Historically Christian (Your Local Christian Nationalist)
Dear Fellow Believer,
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: America was never a Christian nation. There’s no such thing as a Christian nation!
I’m always baffled when I hear this. It wasn’t long ago that the simple fact of America = former Christian nation was an undisputed dogma among American Evangelicals. This was a rallying cry among the Moral Majority crowd of the 80s and 90s. Even in the 2000’s when I came of age we at least paid lip service to this fact.
Today Christians older and more pessimistic than myself openly chafe against the silly notion that we ever had a Christian nation. How can a nation be Christian, they ask, only people can be Christians!
2 things should be noted. Many of these semantically convicted Christians send their kids to Christian schools, or use Christian home schooling curriculums without any sense of irony. Secondly, yes, nations can be Christian because, yes, our nation was once a Christian nation. In the same way that your Christian school’s name will not be found in the Book of Life, nations can and have submitted to the authority of the lordship of Jesus Christ. Our own nation’s history speaks to this indisputable fact.
Freedom of speech. Human rights. Women’s rights. These are a few of the many benefits that we in the west have taken for granted. A right to a jury of your peers. Right to silence. All of these pillars of western heritage come to us solely because our western ancestors themselves submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Yet many of us don’t know that these principles come from the Bible. Or worse, they believe that these principles came from the Enlightenment. In this short letter I am not going to give an exhaustive list of all the evidence that points to the Bible being the cornerstone on which Western Civilization was built. I’ll instead point to my favorite example.
King Alfred the Great was the first King of a unified English nation. Among his many contributions to western society, his greatest is arguably the establishment of the Domboc, or the Doom Book, a codification of English laws that evolved into the English common law system.
This document is fascinating for a number of reasons. The most fascinating aspect is what King Alfred decided to add as the preface to his law book. He and his advisors inserted a translation of Exodus chapters 20 and 21, the beginning of the Mosaic law. After this translation King Alfred then explains his reasons for why he and his advisors felt compelled to rely on the Bible as they made the Doom Book. They include:
- Christ expected us to keep ALL of his commandments. “…the only begotten son of the Lord, our God, that is Healing Christ, came to earth and he said he did not come to break or suppress these commandments, but to increase them with all goodness, and he taught mild-heartedness and humbleness of spirit.”
- The apostles turned their pagan converts to the gospel AND the law. “Then after (Jesus’) suffering [passion], before his apostles traveled in different directions broadly all over the earth to teach, while they were still together, they turned many heathen peoples to God. When they were all together they sent messengers to Antioch and to Syria to teach Christ’s law.”
- King Alfred cites a letter sent from the apostles to the heathen converts about what laws Christ expected them to follow. Alfred’s description of this letter sounds very much like the letter referenced in Acts Chapter 15.
- King Alfred then cites many different sources, synods of Christians, Bishops, and Kings who made local laws using the Bible. He didn’t feel that his Doom Book was revolutionary, he was merely continuing in the tradition of the Christian kings and bishops who had gone before him.
What’s frustrating is when you look at historical commentary surrounding the Doom Book, which again has a translation of Exodus Chapters 20 and 21 as the preface, most historians downplay the religious convictions of King Alfred. He happened to be Christian. The Doom Book has a lot of laws with pagan sources. It’s just a coincidence that King Alfred and his advisors added Exodus 20 and 21.
This white washing of world history downplays the major benefits that Christianity has given the world. There’s a reason why you have a right to a jury of your peers and your Christian brothers and sisters in China do not. There’s a reason why you can contribute to a 401k, buy a title to a home with a mortgage from a bank, vote for your leaders, all the things we take for granted in the west that our fellow Christian brothers and sisters have never experienced.
But this is why we need to learn this Christian history, and more importantly tell it. Your society wasn’t built by enlightened God haters. Those infidels were born into institutions built by Christendom. They plagiarized and created myths about their own supposed contributions to the west.
We need to stop believing in the Enlightenment Mythos. We must learn our Christian heritage and teach it to our generation and future generations. Your nation was historically Christian. The question then begs itself; should we try and Christianize our formerly Christian Nation?
Your Local Christian Nationalist.