Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. He gave us the model of the Good Samaritan who, though ethnically separate, sacrificed for a suffering sojourner.

Christ gave us the model of himself, who laid aside all the glories of heaven, emptying himself to the point of death for the sake of foreigners and the unrighteous.

Paul, who left home to travel the world for the witness of the Kingdom, wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).

Ours is a magnanimous, “love your enemies” kind of gospel.

If this is our framework as Christians, we cannot applaud or agree with the doctrine of “America First”.

That, however, is exactly the doctrine driving our country today.


In his Inauguration Day speech, Donald Trump descended into an ominous caricaturing of the outside world. A total other-ing of foreigners as moochers and marauders. It seems there are no longer allies–there are only rivals and enemies.

Trump said:

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.

All of this is a misrepresentation of the truth.

Apart from wage differences between elites and the rest, the economy is actually doing the best it has since the recession, with wages increasing and unemployment at an eight-year low (4.9 percent)

The military is still by far the best-equipped and most resource-rich fighting force in the world. Though tired from fighting multiple simultaneous wars overseas, ours is still the premier fighting force on the globe. Our defense budget is greater than the next 11 largest military budgets combined. We have by far the largest arsenal of deployed nuclear warheads. And we have the capability, capacity, and readiness to wage war at home or abroad. Not to mention, supplying military aid to foreign countries is not simply an international favor—it’s a primary form of power projection and hard power positioning.

The idea that we “refuse to defend” our borders is as absurd as it sounds. Nearly a quarter of a million Department of Homeland Security employees work to keep our country safe. As CNN reported a few months ago, “Over the past 24 years, the amount of money spent on border security has increased 14 times; the number of border patrol agents have increased 500 percent; the amount of border wall has grown from 77 miles to 700 miles since 2000; and the number of people being apprehended trying to cross the border have decreased by four-fifths.” Barack Obama deported more people than any president in history.

Trump is onto something in his critique of American infrastructure—it does need a lot of modernizing—but it could hardly be called “carnage”, which is how he described our present situation.

Trump’s solutions to the alleged “carnage” that is our nation?

Solution 1: Himself—“I will never, ever let you down,” he said in his inauguration address. And at his RNC speech: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”

Solution 2: A policy of “America First”.

Now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First…

…At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America.

This talk of nationalism, of “total allegiance”, should not sit well with Christ followers.

If we acknowledge that our faith calls us to love others as equal or greater than ourselves, it simply cannot also be true and good for us to care about ourselves more than others. The two don’t jive.

When it comes to prioritizing people, either we will follow Trump and put ourselves first, or we will follow the gospel and prioritize all people equally–or even put others above ourselves.

This is an issue on which Christians will have to choose God or the President. It cannot be both.

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. He showed us how. Trump, however, told us to love ourselves at the expense of Syrians and Sudanese, Chinese and Mexicans. Trump openly espouses a doctrine that values native-born Americans above immigrants, refugees, and aliens.

Isolationist, protectionist nationalism is not Christian.

As disciples of Christ we must love people. All of them. Not just those within our borders, our ethnic groups, our social cliques, but all those neighbors around the globe granted the gift of worth and solidarity through the imago Dei.

Whether Trump says it or not—and it’s better for him if he doesn’t, as it might raise flags of something anathema to the gospel among his Christian supporters—putting America first, in effect, means putting everyone else last. Since Election Day, while American stocks and the dollar have flown relatively high, emerging markets have tumbled. Europeans are worried they may be left out to dry as alliances are questioned. Allies elsewhere worry they may be betrayed, or at least second-classed.

“‘America first’ is the theme of his economic nationalism,” writes the Wall Street Journal in an Inauguration Day piece, “which includes stiff penalties for firms that move jobs to other countries, but it is also a phrase popularized by Charles Lindbergh in the 1940s as he aimed to keep America out the war against Hitler’s Germany.”

Rhetorically, logically, and soon practically, “America First” will mean an uncompassionate self-centeredness. I do not expect any national government to be entirely empathetic or sacrificial, but I do hope those qualities would define Christians.

The Church is other-loving, humanizing, caring, generous, merciful, and sacrificial. These are not values Donald Trump espouses and it appears his government will outright oppose some of them on the geopolitical scene.

It was a peculiar irony that the Beatitudes were invoked at the same inauguration ceremony at which Trump asserted “America First”.

