Kyle Roberts is Schilling Professor of Public Theology and the Church and Economic Life at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He explains, from the perspective of Christian teaching, some of the problems with what happened last Sunday at First Baptist Church in Dallas. I am glad that a theologian has commented on this story. As a historian, my level of analysis is limited.
According to Roberts, there are 10 “negative consequences” when a church conflates nationalism and Christianity.
- It contributes to false assumptions of God’s special blessing or privilege
- It confuses the power of God with the power of the State
- It confuses the gospel of grace with the “good news” of material wealth and security.
- It undermines the separation of church and state
- It undercuts the prophetic power that Christianity needs in order to be salt and light
- It makes us forget that nation-states are a recent development
- It undermines the cross
- It replaces transcendence with immanence
- It disrespects those who have been marginalized by the configuration of powers in the nation-state
- It suggests that the basis of Christian hope is not the counter-cultural Messiah, but the “worldly” powers of the State.
Click here to see how Roberts develops each of these points at his blog Unsystematic Theology. Great stuff.