You Might Be A Christian Nationalist If…

photo © 2009 Alessandro Valli | Flickr

Over the past couple of days I read a great book called, Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories That Shape Our Lives (Wilkens and Sanford).  One of the “cultural stories” that this book covers is a common theme on this blog: nationalism.  We live in a nation whose citizens often put the cross and the flag together.  Acknowledging this, the authors offer up something of a litmus test for determining if nationalistic pride has co-opted the Kingdom of God.  In the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might be a redneck if…” and in the same vein as the most popular article on this site (You Might Be an Evangelical Reject If),

You Might Be A Christian Nationalist If…

  1. You believe that God’s plan for history would be severely hampered if the United States did not exist in a hundred years, twenty-five years, or even next year (66).
  2. You find it unthinkable that a citizen would not be able to pledge allegiance to the flag or sing the national anthem for religious reasons (67).
  3. You think that our Declaration of Independence embodies eternal principles or that the Constitution should never be changed (68).
  4. You believe that our nation would finally be OK if it would just get back to “how it was” at some earlier stage of our history (70).

Those are the four reasons the authors give that someone might embrace nationalism.  Sadly, these ideas are expressed amongst Evangelicals more often than we want to admit.

So I ask you, what would you add to the list?  Here are a couple from me:

  • You would be offended if the church you attend removed the flag from the sanctuary.
  • You appeal more to the Constitution and less to the biblical narrative when having a political conversation as a *Christian.*

How might you answer the statement:

You Might Be A Christian Nationalist If… ?

  • Mike Ward

    Uh, It seems I’m not a Christian Nationalist after all.

    One of my favorite essays ever is  George Orwell’s “Notes on Nationalism”:

    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat

    Orwell criticizes “nationalism” which he defines distinctly from “patriotism” which he speaks positively of.

    • Cooper – IfThisGoesOn

      PRINCIPAL CAUSES WHICH RENDER
      RELIGION 
      POWERFUL IN AMERICA
      Alexis de Tocqueville

      Democracy in America

      Vol 1 Chp 17

      …I have remarked that
      the American clergy in general, without even excepting those who do not admit
      religious liberty, are all in favor of civil freedom; but they do not support
      any particular political system. They keep aloof from parties and from public
      affairs. In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the
      laws and upon the details of public opinion; but it directs the customs of the
      community, and, by regulating domestic life, it regulates the state…

      …that they all attributed the peaceful dominion
      of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state.
      I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a
      single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion
      on this point. 
      ====
      Christian Nationalists and Dominionists frequently quote Tocqueville – for some reason they never quote these sections. 

    • Cooper – IfThisGoesOn

      PRINCIPAL CAUSES WHICH RENDER
      RELIGION 
      POWERFUL IN AMERICA
      Alexis de Tocqueville

      Democracy in America

      Vol 1 Chp 17

      …I have remarked that
      the American clergy in general, without even excepting those who do not admit
      religious liberty, are all in favor of civil freedom; but they do not support
      any particular political system. They keep aloof from parties and from public
      affairs. In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the
      laws and upon the details of public opinion; but it directs the customs of the
      community, and, by regulating domestic life, it regulates the state…

      …that they all attributed the peaceful dominion
      of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state.
      I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a
      single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion
      on this point. 
      ====
      Christian Nationalists and Dominionists frequently quote Tocqueville – for some reason they never quote these sections. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.oller Stephen Oller

    …you genuinely believe that GOP stands for “God’s Own Party”.

    • Brad

      I agree.  Right now,  for many people in America, the term “Christian” has come to mean evangelical Christian.   In the minds of many people, “Evangelical Christian” describes a kind of arrogant, narrow-minded conservative who doesn’t mind to his own business and is willing to scrap everything on the national agenda to fight evolution, start prayer in schools and end abortion.

      Can we get the term “Christian” back so that all Christians can use it?  I’m to the place that I avoid speaking of my faith because I don’t want to waste an hour explaining that I’m not an evangelical.

      • Mike Ward

        If the evangelicals speak of their faith while you avoid speaking of yours then of course they are going to own the word “Christian”.

        It’s not wasting an hour, because every hour you spend doing it you chip away the problem that you are so frustrated with.

        Hang in there.

    • Mike Ward

      I get totally frustated with the merging of Republican politics with Christianity.

