Christians and Nationalism.

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Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
One of my favorite preachers on sermon audio is William Einwechter, and I was listening to his sermon on the tower of babel. He then made a comment that I agree with, that unity amongst the wicked is wrong. He then made the connection that to achieve a low level of sin (paraphrasing) and to discourage united wickedness on an international level, Christians should encourage nationalism.

I would like to know your opinions on this.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
If one frames this debate with the American lexicon of the constitutional debates than I'm not a nationalist nor do I embrace nationalism, because a nationalist delienates an advocate of a strong centralized government as opposed to a federal system of divided sovereigns (state and general government). Anti-Federalist is a misnomer and was a dihonest effort by consolidating nationalists to smear their opponents. Federal is rooted in the Latin word foedus which makes a federalist and convenator identical. Hence, federal theology interchangably used with covenant theology.

If nationalist embodies the America First anti-UN, anti-internationalist than perhaps only in that sense I'm I a nationalist. Patriotism though, not nationalism is the ideal attachment, particularly in light of the totalitarian manifestations of nationalism in the twentieth-century.

I can be a real stickler about words, can't I?
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
In a sense militant nationalism serves the elites that desire internationalism and more global government as they often posit their need on the basis of policing rogue nations. The globalists embrace the Hegelian philosophy of dialetics and work by gradualism... so perhaps some of you gumshoe philosophers can read into the implications of this.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
I think what Einwechter is getting at is the principle of nationalism vs. the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11) mindset of the wicked who conspire against God and his Anointed (Ps. 2.1-3). When God divided the peoples by region and language (Gen. 11 and Acts 17.26), it was a check upon the wickedness of men who sought to strengthen themselves in a confederacy against God. The principle of checks and balances that we see in our own Constitution reflects that wisdom as well. Global government by man has always been motivated by an attempt to overthrow the kingship of Christ. That was true at Babel and it is true at the United Nations headquarters in New York. State sovereignty and limited government help to restrain such wickedness. That is why nationalism in that sense is Biblical.
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Andrew you hit the nail on the head in summing up Einwechter's point,
1. but isn't there a level of nationalism that breeds encroachment upon another nation's sovereignity?

2. If there are Christians in both country A and country B, and both these countries are at odds with each other, how does a Christian support of nationalism will manifest itself.

I figure that there will probably be an acceptable level of nationalism vs and unacceptable level, of which the acceptable level is defined by opposing national mergers, pacts etc and the keeping of national identity. But a nation can have identity in name only and be totally influenced, and controlled by another?

Ryan does militant nationalism intentionally serve the elites and is therefore promoted, or is it merely by accident without any promotion by the elites?
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by crhoades
nationalism as opposed to internationalism such as the U.N.?
yep. his basic premise is that only unity in accordance with God should be permitted and promoted, therefore if the U.N is unity contrary to the accordance with God, it should not be promoted.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Slippery
Andrew you hit the nail on the head in summing up Einwechter's point,
1. but isn't there a level of nationalism that breeds encroachment upon another nation's sovereignity?

2. If there are Christians in both country A and country B, and both these countries are at odds with each other, how does a Christian support of nationalism will manifest itself.

I figure that there will probably be an acceptable level of nationalism vs and unacceptable level, of which the acceptable level is defined by opposing national mergers, pacts etc and the keeping of national identity. But a nation can have identity in name only and be totally influenced, and controlled by another?

Generally speaking, Christians have a duty to obey the authorities over them and not the authorities belonging to a different governmental jurisdiction. Sometimes, in real life, that puts average patriotic Christian citizens in situations that are uncomfortable.

To give an historical example, the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century pitted two Protestant nations against each other for primarily mercenary reasons. An English Christian would have been duty-bound to put the interests of his country above those of the Netherlands and vice-versa, and Christian soldiers and seamen of each nation were required to fight one another. That is, to me anyway, a very unpleasant scenario.

To give another sort of international relations scenario, you might enjoy reading Philippe Duplessis-Mornay's chapter in A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants in which he speaks of the duties of Christian magistrates in one country to help private persecuted Christians in another country.

