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Jul 4, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. It's the #FourthofJuly, and there's perhaps no better time to discuss Christian nationalism. So, let's talk.
2. Though this sinful confluence is particularly pronounced today, the truth is that broad swathes of American Christianity have united worship of God and empire. While extreme patriotism is already idolotrous, many Christians take spiritual allegiance even further.
3. This is quite vivid in churches that proudly display the American flag in their sanctuary, flying high over Bibles and baptismal fonts. Some even recite the pledge of allegiance during worship, swearing fealty to country in a place that ought to be reserved for the divine.
4. However, Christian nationalism runs far deeper than just these overt displays of patriotic fervor. It's found in theology that declares the United States uniquely blessed by God, in the invocation of Romans 13 to sanctify state crimes, or talk of our "Christian nation."
5. All of this isn't just empty theology, it's a fundamental perversion of the faith started by a man executed by the state for condemning its abuses, and for decrying the complicity of religious authorities who allied themselves to political power instead of God's justice.
6. Indeed, Jesus would have much to say watching white evangelical leaders praying over a President who tears immigrant children from their parents, and it would not words of praise and accolade.
7. When Christians declare fealty to empire, we forget that our first and only calling is to be faithful to God. Then, when empire abuses people on the margins—the community Jesus was born into and people who Jesus loved—the costs of this devilish discipleship become clear.
8. Jesus promises we will know false prophets by their fruits and, in the case of Christian nationalism, the fruits are all-too-painfully apparent.
9. Perhaps the darkest chapter in Christian nationalism is the shameful capitulation of most of the Church in Nazi Germany, but history is rife with examples of invoking God to justify atrocity.
10. Slavery, apartheid, eugenics, segregation, and countless wars have all been defended in God's name by Christians so blindly loyal to their nation that they spat upon God's commandments.
11. Today, Christian nationalists have become some of the staunchest defenders of our President's patently un-Christian oppression—abusing and dehumanizing immigrants, demonizing Muslims, and openly supporting white supremacist policy.
12. It's time for all Christians who still worship God, not country, to stand up and decry these crimes in God's own name—to call out those who pervert Jesus' ministry by using him to bless a regime that desecrates everything Christ stands for.
13. if you're interested in reading more to better understand Christian nationalism, we commend @jackmjenkins' wonderful series for @thinkprogress—which both chronicles its history and examines its present manifestations.

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More from @UnionSeminary

Sep 18, 2018
1. Some people have asked why a Christian seminary would say that Christianity is not the only path to salvation. The short answer is that this in no way violates the Christian faith and, moreover, is integral to honoring and respecting our community.

Long answer below 👇
2. For too long, Christians have misread verses like John 14:6 as implying that God is found exclusively through the Christian faith, many going as far as to say that people of other faiths face eternal damnation.

This is an incredibly narrow reading of the text.
3. To box God neatly within the Christian tradition is to reveal a profoundly limited understanding of the divine. Who are we to say that God can't speak to humanity through a multitude of messengers?
Read 11 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
1. A word about biblical infallibility:

This weekend, we received much damnation from fundamentalists over our denial of scriptural inerrancy. It's understandable, because once you relinquish conviction that the Bible is *literally* God's word, faith becomes a messier affair.
2. It's easier to simply believe that the Bible is a plain record of the divine, that it clearly and concisely states what Christians should believe. In a world that feels so chaotic, biblical infallibility can provide distinct comfort.

But comfort and truth aren't synonymous.
3. The truth is that the biblical books were written by humans. They represent the fruits of people grappling with God, and what it means to be human, for centuries—in all the complexity those questions necessarily entail.
Read 14 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Misguided sociological, psychological and political theories have long fostered biblical misinterpretation. We wish to address untruths this document proclaims: Any treatise that says social justice is incidental to the gospel badly misunderstands both.
I. Scripture

While divinely inspired, we deny the Bible is inerrant or infallible. It was written by men over centuries and thus reflects both God's truth and human sin & prejudice. We affirm that biblical scholarship and critical theory help us discern which messages are God's.
II. Imago Dei

We affirm that God created every person in God's own image. Accordingly, we deny that vitriol directed towards people because of how God made them (i.e. sexual orientation or gender identity) is in any way faithful, biblical or godly.
Read 15 tweets
Jul 24, 2018
1. Though much-analyzed, it's not discussed enough how parishioners' reservations about @realDonaldTrump hinge around personal behavior (adultery, affairs, language, etc.), not systemic sin.

This reveals a broader crisis within Christianity. washingtonpost.com/news/national/…
2. Jack Jones, for example, says it's difficult to support a president who had an affair with a porn star. Terry Drew admits reservations about how Trump "boasted about grabbing women's crotches." Suzette finds him "abrasive." Brett Green disliked his "shithole nations" remark.
3. Now, this is all deeply sinful behavior and the members of Luverne's First Baptist Church are right to feel it contradicts Christ's message. However, decades of theology framing sin as an interpersonal affair leaves them blind to this presidency's other sins.
Read 15 tweets
Jun 26, 2018
1. It's #Pride, so let's talk about the God and the LGBTQ community.
2. In Genesis, we read that God created humanity in God's own image. Scripture is clear: Each of us carry within us the divine spark, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God has pronounced this Creation "good."
3. From both science and folks' lived experience, we know that gender identity and sexual orientation are not incidental aspects of our being. They are not choices—they sit at the core of our humanity.
Read 14 tweets
May 1, 2018
1. It is altogether fitting that a memorial to the thousands of lynched black Americans should open the same week as Rev. Dr. James H. Cone's death; no theologian did more to condemn these atrocities—to expose in their deaths Christ's own crucified body.
2. As Cone wrote in his 2011 masterpiece, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, "The conspicuous absence of the lynching tree in American theological discourse and preaching is profoundly revealing, especially since the crucifixion was clearly a first-century lynching.”
3. He didn't just name lynching as modern crucifixion, though. Cone also condemned the white joy that accompanied the Jim Crow-era killing of black people—and tied it to white Americans' appalling silence when faced with present state-sanctioned murder of their black siblings.
Read 6 tweets

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