Why do I get suckered in to online discussion threads? I always come away stressed and frazzled by what I read and yesterday, I actually felt a bit shaken after engaging in one particular discussion thread.
I read an article on the dangers posed by the “Christian Nationalism” movement, because its an issue I find to be quite alarming. The premise of the article is this: those who believe that advocating Christian morals and traditional American values is a good thing are not themselves wrong, per se, and yet, in truth, they are very wrong. The counter argument to Christian Nationalism is that what most of these Christian Nationalists advocate, is neither Christian or American, because what they want to bring about is completely contrary to Christian teaching and to the core values America has always stood for.
For example, some of the Christian Nationalist agenda is to:
- Officially declare that the United States was founded solely as a “Christian nation”
- Completely remove the separation of Church and State and fuse politics with religion
- Have religion and religions leaders dictate our nation’s politics and institute a moral codes of conduct
In their opinion, Christians and only Christians are America’s first citizens and as such, they have a clear right to control all aspects of the nation’s laws and public policy. They advocate a harsh, autocratic approach to life in the United States and some who support the movement have put forth a “moral” code which is a bit merciless in its judgemental view of what is right from wrong. At its core, Christian Nationalism is on levels, reminiscent of the run up to the Inquisitions.
The article was well written and offered intelligent and practical reasons why Christian Nationalism should be rejected, which most notably is because it advocates for a harsh, judgmental practice of the Christian faith and also of our nation’s guiding principles. In other words, its neither Christian or American.
The author’s rejection of this form of Christian Nationalism was bolstered by verifiable, Biblical facts that it runs completely contradictory to what Christianity stands for and what Jesus Christ Himself taught and commanded. For example, Christians are taught:
- Jesus is the only way into Heaven and He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Christians who put their faith and belief in Christ, are therefore not forbidden entry into Heaven simply because they don’t/can’t fully live by the law
- We are all sinners and Jesus admonished in John 8: “If any of you is without sin, let him be the firs to throw a stone at her.” Jesus is telling us that every single one of us sins and therefore, we are not worthy to harshly judge and condemn others. Since every single man, woman and child sins and thus, breaks God’s laws, we have no right to be cruel or harshly judgemental against anyone else. In Matthew 7, we are given more insight into this:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
- Love is the core of Christianity. Jesus taught that loving others is second only to loving God and we must love others the same way we love ourselves. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus teaches us to treat others the way we would want to be treated, saying “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Love is such a invaluable teaching and Jesus didn’t just tell us to love others, He commanded it as in John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus is telling us in no uncertain terms that Christians are to put love, kindness, generosity and compassion first, as He did for us. We are to love one another, as He, the Son of God, loves us.
The argument against this rising “Christian Nationalism,” which in truth is a political agenda disguised as “faith and values,” is in no uncertain terms, teaching a false doctrine that runs in complete opposition to Christ and thus, the Will of God.
Sadly, reading the comments below the article was a very stressful experience, as the discussion thread had devolved into a war zone of hysteria, rage and division. What was revealing was that that those who supported Christian Nationalism, almost always revealed their true intention through their comments, which is for an extreme right-wing conservatism. Most of the comments defending the “movement,” used words and phrases which exposed the fact that they are more focused on a political ideology, than they are on a Christian one — shockingly, most of them also didn’t have the first idea as to what being a true Christian or a good American means.
“Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something. Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting.” ― Joel Osteen
Do Our Job
Of course, we are taught that we must at times judge others, but we are told to do so wisely and justly, as none of us are without sin and thus, all of us can ourselves be judged. For example, someone who is committing acts of true evil, such as murder or genocide, must be judged and removed from society. However, we must be very careful not to judge others based on our own morality bias or earthly ideals and present it as God’s judgement — since every man is not without sin, who are we to declare the sin of someone else greater than our own? Christian Nationalism is very dangerous and I believe it is an affront to God himself. Jesus is the Savior and through Him, all sin can be forgiven if the sinner truly desires to be forgiven and…to be repentant. Man is not worthy enough to judge who can be or who will be forgiven, as that is between Jesus and the person, so our job is to be kind, compassionate and generous. Its time we started doing our job better.
“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:2