The Beatitudes unveil the recipients of unique blessings of God—the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness. Do any of these align with a doctrine that commands us to love ourselves more than others?

The faithful must choose. Will we adhere to “American First”, putting our own self-interest above everything else? Or will we obey the Great Commandments to put God first and count the interests of others as equal to our own?

Posted by Griffin Paul Jackson


  1. You raise a thought-provoking question, Griffin. How do we live wisely as Christians in a country that is not a theocracy? I hasten to add that trying to make our country into a theocracy, as some in the post-mill, reconstructionist camp would drive toward, even going to the extreme of capital punishment for a rebellious child, is a dangerous road.
    Our present day situation bears some similarities to the Israelites’ in Babylon, where they were instructed to seek the peace and prosperity of their city. We can also look to the early Christians’ situation under the Roman Empire, where the Apostle Paul instructed them to pray for their leaders. So, here we are, privileged to be born in a country with religious freedom, and many good consequences of biblical principles (balanced government, work ethic motivation, tax-free charitable giving). At the same time, most of our elected leaders are not Christians. Therefore, it seems unreasonable to expect our leaders to inform their decisions and rhetoric from a biblical perspective. Logically, the leaders would try to make decisions which would be pleasing to those who put them into office, which would keep them in office. As individual Christians, we can best be that light shining on a hill by being active members of our local churches, and giving generously, even sacrificially of our time, energy and money to the immigrants and refugees, and others in need. As specific governmental policies come up for votes, we can peacefully implore our lawmakers to have mercy on those outside the US.


    1. Griffin Paul Jackson January 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      A few thoughts:

      1) I don’t think theocracy is the answer in the present state of creation. The Kingdom is theocratic. God is king. That’s it. But in earthly, fallen, temporal land, a theocracy dominated by humans is not a true theocracy at all.

      2) We can still be patriotic. Patriotism, in my mind, is just love of country. Nationalism, on the other hand, is love of country at the expense of all others. It’s the idea that we’re better or more valuable. There’s nothing wrong with wanting good for one’s country, but not to the detriment of the rest of creation.

      3) As noted, I don’t think we should expect governments or corporations (or powers and principalities in general) to be gospel-centered. States are focused on their own survival. They seek power and are therefore selfish. The Church is not like that. The Church actually booms by being self-sacrificing. Certainly, Christians can and should be engaged in society, business, politics, but our gospel perspective will oftentimes come into conflict with the perspective of the powers.


    2. Linda, I agree with your take far more than Mr. Jackson’s. Indeed, I find his entire premise to be ill-conceived. I’m of the Western/Christian traditions, but that also includes the the Enlightenment. To think of the United States without its Enlightenment underpinnings is to overlook what the Founders had in mind.

      Myself, I believe “the powers of darkness in this world” have led people into believing things that are both detrimental to the United States and to our Christian heritage. When Mr. Jackson says, “They seek power and are therefore selfish,” he seems to be overlooking the fact that all of us seek power in some form or another. Writing an essay critical of the president is in itself a power seeking action.

      “Lincoln was right to quote Christ when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Lincoln likened the US government to that of a family — and I believe rightfully so. We as Americans and inheritors of the Christian tradition, have powerful, and extremely evil, adversaries. We are capable of doing far more good in the world by having our own house in order. Indeed, when the US does get it right (something that hasn’t occurred often), we are a shining city on a hill.

      Being an example to others is the best thing we can do, and it’s about time. I’m glad president Trump is attempting to make the US a country where its citizens feel proud, rather than demoralized and defeated.


      1. Griffin Paul Jackson January 29, 2017 at 6:47 pm

        Thank you for engaging, Donald. I appreciate your thoughts.

        I admit I’m not sure where much of what you write is coming from though. I’m perfectly happy to consider the Enlightenment and its role in shaping the United States, though I don’t see how that connects with what I’ve written.

        Likewise, I’m not sure where you’re seeing “They seek power and are therefore selfish,” in what I’ve written. I say that no where in this piece (though it is a worthwhile discussion to have!).

        The thesis of what I’ve written is this: “If we acknowledge that our faith calls us to love others as equal or greater than ourselves, it simply cannot also be true and good for us to care about ourselves more than others. The two don’t jive.”

