Matthew 10. What did you experience? And where, if you don’t mind sharing?

        I also feel I should apologize for something else. Having spent this much time on my response you would be justified by feeling betrayed by my lack of investment and detail in my first post. I obviously had more on my mind and could have been more clear up front. Even at this point, maintaining a blog and having made the podcast, you still have more time invested in the topic than I do and I respect that. Thank you! -mike

      2. I listened to Chris’s podcast on Christian Nationalism. I have two issues:

        1. Backwater rubes who make easy targets notwithstanding, isn’t this Christian Nation thing a bit of a straw man? No serious Christian would assert that everyone in the US is a sincere, disciple-making, Bible believing Christian. Nor do I hear anyone saying that everything the US does lives up to Christian principles. The relevant question seems to be, is it still better than totalitarianism; one-party i.e. eastern European oligarchies? Who is seriously asserting that the US is Christian in that sense? Now with regard to my Wallbuilder question from before, I am not a fan nor a non-fan. I think they dig up history that no one else would. It’s like there is this contest to see who can unearth the more shocking and unpopular history of the US in order to prop up either a nationalist view or a globalist view. That’s the point as I see it. You have to go looking for the bad stuff. Because for the most part, most people in the country right now are trying to live their lives in prosperous harmony with everyone else. You don’t have to do that with China or North Korea. They are setting new records for atrocity right now. It’s like Beth Moore and her Trump derangement syndrome. She claims fawning over Trump by the SBC hypocritical after the criticisms of Clinton regarding misogyny; Trump may have it in his past. Clinton was doing it in the White House!

        And that brings me to my gut level issue: Chris points out embarrassing parts of United States history from slavery, treatment of indigenous natives, Macarthyism etc. These are fine points as far as it goes but they are also sounding like tired progressive talking points which is to say, what is the point? What is conspicuously absent from this sort of rhetoric is the conclusion? So what, then? Is it worse than tribal conquest experienced by Samuel Morris? That led to his emigration to America where he, yes as a young black male, was adored and of whom there is, unless destroyed by the mindless rabble last year, a statue made in his honor at Taylor University where he arrived at around 1891? Why not bring this sort of thing up too? You can be sure no one has ever heard it. But is doesn’t contribute to the progressive narrative though, does it?

        Is our tawdry, mixed-up history of the United States so appalling that we are to abandon imperfect liberty for the cold, precision of the only known alternative this side of glory?

        My point is that the United States’ moniker of a “Christian Nation”, made absurd at the outset by obvious impossibilities, is at worst as tattered, imperfect, and checkered as mine as an individual except that I have the advantage, being an individual Christian, the only one messing up my own life. Whereas the United States doubly disadvantaged by being corrupted by both the flesh of believers and non-believers combined. Of of which is worse the lurking avarice of many professing believers in the former case (most often) and the tyrannical altruism of the the latter case (most often) I am content to let you be the judge.

        2. If the concern is genuinely integral to the title of Christian Nationalism, we would then be required to shift our concern and criticism across our borders, no? Is this a really a challenge to the broader issue of Christian Nationalism anywhere it may be found or just code for anti-US rhetoric? If so, then let’s start pulling in some other deplorables into the fray otherwise just call this what it is. But then that is the challenge and serves as some evidence for my earlier assertion about “making perfect the enemy of good” doesn’t it? Because who else is even claiming to be a “Christian” nation? If there are none, then we are left with a fairly binary pair of conclusions in my view: either every other nation is morally superior in a collective sense so as to have overachieved in Christian thought, behavior, and altruism the than the US, or they are not in any sense Christian and have no such interest.

        In the end, I see very little difference between this macro level debate and the two neighbors where one family is “Christian” attends church etc. and the unbelieving family who does not and seethes in contempt of them. Out of an abundance of conviction of their own sin by the Holy Spirit then peer through the blinds at the churchy family next door logging their mistakes in their own self-righteous secular piety. As C.S. Lewis says “Christianity is someone Christians do poorly, fail then start again.” As his mentor G.K. Chesterton said, “Christianity is not tried and found wanting, it is found difficult and not tried.”

        Finally, I wager you this. If China, after buying up half of South American begins treating people down there the way they are currently treating the Uyghur people, who do you think Brazil is going to call for help? Or Uruguay, or even Venezuela? Think, with the boot on their neck, would think twice about reminding us, whether we ever said it ourselves that “You’re a Christian nation!”

        In an article by
        William J. Bennett, CNN Contributor
        Published 8:33 AM EST, Thu December 15, 2011 America the Generous:

        “Generosity is in no way demanded or required by our Constitution or laws, yet it is an inherent part of America’s cultural fabric. Compared to the rest of the world, American benevolence is unmatched. China, which boasts the second largest economy in the world, is one of the least generous nations on Earth when it comes to charitable contributions.”

        Guess they forgot to take that down.

        Huffington Post 2012:

        Missions: Most Christian Missionaries Are American

        “The United State sent out 127,000 of the world’s estimated 400,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, according to Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

        In distant second place is Brazil, which sent 34,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, he said.”

        But by all means, let’s dig up some old dumb comment made by George Whitefield about slavery in Georgia.

        I just don’t get this misanthropic obsession of looking past recent good, on a massive scale, to maintain a permanent view of the past and pretending that nothing redeemable has occurred since. And so it is that progressives don’t accept progress.

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