The law of Christian charity does not stop at international borders, but jurisdictions of authority in general should be respected as a matter of Christian principle.

Before the modern globalist movement, Dutch Protestant jurist Hugo Grotius was the scholar who best articulated Biblical principles of international law. His work On the Law of War and Peace remains a classic.

[Edited on 9-27-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot

Generally speaking, Christians have a duty to obey the authorities over them and not the authorities belonging to a different governmental jurisdiction. Sometimes, in real life, that puts average patriotic Christian citizens in situations that are uncomfortable.

To give an historical example, the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century pitted two Protestant nations against each other for primarily mercenary reasons. An English Christian would have been duty-bound to put the interests of his country above those of the Netherlands and vice-versa, and Christian soldiers and seamen of each nation were required to fight one another. That is, to me anyway, a very unpleasant scenario.

this is what I was getting at. One time I remember watching a program on WW1, I think it was, where on Christmas day, the soldiers stopped fighting, celebrated with each other, then returned to their respective stations and began warring again.

I cannot honestly fathom, two Christians on opposite sides of war, fighting and killing each other simply to obey the relevant authorities. I am in no way endorsing rebellion, but I don't think that Christians should ever lift up a finger to injure another brother in such a situation, hence I believe that Christian should not fight and suffer the consequences of such.

ps. thanks for the links.

[Edited on 9-27-2005 by Slippery]
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Einwechter's point is good, his use of words bad. A much wiser man--my German Professor--taught me to distinguish between nationalism and patriotism: nationalism is love for one's country (not necessarily bad) but quickly moves into love for the State---->approvement of the State.

Patriotism-------->love for "the fatherland," the values (ideally) which shape your collective experience.

Of course, neither set of definitions is infallible.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by Draught Horse
Einwechter's point is good, his use of words bad. A much wiser man--my German Professor--taught me to distinguish between nationalism and patriotism: nationalism is love for one's country (not necessarily bad) but quickly moves into love for the State---->approvement of the State.

Patriotism-------->love for "the fatherland," the values (ideally) which shape your collective experience.

Of course, neither set of definitions is infallible.

Quite right that neither set of definitions is infallible. I recall a well respected historian who would disagree, at least in large part with those definitions. The idea of a "fatherland" is nationalistic as well as patriotic...i.e. Hitler, probably more nationalistic, at least the way it's been conceived of in the last century. Nationalism tends to be expansionistic, and in some cases, ideological and basically led to both world wars. One aspect of nationalism is the idea that all peoples of one ethnicity and especially, language, should be united into one nation. Probably the great era of nationalism was maybe 1830-1945, maybe later considering the postwar dissolution of the European colonial empires. We saw Greek independence, the formation of modern Italy and Germany, Pan-Slavism (led to WWI), (all of the above largely at the expense of the Ottoman Empire or the Austro-Hungarian) and Pan-Arabism after WWII. If my definition is correct, Zionism could certainly be termed a form of nationalism as well.

The idea that the Kurds of S. Turkey and N. Iraq should be united in a Kurdish state is nationalistic. This is why the Turks adamantly oppose any partition of Iraq into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish enclaves because its Kurds would then begin agitating to be united with their brothers to the south.

Of course another issue is, at what point does nationalism give way to imperialism?

Patriotism is love for one's country. The "values that shape your collective experience" is an aspect of patriotism. Despite what some may say, most of those on the Southern side in the Civil War were essentially patriotic, not nationalistic. :worms: Most ultimately saw themselves as fighting for Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, etc. moreso than for the CSA.


But I'd really have to do some digging, I haven't looked at this stuff much in about 10 years. As you say, it's sometimes hard to draw a bright white line between the two concepts. Regardless, the hardline One Worlders hate any manifestation of either.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
The principle of checks and balances that we see in our own Constitution reflects that wisdom as well.

