Thoughts on Christian Nationalism

In an election year. Sometimes we hear this conversation about nationalism or Christian nationalism. And what does that mean? And what does that look like? And as a Christ follower, is that something I should be concerned about? And then what is the relationship between patriotism and nationalism and the differences between those? And so in this short sermon clip that was given at Rock Bridge Community Church, we’re going to hopefully give you some handlebars for what is Christian nationalism and our concerns with that, as it moves us outside the boundaries of Scripture. And outside that, the ambition, the holy ambition, we have to be seekers of Jesus’s kingdom versus patriotism, which is a perfectly great position. It’s great to love one’s country. So, I hope you find this sermon clip helpful in your journey with Jesus.

A nationalist is putting love of nation and generally one’s own self-interest over love for God, so that we want, you know, so we’re like God, what I want for my country, politically and my interests that are wrapped up in that, trumps the mission of God and the love of God. And so Peter’s like, hey, what I want for Israel proper, ethnic, geographic Israel, Old Testament Israel. That trumps what you just said, Jesus, you had to do, which is you had to go die. So Peter’s a nationalist. Now, let’s not confuse nationalism from patriotism. Patriotism is man, I just love my country and I want what’s best for my country. But, as Christians, we can be patriots who love our country, but we also understand that our citizenship, first and foremost, is in the kingdom of Jesus, not in America. Right?

So nationalism goes a step further and puts love of nation and our self-interest, ahead of love for God. And then Christian nationalism, which we’ll hear about and have heard about in the news, starts to see America as crucial and essential to God’s kingdom, and that it’s all kind of conflated and combined in there. And then we seek to tie the gospel–And this is actually Billy Graham’s concern in 1974–that we’re seeking to tie the gospel to a specific society or culture, political party and government. And all of this is not God’s agenda.

When Jesus says, seek first my kingdom and my righteousness, he’s not talking about the American way in the American dream. He’s not talking about any of that thing. When we talk about being a Christian in America, we can’t take the gospel and tie it in tightly to a specific society, political party or government. And Peter, eventually, will realize this. Look in the… look and go… Fast forward to Acts 10. He begins to speak because he didn’t think anybody but Jews could be saved, because it was all about ethnic Israel and geographic Israel, and thus political Israel. And then he says, no. Now I understand God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation ethnic group, the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. So we need to be careful about nationalism and Christian nationalism in America, because it can cause us–like it caused Peter–to miss Jesus.

And what’s of first importance, Rock Bridgers? His gospel, His kingdom, and our first love for Him!