Dispensationalism and Christian Nationalism

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Jvictory15

Puritan Board Freshman
Is there a connection between dispensationalism and nationalism?

My main context is the church I am apart of, but also in the area I’m in (southeast) it seems to be fairly common. For instance, our worship this morning consisted of patriotic songs, some containing Christian themes and others had no Christian themes whatsoever. I have slowly come out of the dispensationalist camp, though the Pastor of my church is a dispensationalist.

It seems like almost every church that I know of that does a 'patriotic service' (Memorial Day, July 4th, etc) come from the dipsy' theological camp.

EDIT**
Let me re-phrase something. Im not so much talking about nationalism as I am simply the incorporation of a patriotic service into a worship service.

I love our nation and am proud to call the states home. My issue is the when churches have a desire to incorporate that into a time that God alone is to be exalted and lifted up; not our nation.

The reasoning I have heard to have these services are we should 'give honor to where honor is due' (Prov 3:27) and 'many great men and women have laid down their life for the sake of this country'. Then it is compared to the way Christ also laid His life down. A recent reason from a church I've heard is there are 2 dangers, or two extremes to be avoided. The one is obviously raising our country to the state of an idol, but the other 'danger' that was stated is to 'just completely ignore it (Memorial Day) and just focus on the Gospel, attempting to not mix our love for our country and the Gospel."

This just does not sit well with me. I dont mind celebrating Memorial Day and remembering the brave men and women that have indeed laid their life down for our freedoms. I am incredibly grateful for that. I simply do not see a place for this remembrance in the weekly gathering of the saints.
 
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retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have not seen anyone doing a service like that around me. Also, I believe a distinction needs to be made between nationalism by itself and "Christian nationalism". For the term on its own, I don't believe there is anything wrong about being for your own nation if it's not idolatry. For the second, what is your definition? From what I can tell, it appears to be a term liberals use to bash conservative christianity.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Is there a connection between dispensationalism and nationalism?

It seems like almost every church that does a 'patriotic service' (Memorial Day, July 4th, etc) come from the dipsy' theological camp.
Hi Jvictory15, welcome to the board. Please fix yourself a signature so folks know how to address you familiarly. See the instructions at the link at the bottom of the page under Useful Links.
 

Jvictory15

Puritan Board Freshman
I have not seen anyone doing a service like that around me. Also, I believe a distinction needs to be made between nationalism by itself and "Christian nationalism". For the term on its own, I don't believe there is anything wrong about being for your own nation if it's not idolatry. For the second, what is your definition? From what I can tell, it appears to be a term liberals use to bash conservative christianity.

My main context is the church I am apart of, but also in the area I’m in (southeast) it seems to be fairly common. For instance, our worship this morning consisted of patriotic songs, some containing Christian themes and others had no Christian themes. And again, there seems to be some correlation between dispensationalist and these types of services. I have slowly come out of the dispensationalist camp, thoughthe Pastor of my church is a dispensationalist.

I suppose my definition of nationalism is fairly generic. — loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
There is no necessary connection. I am a nationalist of sorts, though I one in the sense of the German philosopher Johann Herder. Nationalist today basically means non-communist, which is why NPR and CNN hate nationalism.

I'm loyal to my nation, since not being loyal would be treason and that usually carries the death penalty. I don't exalt my nation above others except for the Chinese Communist Party. We are superior to them.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Several other important points:

1) Nation does not equal State. A nation, among other things, is the linguistic, cultural expression of a people (notice this says nothing about race). The state is the managerial apparatus.

2) Those who hate nationalism, like the Gospel Corporation, will get rid of the nation but leave intact the managerial elite in the State.

3) Without strong nations, the default will be China, multinational corporations, the UN, or the EU. China is literally butchering and raping Uigyars right now, But to listen to Christian pundits talk, nationalism is literally Hitler.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
My problem with the label “Christian nationalism” is that it is a Woke trigger word that is ubiquitously used yet never defined. (I know you have defined it, which I appreciate.) In public discourse, “Christian nationalist” virtually always ends up meaning “any Christian whose politics are more conservative than mine.”

Patriotic songs isn’t Christian nationalism. It’s just plain ol’ strange fire.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I’m in (southeast)
No neo-Confederates around there to balance things out?

