As Christian Nationalism gains more steam amidst the ongoing collapse of Western liberalism, I’m seeing a lot of detractors attempting to dismiss it as meaningless. They take theological and political disagreements among Christian Nationalists as a sign that even we don’t know what it is. They also make bizarre and illogical conclusions about what Christian Nationalism entails and portray them as core principles. The result is confusion all around.
Part of that confusion is deliberate and malicious, of course; it’s easier to dismiss an idea than truly engage with it, after all. Another part of it is a matter of unrealistic expectations. A nascent political movement isn’t going to have the kind of solid and precise definition that other movements only acquire after a generation or two.
Nevertheless, as Christian Nationalism matures, it must begin to define itself more clearly as well. Having written about Christian Nationalism several times myself, I’m keenly aware that none of my descriptions amount to a clear definition or statement of principles. And so, I thought it would be appropriate to put together a list of 14 points of Christian Nationalism to help the concept coalesce.
I put it forward not as definitive, but as a personal draft. The list expresses what Christian Nationalism means to me right now. Nevertheless, they may not be shared by other Christian Nationalists at present for whom I certainly cannot speak. Likewise, my own views are still evolving. So I expect this list to evolve as well as points drop away or new ones are added in.
We live in a time of great change, and none of us truly know what course the future will take. We only know that the present order cannot continue as before for much longer. May iron sharpen iron as Christians rediscover how to govern their nations in accordance with our faith.
- Christian Nationalism is a political ideology informed by the Christian faith, not a religion informed by political ideology.
- The Church does not need Christian Nationalism for its wellbeing. Nations need Christian Nationalism for their wellbeing.
- Christian Nationalists understand nation as meaning a people who share common ancestry, religious heritage, language, culture, and history together.
- We put our own nation first–not because it is superior to all others, but because it is the nation Christ has made us a part of. Accordingly, we serve it above all other nations, love it above all other nations and, when necessary, defend it against all other nations.
- We respect that other nations are likewise responsible for themselves first and therefore seek to govern ourselves separately from them but live in peace with them whenever possible.
- Christian Nationalists reject the incoherent religious neutrality of classical liberalism, and strive to honor Jesus Christ as king in every area of life, including government.
- Government is incapable of forcing conversion to Christianity because conversion depends on a faith that cannot be coerced into existence.
- Government’s purpose is not to make men righteous, but to restrain human wickedness by commending rightdoers and punishing wrongdoers.
- Wrongdoing may be tolerated by government when legal suppression of evil would lead to even greater evils.
- Christian nationalists distinguish right from wrong and weigh greater vs lesser evils according to Christian moral principles, and we explicitly carry out the purpose of government in accordance with those principles.
- Forms of wickedness which must be legally restrained when intolerable include, but are not limited to: clear blasphemy against Jesus Christ, murder (regardless of age), sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and unbridled greed. A government which does not seek to restrain such evils is incompetent.
- God has appointed fathers to govern their own households. National government proceeds from this household government and exists to serve it. It does not replace it and may not usurp it.
- Immigration is tolerable only insofar as it neither unduly burdens nor harms our nation. Mass immigration is always harmful. Smaller scale immigration is more harmful the more an immigrant differs from our nation in terms of ancestry, language, history, culture and religious heritage.
- It is good and proper for governmental institutions to participate in religious expression so long as that expression is Christian. This includes prayers, ceremonies, holidays, and the like.