      But I also find it frustrating that in so many quarter the response has not been to remove Republican politics from Christianity but instead to merge Democratic politics with Christianity.

      It’s obviously bad for our religion either way, but it also creates a dangerous political situation where you have a Christian Right and a Christian Left both of which  believe all of there political opinions are mandated to them by God.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1634396012 Robert Anthony Martin

        note that Dem’s do it too.  How can you be a good Christian if you don’t support public health care?  Or public welfare?  Or progressive tax systems?  How many times have folks like Pelosi, Reed, or Obama used the Christian way to justify their own political agenda?

        Christian nationalism goes both ways, really.  Any Christian belief structure that advocates for nationalized systems over Kingdom systems is Christian nationalism in my book…

        • JM

          Yes, both parties are guilty of creating a Jesus in their own image… I wrote about it here: http://jmsmith.org/blog/political-jesus/

        • Nchoirnmind

          But only one party has had the benefit of 30 years of backing from a well-funded evangelical propaganda machine Seriously. “Christian Right” is a household name, preceded by THE. There isn’t a Christan Left in the same way. There are Christians ON the left.

  • Lawyatt

    I posted “Why You Can’t Trust a Christian to be President” at my blog over the weekend and it gets at the same issues.  You and your readers might be interested in looking at it.

    • Brad

      Can you post a link?

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      I appreciated @01f65ec4d85786cff217921fc954d8ac:disqus  (Lee Wyatt’s) comment on my FB page as well:

      “I blogged on “Why You Can’t
      Trust a Christian to be President” over the weekend and suggested it was
      because he or she might wake up one day and decide to live like a
      Christian making them untrustworthy to bear the national interest of
      America as an unconditional priority.
      And then, timing is everything, isn’t it, the good “Christian” folk of
      South Carolina illustrate the point by booing down Ron Paul’s suggestion
      that we should live by the “Golden Rule” in our relations with other
      countries. Whether that’s a good idea for American foreign policy or
      not, it’s rejection by the crowd shows the kind of reaction a President
      can expect if they put forward such “Christian” ideas as policy. That
      such ideas may seem far-fetched and stupid as national policy should
      indicate to us that they were never intended to govern a nation state.”

  • Brad

    …you believe that a Mormon or a person with a Muslim name is not qualified to be president of the US.

  • Mike Ward

    There’s also a converse to most of these.

    If…

    You believe that God’s plan for history would be significantly advanced if the United States did not exist in a hundred years, twenty-five years, or next year.

    You find it unthinkable that a Christian would be able to pledge allegiance to the flag or sing the national anthem.
    You would be offended if the church you attend placed the flag in the sanctuary.

    etc.

    I’m not sure how to label the opposite extreme. I thought of “Christian Seperatists” but I don’t think that’s right.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      @671e3eae3e90ae08c3a2f1bd39e8dc7d:disqus … some might call them the Anabaptists or the early church of the first 3 centuries ;-)

      • Mike Ward

        Okay, I gave this a like even though I don’t agree with it.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

      Actually, Mike, I am very offended when I find flags in the sanctuary, as I more fully explain in this article.  With respect, I don’t think it’s because I’m a liberal Christian nationalist, but precisely because I believe that nationalist symbols confuse which kingdom is being lifted up.

  • Kirk

    During the early years after “the Jesus event”, followers of his Way were persecuted, tortured, burned at the stake and otherwise executed — not because they were promoting a new religion (the Roman Empire was awash in religious movements, so one more new religion didn’t matter) but because they would not engage in “nationalism” by doing such things as “pledging allegiance” to the Emperor by offering sacrifices and/or performing rituals at his statues. As time went on, the growing communities of Christ-followers became a threat to status quo across the Roman Empire in other ways. 
    These believers in the Way of Jesus included people of every race and status in their fellowship. They sold their possessions and raised the poor among them to equal economic standing. Women were also treated as equals in the early churches. War was opposed. Although unwanted babies were routinely left on the hillsides to die, followers of Jesus rescued them and raised them as their own. This radical model of life lived in community as servants of the Reign of God is what consumed the early “Christians”.

    Too many Americans who claim to follow Christ today have a very different agenda.  They seek to “restore” the nation to some imagined, ideal status as a “Christian” republic that demonstrably never existed. Sadly, few of those who have been energized by this restoration project have any idea that their “Christianity” bears little resemblence to that of Jesus first followers.