On a more serious note, it looks like there is an ARP and and PCA in your neck of the woods. Pick the best. And there are a lot more of each not that far away.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
...not being loyal...
I’m curious for your opinion here. Do you think being loyal to a nation, insofar as it stands for and pursues godly ideals, is actually a requirement of the fifth commandment? It would seem to me that the Lord would desire us to seek the good of our city even now, and that is difficult to do if we aren’t loyal to it to some degree.
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Jason, are you near Shelby, NC? Can't recall exactly where Denver is compared to Shelby, but I'm remembering it not being too far away (lived in the area for a couple years). I attended a PCA church there for a while while I was there. I vaguely recall a patriotic song being sung on one of the national holidays; yet I don't recall the pastor being a dispensationalist, though that may have to do more with that I'm not terribly familiar with that (at least he never came out and said that).
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think it's more an accident of not understanding the Regulative Principle than a logical tie between dispensationalism and country-olatry.
While we seek a city not made with men's hands, eternal in the Heavens, we live down here in countries and nations whose borders and limits God has providentially determined, and placed each of His children in the one that would be to his/her most ultimate good. There's nothing wrong with seeking to live well within your nation, with working for it's economic gain and political stability, and with taking up arms in its defense. I'm grateful for the country I live in, and if we were attacked, would enlist in the military and die with a good conscience for its protection.
It is even legitimate to celebrate holidays and memorials and shoot off fireworks and see parades (if you can stand 'em--I hate parades). What you cannot do is fetch all that stuff in to the worship of God, and break the Sabbath for a parade, or sing praises to any but God in His house on His day.
Like with everything else, the legitimate appreciation of your nation can become idolatry if put in the wrong place.
Because they are made up of fallen men, all nations do wicked things--some more than others--but ultimately the only nation that is righteous is that nation whose God is the LORD: that is to say, the Church Universal, comprised of the elect from every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue. Ironically, their righteousness is alien, since it proceeds not from themselves but from Another.
 

Jvictory15

Puritan Board Freshman
Let me re-phrase something. Im not so much talking about nationalism as I am simply the incorporation of a patriotic service into a worship service.

I love our nation and am proud to call the states home. My issue is the when churches have a desire to incorporate that into a time that God alone is to be exalted and lifted up; not our nation.

The reasoning I have heard to have these services are we should 'give honor to where honor is due' (Prov 3:27) and many great men and women have laid down their life for the sake of this country, and then it is compared to the way Christ also laid His life down. A reason reason I've heard is that there are 2 dangers, or two extremes. The one is obviously raising our country to the state of an idol, but the other 'danger' that was stated is to 'just completely ignore it (Memorial Day) and just focus on the Gospel, attempting to not mix our love for our country and the Gospel."

This just does not sit well with me. I dont mind celebrating Memorial Day and remembering the brave men and women that have indeed laid their life down for our freedoms. I am incredibly grateful for that. I simply do not see a place for this remembrance in the weekly gathering of the saints.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
Is there a connection between dispensationalism and nationalism?

My main context is the church I am apart of, but also in the area I’m in (southeast) it seems to be fairly common. For instance, our worship this morning consisted of patriotic songs, some containing Christian themes and others had no Christian themes whatsoever. I have slowly come out of the dispensationalist camp, though the Pastor of my church is a dispensationalist.

It seems like almost every church that I know of that does a 'patriotic service' (Memorial Day, July 4th, etc) come from the dipsy' theological camp.

I don't necessarily see a direct connection between dispensationalism and nationalism in the form you described; however, in my experience Baptists - some in the SBC and MANY of the IFB sort - tend to blend patriotic elements from national holidays with worship on the Lord's Day. I guess what might connect the two [dispensationalism and (unhealthy) nationalism] is they are typically beliefs found among regular Baptists.
 

