Christian nationalism has been on the rise over the last few years. However, the insurrection on January 6th, 2021 has some evangelical leaders rethinking the need to make a public stand against the dangers of Christian nationalism. As a result, many Christian leaders from a range of theological and political perspectives have signed onto a statement condemning Christian nationalism.
This is not the first such statement produced by Christians. In the summer of 2019, a similar statement was released by an ecumenical Christian group, Christians Against Christian Nationalism, and signed by more than 21,000 Christians. The current letter which is focused on attracting evangelical leaders as signatories has successfully attracted over 2,000 evangelical leaders as signatories.
The letter, posted on https://saynotochristiannationalism.org/ begins:
As leaders in the broad evangelical community, we recognize and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6.
We recognize the damage done by radicalized Christian Nationalism in the world, the church, and in the lives of individuals and communities.
We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are “blessed by God” and ordained by your faith. This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized.
While we come from varied backgrounds and political stances, we stand together against the perversion of the Christian faith as we saw on January 6, 2021. We also stand against the theology and the conditions that led to the insurrection.
Over the centuries, there are moments when the Church, the trans-national Body of Christ-followers, has seen distortions of the faith that warranted a response. In ages past, the Church has responded by holding emergency councils in order to unilaterally denounce mutations of the Christian faith, and to affirm the core values at the heart of Christianity. It is in that spirit that we unite our voices to declare that there is a version of American nationalism that is trying to camouflage itself as Christianity — and it is a heretical version of our faith.
Just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith, we feel the urgent need to denounce this violent mutation of our faith. What we saw manifest itself in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is a threat to our democracy, but it is also a threat to orthodox Christian faith. The word “Christian” means “Christ-like.” As leaders in the Church, we do not agree on everything, but we can agree on this — Christians should live in a way that honors Jesus, and reminds the world of Him.
Read the full statement here.