The term Christian Nationalist sends the wrong message to both those outside the church and those inside the church. Therefore, I simply do not use the term. I prefer the term Christendom. When I speak of Christendom, surprisingly most people in the church today have never heard of it. I find this ironic because America (with all her warts) at various times in history could be judged as an example of Christendom. We have been living off that borrowed capital for years, but it is hastily running out.
America is at war—not literally as in the shedding of blood. At least, not yet. However, we have not been this divided since the advent of the Civil War. History does tend to repeat itself. It appears to me that total anarchy is on the horizon, and the 2024 presidential election could easily trigger this event.
On the one hand, we have a political party (with a president in the White House) that is pro-abortion up to the point of birth, a proponent of homosexual marriage, and an advocate of the mutilation of children in the name of transgenderism. With this party in power, we are now a nation that is known for Drag Queens teaching children at public libraries, open United States borders, and monetary inflation that steals purchasing power from every household.
On the other hand, we have a second political party in this country that is pushing back on some of these issues, although not all of them. For Bible-believing Christians the present political and social disorder is very appalling. Most biblical Christians have lost hope in both political parties.
Some Christians are looking for a rapture very soon. They believe they will escape what could be a coming calamity. Others, like myself, believe that this is simply the judgment of God on our nation, and this is something we all must face head on.
The issue before us is very simple. America has changed religions. From a nation where political laws were based on the Ten Commandments, our nation has been commandeered by those who despise God’s law. This new religion controls almost all landscapes of our country including the political, the educational, the military, the media, and even the arena of large business corporations. It is quickly infiltrating the church.
The Evangelical Church is a mess and unable to respond. Most pastors are silent from the pulpit in order to avoid conflict. Other pastors in the name of the separation of church and state (or the separation of two kingdoms) believe that only the church should be under the law of God, and it is alright if the state legalizes abortion, homosexuality, and the freedom to choose one’s sex. They promote the idea that the church is spiritual and the Bible has no authority over civil magistrates or unbelievers. Persecution is our calling and we should welcome it. It is the way of glory.
Thus, out of desperation and grief, there has arisen a new movement calling itself Christian Nationalism. It is a backlash against the current war against Christianity. It is partially a replacement movement for a silent church. Leaders include Marjorie Taylor Greene, a U.S. House Representative from Georgia, and Lauren Boebert, a U. S. House Representative from Colorado. Al Mohler, who has spoken against the use of the term in the past, now seems to be warming up to it.
For several reasons, I am opposed to adopting or using the term Christian Nationalism as a response to the present anti-Christian crusade. I believe the term will do more harm than good. My reasons are as follows.
First, no one has defined the term Christian Nationalism. There is no consensus on what it means. Cultural theologians, both liberal and conservative are attempting to give it meaning, seeking to be the first in line to claim that honor.
Secondly, it is all happening so fast that it makes my head swim. It may be time to just sit down and do more thinking about it rather than bellow the term in frustration. Proverbs 25:8 tells us to be cautious about arguing our case too quickly. This is wisdom that is needed in our day.
Thirdly, the term nationalism will be associated with the Nazi Nationalism of Germany before World War ll. Since the mainstream media is pushing this narrative too, and since they control much of public opinion, biblical Christians who are vocal will be called Nazis. In the case of our present President of the United States, he has already called people like me Semi-Facist. The FBI has become a political arm of the present regime, and many vocal Christians will likely come under considerable scrutiny (like the My Pillow Man).
Fourthly, no one that I know believes that the church should rule the state. In the Old Testament there was a separation of the realms of Moses and Aaron. In the New Testament the power of the sword belongs to the civil magistrate and not to the church. This idea of the church ruling the state is simply a false conflagration to scare the ignorant and to create a false phobia.
The separation of church and state is biblical. However, no one can separate religion and state. Every state will be dominated by some religion, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or (now in the case of America) Neo-Marxism (see my book Critical Race Theory and the Church – A Concise Analysis).
I have the same frustration as both Representatives Greene and Boebert, but I have a better name for what they want to see. It is called Christendom! It is a word that has been in use for hundreds of years. It does not have a pejorative connotation tied to it. It simply refers to a nation that, either by a consensus of the people (democracy) or by royal inheritance (Great Britain), is a culture governed by Christian principles and as such will be blessed with peace and prosperity.
In Christendom the church-state separation is respected. The ten commandments are the basis of a civil society. The laws of the state should reflect in principle the laws of God. No one is forced to go to church. After working six days, God gives us a day of rest. The dignity of life is to be protected, even those in the womb. Adultery is treason against the family because God created the family for security and protection. Opportunity is based on merit, and not on race or color.
The term Christian Nationalist sends the wrong message to both those outside the church and those inside the church. Therefore, I simply do not use the term. I prefer the term Christendom.
When I speak of Christendom, surprisingly most people in the church today have never heard of it. I find this ironic because America (with all her warts) at various times in history could be judged as an example of Christendom. We have been living off that borrowed capital for years, but it is hastily running out. The bank account is almost empty.
Only a full-orbed gospel can create a true and lasting Christendom. The hearts of the elect must first be changed through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Christendom, good Christian men will become leaders in all the domains of life. This is the only way to stop the present slide toward insanity and suicide. Remember, all who hate God love death (Prov. 8:36). Not all men in a Christian nation will be Christians, but in spite of their rebellious hearts, they will reap some of the blessings of God.
There is much that could be said about this topic. I cannot deal with it all here. I am not sure that I am capable. But I plead for my Christian brethren to dump the term Christian Nationalism and use the term Christendom. Then, let the real conversation begin.
Larry E. Ball is a retired minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is now a CPA. He lives in Kingsport, Tenn.