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Christian Nationalism isn't Christianity. It's Compromise.

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

Video from Nikomas Perez

"Consumerism and Nationalism is creeping into the American Church. Christ + ANYTHING ELSE isn't Christianity, it's Compromise." from video introduction.

Christian Nationalism vs. Christian Patriotism

During Donald Trump’s presidency many critics have reviled his base as adherents of “Christian nationalism.” Christian nationalism, we are told, is the real religion of Trumpian “evangelicals.” But the definition of Christian nationalism is often unclear.

Why is Christian nationalism a slippery category? First, it is usually a term of insult. Yes, the term reflects those who would describe America as a “Christian nation.” But there are far more pundits who label people as “Christian nationalists” than there are people who embrace the term themselves.

Second, actual Christian nationalism is more a visceral reaction than a rationally chosen stance. I recently saw a yard sign that read “Make Faith Great Again: Trump 2020.” I wondered, How can re-electing Donald Trump make “faith” great again? What faith? When did it stop being great? No coherent answers would be forthcoming to such questions, but that’s the point. The sign speaks to a person’s ethnic, religious, and cultural identity in ways easier to notice than to explain.

Finally, it is often not clear whether “Christian nationalism” is referring mainly to devotion to the American nation, to the Republican Party, or to an individual politician. The Trump era has definitely produced exotic beliefs related to the president as an “anointed” ruler, as illustrated by the recent vision-induced “Jericho March.” But here I want to focus on the concept of Christian nationalism as nationalism per se.

Christian Nationalism vs. Christian Patriotism

What’s the difference between Christian nationalism (bad) and Christian patriotism (good in moderation)? Political theorist Benedict Anderson described nations as “imagined communities”: though nations may be vast in geography and population, many of us cherish such intense patriotic commitment that we would lay down our lives (or those of our children) to defend our country, and to promote its power around the globe.

Obviously, traditional Christians ought to limit that kind of nationalistic fervor. As “strangers and exiles on the earth,” our ultimate allegiance is to Christ’s kingdom. Our love for a non-American brother or sister in Christ should exceed our comradeship with unbelieving American patriots, whose numbers are legion..." from the article: Christian Nationalism vs. Christian Patriotism


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