Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Are You A Christian Nationalist?

 Last time I wrote about progressive Christianity and a Christian's biblical worldview. If you have not had the opportunity to read it, I recommend that you do so before you read this article since they are related.

Today, I'm going to dig more into the biblical worldview and another common term these days, that being "Christian nationalism."

Christian nationalism means different things to different people depending on which side of the fence you sit. Or to put it another way, Christian nationalism is about how Christians read and understand the Bible. For a number of Christian nationalists their interpretation is more along the lines of eisegesis, as opposed to exegesis.

This also has a direct bearing on a Christian's biblical worldview. Because there are variances in doctrinal beliefs throughout Christendom, it should come as no surprise that there are a myriad of variations to a Christian's biblical worldview. Therefore when one speaks of their biblical worldview, you would be wise to examine exactly what that is, because your views may not line up. creator Andrew Torba champions the "Christian nationalist" cause as he recently promoted a message [1] from pastor Andrew Isker who wrote, "You Can't Be A Christian Without Being A Christian Nationalist" [2] Where he asks, "What is Christian Nationalism?" Then proceeded with the following definition of how the other side of the fence defines "Christian nationalism": 

The phrase started to come into use midway through Donald Trump’s first term when “White Nationalism” became the current thing bogeyman after the Charlottesville Protests. It was a very obvious linguistic trick, to try to insinuate that “White Nationalism” and “Christian Nationalism” are interchangeable. It is a pathetic attempt to smear as a racist anyone who believes that Jesus Christ is King over all the world including America. [2]

There is truth to his point. They compare it to white nationalism, though there are people of all color that are Christian nationalists and that even spearhead it. I hope to reveal at a later time why it is often identified as a racist movement among other things.

Also the "other side" labels it as "Trumpism" or "Christian Trumpism. Of a truth, those who are aboard the "Trump train" are the embodiment of Christian nationalism. There are Christians who see Donald Trump's behavior, mannerisms, tweets, etc. and do not consider him to be a Christian. These typically see Trump as a type of Old Testament King Cyrus (or "being anointed by God"), who was not an Israelite or one who worshiped their God, yet was an instrument of God who allowed the Israelites to return from their captivity to their homeland and rebuild Jerusalem. 

Then you have those like Michelle Bachmann who declared, "In my lifetime, I have never seen a more biblical president than I have seen in Donald Trump. He is highly biblical and I would say...we will, in all likelihood, never see a more godly, biblical president again in our lifetime." [3]

How do you like those extremes in the "Christian nationalist" camp? Is Trump the most godly president we have seen in our lifetime or not? The roots of "Christian nationalism" are deep and many. It has become cross-denominational/non denominational. I will dig up these roots (movements) and expose them for you to see over the course of a number of future blogs. There are many other movements (roots) that have formed this "Christian nationalist" tree. That's why "Christian nationalists" may even deny being a "Christian nationalist" because they don't embrace the entirety of the movement, only certain key aspects of it, as can also be said of those who also embrace only certain key aspects of the movements (roots) of this tree.  

I did tip my hat when I mentioned King Cyrus in referring to a goal of Christian nationalists - that being to restore the United States "back to its roots" of being founded as "a Christian nation", or being founded on Christian principles and there is a big difference! One must beware with the term "Christian nation" because even for those under the umbrella of the "Christian nationalist" movement it doesn't have the same meaning. Not all in this movement have this specific goal, yet their stated goal may be similar. This is why a one size fits all label doesn't apply for those under the umbrella "Christian nationalism" for there are many nuances.

In a nutshell, Christian nationalism in its basic form is the relationship of nationalism to a particular Christian belief, dogma, or affiliation where a shared (or forced) religion can be seen to contribute to a sense of national unity, a common bond among the citizens of the nation. As for example, the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who would expel or banish from them anyone who didn't follow their beliefs or biblical worldview, including such things as the branding iron, the whipping post, the bilboes and the hangman’s noose to enforce conformity. [4]

 Tyler Huckabee observed the following:

This movement, known as Christian nationalism, is in the business of merging Christian and American identities, liberally mixing biblical teaching with the principles of constitutional democracy until the line between them is blurred or even erased altogether.
Some of this seems benign on the surface. An American flag in the church pulpit. “In God We Trust” on the dollar. Christian politicians referring to the Second Amendment as a “God-given right.” Christians, after all, have a right to advocate for favorable laws just like anyone else. But real Christian nationalists aren’t out for anything so salubrious as equal treatment under the law, and their methods involve the marginalization of citizens who don’t see things according to a bracingly narrow definition of what it means to be both an American and a Christian — sometimes with deadly repercussions. 

