For the Christian, the hope of the future is bound to the promises of the scriptures and these promises don’t only show us the final destiny of humanity, but they’re like road signs directing us on how to get there. Our outlook on the end of history determines how much we steer in getting there and also what that involvement looks like. Some are less passionate about their contribution while others are hitting the gas pedal hard. Unless you’ve prematurely moved into your bunker and shut off your AM radio, you’ve surely have heard a few hot takes on the topic of Christian Nationalism. Admittedly, until just a few short months ago, I wasn’t acquainted with this expression and the movement behind it but now the elite have captivated me with another fearmongering name to exile all Christians whether they serve in government or not. If you’re not familiar with this term, I’ll do my best to share what I know. The idea of Christian Nationalism is a Christian political movement seemingly gaining some attention especially in the United States that is attempting to pass laws through government that would reflect God’s civil laws in their American society. Most mainstream media outlets who are our beacon of knowledge and truth identify it with a bunch of KKK rednecks and religious fanatics trying to usher in an American version if Iran but without all those pesty protests. Well, that’s the definition you will get from your local liberal and Tik Tok conducer but anyone with a shred of honesty will argue that it’s a little more complicated than that. The concept of a nation with Christian principles scares these folks who are fighting adamantly for an anti-Christian secular nation and are willing to engage in a little friendly civil name calling. But ultimately, like any other movement, there are different extremities, some extreme while some other are of the more mild version.
But what does this have to do with the future and especially postmillennialism? Well, this movement is also direly opposed by some of our Christian brethren who have pointed out that some postmillennial rascals are the core cheerleading squad for this movement. Because of the concept of an earthy takeover, one that postmillennialists are awaiting for, they look to those posmillers as their back-end support. But Christian Nationalism is missing some core ingredients that becomes challenging when you inherently try to equate the two. Postmillennialists do believe that Jesus Christ is the King of heaven and earth. They believe that Christ’s victory on the cross and over death in His resurrection were the means by which He gained His inheritance. That inheritance was described in many ways but ultimately, He was given the nations and the whole earth (Psalm 2:8). While many other eschatological systems envision the fulfillment of this promise of inheritance at the 2nd coming, for those poor postimillers, they see this beginning at His resurrection (Acts 2). They subscribe to the notion that the great marching orders for the Christian are founded upon this principle and described in Matthew 28:18-20 in the great commission. Christ isn’t awaiting to claim the nations, He possesses all things and has authority in heaven and on earth. Christ calls His people to go forth to claim them. Where the rubber meets the road however, is that, while Christian Nationalists believe in King Jesus’ reign, their focus is primarily upon political means to transform the government and create civil laws. The Postmillennialist on the other hand, isn’t pushing the Lordship of Christ over the nations with a sword or political or legal pressure, but through the preaching of the gospel, baptism and teaching them to observe His commands. This will eventually permeate into every part of society whether art, music, science, engineering and politics but not a forced endeavour. Most who subscribe to postmillennialism are also Calvinists. As a Calvinist who believes in the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, I believe that those nations who will come to the mountain of the Lord, will worship before Him and turn to Him. But those who do so are not persuaded by political means, but by the power of the Spirit of God in the New Birth. They will come and obey willingly. This will be the greatest revival in human history and happens just prior to Christ’s coming. It’s only at that time that God’s rule will extend from sea to sea!
I avow that I’m not an expert on Christian Nationalism but let me point out some important issues that from my minimal understanding currently concern me about it. These issues may be a misunderstanding on my part, and I welcome correction! This movement obviously differs from a more traditional postmillennialism and certainly doesn’t seem to be as much fun. One of my first observations is that I’m admittedly not keen in primarily focusing upon finding my identity in a nation as much as a citizen of the kingdom of God on earth. I’ve immigrated to the kingdom of the Son (Colossians 1:13) not the parliament building in Ottawa. I want to see the nations come to Christ, not necessarily people joining a Christian nation. With that said, I’m also not enthusiastic on limiting myself to a nation. The kingdom of God is not supposed to stay in one place but will permeate the whole world, not simply on a national level. I also get uneasy trying to force people to adhere to God’s law who essentially aren’t converted all the while appreciating that the favour is not returned by a secular nation. With that said, I’m a New Covenant believer and hence I’m awaiting the movement from the Holy Spirit to apply Jeremiah 31, where the God of the nations who rules through His Christ can say on a grand scale: “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. I’m not looking for forced obedience but that the work of the Spirit, in the grandest revival in human history, will see the nations taught obedience to Christ with their hearts. At that time, racism will no longer exist (Revelation 5:9), abortion will be abolished, the mutilation of children, pornography and death for the mentally ill and children born with defects in Canada will be outlawed because the vast majority in our society will accept what is right in their hearts. All the enemies of righteousness will be subjected to the Lord Jesus. It will be the day described by the prophet Isaiah:
Now it will come about that In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
My biggest concern, however, is that I’m seeing that those who promulgate Christian Nationalism have missed the most significant ingredient: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m seeing a focus upon government, laws and rebellion rather than the message. There is little effort to evangelize the lost but a whole lot of focus on law/government. For the postmillennialists who are a part of this movement, I believe this comes as a tendency for people to grab too soon and be tempted to usher in the postmillennial hope with political means rather than through the spirit empowered gospel. I’m not persuaded that we are not even close at this time in history to this hope and we need to buckle down since bad times are coming. Yet, there can be an impulse to want to see this extraordinary period in history of nations who have willfully submitted themselves to the gospel and to the Lordship of Christ. I’m not arguing that there can’t be an infiltration and influence on government affairs. We should fight to protect the vulnerable and stand on God’s righteousness but recognize that we don’t takeover this way and that it’s too soon. When the postmillennial hope will flourish in history, those officials who express their faith in government will apply God’s laws through a majority consensus and there will be very little resistance. I thought this conversation did clear up some of my concerns but I’m not persuaded that these men are entirely on board with Christian Nationalism.
2 thoughts on “Christian Nationalism & Postmillenialism”