    Yet, there is simply no evidence that the first few generations of Christ-followers were in any way “nationalist”.  Whether they lived in Israel, Greece, Egypt, Syria – or even Rome itself – the early followers of Christ did not leave a record of working to make their local “nations” or the empire as a whole “Christian”. In fact, I believe that they would have been both mystified and mortified by the idea of a “Christian” nation as it is espoused in America today. 

    Therefore, I cannot find it within myself to support the unholy alliance between today’s “Christian” conservatives and the Republican party. The myth that the US is somehow specially blessed by God or was founded to be a nation of “Christians” is heretical — but it provides an assumed basis (and a great deal of energy) to their cause. 

    I also have great difficulty supporting Democrats when they support abortion or war or the death penalty. The early Church was opposed to all three. 

    So where does that leave those of us who want to follow Christ sincerely – especially during an election year? 

    I strongly believe that it drives us back to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to learn as much as we can about the life and teachings of Jesus. He commanded us to love our enemies, to have compassion for the poor, to accept those who are outcasts, to include those who are excluded and to leave behind the quest for power, wealth and status.  Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are particularly characterized by these values.  In fact, such Christ-like actions and attitudes are in direct conflict with much that comprises the “American Way of Life” and the much vaunted “American Dream”.

    Even so, any policy of any government that aligns with Jesus’ values does deserve our support.  We are told by Jesus to search for such “treasures”.  Policies reflecting and promoting the teaching and example of Jesus represent one type of “inbreaking” of the ultimate Sovereignty of God into our world.  They are glimmers of the “already” that point to the “not yet” of the fully realized Reign. 

    Likewise, any politician promoting these radical ways of living also deserves our support – but only with regard to her/his specific policies that are Christ-like. For the most part, however, we  should not be surprised that it is almost impossible to find national politicians in the US who act in accordance with Jesus’ vision of God’s Reign. 

    Instead, we are called to live as citizens under the Sovereignty of God first and foremost. In my opinion, living and acting as servants of God’s Reign is crucial — especially in an election year. Rather than acting as Americans first and foremost, we need to stand apart so as to be able to critique politicians and policies which counter God’s desires for humanity.  In the same way, by practicing a citizenship that is rooted in Jesus vision — rather than in any particular country’s vested interests — we can find and encourage those small but significant efforts to promote justice, peace and compassion which struggle to grow amidst the tangles and thorns of America’s political system.

    • BobFreeman

      I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head, Kirk.  I agree wholeheartedly with your comment.  I’ve spent years studying the early church; praying often “Father open my mind to understand the culture, beliefs and everyday life of the early church. Grant me that simple faith by which they lived and honored Jesus in their daily existence.”  I still marvel every time I read the letters of Pliny the Younger of Bythania to the roman emperor.  The simplicity of the early church worship, the simplicity of their lives and the dynamic way in which the church grew even in times of great oppression is still mind boggling to me.  Yes, I care for that same kind of simple faith in my life.
      It seems to me that the church has seen good times and bad under all governments. You only need to look at China and other locations of  great religious oppression and marvel at the dynamic growth of the body of Christ, the church.  Our national identity is not what moves the church ever forward. The driving force is the love of God and the eternal message of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. I think it’s wrong to mix patriotism with christianity. They just are not compatible. 

  • http://benirwin.wordpress.com/ Ben Irwin

    Another way of stating point #3: You might be a Christian nationalist if you apply nearly the same view of divine inspiration to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution as you do to the Bible. 

  • Ken F.

    Kurt you follow me @myssmce – message me your address and I will send you a copy of a short book I wrote called The Authenticity of Hope: Thriving in a Secular World – I think you’d find it interesting.  Ken F. (a recovering somewhat Nationalist Christian)

  • Pmpope68

    …you will only vote for evangelical Christians who proclaim their faith publicly and renounce abortion rights (I’m pro-life, by the way) and homosexuality while advocating for gun rights to the exclusion of matters of civil rights, the economy, climate change, etc.  

  • DAVID HOUSHOLDER

    Hey Kurt. I would call myself a “moderate” Christian nationalist. I host a God and Country radio show 3-5pm in a gigantic (Los Angeles) market. http://kbrt740.com.  “The Bottom Line” from 3-5pm weekdays PST. I think that there are two gutterballs that can be thrown here:

    1) America is the new chosen people. Better than other nations.
    2) We are disposable and God never intended for us to be a nation.

