Lately, I have been seeing quite a few articles and blog posts about the problem of Christian nationalism. What is “Christian Nationalism,” you ask? It is the conflating of Christianity and national politics whereas the ultimate goal is to make America a “Heaven on Earth.” The extreme form of Christian nationalism depicts Jesus draped in an American flag, wearing a MAGA hat, and in his right hand, he holds not the Bible or even the Ten Commandments, but rather the Constitution as if to say, our governing document is divinely inspired. Also, Christian nationalism is oblivious to our nation’s sins and as a result, there is a blatant expectation for God’s blessing before the nation repents of its idolatry, sexual licentiousness, and child sacrifice (abortion).
Yes, Christian nationalism is a problem but it is not THE problem.
The phrase “Christian nationalism” has been thrown around these days as a smear to any Christian who loves America and has a concern for the trajectory of this country. If you have a flag in your front yard, a political bumper sticker on your minivan, talk Conservative politics, own a gun, and a Bible, congratulations you are now branded as a “Christian nationalist.” As a Christian nationalist, you are now viewed as deluded, deplorable, and dangerous. You are a dissenter to the State and now you either must be “reprogramed” to conform to the pushed narrative or be silenced.
I don’t see Christian nationalism as the problem, considering a very small minority, in my experience, fall in line with the definition I provided above, rather I see the hyper-Pietistic sect of Christendom as the bigger issue. They are those who jump on board with secularists, bloggers, and pundits to condemn Christians who care about our nation and slander them as “Christian nationalists.” These Pietists possess a truncated, ineffective, private religiosity that offers nothing to the society in which they live. It is a hypocritical, powerless expression of Christianity—completely milquetoast.
Secularists and anti-Christian governments love Pietists because they are non-threatening and passive. They keep their “religion” indoors and never take it to the marketplace. And when a Christian is vocal about the condition of the State, calling for its repentance and obedience to the Law of God, the Pietist proves to be a faithful ally and points the finger at the Christian, accusing them of being “divisive” and submitting to partisan politics and not to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yet, submitting to Jesus means following his command to teach the nations everything that he has commanded (Matt. 28:20). Christians are called to disciple nations which invariably includes governors and governing entities. It is not so much about making an idealistic Christian utopia but seeing that righteousness, according to God’s standard, prevails within society. God’s Law is not a source of oppression or tyranny, rather it protects liberty and ensures justice and equity to all people.
Along with the Great Commission, we have been given a message to proclaim and that is, “Christ is Lord!” It is not being a Christian nationalist to work to see the Law of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ influence and touch every sphere of our nation, including politics. It’s just normative historic Christianity. The Christian worldview has always been about the Kingdom of God advancing in all areas of life. After all, it was the very first sermon preached in the gospel of Mark where Jesus says, “Behold the Kingdom of God is at hand…” (Mk. 1:15) and a matter of emphasis in the gospel of Matthew.
Using the term “Christian nationalist” is just another tactic to silence and denigrate Christians with a robust and comprehensive Biblical worldview. The phrase has been broadened to such an extent, that any hint of “God” or “Bible” in your political perspective calls for your immediate dismissal from the public square. We should all be aware of this because as things continue to develop in our country, to be branded as a “Christian nationalist” won’t just mean that you are banned from certain social media platforms or maligned in blog articles by well-intentioned Pietists, no, the repercussions will be more severe.