Jvictory15

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Jason, are you near Shelby, NC? Can't recall exactly where Denver is compared to Shelby, but I'm remembering it not being too far away (lived in the area for a couple years). I attended a PCA church there for a while while I was there. I vaguely recall a patriotic song being sung on one of the national holidays; yet I don't recall the pastor being a dispensationalist, though that may have to do more with that I'm not terribly familiar with that (at least he never came out and said that).
We're a little over an hour away from Shelby. But have been through there a couple times, small world!
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Let me re-phrase something. Im not so much talking about nationalism as I am simply the incorporation of a patriotic service into a worship service.
Yeah, this isn’t a “Christian nationalism” issue. This is a worship issue, and a bad one. And no, this isn’t uniquely a Dispensationalist issue, although I do note that I have tended to see this kind of thing among Dispensationalist churches more often. I’m not sure if there is a connection. There could be. I know their wonky views on end times stuff has led some (maybe many) of them to believe America plays some crucial role in God’s redemptive wrapping up of all things.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let me re-phrase something. Im not so much talking about nationalism as I am simply the incorporation of a patriotic service into a worship service.

I love our nation and am proud to call the states home. My issue is the when churches have a desire to incorporate that into a time that God alone is to be exalted and lifted up; not our nation.

The reasoning I have heard to have these services are we should 'give honor to where honor is due' (Prov 3:27) and many great men and women have laid down their life for the sake of this country, and then it is compared to the way Christ also laid His life down. A reason reason I've heard is that there are 2 dangers, or two extremes. The one is obviously raising our country to the state of an idol, but the other 'danger' that was stated is to 'just completely ignore it (Memorial Day) and just focus on the Gospel, attempting to not mix our love for our country and the Gospel."

This just does not sit well with me. I dont mind celebrating Memorial Day and remembering the brave men and women that have indeed laid their life down for our freedoms. I am incredibly grateful for that. I simply do not see a place for this remembrance in the weekly gathering of the saints.
When you understand the Regulative Principle of Worship, this becomes a simple issue. Because God has not commanded that we honor anyone or anything else but Himself during His worship, to sing hymns about America in a worship service is a sin. To have moments of silence or memorials or saluting flags or anything to honor any people, living or dead, is a sin. To take a the LORD's day and say "this is also Mother's Day, or Father's Day," is idolatry.
God has given us elements of worship. We must offer those completely and sincerely, and must offer nothing else.
"Honor to whom honor is due." Parents, veterans, leaders, whomever, whatever honor they are due, are not to be honored at the expense of the honor due to God.
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
When you understand the Regulative Principle of Worship, this becomes a simple issue. Because God has not commanded that we honor anyone or anything else but Himself during His worship, to sing hymns about America in a worship service is a sin. To have moments of silence or memorials or saluting flags or anything to honor any people, living or dead, is a sin. To take a the LORD's day and say "this is also Mother's Day, or Father's Day," is idolatry.
God has given us elements of worship. We must offer those completely and sincerely, and must offer nothing else.
"Honor to whom honor is due." Parents, veterans, leaders, whomever, whatever honor they are due, are not to be honored at the expense of the honor due to God.
This would be my opinion. There are other ways to honor people who have sacrificed for their country, parades and in town and graveside services to name a few. But that would be idolatry to do that in a worship service. I don't think it is wrong to mention it is Mother's day or Father's day somehow in the service, like to reference mothers and fathers, or even Memorial day for that matter (like I think it is going a bit to an extreme to make sure not to speak a word of mothers or fathers or our country on those days) but to clearly take time to honor these people when we are only to honor God at this time would be blasphemy.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Leave this church. It's not really important the background of why someone chooses to violate the 2nd commandment and offer God strange fire. It's more important to flee that which God hates.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I’m curious for your opinion here. Do you think being loyal to a nation, insofar as it stands for and pursues godly ideals, is actually a requirement of the fifth commandment? It would seem to me that the Lord would desire us to seek the good of our city even now, and that is difficult to do if we aren’t loyal to it to some degree.

Probably, yes. I don't know if I would go as far as loyalty oaths, but if you are an American and believe in things like democratic socialism or Shariah Law, that should be grounds for exile.
 
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dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
There is an overarching dynamic at work here. There are two great threats that the church faces from the State. The first and most obvious is persecution. The arch type of the persecuting State is the early, pagan Roman empire. The second threat is more subtle but it is every bit as insidious, it is to be co-opted by the State. The arch type of the co-opting State is the later, ostensibly Christian Roman empire. Those of you who know your history know that the later empire was the scaffolding within which the medieval Roman church was built. I have written a paper about this that some of you may find interesting. See https://www.scribd.com/document/421495943/The-two-beasts-of-Revelation-Identified
 
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