    When avoiding the disliked gutter, left wingers end up in gutter two, and right wingers in gutter one.

    As with individuals, God has a plan for each nation.

    Our Founding Fathers received that vision, as best they could understand it. They were not operating in a spiritual vacuum.

    Staying on course with the vision (Liberty) is key for us, even today. It’s our DNA.

    • Anonymous

      Isaiah 2:4 as the plan for the USA and other nations?

      Liberty from war?

      • DAVID HOUSHOLDER

        Everyone who truly loves liberty. Truly hates war.

    • Anonymous

      Isaiah 2:4 as the plan for the USA and other nations?

      Liberty from war?

    • Anonymous

      Isaiah 2:4 as the plan for the USA and other nations?

      Liberty from war?

    • Kirk

      I’d be interested to hear the biblical and theological thoughts that lead to your comment about the “Founding Fathers”.

    • Shelly

      Hi David, I do believe that nations have callings and can have a “collective” vision. I think rather than Liberty being the most important facet to the USA’s vision- which I believe has misguided Americans more times than I can count- would be the aspect of “Leadership”. However, as leaders, what does this imply? What does a leader who truly reflects Christ’s image look like? I think this would then allow American Christians a bit of flexibility and even just a new dialogue when it comes to their culture, how they see it, but also in regards to their religion, calling, etc in relation to everyone else in the world around them. Just an idea :)

    • Kirk

      Also – How would God’s “vision” for America differ from that for any other country?  Is it something beyond the Old Testament injunction to all humanity to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly . . .”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1634396012 Robert Anthony Martin

    You appeal more to the institutional structures of the nation for Kingdom work than the community of believers.

  • http://twitter.com/_petegarcia Pete Garcia

    …you think God is concerned about the Broncos’ season

    • Jeremy Bialek

      I think God is concerned about the people participating in the Broncos’ season and thus concerns Himself with their season. I am not one who thinks he values Tim Tebow over believers on other teams and thus causes them to win (otherwise we would subscribe to the belief that Tom Brady is more powerful than God), but sometimes we swing the pendulum in reaction to improper theology too far the other way by saying He doesn’t care about something when God not caring would contradict His character. Not disagreeing with what I perceive is your intention, Pete, but I think we can say it a differently.

  • Anonymous

    …think Israel can do no wrong…. or that you somehow justify the murder of Iranian scientists….

    • JM

      well said

  • Larry Linn

    Social commentator and former alter-boy George Carlin sums it up, “Think
    about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man
    living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And
    the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.
    And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and
    smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and
    suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of
    time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs
    money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just
    can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes,
    and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bull*** story.
    Holy S***!”

  • Anonymous

    How about, “…you guffaw scornfully when politically correct naifs say that Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians”? (And without the slightest awareness of how curious such a confident excommunication is in light of how Jews view Jesus Christ and the Trinity.)

  • http://twitter.com/aaron_brown_ie Aaron Brown

    You might be a Christian Nationalist if…
    …you’ve confused Manifest Destiny as being the same as the Will of God…
    …you find it incredulous a Christian can vote Democrat and not only Republican…
    …you think “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is a direct quote from the Bible…

  • Shelly

    You might be a Christian Nationalist if you go overseas and try to get in political debates to convince people that they should be Republican (when the party doesn’t necessarily exist in that country).

  • http://mikegarycole.com Mike Gary Cole

    Love the “probing” feel of this post. I wrote about American Jesus a while back, if anybody is interested:

    http://tumblr.com/ZN68Py5vVq4u

  • Jeremiahjob

    ….. if you call the church to represent at the voting booth and are no where as passionate about the church occupying a prayer meeting.

  • http://twitter.com/kera_package Kera Package

    American Civil Religion is one of my personal pet peeves. Have you read theories of civil religion? (Robert Bellah is a good place to start). This sociological theory would argue that we have turned patriotism/nationalism into a religion by constructing sacred documents, holidays, monuments, divine heroes, evangelistic methods of spreading ideals, hymns of worship, sacred symbols, etc. from our national history. When someone differs from what is accepted from the population accepting this religious ideology, they are shunned. The notion of civil religion may be a little extreme, but it is worth considering. Why are documents like the Declaration of Independence, holidays like the Fourth of July, and traditions like the Pledge of Allegiance so important to us?  