        Finally, I absolutely agree that we should do our best to “be an example to others.” However, as necessary as that is, I don’t know how being an example is better than actually serving and loving others in practical ways. How, for example, would rejecting Syrian refugees be a good example for them? It doesn’t make me proud. It makes me embarrassed.

      2. “They seek power and are therefore selfish.” is in your reply to Linda. The first line of which is “A few thoughts:” The passage is in the third line of the third point.

        I’m not suggesting that you’re doing this, but it is important to remember that it’s possible take make the Bible say whatever someone wants it to.

        That’s where the humility and resolve to study enter this project of yours, this essay. I could, rightfully, counter your premise by referring you to the parable of the talents and to Mark chapter 3:24 “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 27No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”

        America is a relatively new ongoing experiment. We have Founders, a Constitution, and a current President. All of these must be considered when evaluating how a citizen should act.

        What did the Founders read that lead them to forming our republic as they did? What do reputable philosophers and the great minds of history offer us? All these things and placing our experiment in its correct Biblical foundation is mandatory.

        We have leaders that were elected in our Representative government. The Bible is very clear about how believers should behave with humility in their duties. Paul speaks of the duty of slaves. While, it’s true that we are not “slaves,” we are in subordinate positions. The president has the final say in these matters, and “as the strong man of the house,” the burden falls upon him to protect the country.

        Placing this in its global context, rather than political talking points as the nonbelievers do, we could find examples of many millions of people in conditions as bad or worse than the Syrians.

        It’s time for us to stand against the enemies of the US and of our Christian heritage by not being embarrassed about the American experiment. If we do our duty as best we can, we are without blame.

        Demoralizing and dividing the nation is something that is in no way beneficial to making us, or the world, better. Stop being embarrassed. Do your best and remember, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

      3. Griffin Paul Jackson January 30, 2017 at 11:27 am

        Again, I appreciate your thoughts, Donald. Really interesting stuff and it’s good for all of us to hear this diversity of opinion. Thanks! I also appreciate the reminder of humility — I do want to stay humble, listening, empathetic.

        I have a few thoughts, though I’m not sure how far they’ll go, as it seems we are approaching the issues from fairly different perspectives. I’d love to read your response.

        With regard to the “house divided” idea, I think it can certainly be applied to the United States. However, I’m not sure who you perceive to be dividing the house. Me? Refugees? To my eyes, the house has always been divided, increasingly on political grounds especially since the Iraq War, followed by controversial Bush years and Obama’s presidency, etc. From my view, no one has contributed more to division in the United States than the candidate and now-President Trump. Seems like there’s lots of evidence for this based on the outpouring of dissent even in his first week in office.

        I agree with you that the Constitution ought to shape our role as citizens, though I don’t view the Constitution of the Founders’ vision as inherent goods. There are good things in them and bad things. Ultimately, my loyalty is to God and his Word, not the President or the Constitution (though I respect them and believe we should adhere to them where they align with our higher allegiances).

        The thing I take the most issue with is this statement: “It’s time for us to stand against the enemies of the US and of our Christian heritage by not being embarrassed about the American experiment. If we do our duty as best we can, we are without blame.”

        So many things in there that would have to be deeply discussed and defined. Who are the “enemies of the US”? Who determines them? (I, for one, don’t believe Syrian children — or men, for that matter — or Mexican immigrants or Chinese businessmen or Palestinians are “enemies”.) Likewise, who are the “enemies of our Christian heritage”? Does that mean enemies of Western Christianity or Eastern, Orthodox or Protestant, Right-wing Christianity or Left? Also, what does “standing against” those enemies mean in light of our higher call to “love your neighbor as yourself” and “love your enemies”? And when you say, “If we do our duty as best we can, we are without blame,” which duty are you referring to? Duty to country or to God? It’s my belief that banning refugees based on country or religion, for example, is in direct opposition to our divine duty. So I must disobey civil authority and obey heavenly authority. In fact, if I am obedient to President Trump in evil orders, I am very much to blame. (No need to respond to all those questions, unless you’d like to — I just want to emphasize how it’s possible to see these issues very differently.)

        Finally, I love your appeal to Philippians 4. I think you’re absolutely right. And so I find it ironic that you seem to espouse it on behalf of the new administration. None of those words — true, honest, just, pure, lovely, “of good report”, virtuous — seem broadly applicable to President Trump. So while I respect him as my President, I must continue to resist what is antithetical to the gospel, even while I support that which is aligned with the gospel.

