Scriptural Christianity should consist of the conversion of sinners and the continuing transformation of saints. This post is another perspective of a departure from that description of Scriptural Christianity. I would like to address a certain brand of apostasy that flies well under the discernment radar, and that is even embraced by many who would call themselves “orthodox”.
It is the sin of idolatry and we call it nationalism. It is loving a certain country, a certain economic system, and a certain form of government. And this idolatry has crept into the church and is openly taught as godly, when in fact, it is antichrist. This post is surely exhibit A as it pertains to nationalistic idolatry combined with a blatant carelessness about the teachings of Jesus and the souls of men.
It is a willful disregard for the facts to suggest that America was a Christian nation, and no one has ever provided me with any New Testament teachings that endorse violence by believers against any government for any reason. Hence the Revolutionary War was not Christian or ordained by God. In fact the New Testament never hints at divine support for any violence at the hands of believers. The teachings of Jesus are decidedly non-violent.
But let us examine the post to which I linked juxtaposed against the teachings of Jesus and the epistles of Paul. In this post the author makes a case for superior firearms, referring specifically to policemen. While his suggestion may be valid, it still cannot be tethered to the teachings of Jesus. But the comparison using policemen is not the core of the article, in fact far from it.
The author begins the second paragraph with, "Let’s apply this principle to nuclear weapons for a moment." From policemen to nuclear weapons in one giant leap. He takes the perspective that if America rids itself of nuclear weapons “the “good guys” of the world have essentially armed themselves with pop guns–worthless resolutions, sanctions and threats.” Who are these “good guys”? Are these the same fallen sinners that so many of the reformed persuasion insist are dead in their sins? Are they the same ones which fit the “there are none good” description? So the author is generally calling America and her allies the “good guys”.
Think on that for a moment, and compare that with the theology that the author espouses. Unregenerate sinners are fallen and totally depraved unless they are Americans and then they are the “good guys”. And reading further in the same paragraph the author suggests we fear the intentions of Iran and North Korea. Besides the Scriptural admonition that God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, where has the New Testament commanded us to worry about the United Nations or the affairs of the fallen league of nations? Where does the gospel fit into all this?
In the last paragraph he makes this statement, “It’s nice to be liked, but when everything you stand for as a nation is at stake, popularity is worth sacrificing.” What does America stand for anyway? Political freedom? Hedonism? Abortion? Sexual freedom? Militarism? As you can see, Christianity has been jettisoned in favor of nationalism. The author ends with this:
“But if we are really willing to disarm and prostrate ourselves in front of possibly the most dangerous threats we’ve yet faced, we’ve already lost.”
Lost what? Christ? Our faith? He suggests that without nuclear weapons we will be disarmed and be prostrating ourselves in front of threats. That sounds similar to Someone who acquiesced to a Roman cross, and who scolded Peter for using a sword instead of telling him to get a bigger sword. Nuclear weapons are a scourge and should have no backing by the church. The entire narrative of the life of Jesus and all His teachings were non-violent. How can we read and believe the Sermon on the Mount and then support the destruction of millions of lost sinners?
Why does this sound so strange to your ears, and why does it seem so liberal and unpatriotic? Because for many decades Christians have been deceived into meshing nationalism with Christianty, and at the awful expense of our faith. We have become comfortable with war and we have allowed ourselves to trade spiritual power for political clout and military might. Our Christian schools brainwash our children from the youngest age to pledge allegiance to a flag, when they should have no other allegiance but to Christ. They are told a revisionist history that suggests that the forefathers were all committed Christians and godly men, and that God was behind the Revolutionary War itself.
And now we are supposed to teach our children that God desires us to be armed with nuclear weapons?? I have been called anything but a Christian from church people who will not entertain even the slightest Biblical perspective that suggests anything but complete and utter patriotism.
And the disciples asked Him, “Who is our neighbor?”
The Master answered, “All who are naturalized U.S. citizens.”
“What about Muslim Americans?”, they asked.
“No!”, replied the Master, “They are taking over!”.
“What about American gays?”, they inquired.
“No!”, shouted the Master, “I came to call the righteous – don’t forget that!!”
“So should we nuke sinners?”, they wondered aloud.
“You betcha, especially if they are radical Islamists. I’ll make sure none of the elect are killed. I did not choose many Muslims anyway so relax”, said the Great Shepherd.
Lord, where is the axe head…