Open Blogging

You may also like...

46 Responses

  1. Dread says:

    Much of the confusion that has led to Christian nationalism has its genesis in the argument about America as a Christian nation. When the Supreme Court parsed the establishment clause from the free exercise portion of the first amendment the fire was fueled. People began arguing our Christian founding with fresh vigor. The conversation these days often centers around the so-called covenant with God upon which it is claimed America was founded.

    This issue needs to be re-debated by conservatives. Theologically the matter is settled if the idea can be laid to rest. Covenant IS how a relationship with God is formed. To be in covenant is to be in God’s family. Misunderstanding Zionism is at the root of this problem. Many conservative Americans think America is like Israel with a special national covenant. We conflate God’s favor into our favoritism. Israel was chosen (favored) by God to bring redemption to all via the seed of Abraham.

    In proper Christian theology the coming of Christ makes God’s family transnational — inclusive of all people by faith. In American nationalism our forefathers created a ‘covenant’ by invoking the name of God in various initial documents. They do not stop to consider whether that is actually how a covenant family is forged.

    It has been my contention with friends that the Constitution is a covenant between people and sworn by oaths invoking God. When one makes a covenant they swear by one greater than themselves. To invoke a witness and accountability. Here is the crux of the matter. When we swear our covenant to each other does that bind God and thereby achieve his aid and favor? BY NO MEANS. It only swears the parties and invokes God as the witness and judge of those involved. We cannot cause God to favor us. We may indeed be able by invoking him to cause ourselves to be judged according to our fidelity.

    Having that discussion with my peers has proven hapless. Thus many wrongly insist that God is bound into our agreement. He is not.

    God’s family is formed “in Christ” and has no national boundaries. Neither Zionism nor American nationalism has sway with God.

    Those are my thoughts and it is a way to assert kingdom theology over political narratives.

  2. Em says:

    We seem to have a problem identifying the line between the original pioneers (mostly God-fearing) and being a nation without a national religious identification…
    A lot of us with Christian heritage want to believe that this Faith is what built the nation….
    Yes, as President Eisenhower, added to our pledge of allegiance, i would like to think that we ARE “one nation under God.” But we are in actuality a nation with no allegiance to the Christian Faith as a criteria for citizenship…. Seems kind of sad to me, but…. True

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    Agreed, with this addition – Christian nationalism is not just a misunderstanding of history and theology, at heart it’s a heresy…

  4. Dread says:

    Duane

    Yes a heresy — and it has viscous and violent forms that take it to a very dark place. Most of those who fall prey to this thinking do it very innocently and without clarity.

  5. Em says:

    Agreeing with Dr. Duane and Pastor Dread, BTW

  6. Michael says:

    Dread,

    Thank you!
    It is both heresy and idolatry…and I wish I knew how to get people to understand that.

  7. Michael says:

    You cannot have a “Christian nation” without being a theocracy with the evident presence of God as ruler.
    God would initiate such a covenant, not man.

    If you want old friends to hate you, talk about this out loud…

  8. DH says:

    BD,
    I do believe God cares greatly about Isreal and America as he does all other nations. I believe Israel has promises made to its forefathers that are still in effect… to be clear I don’t believe God made a covenant with America and all people need to come to Christ to be saved.

  9. DH says:

    Sorry I mean *Dread

  10. Dread says:

    @Michael 3:44

    EXACTLY

    DH

    I understand the point – another daay

  11. Jean says:

    “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [i.e. Christ].”

    There are no loose ends in the OT.

  12. Dread says:

    Jean and I agree. Mark the moment.

  13. Jean says:

    “I do believe God cares greatly about Isreal and America as he does all other nations.”

    God so loved the **world**. I.e., all human beings. He is the creator of all. In Christ, He is the savior of all. There is in Christ neither Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.

    How Christians could ever embrace racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, ethnocentrism or gingoism is beyond me.

  14. Jean says:

    Dread,

    I thought we might.

    Here’s a paradox:

    According to my understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit, I would consider myself a “continuist” (is that the right term?). But whereas I believe Christians have authentic subjective experiences of God, I would insist that (1) they be normed by Scripture, and (2) they not be imposed as normative on other Christians.