At their most extreme, Christian Nationalists may describe themselves as “dominionists,” who believe Christians ought to have dominion over what they consider to be the seven forces — or, in their parlance, “mountains”— that shape culture: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family and religion. (The Seven Mountain Mandate, 7M) As David Barton, a Christian Nationalist and one of the leaders of Project Blitz put it in a radio broadcast, “If you can have those seven areas, you can shape and control whatever takes place in nations, continents and even the world.”

“Christian nationalism is not the same thing as patriotism or being patriotic,” Amanda Tyler explains. “I am a Patriot. We can be patriotic and still understand that we don’t need to minimize our religious convictions or somehow make those fit into a particular political affiliation or nationalistic affiliation.”

“Whenever the state gets too cozy with Christianity, Christianity is the one that gets compromised,” Tyler says. “Our radical Christian values are not in line with the powers and principalities of this state. Jesus taught us that we are citizens of two kingdoms, an earthly kingdom ruled by our governments and God’s kingdom. We have to work out what we render to which kingdom.” [5]

Compare that with what pastor Andrew wrote:

The Great Commission means that if you are a Christian you are axiomatically a Christian Nationalist. If you say you are a Christian and you reject “Christian Nationalism,” you are just a disobedient Christian. (Wow! Quite radical! If I'm a genuine Christian I will be a Christian Nationalist. I have yet found that as a description of a Christ follower in Scripture) To be part of Christ’s Kingdom is to bring the kingdoms of this world into submission to Christ’s Kingship. (Again, Andrew is sharing is dominionism and not unbiblical doctrine) [2]

Andrew Torba, the creator of Gab said recently in an email:

I don’t apologize for anything that I’ve said or any of the work we are doing to take dominion of our country and culture for the glory of God. Jesus gave us a mission: the Great Commission. [6]

Apparently the Great Commission to these Christian nationalists is taking over and having dominion over the seven mountains and thus the nation. 

Observe what Lance Wallnau a leader in this movement had to say:

... that we are to take control of the seven main “mountains” that shape our culture—education, government, media, business, arts and entertainment, family, and religion—in order to implement the will of God throughout the nation and the world.


The United States won’t be saved just by converting more people to Christianity...The only way to save the nation is for those mountains to be seized by Christians...[7]

Did Jesus call us to save, seize and have dominion of nations or to save souls? Saving souls are important to Christian nationalists, they say. Yet, if you don't bear the fruit of the spirit of dominionism to do whatever is necessary to save this nation by taking dominion over the seven mountains you are either a disobedient Christian or not one at all. Note Andrew Torba's words:

If we are going to build a Christian movement it must be exclusively Christian and we can’t be afraid to say that out loud. We are all sinners saved by Grace, but if you do not repent and believe in Jesus Christ then you do not share our Biblical worldview and cannot participate in any meaningful position of authority in the movement. It’s just that simple. [1]

Hmmm. Notice how Andrew connects this Christian nationalist movement with the Gospel. According to Andrew a natural byproduct of the repentance of our sins and our faith in Christ for our redemption is to share Andrew's biblical worldview of dominion and conquering the seven mountains to liberate this nation from secularism to Christ. Andrew Torba continues:

Christian Nationalism is not merely a political movement. It’s a social, cultural, and spiritual one. Christian Nationalism is not merely limited to the right wing in the United States. Our King has dominion over this entire earth. Every square inch. Christians around the world are rising up right at this very moment to claim what is rightfully His.

We are done being the footstool of the Enemy. We are done being pushovers. We are done with simply wanting to be left alone. Now we want to win. Win souls for Christ. Win elections. Win in the culture. Win in the education system. Win with our own technology. Our own media. Our own entertainment. Win for the glory of God. [1]

Christians (or Christian nationalists by Tobra's definition) around the world are rising up to take dominion of their nations. I don't see Voice of the Martyrs or Open Doors, for example, referring to this. If it were true you think they'd be reporting on it. Have you heard or read about Christians in China, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, or Saudi Arabia doing this? Neither have I. Again, Tobra said in another recent video:

I said we are forming a Christian Nationalist movement and in order to be in any position of influence or leadership in the movement you must be a Christian (According to Andrew's definition). I said we are no longer going to answer to people who do not share our values and represent a diametrically different worldview (Sadly his worldview isn't biblical, but rather syncretistic) that only 2% of the country holds (Thankfully). We are the 70%+ super majority in this country and we are going to do everything we can to take dominion and disciple this nation for the glory of Jesus Christ our King. [8]

Christians are done being pushovers? They are no longer going to answer or be submissive to others whether in authority or not if they don't share their biblical worldview. Does this sound anything like Jesus Who said:
 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mt. 5:38-48)

I'm sorry, but I don't believe Tobra is teaching the truth as well as the others who are promoting this movement which has been labelled as toxic among other things..

