A Case For Christian Nationalism – Part 1

The rise and promotion of Christian Nationalism should have been expected. I’ve written previously that revolutionary times generally have consistent responses, one of which is this modern version of advancing the cultural mandate in the form of dominionism, which is being called Christian Nationalism (hereafter CN). If you want to see how these categories have worked out historically, please see “The Christian and the State in Revolutionary Times”.

CN as a name describes a wide variety of beliefs ranging from Christians who are patriotic about their country (generally conservative and specifically within the MAGA movement; hereafter CP) to those holding charismatic, dominionistic beliefs (such as the 7-Mountain Mandate; hereafter CC), and finally more recently those who more closely identify with more theonomic beliefs, desiring that the U.S. government enforce God’s law (typically the 10 Commandments). Though a wide spectrum of theological and perhaps even political views are represented by this name, the latter group would have previously been content to call themselves theonomists, or those who desire a theocracy. Theo meaning God and nomos meaning law. In other words that God’s law is the law of the land.

The political left, never squandering an opportunity to create division and marginalize Christians, have promoted their own definition of CN to describe a Christian political movement comprised of mostly right wing, white nationalist, associated with MAGA. Pause here for a second and realize what is going on. There really is a large group of patriotic, politically active, professing Christians. The political left has mischaracterized their movement and branded them with the name Christian Nationalist. Recently an increasing number of professing Christians, perhaps just slightly to the left of the theonomic camp, have embraced the left’s terminology, CN, and thereby taken hold of the umbrella under which many would so readily identify. In other words, the large, patriotic, professing Christian movement is referred to by the media as CN, used and defined negatively by them, while a separate group has entered into the fray and enthusiastically embraced this term, thereby aligning themselves with the larger, already established movement. By embracing a term that was difficult to define but had broad membership, while likewise embracing without correction the liberal pejorative, the Neo-CN crowd inherited a loaded definition that contained the majority of professing Christians in the United States, even if that majority has no idea what they’re talking about.

If this sounds confusing, it’s on purpose. Obfuscation is the name of the game.

Think of it this way.

Suppose a bottle of avocado oil is called “fat” by food magazine. While true in a technical sense, calling it fat is used as a pejorative. The avocado oil shuns the label and prefers to clarify their description as healthy and a “good fat”. Regardless, the negative connotation sticks and others view avocado oil as fat also. Then, along comes Wesson oil. It is 100% man-made, artificial, and a conglomeration of any number of oils, yet it looks very similar to avocado oil. The Wesson oil hears that avocado oil is called fat and understands that the avocado oil is inherently a healthy fat. Nevertheless, it embraces the pejorative label of fat, not offering any clarification knowing that would only hurt its reputation. It enjoys all the benefits of being associated with avocado oil and embraces all of the negatives from being called fat.

Though the above analogy breaks down at certain points like all analogies do, the avocado oil above represents those in the U.S. who are Christians and love their country, i.e. CP. They’ve been labeled by the liberal, left-leaning media as CN, fat from our analogy above, in which they have supplied a definition of Right-Wing, White Nationalist, Nazi, etc. The Wesson oil is those who have embraced the label of Christian Nationalism, without any effort to clarify or shun the negative connotation. Largely they have backed into the pejorative name and then have sought to redefine it on their own terms. This is problematic because it falls right into the left’s hands and those in the avocado oil group have literally no idea who they are or what they are talking about. As in the analogy, it is the avocado oil that becomes guilty by association, with the Wesson oil claiming we’re all in this together. This is where the real danger lies. CN as a movement is largely an online phenomenon. However, the liberal left as well as government entities are aware, even moreso have identified as a threat, CN. Their common target is the first group, the patriotic “avocado oil” crowd who by the way are not all that dissimilar from the Religious Right of the 1980’s. This is the group that has political power and sway. But they lack organization and leadership, they are by-in-large a collection of individuals. Additionally, they lack a theological foundation as the basis for their belief in a Christian Nation. This problem is readily resolved with a recent publication and social media CN influencers with moderate platforms.

Again, and by way of summary for a movement that appears evasive: a politically conservative, professing Christian movement already existed. A politically liberal organization(s) provided them with a label and false characterization of their movement. A religious movement has sprung up and embraced this label complete with baggage, unable or perhaps unwillingly to untangle the mischaracterization. We are now in the infant stages of both the political and religious courtship.

With that introduction in mind, I’d like to begin a series of posts where I walk through a review of what has become a sort of manual for the CN movement. Some time ago I was asked my thoughts on Stephen Wolfe’s book, A Case for Christian Nationalism. I hadn’t planned to read it and had already written and discussed CN well before the publication of the book, as it was an obvious overreaction to woke ideology. In this series I’ll do my best to let Mr. Wolfe speak in his own words, and then provide my commentary as we go along. There isn’t really any exegesis of Scripture in the book (which is problematic), so the introductory post will deal with his writing methods that he describes in the opening. I’m aware that I have trouble completing some of the longer series that I’ve started (I have a list of those to complete), but because this is such relevant topic today, I will do my best to remain diligent to finish the review.

Grace and Peace

CN: Christian Nationalism
CP: Christian Patriotism
CC: Christian Charismatics

About the author

Christian saved by grace through faith.


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