Beth Moore, popular Christian Bible teacher, recently tweeted, “I do not believe these are days for mincing words. I’m 63 1/2 years old & I have never seen anything in these United States of America I found more astonishingly seductive & dangerous to the saints of God than Trumpism. This Christian nationalism is not of God. Move back from it.”
Moore is not questioning Donald Trump’s lack of character, his crass ways, his attacking style or his failure to appear “presidential,” which are the objections of most Christians who oppose Trump. No, she is convinced that nothing in our country—not the creeping cultural Marxism, the systematic destruction of the family, and the national rejection of biblical truth—is any more “seductive and dangerous” than Trump’s “Christian Nationalism.”
What is “Christian nationalism?” In Dictionary.com, these three, of the six, different shades of meaning given are representative of its definition: 1.) “Devotion and loyalty to one’s own country; patriotism.” 2.) “The desire for national advancement or political independence.” 3.) “The policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one’s own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.”
Sounds a lot like Trump’s “America First” policy, that formed the basis for our country’s existence, prosperity, and world view until the last 100 years, doesn’t it? Can you see that this nationalism flies in the face of today’s globalism, that seeks to open or erase national borders and undergirds the world view of today’s elites?
They are working overtime, some of them completely unconsciously, to move America away from its unapologetically nationalistic foundation. This foundation was laid, unbeknownst to modern historians, self-consciously and deliberately by our Pilgrim and Puritan forebears. What does the Bible say about nationalism? That is where we must go for our evaluation of nationalism vs. globalism.
In Genesis 10, Moses, the author of Genesis, relates the lineage of the three sons of Noah— Japheth, Shem and Ham—after the flood. Initially, they were all together (about 500 families, according to biblical scholar Albert Barnes), all speaking the same language, until at the Tower of Babel God confused their tongues and scattered them to keep them from building a kingdom to exalt themselves. This was man’s first attempt at “one world government”—globalism.
Notice Genesis 11:4: “And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Fallen mankind, under the control of autocratic leadership (Nimrod, a grandson of Ham), will naturally exert its rebellion and independence from God and exalt itself to “the heavens” to “be like God.”
Today, nationalism is God’s remedy for globalism, mankind’s modern Tower of Babel. Notice in Genesis 10, three times God mentions the result of His scattering of mankind at the tower, which is described in chapter 11. First come the descendants of Japheth, followed by Ham and Shem. “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (Genesis 10:5); “These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations” (Genesis 10:20). “These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.” (Genesis 10:31).
Each nation, with its unique language and ethnic characteristics, was perfectly designed and ordained by God. He created nationalism when He deliberately confused the language of mankind as the antidote for globalism!
So, how does this interesting bit of biblical history affect our original question: Is Trump’s nationalism, dressed in patriotic, even Christian garb, a dangerous thing? Obviously not, if indeed God ordained it!
But the fears of nationalism that some Christians have is understandable. Will Christians have their primary allegiance to the nation and not to God? That is a legitimate fear, but the solution is not to mistake the antidote for the problem!
The solution is to preach both the true gospel AND the Kingdom of God. Jesus saved us at the cross, by grace alone, for the purpose of joining Him in the family business of ruling over the earth. He is currently doing just that from His Father’s right hand in Heaven, through us, still on the earth. According to God Himself, this is why He made us (Genesis 1;26).
In the process He is bringing every nation, tribe and tongue to join Him in that rule, not just individuals, but whole nations (Matthew 28:18). He loves every individual, but also all their people groups as well. He made those in these people groups with unique talents, abilities, and racial characteristics.
To refuse to see those unique racial differences is to imbibe of the same ridiculous political correctness that tells us there is no difference between male and female; choose whichever you prefer! Asian intelligence, Jewish monetary acumen, Black athletic and musical ability and Caucasian leadership skill in each of those racial groups is impossible to ignore, except to the most biased observer.
It’s not that Caucasians are dumb, and aren’t athletic; there are brilliant and athletically gifted individuals in each people group. God delights to bless His individual children with gifts and abilities as He chooses. The point is to recognize that ability and rejoice with the gifted ones, recognizing that they each have gifts to bring to the nation.
Nations can be ethnically homogeneous, like France, or diverse, like the United States. Either way, we love our country and those with whom we are ruling as vice regents in Jesus’ kingdom. Our call to our fellow citizens is the same as Paul’s to the Ephesian church in 5:14: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Lord, give us light that we may see!
Beth Moore, one of those fellow citizens, calls Trump’s America First policy, “Trumpism,” and then says, “This Christian nationalism is not of God.” I would say the Bible teaches that this “Nationalistic Christianity” is exactly what God is after and will accomplish it, as Jesus rules over the nations.