It's interesting that you bring this up... I think checks and balances do help, but unfortunately only the horizontal checks remains and the vertical checks between the federal and state governments have been greatly eroded. States' Rights and the Tenth Amendment cannot be mentioned without an obituary perhaps... :tombstone:

I think that because the community has been greatly weakened as the principle political unit, and because a de facto imperium of top-down subordination has taken hold than it's much easier to entrench an elite into a consolidated national government... If the elite are globalists than they will have an easier time getting a foothold in our system and co-opting it to suit their purposes.... and we will have to endure the continual creep of internationalism. Anybody know what Fabianism is or who the Roman General Fabius was? That's there modus operandi -- gradualism.

TIME magazine published The Birth of the Global Nation by Clinton State Department guru Strobe Talbott, Rhodes Scholar, roommate of Bill Clinton at Oxford University, CFR Director, and Trilateralist, in which he writes: "All countries are basically social arrangements... No matter how permanent or even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary... Perhaps national sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all... But it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government."

Anybody, ever read Immanuel Kant's plea for world government?


[Edited on 9-28-2005 by Puritanhead]
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by Puritanhead

TIME magazine published The Birth of the Global Nation by Clinton State Department guru Strobe Talbott, Rhodes Scholar, roommate of Bill Clinton at Oxford University, CFR Director, and Trilateralist, in which he writes: "All countries are basically social arrangements... No matter how permanent or even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary... Perhaps national sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all... But it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government."
Wow. Wow. Wow. so the majority of humans are simply pawns as these uncircumsized intellectuals implement their godless fantasies?????:mad:
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by Slippery
Originally posted by Puritanhead

TIME magazine published The Birth of the Global Nation by Clinton State Department guru Strobe Talbott, Rhodes Scholar, roommate of Bill Clinton at Oxford University, CFR Director, and Trilateralist, in which he writes: "All countries are basically social arrangements... No matter how permanent or even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary... Perhaps national sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all... But it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government."
Wow. Wow. Wow. so the majority of humans are simply pawns as these uncircumsized intellectuals implement their godless fantasies?????:mad:

I know, what I find so infuriating about these types of liberals is that they are 100% sincere in their arrogance!
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by Draught Horse
Einwechter's point is good, his use of words bad. A much wiser man--my German Professor--taught me to distinguish between nationalism and patriotism: nationalism is love for one's country (not necessarily bad) but quickly moves into love for the State---->approvement of the State.

Patriotism-------->love for "the fatherland," the values (ideally) which shape your collective experience.

That German professor's point really misses the mark, and he has turned the neddle on it's head. Germany's post-WWII political lexicon is seriously messed up anyway, as the Marxist revisionists have gained a foothold and tacitly influence everyone. Other Christian political scientists are apt to distinguish between the two quite differently. Nationalism is very clearly ideological in nature, and embodies a political sentiment rooted in attachment to the state itself and its policies. Patriotism is more of a natural attachment -- a sentiment in America that can be for one's community, one's home State as much as their nation. One must surely be an Ohioan, a Virginian and a Texan as they are an American. The two words obviously have capacity to be misnomers as they mean different things to different people. Some people use the words interchangably.

Timothy Terrell notes, "In contrast to this nationalism, a biblical patriotism recognizes that the civil government should not occupy center stage in society, and that a disaster requires a response from the church, families, and individuals. In contrast to this nationalism, a biblical patriotism recognizes that the civil government should not occupy center stage in society, and that a disaster requires a response from the church, families, and individuals. Loyalty to an authority does not mean unquestioning approval of that authority's decisions--patriotism is sometimes critical if the biblical principles that made this country great are compromised. "

"Patriotism not nationalism is the ideal attachment."
--Erik von-Kuehnelt Leddihn
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Originally posted by Puritanhead
Originally posted by Draught Horse
Einwechter's point is good, his use of words bad. A much wiser man--my German Professor--taught me to distinguish between nationalism and patriotism: nationalism is love for one's country (not necessarily bad) but quickly moves into love for the State---->approvement of the State.