Michelle Goldberg wrote:

I've been asked several times what Christian nationalism is, and how it differs from Christian fundamentalism. It's an important concept to understand, because the threat to a pluralistic society does not come from those who simply believe in a very conservative interpretation of Christianity. It comes from those who adhere to a political ideology that posits a Christian right to rule. Christian nationalists believe in a revisionist history, which holds that the founders were devout Christians who never intended to create a secular republic; separation of church and state, according to this history, is a fraud perpetrated by God-hating subversives. One of the foremost Christian revisionist historians is David Barton. [9]

Let me break here to share a little on David Barton. David Barton seems to be a major cog in propagating this ideology. Time Magazine named him one of the nation’s 25 most influential evangelical Christians in 2005.

As Fred Butler referred to Barton:

“If your family homeschools, or if you send your kids to a Christian school, or even if you are actively involved in Republican politics, listen to talk radio, and consider yourself a TEA party oriented person, the name David Barton has circled around your orbit at least a few times.”

Barton has been highly influential and successful in shaping the mindset, or biblical worldview of Christians in the United States to the point that back in 2011 Mike Huckabee said of Barton and his teachings that he wished "all Americans would be forced, forced at gunpoint, no less, to listen to every David Barton message." [10]

Despite Barton's popularity in particular Christian mainline groups, a number of conservative evangelicals have exposed the misinterpretations and errors in his works to the point they had to be edited out of a video, or even as his Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson, pulling the book from the shelves due to its inaccuracies. Examine his works for yourself. Many Christian leaders and preachers have followed his misguided teachings and bring reproach to the name of Christ. Have you been deceived by his teachings even as I once was? I'll talk more about David later.

Now continuing with Michelle Goldberg:

The goal of Christian nationalist politics is the restoration of the imagined Christian nation. As George Grant, former executive director of D. James Kennedy's influential Coral Ridge Ministries, wrote in his book "The Changing of the Guard:"

"Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish." [9]

This seems to be a root of Christian Nationalism - conquest, dominion. While this root can be traced back to the time of Constantine, the Crusades, the Inquisition, postmillennialism, etc, the more recent modern version is often credited to Bill Bright from Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, with Youth With a Mission, and Francis Schaeffer back in the 1975 when they received a "message from God" ordering them to invade the "seven spheres" of society. Although during the 80's groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition took on some of their ideologies, as well as Pat Robertson and CBN and their 700 Club as well as James Dobson and with his Focus on the Family had irons in the fire as well. Some well respected Christian organizations to most Christians. Yet 7M didn't seem to bear much fruit until Loren Cunningham met with Lance Wallnau in 2000.

Now backing up to Bill and Loren who got together and came up with seven areas they believed Christians had to conquer in a culture. Which is referred to as Seven Mountains Theology, Seven Mountains Prophecy, Seven Mountains Mandate, and Seven Mountains Dominionism, or even 7M. The seven areas they gave were: family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government. This is somehow derived from Isaiah 2:2-3 - “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” As well as from Revelation chapter 17, but chiefly verse 9: "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth."

 As Lance Wallnau, a leading advocate for Seven Mountains theology, explained that Jesus “doesn’t come back until He’s accomplished the dominion of nations.”  And the way “dominion of nations” is accomplished is by having Christians gain control of these “seven mountains” in order to install a “virtual theocracy” overseen by “true apostles” who will fight Satan and his Antichrist agenda. [11]

David Barton said of this theology: "Now we’ve grouped some of those together and thrown some together, but they said those are the seven areas you have to have and if you can have those seven areas, you can shape and control whatever takes place in nations, continents, and even the world."

Barton continues: "It says the Lord’s house is going to be established on top of the mountains and these are the seven mountains. If you’re going to establish God’s kingdom, you’ve got to have these seven mountains and again that’s family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business and government.

Now that’s what we believed all along is that you got to get involved in this stuff. Jesus said “you occupy ’til I come.” We don’t care when he comes, that’s up to him. What we’re supposed to do is take the culture in the meantime and you got to get involved in these seven areas." [12]

Let's look at this popular verse (Luke 19:13) "Occupy until I come." that dominionists like to employ to propagate their doctrine. It is best to look at the context that it is taken from to understand what Jesus is talking about. Yet before that, what does the word occupy mean? The word "occupy" is found in the KJV, which they define as "taking dominion or conquering", while most other versions use the words "do or engage in business" which is what the Greek word Πραγματεύσασθε actually means even as the context of the parable in Luke chapter 19 indicates:

 11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.


Some things to note about this parable are:

  1. The nobleman leaves to receive a kingdom and then return.
  2. The nobleman gave his servants money and told them to be engaged in business until he returns.
  3. When he returns he summons his servants to take account of what they had done with the money he had given them.
  4. Two of his servants made the money grow while a third servant hid it and did nothing with it.
Contrary to what the dominionist Christian nationalists teach, these servants did not receive authority, or dominion (as they may put it), over cities until after the nobleman returned. Take note of the difference between the words "occupy/do business" and the word "authority" in this parable. So the thought that while Jesus is away we are to seize, conquer or take dominion over the seven mountains or spheres of influence in our nation before He returns is not found in this text, as well as their proof-texting of Luke 19:13.