    It is one thing to support your community and to participate in your government. It is another to pledge your unwavering allegiance to a flag or to a nation – especially if one does so without considering that God’s way might differ from the American ways. Is the American dream  more important than the redemption of the world through Jesus Christ? 

    When Christians worship their country, they are committing idolatry. It is okay to be fully committed to the Kingdom of God and then to appreciate being an American citizen. It is inexcusable to be fully committed to the United States, and then to appreciate being a Christian. The question is a matter of priority and of heart. If the above notions are offensive, perhaps people should consider why they are offensive. What makes us so attached to our country? And is it healthy? If being an American diverts our attention from God at all, we are guilty of idolizing a nation above our Creator.

    Here are some things I would add:
    -If you think that every American should make a pilgrimage to Washington, DC at least once in their lifetime to pay homage to our history.
    - If you are convinced that the American government and our concept of democracy is the answer to all of the world’s problems.
    - If you think that patriotic songs belong in a Christian hymnal or a worship service.

    I could go on, but this comment is long enough. Love this post, but obviously I’m not a Christian Nationalist.

  • http://bramboniusinenglish.wordpress.com Brambonius

    If I were a nationalist I would think Belgium to be the greatest nation on earth…

  • Tim

    I’m an American pastor living in Paris, been here nearly 4 years.  I was already “beyond” the nationalism stuff when I left the states but I really think it’s nearly impossible to completely see the picture clearly while still living inside of it.  Leaving the country and falling in love with another place and another people changes the perspective completely.  If I suggested to my French believer friends that I am from a chosen country and a chosen people they would not only snicker, they would probably never talk to me again.  I really like this quote by Einstein, 

    “Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.”

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    You pledge to the flag before the Bible (though I think that’s even strange)

  • http://boehadden.wordpress.com/ Erik

    …you have no problem saluting the flag, standing or placing your hand on your heart during the national anthem, but you think it is idolatry when someone kisses the Gospel book or reverences an icon.

    …you demand respect and proper demeanor during a patriotic moment, but you go to church in a ball cap and a mug of coffee in your hand.

    …you believe that spreading democracy is linked closely with spreading the Gospel.

  • Shari

    In our current culture I would add issues of capitalism, taxes and economic fairness, “Christianity under attack”  to your above list of whether you’re a Christian Nationalist.  Advocating for policies and safety nets that lift up the oppressed of our society is something that seems to transcend Christianity or any faith.  When advocating for those things thru government policies I and many others do so first and foremost as a human caring for the well-being of fellow humans.    It  is mystifying to me when Christians advocate against or decry this as “socialism” or dependence on “earthly” values.  (You don’t hear that when it comes to military spending.)    Why do some Christians feel threatened by actual good our government is capable of doing.  I often hear fellow Christians claim this is “Kingdom” work and solely the job of the church.  That comes with a great deal of arrogance not to mention idiocy in my opinion, implying that Christians have dibs on compassion for the downtrodden of our society. Our society is made up of people of varying faiths and no faiths who simply want to help (thru govt’ structure and laws)  fellow human beings live a life of dignity without having to beg for charity.  

    When it comes issues of military-    Christianity’s overwhelming support of the military and defense spending is abhorrent.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768405883 Rachel Bjorklund

      Shari, find me where in scripture God commands us to do good with OTHER people’s money, confiscated by force.   You won’t, of course, because that’s stealing, and stealing is wrong.  We are told to do good with OUR OWN resources.   THAT is why government cannot do “charity” – it has none of it’s own resources.  Only resources it plunders by force from one, to “redistribute” to another.  That’s not charity.  That’s theft.   
      http://www.thoughtsfromaconservativemom.com/?page_id=17920 

      • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

        The entire Bible gives witness to communities and nations caring for the needs of the poor. You can start with the book of Amos, work through the first few chapters of Acts, the James epistle, Jesus’ words regarding wealth acquisition, the OT and NTssages regarding hospitality and justice…

      • Terri-Anne Williams

        Mark 12.17 ~ “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’. And they were amazed at Him….”
        Taxes are not the same as stealing. we know that we have to pay taxes, they have been in existence since before any of us were born. The great thing about living in this Country is that we have a choice in how our taxes are to be spent. So I can vote according to how I think that Jesus would want that money spent. We are told to follow Jesus ~ that includes in the voting booth.