Patriotism-------->love for "the fatherland," the values (ideally) which shape your collective experience.

That German professor's point really misses the mark, and he has turned the neddle on it's head. Germany's post-WWII political lexicon is seriously messed up anyway, as the Marxist revisionists have gained a foothold and tacitly influence everyone. Other Christian political scientists are apt to distinguish between the two quite differently. Nationalism is very clearly ideological in nature, and embodies a political sentiment rooted in attachment to the state itself and its policies. Patriotism is more of a natural attachment -- a sentiment in America that can be for one's community, one's home State as much as their nation. One must surely be an Ohioan, a Virginian and a Texan as they are an American. The two words obviously have capacity to be misnomers as they mean different things to different people. Some people use the words interchangably.

Timothy Terrell notes, "In contrast to this nationalism, a biblical patriotism recognizes that the civil government should not occupy center stage in society, and that a disaster requires a response from the church, families, and individuals. In contrast to this nationalism, a biblical patriotism recognizes that the civil government should not occupy center stage in society, and that a disaster requires a response from the church, families, and individuals. Loyalty to an authority does not mean unquestioning approval of that authority's decisions--patriotism is sometimes critical if the biblical principles that made this country great are compromised. "

"Patriotism not nationalism is the ideal attachment."
--Erik von-Kuehnelt Leddihn

As I pointed before, the terms are dependent upon the meaning of the user, since most Americans use them interchangably anyway. Furthermore, my prof is American, not German, and he spoke more with a reflection away from Germany. But just to assume the opposite for a moment, I think the point is valid: How else could Russian citizens, who hated the Communists, be willing to fight and die for Mother Russia?
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
The Russians who faught the Nazi's in defense of Mother Russia did so largely out of patriotism.

Dr. Nicolai Alexandrenko (former LC religion prof.) spoke some months ago at Grace Pres. in Alexandria and gave his testimony. He was a Soviet officer who was converted while a prisoner of the Nazi's, if I recall. I missed the message, but it's on Sermon Audio.

There is an architecht here in town that was in the Hitler Youth. There is another Army man in the area (I'm assuming he's still with us) who was one of the first to liberate Dachau (I think it was). There aren't many from that generation left.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by Pilgrim
"Patriotism not nationalism is the ideal attachment."
--Erik von-Kuehnelt Leddihn

This is the proper conservative view.

Thank you... It's just semantics, but an important point nonetheless. I don't think Jacob and I are disagreement over the principles at stake.
 

bradofshaw

Puritan Board Freshman
I've always had a distain for the idea of nationalism, and would consider myself patriotic in that this is my home, and I do not want it to be destroyed, nor do I want to see it descend into moral decay. However, as a Christian, my patriotism has to be tempered by my greater love for God, his law, and the church. If my nation disregards/abuses/persecutes these, it is my duty to oppose or resist to the best of my ability such practices. If that means packing up and leaving or dying to try and change things, than so be it. I think it is wrong for politicians to play the patriot card when such things as a controversial war is taking place (just an example). Obedience and support of the state cannot supercede obedience to God.

Nationalism has the connotation that my nation, and its ethnic and cultural distinctives, are inherrently better than yours. Also, it tends to rally people around an identity in the state. This is dangerous because it can foster an unholy devotion and dependence on the government.

If you look at the development of nation states in Europe, the motivation for nationalism was to unite the people of an area, which were formerly identified simply under the current ruling family, by some inherent quality in them, language, religion, ethinicity, etc. If you look at the colonial and revolutionary eras, I think it shows that the benefit of such unity was for the purposes of strengthening military clout. Another great motivation was simply enlightenment ideals and atheism. The state replaced the church as authority. Hegel taught that one can only have freedom and meaning in identity with the state.

That said, I can see how a more denotative defenition of nationalism might support the idea that nationalism combats the unification of sinners.

National borders and checks and balances among and between borders is esential for the checking of evil. Consider the way that Islam swept across the world. If it weren't checked in Europe, the world would be a much darker place.
 
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