(The below was read by me at a press conference in opposition to the Re-Awaken Tour that stopped in Nashville.)
The Apostle Paul warned the church in Galatia about “another gospel” saying, “If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned” (Galatians 1:9).
Our purpose today is to give a prophetic witness against “another gospel” that is being preached at the ReAwaken America Tour this weekend in Nashville, TN. This “other gospel” is known as Christian Nationalism. And just to be clear, we strongly oppose Christian Nationalism becauseit harms the witness of Jesus and our democracy. I believe Christian Nationalism is “another gospel” and is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I will let others give the textbook definition of Christian Nationalism.My task is to compare this “other gospel” with the teachings of Jesus as found in Matthew 5:3-11. His words in this section of the New Testament have become known as The Beatitudes.
Christian Nationalismsays, “Blessed are the rich, for they receive power and prestige in the MAGA kingdom of this world.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are those who live the good life, putting themselves and their country first, and rarely suffering oppression because of their privilege and their belief in exceptionalism.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are the arrogant, and those who always fight back, never turning the other cheek, for that is how you advance in a meritocracy.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are those who hunger for political influence and who push others out of the way so they can have a seat at the table.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are those who live by the rule of punitive justice; an ‘eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are those who lie and deceive and use fear and conspiracy theories to advance their political agenda.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Christian Nationalism says, “The way of peace is through strength so we must build an unrivaled military industrial complex, believing God is always on our side because “might makes right.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are those who pass laws keeping people different from themselves oppressed and discouraged, stoking fear of the other; for that is how you hold on to power.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10).
Christian Nationalism says, “Blessed are those who are always on the attack, ridiculing, insulting, and calling other people names.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11).
The gospel of Jesus is one of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love of enemies. This “other gospel” being preached in our city this weekend is the antithesis to all Jesus taught.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to advance Christ’s kingdom on earth. But Jesus taught us to do so through love, humility, service, and sacrifice. Not fear, intimidation, force, and deception.