      4. You are sounding a bit like Socrates with all the questions. Having an aversion to hemlock, I’m not inclined to emulate him to that extent.

        Here’s where you undermine yourself. Overall, you do a fine job of presenting your ideas and you seem to be your own man. So the talking points are a bad idea, IMO (I, for one, don’t believe Syrian children — or men, for that matter — or Mexican immigrants or Chinese businessmen or Palestinians are “enemies”.) Naturally, I’m not against Syrian or Palestinian children, and I have empathy for the illegal aliens who are trying to make a decent life for themselves and their families. I also am against pulling the wings off of butterflies.

        I’m a lot older than you, and I’m still learning . I find president Trump’s vision for America to be an inspiring one. I do think he is unduly divisive in his rhetoric, and have no idea why he persists. BUT the underlying idea of resuscitating the once health corpse that it now America, bringing it back to life, and then participating in making it healthy again is uplifting to me. That’s what I mean by the passage from Philippians.

        We do have evil among us. Selfish people who prey on the weak, misinform, and weaken our resolve, and demoralize us. We can strive for those things which are of good report by promoting the things about America that are “true, just, pure, and lovely.”

        Don’t give the enemy a single inch, rebut their ploys at dividing us, show them that we won’t be their pawns. You are a man of conviction. Just be certain that you use your energy in the most light affirming way. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

        Make a solid foundation of factual constructs for yourself and stand firm. The leaders of those anti-Trump protests are either paid professionals or people who have had an anti-America agenda long before Mr. Trump came upon the scene. Others are people being mislead.

        Why should we “put America first”? Because it’s our country. That is what we’ve been given. ‘He who is given much, of him much will be asked.’ That is a unilateral contract. Every citizen of any country has the same duty of making his country the best it can be – and that means placing his country first. That’s where he lives. It makes no sense to go to your neighbors home and clean it up when your own is in disrepair. And you can’t love other people more than yourself. The best you can do is to strive for having a healthy mind and being caring of others – while being vigilant. Don’t let the evil person in. Be a good custodian of what is yours. The Parable of the Talents. Those were not the man’s neighbors talents and obligations, they were HIS.

        Here’s a great speech I came across by a wise man. I found it inspiring. Hope you will too.

      5. Griffin Paul Jackson January 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm

        There are a lot of good thoughts for me to think through here. I do not mean to suggest I have all the answers, and of course I am young and perhaps idealistic. I appreciate what you’re writing. I am learning, of course, and learning from your comments too.

        While it seems likely we agree on our core understandings of the gospel, I’m not sure we’re interpreting its real-world application in the same way.

        We both love the United States, Americans, refugees, immigrants, etc. Clearly, we disagree on what a loving response to those things looks like, at least as it pertains to the issues at hand.

        In both of your last two comments, you reference “enemies”. I think this is a key term we are viewing differently — and it has significant biblical and political connotations that don’t always align. Who do you mean when you say “enemies”? What place do you see for grace, mercy, and compassion even if it means risking one’s physical security? Your pointing to Ephesians 6:12 is so interesting to me. Have you read William Stringfellow or Walter Wink? They argue (and I tend to agree) that governments (and many other things) can in fact be counted among the “powers and principalities”. That includes the American government — which they see as more akin to Babylon than Jerusalem.

        Your final point — “Why should we ‘put America first’? Because it’s our country” — is also really interesting to me. I see a considerable difference between patriotism, which seems to be what you’re talking about — loving our country because it is ours — and the nationalism we are currently witnessing — loving our country at the expense of others. Anyway, I don’t know why I should “put America first” rather than “put the world first” or “put humanity first”? I love the United States, but I don’t believe Americans are worth more or deserve more protection than any other people. Perhaps because we are such a rich, secure nation, we should be willing to sacrifice some of our wealth and safety so that other countries would benefit.

      6. Both patriotism and nationalism are fine. Ultranationalism is where things go south. You’ve been convinced that, wrongly I believe, loving your country comes at the expense of others. There are reasons why the United States is a (somewhat) rich country and (somewhat) secure country. You’ll find the answer for that at Arlington and unmarked graves all across the world. People your age or younger giving everything they have so that we can have the opportunities we do.

