What Is Christian Nationalism?

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My Featured Blogger this week is Laura of Enough Light. Dallas Theological Seminary graduate and preacher/teacher Laura lives with her husband Bob and several Capturebeloved non-human family members. As a passionate supporter of authentic Christianity, she’s not afraid to throw down the gauntlet when the church wanders too far afield. So, although this post may rattle some, she feels the topic is simply too important to ignore. And so do I.

Enough Light

We all need to consider the phenomenon and rise of Christian nationalism. If you have not heard this term, please note that it is NOT simple patriotism, although some Christian nationalists may call themselves patriots. There is nothing wrong with a Christian having a proper pride of country, that is NOT what this is about, just to be clear. Rather it is a conflation of the cross and the flag.

Back in September 2020 I posted about a book from 2005: The Myth of a Christian Nation, How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church by Greg Boyd. Boyd was writing about a problem that was then in a more rudimentary state, compared to now that is. Here is Boyd’s summary of the book’s thesis. It is too bad his concerns weren’t more heeded back in 2005!

“I believe a significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of…

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About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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36 Responses to What Is Christian Nationalism?

  1. Thanks for sharing Mitch. Have had some similar conversations lately, and really appreciate the resources!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. K.L. Hale says:

    Thank you for sharing this Mitch. What an excellent read! Like the above reader mentioned, many conversations have taken place in my circle about this same topic. God bless you and yours! Stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. heavenlyangelicnouveau says:

    Liberal nationalism 🌷

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for the resources, Mitch! Had discussions about, also here. People in fear loosing their base always having some crazy ideas. Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jane Tawel says:

    I too was instructed by reading the book by Boyd (among others). So important.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Bruce Cooper says:

    If you read all the comments in Laura’s post you will note that there was a diversity of opinions, some better stated than others. I for one agree that this IS an important reality to be aware of and to be considered. Actually my hat is off to Laura for the manner in which she conducted herself during some intense exchanges. Thank you for highlighting this Mitch, sincerely appreciated!

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Thanks for sharing this and pointing out the idolatry that is “Christian” Nationalism.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Heidi Viars says:

    I have moved to the U.S. from Germany almost thirty years ago. My up-bringing and family ties to to people who fell for an evil government propaganda, made me extremely sensitive to patriotism in general. In my own family I have experienced the great dangers of falling prey to lies and the illusion that Government saves. During my first years here, I felt uncomfortable placing my hand over my heart and pledge to a flag. I was cautiously aware that a hand over the heart might not be too far removed from an outstretched hand toward a flag and a Führer (leader). I find danger in the idolizing of government in both parties. I caution us as Christians. We should always be known by our love, our devotion to our Savior, who died for us … not our affiliations to ideals which we are told we should die for. (*I am saying all this with the deepest respect to those who laid down their lives and served… all Americans who fought so the country I was born in was freed!)
    Thanks for this … very well written and much appreciated.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Thank you for posting this, Mitch, and Laura, thank you for writing it. On January 7th, I posted the following on FB: As we watched the storming of the capitol yesterday, it was impossible not to notice large banners bearing the name of Jesus. These signs made me almost as heartsick as seeing the confederate flag paraded inside the chambers of the legislature. I can only guess at why they raised those signs and banners. Perhaps they felt there was some kind of biblical rectitude to their cause. Perhaps they felt that raising a sign with the name of Jesus would somehow baptize their heinous frenzy with a patina of righteousness. Undoubtedly their idea of the Christian faith and jingoistic patriotism is so conflated that for many of them they are one and the same thing.

    As a Lutheran Christian and a pastor, I want to be clear: the actions of those who stormed the capitol had nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ and the use of his name in that way and in that context was blasphemous. The violence they perpetrated was antichrist.

    For a long time now we have seen a strain of pseudo-Christianity develop in this country and around the world that has little to do with the teaching of Jesus as we encounter him in the gospels. It is based on triumphalism and a theology of glory. It worships and celebrates power and ignores the call to enter the into world’s trials and suffering as Christ entered into our trials and suffering. It walks hand-in-hand with nationalism and, often, racism. It sees baptism as a get out of hell free card and not as a way of life in the beloved community. It has co-opted the name Christian and Christian language but has not learned to do justice, to love kindness or to walk humbly with God—to love the neighbor as oneself.

    That is what was represented by those signs with the name of Jesus carried by those who assaulted and profaned the hallowed spaces of Congress.

    Some may say I am being too judgmental and harsh. Perhaps I am. And I am always mindful of “judge not lest you be judged.” But I also have a sacred duty by virtue of my calling to speak the truth and name the thing that I see. And what I saw was antichrist.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Pingback: What Is Christian Nationalism? — Mitch Teemley – worry-less-journey

  11. Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing my post Mitch, and I appreciate all the responses too.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Thanks for this content it was nice to read

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I read Laura’s post, and I agree for the most part. What disheartened me and surprised me were the comments on her post.
    I think what she was saying was the rise of the “victimization” of Christians in the US. These aren’t actual attacks. They are posted by Christians saying (falsely) XX has taken down this post, spread it as much as possible. This is ridiculous since we wouldn’t be able to spread something that has been taken down…There are perceived attacks on the Christian way of life. Well, if they’re attacking Churches, they’re Black churches. So white Christians longing for a return to the Christian Nation (that we never experienced) are woefully uninformed about our history. They divide the parties into Christian and Satanist, and of course you can’t paint ANYTHING with a brush that big! Remember that Jesus, himself, said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you for reblogging this wonderful post, Mitch. I follow Laura but somehow I had missed this.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. KPMominTexas says:

    Such good information. It seems like so many Christians are more concerned about saving America than saving souls.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. That was a good read.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Laura put into words what I’ve been thinking these past four years. Christian Nationalism didn’t start during the Trump admin, but it got worse.
    It was also a bit unsettling to see a few comments that seemed to defend wrapping the Bible in the American 🇺🇸 flag.
    Thank you for sharing this, Mitch. I commented on Laura’s post and told her I heard about it from you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ann Coleman says:

    Personally, I have no use for the “Christian Right” or the “Christian Left.” I think they are co-opting a religion for their own political gain, and that’s not at all what Jesus was about. Sadly, I’m often in the minority with that opinion.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Yes, I think we are looking at how we are citizens of Heaven first as missionaries is our nation.

    In Christ,

    Gary

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Jim says:

    The church made a deal with the devil in the 80’s when it joined forces with the Moral Majority. That’s where this all began. I don’t think anyone saw then where it would lead. Today, the culture is lost,, in large part, thanks to that movement. It’s now time for Christians to let the culture adopt whatever values it wants. It’s also time for the Christian church to go back to her values and start living them out.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, Mitch. I’ve been so glad to see more and more Christians speaking out against Christian nationalism. I’ve been so alarmed to see it taking hold in many churches, because I strongly believe it is a terrible distortion of the true Gospel, which will have grave consequences for the future!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Holly says:

    Thank you Mitch for sharing this powerful, thought provoking post from Laura. She shared her truth with grace and dignity. Oh how we need more of that these days!

    As true followers of Jesus, not a man, we can only hurt our witness by coming in the name of anyone but the awesome God we serve! Stand for what we believe, yes. I do believe that HOW we stand for God can be every bit as important as what we stand for. Non believers watch what we do more than what we say.

    God bless you Mitch. Thank you again for sharing! 🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It is scary to see how Jesus is depicted and how there is a religion out there that has no love and no Jesus in it but yet it is followed by millions!

    Liked by 1 person

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