In July I wrote an article on the growing criticism of “Christian Nationalism.” Critics say American believers want to move toward or restore a biblical “theocracy” in the USA. It’s one of many lies being circulated by the secular press. What’s wrong with this thinking?
First, it’s not true. We’ve never had a “theocracy” in our nation. Second, the devil must be scared about a coming revival to be ramping up fear. Third, what’s wrong with “Christian nations?”
They always make people happier and more free.
We need 200 of them worldwide.
Two Hundred Christian Nations
If you want a little backdrop on this subject, read Christian Nationalism is a Great Idea that I published last summer.
Today, I want to go further. Not only do we yearn for God to “revive us again” (spiritual awakening) in the United States, but we want him to do it in all 200 geo-political countries through the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
A major accomplishment of “making disciples of all nations” would be to produce “Christian nations” in one form or another. Prior to the recent attack on Christian Nationalism, for thousands of years, believers have labored and prayed for Christian nations.
In a moment, I will define what that means.
First, note the words of a major Democrat strategist speaking against Christian Nationalism. On December 2, 2023, long-time Democrat strategist James Carville stated:
“Mike Johnson and what he believes is one of the greatest threats we have today to the United States. I promise you, I know these people,”
This was a frontal assault on the new Speaker of House, Mike Johnson R-LA, who is a committed evangelical. Carville was raging on the “Overtime” segment of Bill Maher’s HBO show on CNN. Maher chimed in: “You’re talking about Christian nationalism.” Carville responded:
“This is a bigger threat than al-Qaeda to this country.”
What is Carville smoking? (Or how did he become so deceived?) Does he really think that biblical faith in America is worse than those who blow up towers, kill thousands of people, behead their enemies, treat women like chattel–or do what Hamas did to Israel in cold blood on October 7?
You’ve either abysmally ignorant or appallingly deceived to compare the blessings of Christion culture to the barbarism of Islamic terror or secular fascism/communism.
Yet, amazingly even some liberal Christian leaders are buying the lie about the dangers of faith. One group is Christians Against Christian Nationalism which condemns “Christian nations.” Their website declares that “Christian leaders are standing up to the threat of Christian nationalism.” They explain:
“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian. It often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation. We reject this damaging political ideology and invite our Christian brothers and sisters to join us in opposing this threat to our faith and to our nation.”
The spokespeople on the site hail from liberal churches or denominations. I know three personally. Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis are ministry acquaintances. Rob Schenck was a close friend who opened the door for me to teach at Faith International University. I’ve stayed with him and his wife in their condo in D.C. several times. A few years back, Rob began walking away from his biblical moorings (starting with the gun control issue).
I bet all those pictured on the Christians Against Christian Nationalism site vote almost exclusively for Democrats and espouse most of their tenets of secular morality–albeit with a strong emphasis on the poor and disenfranchised (that’s a good thing).
A recent article by Tim Alberta (with progressive-leaning roots at The Atlantic magazine and Politico) shares the same distortion and disdain for “Christian Nationalism.” Here is his rage piece: The Bogus Historians Who Teach Evangelicals They Live in a Theocracy.
So, what kind of nations do the progressives really want?
As I pointed out in my book River of God, there are only five views of God/worldviews upon which to build a nation. 1) Pantheism (seen in India), 2) Polytheism (many primitive tribes), 3) Islam (Muslim nations), 4) Atheism (e.g. China, Cuba, North Korea), and 5) Biblical Faith. Europe, for example, has a strong heritage of Christian civilization (though diminishing).
Victor Davis Hanson asked recently “Can Europe Become Western Again?” The answer is yes. They could learn from other parts of the world. Africa is now 50% Christian. China has the largest number of evangelicals in the world (though restrained by an atheistic government). And Iran has the world’s fastest growing Christian movement.
The United States was once the clearest Western example of a “Christian nation”–not a theocracy. The American experiment in liberty was a brilliant combination of three wise principles: 1) No National Church (force), 2) Individual liberty (freedom), and 3) Favoring biblical faith democratically (as the majority faith).
Every nation has to “favor” one worldview over another. There’s no such thing as religious neutrality. “Neutrality” is essentially the establishment of atheism (what we’re moving toward in the West). Bill O’Reilly’s popular bumper sticker shares the truth–“Atheism: Nothing There.”
So which worldview allows the greatest pluralism, respect for human rights, promotes societal character, and leads to freedom and human flourishing?
The biblical faith world view (Christianity). The contest isn’t even close. Look at the poverty of India, the tyranny of China, the backwardness and oppression of women in Afghanistan etc.
The best thing for nations is to become faith-based in principles, manners, and faith. Not by force, but by loving evangelism. A faith-based nation emerges when either the majority of the country espouse faith in Jesus Christ, or an influential minority persuade the general populace that biblical principles are best for their country to thrive.
God wants Christian nations just like he wants Christian individuals, Christian families, and even a Christian world. “Thy kingdom come” is a global, on-earth prayer.
Praise God that in the past two hundred years faith-based nations have grown in number. When William Carey, the world’s first “missions statistician” published his Enquiry treatise in 1792, he listed over one hundred countries as virtually unreached by the Gospel. By comparison, in 2010, contemporary missions researcher Todd Johnson listed 141 countries as “Christian,” with less than sixty unreached.
We’ve progressed from one hundred unreached countries in 1792 to sixty in 2010 (50 of those are Muslim majority). That’s an amazing change in less than 250 years. What a blessing it would be for all two hundred to be saturated with faith in Jesus Christ.
Believers have always desired that the Great Commission create faith-based nations. Renowned biblical commentator Matthew Henry shares the common historical perspective:
“Christ the Mediator is setting up a kingdom in this world, bringing the nations to be his subjects; setting up a school, bringing the nations to be his scholars, raising an army for carrying on the war with the powers of darkness…The work which the apostles had to do was to set up the Christian religion in all places, and it was an honorable work. The achievements of the mighty heroes of the world were nothing to it. They conquered the nations for themselves and made them miserable. The apostles conquered them for Christ and made them happy.”
Christian nationalism is not a “damaging threat.” Two hundred Christian nations is a joyful possibility–if we obediently share our faith with every person on earth.
That could make eight billion people more happy and free.