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  • Writer's pictureJacob Skorka

The Land of the Free-dom to Insert My Savior into Your Personal Political Agenda?

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Here, have a beer and let's talk about the difference between nationalism and Christianity.


Christians have left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth since my conversion in 2011. Even more bitter than the taste politicians have smeared on the back of my tongue, and politicians have been scummy my entire life. It's no secret that I have issues with the church. I'm realizing that a lot of my issues stem from my own selfishness, but not this one. I have seen the line between patriot and Christian mudded and blurred by way too many proclaiming Christians and Jesus-preaching churches in my life to believe that it's my selfishness creating an imaginary trust issue.


For clarification's sake, let's establish the meaning of the word Christian vs. the word nationalism.


Christian comes from the Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos) and literally means "follower of Christ". You probably knew that, but if you didn't, you're welcome.


The Merriam-Webster definition of nationalism is 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


Based on definition alone, the line between the two is blatantly obvious.


Christian, draw the line! Pick a side and stay there. Get rid of the "but. . . " thoughts you have when a politician pushes a policy. Next time you hear about a policy that you don't agree with, and your first thought is, "but, what about me [my business, my job, my taxes, my life, etc.]?" it's time to check your heart.


A fantasy has been dreamed up, in the most American-way possible, that in order to spread the Gospel, one must be American, and their American liberties have to be upheld. A fantasy that convinces republicans that democrats hate Jesus and can't see the truth through their liberalness, therefore every single democrat in America is out to rape, steal, and kill all Christians. A fantasy that tells democrats that republicans are too narrow-minded and stupid to accept that God creates people who don't look like WASPs; therefore, they don't belong. A whisper from the enemy that tells republicans that it is not possible to be liberal and Christian and tells democrats that it's impossible to be a republican with empathy and perspective. It's created a perception that there is no way for Jesus to be made known unless the listener sits on the same side of the aisle as the speaker. We tweet, go to church on Saturday night (because Sunday is for football watching), type out Instagram captions, and believe people will only hear about Jesus if we are able to say what we want when we want how we want because we have freedom of speech. But, if you don't agree with how or what I am saying, then you're infringing on my American right and you're going to prison for tyranny and then hell because you're anti-America.


Jesus doesn't care about your American liberties.


Is the Holy Spirit not your freedom of speech? Is Jesus not your business' success? Is God not more authority than your (insert American liberty you're clinging to too tightly here)?


"THEY'RE CENSORING US!! I can't believe we are going to let big tech control the conservative voice! They're stripping all of our freedom!"


Boo-freaking-hoo. See what Jesus says in Matthew 5:10-11, and again in John 15:19, and again in John 16:33.


Paul the Apostle was inside of prisons that were too gruesome to even be on Netflix's Inside the World's Toughest Prisons. Read what he has to say in 2 Timothy 3:11 after you read about all of the persecution he endured in his other letters. His letters not only made it to the people he was writing to, in the time period that he wrote them, but also to hundreds of millions of people years, decades, and centuries later. Was Paul American? Did Paul have freedom of speech? Did Paul have a constitution to keep him out of prison? Was Paul controlled by the government? Was Paul censored? I'll tell you this - Paul was saved, Paul shared the Gospel, Paul's voice continues to be heard.


Not too long ago I was confronted by an Instagram follower after I posted a story explaining the 1st Amendment, and what it protects American citizens from. I didn't think the post was too political, if at all, and I didn't add any opinions to it. It was a photo of a tweet, tweeted by an author and well-educated man, that explained freedom of speech. I shared it with the hopes that people would be educated if they were not already. Said follower is someone I have met a few times, we have some mutual friends, and I would consider to be an acquaintance more than a person I have a relationship with. Follower is very opinionated and very openly conservative, while inserting Jesus, and the Christian faith, every once-in-a-while. The conversation went as follows:


Follower: "Just wait until they ban people for posting about their Christian values."