        The ideal is to be an example to others such that they will lift themselves up to our standards. It’s terribly incorrect to think that the opposite is true: that we must become impoverished so that everyone has an equal status.

        I don’t think you’re fully aware of how close we came to going belly up in that last crash. We survived the Great Depression, something we caused great suffering here and around the globe, because we are a resilient people.

        We’re worth more and deserve more because we lucked out. We could have been born anywhere, but we were born here. Contrast that to someone who abandons his country and its needs and flees elsewhere. What does it say about the American men and women who willing to have lost lives, limbs, health, etc. During the time we were in Kuwait in the First Gulf War, our military women were being harassed by that government and its people while their sons were off in other countries living the high life in discotheques. We saved their bacon, and they weren’t grateful.

        Some folks don’t want a “rich life”. I happen to be one of them. I would be embarrassed to live in Mr. Trump’s opulent home. But, who am I to tell him that he can’t live like that? I don’t have that right.

        Before ISIS came along, I used to believe in the Brotherhood of Man. I was idealistic like you. Nothing wrong with that, but when I realize that I have such an incredibly evil and inhuman enemy, it makes me realize that there are those who live with the condemnation that “they preferred the darkness to the light.” Everyone knows about Joh 3:16 but they don’t bother reading the text that follows it. The civilized world has enemies, and they are an existential threat.

        As Neil Young’s song goes, “See the cost of freedom, buried in the ground.”

  2. What makes me uncomfortable in the use of the Bible verses in everybody’s replies, is that the original application of those verses is for the church. When we apply them to how our government should behave, it just seems odd to me, because although our country is reaping the benefits of many Christian principles, most of our leaders are not Christians, and our government is not a church.


    1. Griffin Paul Jackson January 30, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Very true, Linda. I struggle with this too. I think the Bible is a very political book and obviously its principles apply to our political lives, but I know that the Church in the world does not operate according to the same principles or agenda as governments in this world. I certainly want to read verses in context, even while recognizing that the Word speaks to all of life. Can I hold the government to a biblical standard even if it doesn’t recognize it? Even if it’s not a Christian government? It’s a tough issue. I don’t expect the government to adhere to gospel commands, but I do expect that of myself and of the Church, so I need to find out where they align and where they don’t, and go from there. Maybe?


      1. It really is a tricky thing. As I think I mentioned way back when I first discovered your blog, I really enjoy hearing your perspective because it helps me understand my kids, who will be ages 20-27 this year. This was the first presidential election that all of them were of voting age, and we had some lively debates! I myself, and my older daughter who spent half a year in Jordan helping Syrian refugees, could not bear the thought of voting for Trump. On the other hand, the two younger ones feel so strongly about pro-life, that they voted for Trump in hopes that would keep Hillary from appointing the next Supreme court judges. If you only think about the plight of the unborn, they do seem to be in a little better position to be spared their lives under the present administration. My beloved Somali immigrant family here in Minnesota has resigned themselves to Trump’s reign, but I identify with their fears over Trump’s adolescent use of twitter possibly setting off a world war. Fearing the worst, we are hoping for the best! Meanwhile, the relatives in Missouri seem to be doing their best to convince our children that all the stereotypes about Missouri are true. My kids admirably stood up against the relatives’ islamaphobia over the holidays. It is good for us to wrestle with how to apply our Christian walk in our present day situation of being an American citizen in 2017. Given the scope of history, we are really in an unusual situation as Christians, to be protected by our government. Historically, the danger is that the church in America will go heretical or soft.

      2. Griffin Paul Jackson January 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

        Your thoughts are always enlightening and inspiring, Linda. Truly, I thank you. I hope I can offer a window into what is perhaps a common perspective of my generation of American Christians. Though I’ve only been politically-aware for a few presidents, my personal experience and schooling do affirm that we really are in an unusual situation these days. Your last line fascinates me: “Historically, the danger is that the church in America will go heretical or soft.” I want to think about that a lot more!

    2. Good point, Linda. The country is not a church. Indeed, a lot of churches are not churches. While I like and admire Pope Francis, I think the reason the Vatican chose that great man is to keep themselves from ruin. There’s no doubt in my mind that there are far more atheists in the Vatican than there are Christians.

