Exposing the Cult of Christian Nationalism

Exposing the Cult of Christian Nationalism

The American Gospel vs. the Gospel of Jesus Christ

There is a lie that the enemy planted years ago that is just now beginning to blossom. This lie is possibly the largest threat to American Christians that we have seen... maybe ever. I am hard-pressed to think of another time in history where such deception has taken hold of the people of God. [Editing Note: I have thought of a few examples over the course of writing this article. The Crusades, the pre-Reformation Church with indulgences and whatnot, etc. This problem is nothing new. It boils down to the age-old problem of people using Christianity for earthly power.]

As a writer, I try to be very particular with my word choice. Often my choice of one word over another goes unnoticed, and the intention behind the words I use is known only to me. Here, though, I find it important to call attention to my deliberate use of the word, American 'Christians' instead of, 'Church' or, 'Christianity.'

I am open to discussion that could change my mind, but I believe there is nothing that can truly threaten Christianity and the truth of God. When Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world He was victorious there, then, and forever. Nothing can threaten or change what He did. Nothing.

I believe the Church can be, has been, and currently is being threatened every day. I will define the 'Church' as the global collection of those who believe, accept, and proclaim the Salvation given through Christ. While I believe the Church can be and is threatened, I am not necessarily concerned with any of these threats. Historically—and biblically—threats and persecution of the Church have been oxygen to the fire, and have not resulted in diminishing, but in the strengthening and spreading of the Church. (I'd argue lack of persecution is a greater threat than persecution, but that's a different article.)

Christians, the individual people of God that make up the Church, who believe in Christianity: they are the primary target of the enemy's attacks. They can be led astray. They are who I am chiefly concerned for. Christians are where the enemy can gain or lose ground. Years ago, the enemy planted a lie in the fabric of society with the intention of deceiving Christians and convincing them to place their faith in a false gospel. This seed of deception has blossomed into the Cult of Christian Nationalism and is supplanting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hearts of too many Christians.

The Cult of Christian Nationalism is not simply an American issue. However, as an American myself, I will be speaking from an American perspective and addressing how the Cult of Christian Nationalism has affected the American Church.

Throughout this article I will attempt to expose various aspects and characteristics of Christian Nationalism, looking at its roots and effects and how deeply it has rooted itself into all of culture. I will show how Christian Nationalism is antithetical to biblical teachings and is in fact an anti-Christ gospel. Finally, I will point to the true and powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ as the source of all Salvation. The web of deception is thick, but I pray God uses my words to loosen some of the threads and free those caught in the enemy's trap.

A Seed is Planted

I have alluded to the enemy planting a seed of deception long ago that is now coming into full bloom. Naturally, the question of when and where that seed was planted must be asked. As the deception has been given the name (not by me) of 'Christian Nationalism,' it seems natural to look first at the birth of this American nation.

"That's an excellent starting point, Evan. Start where we know the seed isn't to give a reference point to work forward from. Great idea!"

Okay. What makes you so sure the seed wasn't planted there, or that it wasn't already planted before America was formed?

"Everyone knows America began as a Christian nation, silly."

Huh. Interesting. Let me just... And then... Ah, here we go...


I'm probably not using that meme exactly as it was intended, but it's what came to mind as I was writing this example. And, I think it gets my point across. The Cult of Christian Nationalism began with the inception of a 'Christian' nation.

Here also is where we find the first and maybe biggest lie. America isn't, and never was, a Christian nation. I'll concede to arguments of America being founded on biblical principles, but, even to that end, there was more at play than just the Bible in determining the founding principles.

Ultimately, the extent to which the founders looked at the Bible and said, "there's some good ideas in here, let's use them," is irrelevant. America was never a genuinely Christian nation because nowhere in the Bible are Christians called to form a nation of God.

"Just because it's not explicitly commanded doesn't mean forming a Christian nation isn't a good thing. And what about Israel anyways? They were a nation of God."

First, Israel was God's chosen people under the covenant found in the old testament. Christ fulfilled the old covenant and ushered in a new one that was able to include gentiles, every nation that wasn't Israel. So, under the new covenant, God's chosen people is the 'Church,' not any singular nation. (More on Israel another day.)

Second, it is fair to say omission doesn't necessarily mean anything one way or the other. But let's look at what is explicitly commanded.

'And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”' (ESV)
Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Commission. What Jesus called Christians to do was to make disciples of all nations. Not make a nation of disciples. Make disciples of all nations.

So, forming a Christian nation isn't a bad or sinful thing. But, it's tangential to what we're called to do. Focusing on creating a place where Christians can stay and live freely distracts us from the fact that we're called to go.

This is exactly how the enemy works to subvert a Christian's attention and intention away from God and following Christ and towards worldly pursuits.

The Gospel of Christ says make disciples of all nations. The gospel of Christian Nationalism says make disciples of this nation.

Christian community is awesome and absolutely necessary! We are supposed to be in community with fellow believers. But, that's what the Church is for. Governments or nations, where people have the freedom to be on different pages spiritually, are not meant for Chrsitian community whole cloth. Christian community means like-minded believers doing life together and encouraging one another in Christ. In the modern world, nations are too large and diverse to be like-minded. Modern nations are structures of the world based on political ideologies, not Biblical theology. Christian community does not mean living in a world where non-believers are forced to live lives that follow godly principles. And the government enforcing 'godly principles' on unbelievers WILL NOT save them!

I'm not entirely sure which it is, but the gospel of Christian Nationalism either believes that 'godly' laws will save the ungodly, or they simply don't care about their Salvation at all.

