The Mail Bag: God and Country Edition
Frequently asked questions about all things PhxP…
Might as well get this over with…
“What is your definition of Christian nationalism?”
Mine isn’t much different, if it all, from the common definition. Simply put, it’s any attempt to proffer America with favored nation status in the eyes of God. It’s conflating certain political positions or a political party with believing in Jesus.
From the article I posted on the Linkathon!:
“Christian nationalism is a political ideology and cultural framework that seeks to merge American and Christian identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism relies on the mythological founding of the United States as a “Christian nation,” singled out for God’s providence in order to fulfill God’s purposes on earth. Christian nationalism demands a privileged place for Christianity in public life, buttressed by the active support of government at all levels.”
My concern as pastor and theologian is that this view distorts the faith once delivered and in reality precludes the church from taking its place of speaking Gods truth to power.
Godly ethics and values for individuals and nations are not fully represented by any country or political entity.
My personal belief is that the foundations of Christian belief and practice are found in the Sermon on the Mount.
You can’t run a country that way…unless God himself is present and actively ruling as in a theocracy.
That won’t be happening for a while…
The power in the church is found in practicing sacrificial love and suffering in following Jesus…not in political wrangling.
Therefore, we as the church must remain a separated nation within a nation, practicing the ways of God in front of the world and informing the powers that be of the intentions of the coming King.
“Why do you hate America?”
I don’t hate America…Oregon is in America and everyone knows how much I love Oregon…
America to me is like my family lineage…I love it, but I also have to be honest about it.
In these times, that means being honest about the history of racism in our country and it has to include our degradation of other countries by covert and overt interference… as well as how we’ve used our seemingly endless resources and ideals to make the world a better place.
We have done exceptionally wonderful things as well as exceptionally rotten things.
I just want us to be exceptionally wonderful with more consistency.
“Why don’t you just admit that you’re a leftist and hate conservatives?”
That would be because I’m not a leftist and I don’t hate conservatives.
I’m pretty conservative in some ways myself.
The little that I do get involved in political matters, I try to do so informed by Scripture and tradition.
In general, I oppose abortion.
I have a historic, traditional Christian sexual ethic.
I’m big on compassion for the poor and sick and equality for all regardless of race..
I’m an advocate for real immigration reform…because I believe the Scriptures speak to how we are to treat the alien and foreigner.
The Bible doesn’t speak to me much about public health policies.
The honest Christian will find no home in either party, because they both affirm things we cannot affirm.
A truly biblical worldview will find you outside the political structures and focused on the kingdom of God.
I argue against ideas, not people…unless the people are a threat to those practicing a real faith.
I’m open to questions and discussions…just not dogmatism.