  15. Nathan Priddis says:

    I am convinced those purporting a convenant between American and God, never read the Mayflower Compact, nor ever considered it’s details.

    -The signers had no legal claims in Plymouth. Their authorization was for Northern Virginia.
    -They signed while still on board, not standing on unclaimed soil. This means the Compact was an unauthorized contract. English law had no provisions for any such Compact.
    -The ship was Crown territory and jurisdiction. They might’ve just as well been standing in downtown London.
    – The Compact was explicitly between the signers only, God had no provision in the terms and conditions.
    -All signers understood they had arrived outside their legal territory. The Compact was drawn up because non-Puritan passengers asserted their freedom since Virginia had not been reached, and Crown jurisdiction was over the moment they step on land.

    All nations have an equal share in Jesus Christ.

  16. Babylon’s dread says:

    Jean,

    We generally agree on those norms. Parsing out the details is where we would disagree. I am sometimes an outlier in my own community. No charismatic gift is made externally normative in our church. People are free to engage or not. We intentionally make room for the gifts which is the reason I think they flourish. Though many believe in the gifts, they do not flourish if no room is given for them to operate.

  17. Dread says:

    That’s TRUE Nathan. The compact was their own binding agreement and In no way was it binding on God. Nor did it empower them or their successors to possess the land.

  18. bob1 says:

    i thought this was really commendatory —

    Now here’s the spirit of Jesus!

    “560 UK Churches Ready to Welcome Hong Kong Wave”

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/february/hong-kong-ready-church-welcome-uk-migration.html

  19. JD says:

    “560 UK Churches Ready to Welcome Hong Kong Wave”
    Question: Would our “Christian” USA be so welcoming?

  20. bob1 says:

    No.

    We’d fight and argue endlessly over stupid (fake) ideologies instead of doing what the Brits are doing — helping those in need! It’s really that simple.

  21. Em says:

    The problem, as i see it, is one we dance around without mentioning….
    Many immigrating think they are entering a land of spoiled people with a bottomless supply of resources. …
    AND, they can be very demanding in their expectations…. Through ignorance? Perhaps. …

  22. bob1 says:

    It’s very sad to see you demonize immigrants.

  23. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Julia Duin has a pretty good article up on pro Trump prophecies at Politico. Not sure if the link will work but she’s been doing some solid work lately on identifying the distinctions between evangelicals and charismatics and Pentecostals as a subset within that broader category (which, to be deliberately picky about it, a Debbington quadralateral “evangelical” could fit the four criteria and also be a modalist since the terminology is sociological as much as doctrinal)

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/02/18/how-christian-prophets-give-credence-to-trumps-election-fantasies-469598

  24. Michael says:

    My town was about 40% Hispanic before the fires.
    If the white trash here had half the work ethic and involvement in their children’s educations that these folks had we would have had an amazing place to live…

  25. JimmieT says:

    Bob 1 As well, I think it’s very sad for you to come to the conclusion that you came to regarding Em’s post @ 10:52. In my opinion there was no “demonizing immigrants there. Love you/God’s blessings,

  26. Em says:

    bob1, don’t think of it as demonizing.. 😟
    I did note that it may be ignorance…. my nurse daughter has a preponderance of them and they ARE very demanding…. once on a while one shows up with an attitude of gratitude, but sadly they are in the minority up here

  27. Jean says:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-announces-over-dollar3m-raised-for-texas-relief-visits-houston-food-bank/ar-BB1dRFDa

    The contrast between AOC and Ted Cruz in the context of the Texas utilities debacle couldn’t be be any greater.

  28. Babylon's Dread says:

    Narratives carry more weight than facts in most of our public discourse. Facts have become very inconvenient. They also have become irrelevant. We like our narratives.

  29. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jean

    He should just change his name to Cuomo and go on his brother’s show. But here’s more what I was thinking;

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/race-police-shootings-innumeracy/

  30. Jean says:

    Two observations on the Dreher link:

    First, the relevant statistic is not, as in the article, percentage of black people killed by police, but the percentage of unarmed black men killed by police as a percentage of total unarmed citizens killed by police.