      The same may hold true for Protestant churches. As I dug deeper and deeper into YouTube and watched what the various factions within Protestantism were saying about each other, I found it rather sickening. The way they have it figured, most of them are going to hell — I base this on the fact that they were condemning each other to eternal damnation. It really became quite pathetic. And a good deal of it was over trifles. Reminded me of Gulliver’s Travels where the Big Endiings were at war with the Little Endiings. (The great war over what was the proper way to crack open a boiled egg.


  3. BTW, our oldest son Nick is now living in Logan Square, and just started a job as a copywriter for Guaranteed Rate! He is still grateful for your kindness to him in 2015!


    1. Griffin Paul Jackson January 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Glad to hear it! I hope he’s enjoying the city!


  4. I listened to the entire naval academy speech posted. I respect the speaker, and am thankful that we have leaders like that carrying on the great traditions of our armed forces. I can see how a military mindset is necessary for a soldier in a combat situation, and there can be no doubting or second guessing of one’s superior. Our responsibility as civilian citizens is to speak up and voice our concerns to our elected leaders, if we feel they are making laws with which we disagree.


    1. True about the disagreement part. But you must admit that it seems as if that’s all people are doing. It’d be nice to hear a few positive words occasionally.

      Yes, I’ve been watching a good deal of general Mattis’s speeches since president Trump hired him. I think he is the Patton of our day, only he can behave himself in polite company. I think that was his best speech, and I like the way he said it off the top of his head. (I’m sure a lot was memorized, but it seemed absolutely sincere in every way.) I think whether someone is in the military or not, they can use his wisdom to improve themselves.

      Interesting fellow. Has a huge library and used to carry Marcus Aurelius’s “Meditations” with him wherever he went.


  5. Griffin Paul Jackson, Thanks for letting me put my two cent’s worth in this discussion.

    Regarding what Linda mentioned about the scriptures applying to the church: I’ll take a good idea wherever I can find it. Sometimes I read something and it just sticks with me. For instance, this observation by Christopher Hitchens. I think it applies somewhat to our discourse about being an American and how to consider our world view, although it could apply to many issues–

    “To be a spoiled person is not to be well-off or favored by fortune or protected from brute realities. It is to be well-off and favored by fortune and protected from brute realities and not to know it.”


    1. Griffin Paul Jackson January 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I appreciate your thoughts! Thanks very much for reading and responding!


      1. That’s it? I thought we barely scratched the surface. For instance, there are areas on this issue where we agree, I presume.

        As an example, I’ll point to the horrific ways in which the workers in Bangladesh have been treated by corporations. It was never a ‘trendy’ media driven concerning (meaning the MSM were not benefiting from political gain over the issue and therefore considered it insignificant). Hope I didn’t mention this previously, but there were structural collapses in extremely shoddy structures that lead to, in one case, a thousand deaths. Another was a fire that killed 300. If there were ever cases of people being exploited, those were among them.

        One significant Christian-related issue that I encountered when researching this was that there were massive protests among the citizens for the implementation of the Sharia. It didn’t take me long to consider that irrelevant. The workers were being terribly exploited — and few, very few, people in the US were speaking out about it.

  6. I liked how General Mattis called America the great experiment. When you step back and look at the breadth of world history, America is just a little blip of time. It is impossible to completely evaluate the culture in which you grew up, with all the suppositions and biases which are ingrained in one’s being. True Christians–which I am going to define as those who believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was the punishment for their sins, and the only way they can be accepted by a holy God–have usually been persecuted throughout history and around the world. The religious freedom in America is truly a privilege! Sadly, when Christians are not united by persecution, they tend to turn on eachother and bicker about nonessentials of the gospel, as you observed in your YouTube research. The other danger to the church when not under persecution is the blindness to the influence of the culture. We don’t want to be reactionary against the popular culture, but we do need to question ourselves if we find we are in agreement with most of the movie stars! 🙂


    1. Hi Linda. WordPress didn’t notify me of your comment, so I’m just now reading it. I clicked to go to your blog, but it’s private. I just mentioned something very similar to what you said when I commented on some Catholic fellow’s blog. He seems to have lost the point to Scorsese’s “The Silence” altogether. He speaks about it from a modern standpoint, which is very different from how the principal characters would have viewed their circumstances.


  7. […] recently published a piece in RELEVANT clarifying and building on my understanding of nationalism and a biblical […]


Leave a Reply