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Christian Nationalism and the malevolent perversion of Christianity

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Jim Opionin By Jim Powers
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“The churches greatest mistakes occur when the people of God honor what a leader says without examining that instruction in the light of scripture. (American Theologian Bryan Chapell)

Matthew 24:24 “ For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ” (KJV)

In recent years, the rise of Christian nationalism has been a major cause for concern, not just for religious scholars, but for anyone who values the principles of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect. While the United States has a long history of religious diversity and freedom, its growing influence threatens to undermine these core values. Christian Nationalists are engaged in transforming a faith based on love and compassion into a tool for political and social exclusion. It is essential that we recognize the danger posed by this malevolent perversion of Christianity.

The most concerning aspect of Christian nationalism is its distortion and misrepresentation of Christian values. At its core, Christianity teaches love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness. It advocates for the well-being of all individuals, regardless of their religious beliefs or backgrounds. Christian nationalism selectively applies biblical teachings to justify discrimination, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance, betraying the very essence of Christianity.

Simply put it is a distorted ideology that conflates American identity with a particular brand of Christianity. It intertwines religious beliefs with political power and fosters a sense of entitlement and exclusivity among its adherents. This ideology manipulates Christian teachings and selectively applies biblical principles to advance a narrow agenda, often disregarding the fundamental teachings of compassion, love, and humility found in Christianity.

It has gained momentum by aligning itself with conservative political movements, which exploit religious sentiments to consolidate power. Politicians who embrace this ideology often use Christianity as a tool to advance their policy objectives, implying that their political agenda is divinely inspired. This dangerous combination of faith and politics not only undermines the separation of church and state but also distorts the true essence of Christianity.

Christian nationalism promotes a divisive "us versus them" mentality, which we have seen in recent history defining American identity in exclusively Christian terms and alienating those who do not adhere to its narrow interpretation. By elevating one faith above all others, it erodes the history of religious diversity that has marked American society for much of our history. It fosters an environment of exclusion and intolerance, which is fundamentally incompatible with the values of equality and religious freedom that our nation holds dear.

Its growing influence poses a threat to the principles upon which our democracy is built. It attempts to fuse religious beliefs with the machinery of governance, undermining the secular foundation upon which our nation was established. This erosion of the separation of church and state undermines long held principles of fairness and equality that are essential for a healthy democratic society.

It also perpetuates social divisions by propagating a narrative that the country should be preserved as a Christian nation. This exclusionary vision fuels fear and animosity towards those who do not fit into its narrow definition of American identity. These divisions weaken the social fabric and stand in the way of progress toward a more inclusive and equitable society.

If we are going to combat the growing influence of Christian nationalism, it is essential that we reaffirm the principles of religious freedom and inclusivity that have long been embraced in in this country. Religious leaders, scholars, and citizens must engage in open dialogue. We must challenge the distorted narrative spread by Christian nationalists. We must help reclaim the core teachings of love, compassion, and understanding that is the true spirit of Christianity and counteract the divisive elements of this ideology.

Political leaders must resist the temptation to use their power to exploit religious beliefs for personal gain. They must themselves uphold the separation of church and state, must ensure that policies are crafted based on reason, evidence, and the best interests of all citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Christian nationalism represents a malevolent distortion of actual Christian belief as outlined in the New Testament and illustrated by Jesus’ love for all mankind. If it gains control, it will result in slavery, not freedom.

Jim Powers writes opinion columns. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Great Caesar's Ghost · 10 months ago
    The growing acceptance on the right of Christian nationalism is going to be the death knell of this country, from a liberty/Constitutional republic standpoint, if allowed to continue unfettered. Jim Powers is absolutely right, "it will result in slavery, not freedom."