      • Ian

        The God must have been stealing from His chosen people Israel when He asked them to give 10% so that it could be given to the poor.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566326443 Stuart Dale Coker

          You are equating government with God? God owns everything and allows us to keep 90 percent of what we earn. It all belongs to Him. Government taxes take money that God could use and uses it for things such as killing kids.

          Taxation is fine if held to what is Constitutionally allowed but the Government cannot be considered a Charitable Organization to aid the poor. Charity is given willingly. Taking it by force and threat as taxation does is not the same as giving to your local soup kitchen or United Way. It is a poor usage for the money that God has given us. The majority goes to the Government and only some gets to people in need. Look at how they have handled the Hurricane Sandy victims. Thousands are still living without power and heat.

          The Bible also says, If a man will not work, he shall not eat. The war on poverty has done nothing to reduce poverty. It just feeds those who will not work as if they are those who cannot work. There is a difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danielericcummings Dan Cummings
  • Zack

    If you believe America is the last best hope of the world…then Jesus.

  • Uobeythegospel2

    …If not voting is a sin

  • Jeremy Bialek

    A very sobering book “Hitler’s Cross” by Erwin W. Lutzer takes a look at how German Christians (note which adjective comes first) helped Hitler establish Nazism at the expense of the Kingdom Gospel and millions of lives. While I do not see Christ endorsing much of what our current president does in the way of policy, I am actually more concerned about the Christian nationalist backlash to it and what politics may emerge as a result. I believe that those who truly follow Christ and are citizens of His Kingdom will not find a home in either political party.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768405883 Rachel Bjorklund

      Here’s a question every Christian needs to ask themselves, regardless of what country they live in: What is the Biblical role of government?   Don’t just brush over it or dismiss it.  It’s important.  Governments make so many important decisions that affect so many people, the question really needs to be studied.  God has given proper roles for every area of society.  When government proposes sticking their nose into something (your kids’ education or charity, for example), Christians should already know whether or not scripture gives them authority to interfere in that area, or whether the Bible delineates that area as the jurisdiction of the church, the parents, the individual, etc.  Most people have never asked the question, much less studied it in-depth.  If German Christians had studied this question diligently, they NEVER would have allowed Hitler to come to power. 

      • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

        Rachel, if you’re going to take that tack, then you really ought to read God’s laws regarding finance in the times when he actually established a theocracy.  For a primer, may I suggest this primer on Jubilee I recently wrote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768405883 Rachel Bjorklund

    The author clearly misunderstands American history, our founding documents, and Christian Americans’ desire to preserve those parts of our national heritage which were founded on Biblical principles.   

    1. ”
    God’s plan for history would be severely hampered if the United States did not exist in a hundred years, twenty-five years, or even next year.”  That’s a straw man.  I don’t know a single conservative American Christian who believes that God’s plan for history revolves around the existence of the United States or would be thwarted by its demise.  

    2.  “You find it unthinkable that a citizen would not be able to pledge allegiance to the flag or sing the national anthem for religious reasons.”  No, it’s not unthinkable that people might interpret the Bible to suggest that allegiance to your home country is idolatry. If that’s the boundary you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you to, so be it. Just as there have always been Christians who believed that all war is wrong, even in self-defense, or that taking pictures of people is creating a “graven image.” I don’t agree with that, but I respect it. And I expect them to respect my conviction, as well, that taking up arms in defense of one’s homeland is scripturally permissible, that taking photographs is not creating idols, and that Christians who pledge loyalty to their country – just like making a marriage vow – are not committing an act of idolatry.

    3.   “You think that our Declaration of Independence embodies eternal principles or that the Constitution should never be changed.”   The Declaration of Independence and constitution are not inspired scripture, and I don’t know anybody who would claim that they are.  However, it does recognize several scriptural truths.  Does the Bible not say that we are all equally created in the image of God?  That no man (or government) has a right to take your life?  To steal from you the fruits of your labor?  To oppress or enslave you?  To ban you from practicing your faith or speaking truths and opinions they don’t like?  To prevent you from protecting your life and your family if attacked?  If you think these are not Biblical principles, perhaps you need to go back and study what the Bible has to say about life, liberty, private property, self-defense, justice, the role of government, etc.  And then actually read the debates surrounding the Declaration of Independence and constitution, and learn where in scripture they found the inspiration to make such radical claims (that no king was above God’s law, and such basic human rights were supported by scripture).  