In Bloom

Okay, this is where this article will take a bit of a shift. I didn't really plan this shift, but God has wired me in an interesting way and speaks to me how He speaks to me. I feel He's set up all of this, and I just want to follow where he leads. I knew this article would, and was meant to, ruffle some feathers because that's how Truth works. I didn't plan on going this far and this aggressive and direct though. But, when God does things above my level of creativity and intention and moves in ways I don't see I just have to step aside and let Him do His thing.

I'm also aware that not everyone will follow my train of thought and understand why this speaks to me like it does. It will involve music, and the way music hits me is something I have yet to be able to put into words, but I will try my best. Music is the one thing I value as a wholly unique experience, but at the same time desperately wish I could share with others.

So, this section is titled, "In Bloom." My thought was that it made a great heading and carried along my theme of the enemy planting seeds of deception and them now being in full blossom and bloom. I planned to move from where Christian Nationalism began into where it is today and how it is affecting Christians. But, God.

God has made me pretty musically minded. So, when the heading of "In Bloom" pops into my head, I'm reminded that it is also the title of a Nirvana song. I'm not super familiar with all of Nirvana's work, so I became curious and decided to give the song a listen and read the lyrics just to see if there would be any weird connection.

And oh boy there was... For those of you who know the song, you may already know what I'm getting at. For those of you that don't, here's the chorus of In Bloom by Nirvana:

He's the one who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun
But he knows not what it means
Knows not what it means, and I say
He's the one who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun
But he knows not what it means
Knows not what it means and I say, "Yeah"

While I feel like I'm jumping ahead of myself a bit, these lyrics poignantly show what the seed of deception planted by the enemy has become. The Cult of Christian Nationalism has created followers who call themselves 'Christians,' but "know not what it means." They follow the nation and its supposed Christian values of the past instead of following Christ. Kurt Cobain wrote his song as an insult to the 'posers' who would listen to Nirvana just because it was the cool thing to do and not understand what their songs actually were about. For me, this is a beautiful contrast to the cult of Christian Nationalism who use the name 'Christian,' but have little interest in being like Christ.

"[They're] the one[s] who [like] all our pretty songs:" they like all of our tradition and rules, but don't know what Jesus has really done.

When I started writing this article I thought that this was a new and more dangerous web of deception than Christians have ever faced. I'm now realizing I was wrong, and this problem is nothing new. In fact, we find in the Bible that Jesus Himself faced this problem with the Pharisees. We can see examples of this problem in the pre-Reformation church through its sales of indulgences and its attempts at keeping the Bible out of the hands of the people. We can see this problem exemplified by looking at the Crusades.

Nothing has changed from over 2,000 years ago. The ultimate root of deception is in man using God and Christianity for his own earthly gain of power and control.

The Cult of Christian Nationalism will falsely use the name of Jesus as it continues to give itself earthly influence. They will crucify Him when He no longer fits their aims.

Thankfully, though, the solution has been the same throughout the ages: revival and a return to the Gospel of Christ!

The True Gospel

There is so much more I could get into regarding Christian Nationalism and its lies. It's a deep web of deception. But, instead of going further right now, and looking at every little detail, I'm just going to stick to John 8:31-32 .

'So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”' (ESV)
John 8:31-32

I'm going to stick to letting the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ break the bondage of Christian Nationalism.

We are utterly broken in our sin and completely cut off from communion with the God of the universe. Yeshua of Nazareth, God's only Son, was God in human flesh. He lived a perfect life, He died as a sacrifice for the sins we commit, and he rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. Jesus paid our debt that we could never repay ourselves, restoring our relationship with Abba God, the Creator of the universe. He set us free from the bondage of sin and death, that we might live for Him. Allowing Christ to pay our debt for us allows us to be born again into the Spirit and live righteously before God. From the beginning, we were created to give God glory. It is only through accepting the gift of Christ's Salvation that we can finally live out our intended purpose and all we've been called to do.

The three main things I see that Christians are called to do are:

  • Make disciples of all nations.

'And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”' (ESV)
Matthew 28:18-20

  • Love God and love others.

'And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ' (ESV)
Matthew 22:37-39

  • Help others while remaining untainted by the world.

'Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.' (ESV)
James 1:27

God made us and saved us to live for His glory and His Kingdom, not for the glory and kingdoms of this world. The anti-Christ gospel of the Cult of Christian Nationalism seeks to save the world through the legislation of morality. They seek to live in a world molded for their comfort that strokes their self-righteous ego. The American Church must turn its back on nationalism and return to the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only Gospel that can truly save and restore the broken. The Church must let go of its vain attempts to save culture though striving to perform morally and instead surrender to the transformative power of the Holy and Almighty Father God.

I pray that anyone reading this would be free from the bondage of the enemy's lies. I pray for revival and reformation. I pray for a return to the simple Gospel and glory found in Yeshua Christ. Amen. God Bless.

Further Inquiry

I mentioned in the 'In Bloom' section how I was going to list examples of how Christian Nationalism affects modern day Christians before getting sidetracked by the Holy Spirit. I thought about returning to that idea, but I decided to just let those who have already said it better than I ever could go ahead and be the ones to say it. So, if you're interested in a bit of a deeper dive into this issue of Christian Nationalism, take a look at the Southside Rabbi podcast where they have a full episode dedicated to it.

If you want more from me that relates, check out Keep It Simple! and Fighting the Right Fight: A call for the Church to take politics off the throne .

Lightning Round Examples

I never really included examples of Christian Nationalism. The article got long and there isn't a place for them. So I'll just include a list of a few examples here at the end in no particular order or format.

  • An American flag in churches and/or singing the national anthem in church.
  • Placing the constitution above, equal to, or anywhere near the level of importance of the Bible.
  • Spending more time in politics than with God.
  • Veneration of the Founding Fathers. (Bonus: the Jefferson Bible ...)