    Second, If the percentage of gay and lesbian Americans is between 2-4% (which I concur with), why are conservative Christians harping about how gays and lesbians are ruining America and threatening to convert all our children?

  31. Babylon's Dread says:

    No real problem with your observations, they are relevant, but the shockingly relevant stat about the “narrative” question was what people THINK vs what is true. Clearly people believe the narrative. As the woman from my church with a black step-daughter lamented the girl is afraid to go out because the ‘police are hunting black people.’

  32. Em says:

    Re: 7:59 post… Pondering. …
    First, could it be that there are more black folk hostile to police? And my understanding is the kill rate is higher in their attacks on each other
    Second, the vocal gays are intense in their demand for acceptance of their lifestyle. We know that this goes against God’s directives to civilization.
    BTW, a NON PRACTICING confessed gay Lutheran pastor is one of my favorite TV teachers

  33. Michael says:

    I spent many years in the company of two close friends, both black, one a police officer.
    The only statistics I know are the number of messages threatening both continually on their answering machines.
    This is anecdotal…but as real and thick as the air we breathe here…

  34. Jean says:

    Em,

    “First, could it be that there are more black folk hostile to police?” The data does not bear that out.

    “From 1980 to 2013, there were 2,269 officers killed in felonious incidents, and 2,896 offenders. The racial breakdown of offenders over the 33-year period was on par with the 10-year period: 52 percent were white, and 41 percent were black.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/09/are-black-or-white-offenders-more-likely-to-kill-police/

    “Second, the vocal gays are intense in their demand for acceptance of their lifestyle. We know that this goes against God’s directives to civilization.”

    Even if granted, “so”? Are 2-4% of the population going to impact an entire nation? Why not just ignore them? Why not just raise our kids with a biblical worldview? Why not just love our neighbors like ourselves?

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Cultural perceptions are based in history. When it comes to African-Americans and the police, start with Jim Crow, lynchings, move on to Selma or the Edmund Pettis bridge, Rodney King, George Floyd and the literal thousands of incidents known only to smaller communities. There is a direct line between vaccine hesitancy among people of color and Tuskegee medical experiments.

    These issues did not arise in the space of a year and they won’t be solved quickly or easily…

  36. Michael says:

    “Even if granted, “so”? Are 2-4% of the population going to impact an entire nation? Why not just ignore them? Why not just raise our kids with a biblical worldview? Why not just love our neighbors like ourselves?”

    Because those actions don’t inflame the passions of the pews and bring forth a harvest of offerings, that’s why…

  37. josh hamrick says:

    Maybe just be sympathetic and listen to a brother, rather than getting into a “well, actually…”.

    As a white man with four black teenage nephews, I can tell you the fear is real. So why is their fear? Oh, because you are stupid. Because you listen to the libtards. Because facts don’t care about your feelings.

    We all know those are the answers Jesus gives.

  38. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Actually both things can be true — bad racially motivated things do happen and lies are spun from things that are done and not done. Both matter.

  39. Bob Sweat says:

    Josh,

    I have 3 black grandchildren, and yes, the fear is real. My son-in-law, who is black, has been pulled over by police with no explanation as to why. He was in a Starbucks drive-through behind a sheriff’s car recently when the officer got out of his car and stood in front of my son-in-law’s car and stared at him. This is Northern California!

  40. josh hamrick says:

    Bob, I know it all to well. The suspicion is ingrained and feeds on itself. The police are know are great people. Real servants of the community. They just work in a broken system. We need to fix it.

  41. Michael says:

    I think there is undeniable racial injustice and it’s not limited to blacks.
    I won’t even hear debate on that point.
    What we should debate after recognizing the reality is how we address the problem…a problem that has plagued mankind from the beginning.

  42. Bob Sweat says:

    “I think there is undeniable racial injustice and it’s not limited to blacks.” Agreed!

  43. Ethan says:

    Hey, Christian righties — worshipping a golden calf now?

    This is a full-blown cult. Look at some of the individuals’ faces and their excitement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.