    4.  ”
    You believe that our nation would finally be OK if it would just get back to “how it was” at some earlier stage of our history.”   Every nation is fallen.  Every nation is troubled by sin and corruption.  At no time in our history have we ever been perfect.  But ours was the first nation in history which provided checks and balances on human power specifically BECAUSE our founders believe that man was corrupt and fallen, and no man (including a king), could be trusted with powers that only God should have over his fellow men.   Our founders well understood that our nation would only succeed as long as  our citizens voluntarily governed themselves by the solid moral principles of Christianity.  If they lost that moral compass and self-control, a more tyrannical government would rise up to control them.   I fail to see how encouraging our nation to go back to the Biblical principles of self-control and morality we were founded on is a BAD, “nationalistic” idea.   The author’s understanding of history is clearly tainted.  

    I suggest reading for yourself what the founders had to say about the necessity of Biblical principals and morality, and how they had based our founding documents on that foundation: 
    http://www.thoughtsfromaconservativemom.com/?p=7194   A little history lesson might help the author understand where American Christians are coming from instead of smearing them as “nationalist” who somehow put their nation before God or their faith.  That is an unfair and grossly distorted misrepresentation of his fellow believers.

    • Anonymous

      Rachel I don’t understand your argument.  You deconstructed his entire blog and assumed way too much of his thoughts.  Just because you don’t know someone who takes some of these characteristics to the extreme doesn’t mean it’s not true.  I in fact know many people who wears these characteristics like a glove. 

      The author is not necessarily dismissing anyone who shows any kind of pride or commitment towards their country and is definitely not pinpointing anything in the Constitution that should be changed.  I’m not sure how you extrapolated all of that.

       The words you put in the author’s mouth were more words that were contained in the actual article. 

      • Nchoirnmind

        Also the pledge was written by a baptist socialist preacher, and the first I heard any Christian controversy over it was in the 90s when Christian parents were objecting to their kids SAYING the pledge. (also “under God” was an edit to the original, added in the 50s)

        • Dwm685

          In the 90s??? My parents chose to stand silently with their hands by their sides when the pledge was recited at school in the early 70s. When I chose to stop saying it in ’76 my sixth-grade teacher had a fit. It was a question of religious freedom to me… and even as a kid I began to realize that two incompatible masters were vying for my allegiance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768405883 Rachel Bjorklund

    Here’s a question every Christian needs to ask themselves, regardless of what country they live in: What is the Biblical role of government?   Don’t just brush over it or dismiss it.  It’s important.  Governments make so many important decisions that affect so many people, the question really needs to be studied.  God has given proper roles for every area of society.  When government proposes sticking their nose into something (your kids’ education or charity, for example), Christians should already know whether or not scripture gives them authority to interfere in that area, or whether the Bible delineates that area as the jurisdiction of the church, the parents, the individual, etc.  Most people have never asked the question, much less studied it in-depth, and you can’t really form a Biblically-based opinion on political subjects unless you do. 

    It was a question that our founders not only asked, but seriously studied and exhaustively debated.  Europe had suffered for centuries under rulers that abused the Bible to justify their persecutions and tyrannies.  The founders did their best to create a nation that kept government within its proper, scriptural sphere.   Is it perfect?  No!  But to dismiss the desire to protect this heritage as mere “nationalism” reveals a profound ignorance of what the Bible teaches about the proper role of the state, and how that influenced America’s founding.  

    • Nchoirnmind

      Whichis why the founders developed a non religious form of government.

  • Anonymous

    …if you’ve raised your hands in worship to “God bless the USA”. 

  • Jesse Tink

    You might be a Christian nationalist if you are quicker to stand a give a soldier returning from war a standing ovation on a Sunday morning, but remain unmoved by the story of a simmer coming home to Christ.

    • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

      I’ve also been having problems with autocorrect, so please don’t take this as offensive, but I just think the idea of “simmers” giving testimony in front of the church as kinda funny. Like a Denny’s meal…

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

    …you wear Old Glory t-shirts to church.
    …you carry guns to prayer meetings.
    …your church has those tracts from Focus on the Family or Family Research Council or whoever telling you who to vote for – and you don’t question it.

  • ebcangel

    If you believe we cannot remove “In God We Trust” from our money

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/ Kurt Willems

      Nice one!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X