Thursday, June 28, 2007

is nationalism a sin?

10:14 AM Posted by: M., 10 comments




When I was a christian, I thought about this a lot...

Does the War on Terror or more generally, the principle of first-strike, mesh with Christianity?

I think no.

I was always amazed that Christians could think it Godly to support a war that was built on killing our enemies before they kill us (or take away our BMWs and ice cream). I see the act of Jesus dying on the cross as this...

We harmed him through sin, and yet he chose to sacrifice himself, in order that we should live.

I see the War on Terror as this...we must sacrifice those who harm us (and innocents too), to protect ourselves.

To me, that seems like the opposite. I am pretty convinced that hardcore nationalism is sin and ungodly (if Christianity is true, that is). Sure, I can love my enemy when he takes my parking space, but not when he is threatening my safety...what a cop out.

And some might say that our enemies now want pan-Islam and want to convert us all and we are just defending Christianity...but I don't think the Bible says, "love your enemies--unless they're muslim." If christians are going to pick and choose what they like from the Bible (ignoring God's sponsored cruelty in the OT), then they have to live with the "loving, self-sacrificial Jesus" who I personally think, would reject what this country is doing to save its fat ass.


10 comments:

Slapdash said...

I don't know if I think nationalism is a sin, but it has never sat well with me. In fact, over Christmas I got into a heated conversation with an old friend who is still a fundamentalist. I told her that I thought it was wrong for an American flag to be in a church sanctuary - God isn't American, and we as Americans do not automatically have his seal of approval. To fly a flag in a place of worship seems to conflate nation and faith in a really, really bad way.

marie said...

Thanks Slapdash, I think you made a good point that it is the connection between faith and nationalism... at least favoring your nation over others in connection to God's favor, etc.

Thanks for that

Heather said...

I have problems with nationalism, as well, and it goes all the way back to the early church. The Romans killed Jesus, a movement starts up around the crucified savior and works directly against Rome in terms of morals and political activities ... and then 300 years or so, Christianty allies itself with the very system that killed their lord and savior.

lowendaction said...

marie - this is dangerously close to belonging on the war site!

It's official, I am going to come up with a whole different set of terms for this whole christologistical group...maybe christians V 1.0, 1.01; religious sect A, B, C, ect...

Anywho, as some of you may know, I grew up in Germany, so this whole nationalism vs religion has a slightly different meaning for me. This is all just another example of how people have taken away or added to God's original design to suite their own priorities. Seperation of Church and State is a VERY good thing, and we should do everything in our power to maintain this. Do you know that members of the state church in Germany (and trust me, there are many, and God has very little to do with that!) automatically have 10% of their anual wages withdrawn? How well do you think that would fly here?

When I joined the Marine Corps and ended up getting sent to Iraq, at no point did I feel like I was carrying out God's will, and I can honestly say that I didn't meet any other American's over there who shared such sentiments. Which brings up an interresting point: only those who chose to cheer us on from the comforts of their suburban homes believed this to be a "holy war"....hmmm.

marie said...

Hey lowendaction--that's another good point. I am surrounded by Christians who support the wars (but who have never been to war)and who actually poke fun at anti-war activists. i think that plays into it as well...when we are so separated from the killing, war might just seem like more of a transaction than a place of death and destruction

thanks for your input

HeIsSailing said...

marie, there is another angle as to why some Christians support the war in Iraq. Pre or Post trib people (sorry, I never could keep them straight) still believe that Israel have a special place in prophetic 'End Times'. If any country poses a threat to the Holy People, they must be stopped.

exapologist said...

Great post, Marie. I think you hit the nail on the head.

Slapdash said...

hey, exapologist, any chance you might invite me to read your blog? i'm guessing you have some interesting things to say...

exapologist said...

Hi Slapdash,

Of course! Just send me your email address (to exapologist@yahoo.com), and then I can enter your email onto my invite list.

All the best,

EA

Spiritbear said...

This has been my biggest struggle over the last 7 years and almost pushed me away from God. Religious nationalism is evil.