June 21, 2017 Matt Pennock

‘Alt-Christianity’?

Source: The 21 Theses Of Alt Christianity – Return Of Kings

I was just reading over at ReturnofKings.com something that seems to have the ring of a 'manifesto' for Christian men in the Church. (Note: ReturnofKings.com publishes articles from all sorts of writers, but is not a Christian website.) It was written up about a month ago. Some of the tenets seem to sound reasonable but the movement reminds me too much of 'Christian nationalism' which seems to make the Gospel more about fighting for a 'Christian state' complete with a 'Christian law' than about people's salvation.  In fact, the thesis #8 and #9 say so:

8. Given the above, Alt-Christianity wishes to see traditional Western Civilization maintained, and is thus open to whatever political system shows itself best suited to the maintenance of that civilization. At the same time, Alt-Christianity realizes that civilizations and nations are maintained by people, and that not all people are created equal. As such, Alt-Christianity supports the implementation of whatever specific political and cultural practices are best suited to allow a particular people to maintain traditional Western Civilization. Simultaneously, Alt-Christianity supports restricting whatever specific political and cultural practices undermine a particular people’s ability to maintain traditional Western Civilization.

9. Alt-Christianity is nationalistic.

I support the defense of your neighbor and family and the just war theory of the reformers. But salvation of your neighbors and discipling all nations is more important.

Justice is what Christians are supposed to already be fighting for daily. If they weren't sleeping we'd be quite a powerful force in the West. The catch is of course, the New Testament teaches the greatest weapon we have in these times is our voice (also represented as vote).

The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (Berean Study Bible, 2 Cor. 10:4, emp. add.)

Our fight is sharply focused on the world of the mind and the mind of the world. Bills, legislation, and policies are all within the domain of thought before anything. If over 70% of the USA really is Christian, what if that 70% united and raised their voice with the vote for policies after Christian values?

The Apostle Paul was a fighter on the inside as well as the outside. In the very next verse (v.6) he writes, "And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, as soon as your obedience is complete." This is an accurate translation. Some translations put it, avenge. That is a far cry from passivity and cowardliness if you ask me. It's interesting to me when I come across bold individuals willing to throw people out of a congregation for sinister talk and people question him as if he wasn't being like Christ. Yet Christ himself threatens to punish several of his churches in Revelation.

Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. Rev. 2:23

Those are indeed red letter words—straight out of the mouth of Jesus. Gentle Jesus, yep.

("Children" in this verse represents those who take after the adulteress, not to be confused with kids.)

There have been a lot of Christian-states in the past. By definition, statehood means you have your own sovereignty, army, law, and economy, among other things. America was such a thing, once.  I do not believe civilizations are "maintained by people" but rather that God has obligated himself to people in a way that they may fulfill their obligations to him. A cooperation, if you will. Two greater powers are at work in the world:  Satan's control (1 Jo. 5:19), and the authority (exousia) of Jesus who "has all authority [exousia] on earth". (Matt. 28:18)

Still, ever since the very first Christian-state under Constantinople, Christian-states have always been awkward. And for good reason—you are trying to combine or synchronize a fleshly-state with a heavenly-state. Invariably, they will be at odds with each other, and there is no way around it. I may vote or fight one way, you may vote or fight another way. Whatever efforts and power you and I might have to achieve our own ends, the deeper hidden reality is that God decides the winner. In the end a place like the United States of America with its unmistakably rich Christian foundation is only a temporary abode for the purpose of a grander mission. We are here to fight for the good of humanity not for the perfection of an earthly state.

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