Yours truly: "Muslims and Buddhists have been censored [pushed aside, oppressed, etc.] since 1776." ~~ Admittedly, that was a bad rebuttal and pointed the conversation in a direction that I did not want to go.

Follower: "By all means, keep trying to convince yourself it's ok."

Yours truly: "Never said it was okay to censor people. The point is: the first amendment keeps you from being punished, by law, for words. . . there's a line between censorship and violating constitutional rights. That line hasn't been crossed yet."

Follower: "Ah so 'yet' being the key word. Don't fight until it [affects] you. Don't realize it's a slippery slope and censoring conservative voices today can't turn into censoring Christian voices tomorrow. Continue defending the censoring because nothing bad has happened. . . yet."


And then, he finishes his point with this: ". . . as a Christian you must realize this."


As a Christian you must realize this.


AS A CHRISTIAN, YOU MUST REALIZE THIS


Oh, boy!


My initial reaction was to tell him that if he was going to approach this conversation through a Christ-following lens, then there are too many holes in his argument because of contradictions alone, let alone missing the entire calling of a believer. Shutting Christian mouths is what he's worried about. Almost like it would be the first time ever that a government has not allowed humans to talk about Jesus. It's ironic because I think I have read somewhere that this has actually been a very common theme. I can't put my finger on the article, or book(s), that I read it but I know I've seen it. Bible, maybe?


I can't say that I'm surprised. The concerns that the American government are going to not allow Jesus' name on Twitter are based on an American view of persecution that is, in fact, not persecution at all. In a biblical sense, at least. Americans just don't like to be called out on hypocritical tendencies of saying this is one nation under God but never actually showing the nation God's personality. We say, "in God we trust," and, "don't tread on me," in the same breath but don't see the problem with that.


In fact, America has never been the "Christian Country" that some say it was/is. The pledge of allegiance was written by an American, not by Jesus or any bible character. The constitution was written by a group of WASPs trying to impose restrictions on certain people while advancing themselves to success in the form of life (money), liberty (money), and the pursuit of happiness (money). The idea that taking Twitter away from a citizen is a violation of constitutional rights is a nationalist idea, it's not a Christian idea. Jesus doesn't care if a big American company, with big American money, makes you stop talking when you're being ugly towards God's most beloved creation. He cares that you're being ugly to God's most beloved creation.


Just recently, a conversation has been started about the difference between the American nationalist and the Christian. In the church. Actually being preached in churches. A conversation that is way too late. A reaction, rather than a warning. A conversation that is not happening enough, and that does not show enough passion to drive a point. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is a conversation that happens in healthy church buildings all throughout the country, and has been happening for decades, but I don't think so. I don't think so because the current narrative is not one that pleads, we knew this would happen if we, as a Church, were not careful, the current narrative is one of fear, panic, and sadness.


The apostle Paul is writing letters to the American church.


Pastor, if Jesus walked into your church on any Sunday in 2020, would He flip the tables in your foyer?


Americans who proclaim Christ need to get over themselves and recognize the difference between nationalism and following Christ, myself included. American politics will never align with Jesus. Ever. Republican policy will never be Gospel centered. No matter how much you hide behind ending abortion. Democratic policy will never be Gospel centered. No matter how much you hide behind healthcare for all. American politics are divisive and greedy. All politics, for that matter, are the epitome of sin consolidated in a profession posing as a good deed designed to take care of a population. As a Christian, you must realize this. The sooner you do, the sooner you can stop getting upset when you're let down by the American government.


Nonetheless, there are words being preached from the pulpit about the actions of psychos who use Christ's name as a safety cloak.


Stop using your weak faith as a weapon when your feelings are hurt. Recognize that humans are sinful beings and separate your constitution from your Savior.


Here's another beer.

 

WASP is a white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant.

JC is Jesus Christ

Notice the difference in church and Church

Jesus would have for sure walked into a church in 2020 because He's Jesus and COVID is allergic to Him.

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