In contrast to the dominionist Christian nationalists teaching of taking dominion of the seven mountains of secular influence for the kingdom of God is what Jesus Himself taught.

Both John the Baptist and Jesus started their ministries by declaring, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mt. 3:2; 4:17)  Jesus even sent His disciples out to preach that "the kingdom of God is at hand." (Mt 10:7) Jesus said that except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3-5; 2 Cor. 5:17). Again, when Jesus called Paul He told him, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Ac 26:18) The kingdom of God is the good news or gospel. Therefore if you teach something different it is another gospel as Paul forewarned. (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Cor. 11:13-14) 

Also remember that Jesus told Pilate that "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." (Jn. 18:36) Bible scholars through the centuries by and large have agreed that Jesus meant that His kingdom is not connected to earthly political and national entities, nor does it have its origin in the evil world system that is in rebellion against God. The kingdom He established was a spiritual one conquering sin in the lives of His people and someday conquering the evil world system at His second coming when He establishes the earthly form of His kingdom. Therefore His kingdom was no threat to Rome. That Christian nationalists are trying to take control over the nation through these seven influences is not what Jesus or the apostles taught in scripture. 

Recall in Matthew 16:21ff that Jesus told His disciples how He would suffer, be killed and raised on the third day. Yet, Peter would have none of this! He rebuked Jesus, Who returned the rebuke with: "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Jesus was sharing the Gospel, the mystery of God, which none of the princes of the world knew, for if they had they would not have crucified Him. (1 Cor. 2:7-8). Here it shows that Peter, who like the rest of Israel was looking for a Messiah that would physically deliver them from Rome. That was not the Father's purpose for Jesus then, nor is it His purpose for us today to physically subdue the nations in like manner today. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-18) We know that Peter still didn't grasp this when they came to arrest Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane as Peter drew a sword and attempted to deliver Jesus by force. Still after Jesus had risen after spending time with His disciples when He was about to be received into heaven they asked Him, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Ac. 1:6) Another indication they were still holding to their carnal understanding they had received growing up. Even so, the dominionist Christian nationalist do today. 

One more look at a popular verse among the dominionist Christian nationalists, this one being Matthew 11:12 which they take out of context - "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." As always one must look at the full context of any given verse to understand it correctly which isn't done by the dominionist Christian nationalists here. Also another hindrance with this verse are the words translators have chosen to use - violence and violent. 

Spiros Zodhiates gives us a clear understanding of the true nature of these words. 

  1. Pertaining to βιάζεται (suffers violence) he writes: the kingdom of God is sought with eagerness, haste, It is not carefully thought of as to its consequences which may not be pleasant, such as persecution by one's very own household (Mt. 10:36). Meaning that one presses himself in to seize the kingdom with his own energy as if the kingdom could be had as something to be grasped. We see this today as people eagerly and flippantly come forward to "accept Christ" without having experienced repentance of sin or having counted the cost of their acceptance (Mt. 16:24-28)
  2. Pertaining to βιασταὶ (violent) he writes: to suffer violence, but also to hurry into or press into without proper thought and repentance. A violent person, one who uses force, but also one who hurries to appropriate something that seems good without measuring the consequences of such an action. In Mt. 11:12 it refers to those who heard the preaching of John the Baptist and came to him to be baptized without truly repenting of their sins. They were rushing into the kingdom and as such they were βιαστα, those who speedily pushed their way in. [13]

It should be evident that this verse isn't about seizing dominion of the seven mountains of secular influence after conversion “doing whatever is necessary''. If anything this verse comes against their logic that is contrary to Christ.

In conclusion today, I hope that I have helped you to see the many faces of Christian Nationalism and some of what it entails that you may "prove all things." (1 Th. 5:21). People have referred to the (dominionist) Christian Nationalism as a shadow gospel, a false gospel and an anti-gospel and I'd have to agree with them as I have pointed out their error and unbiblical teachings that they zealously propagate in opposition to the true Gospel. I plan to continue to reveal more about these philosophies and ideologies of men (Col. 2:8) in future blog posts. In the meantime, be diligent to search these things out for yourselves,  that you may "continue in His word, that you may be His disciples indeed; that you may know the truth, and that the truth shall make you free." (Jn. 8:31-32)


[1] Gab News, 7/16/2022



[4] Merrill, Louis Taylor (1945). "The Puritan Policeman"American Sociological Review. American Sociological Association. 10 (6): 766–776. doi:10.2307/2085847JSTOR 2085847.


[6] Gab News, 7/26/2022







[13] The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament; pgs 336-337

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Are You A Progressive Christian?

So much to write about! Today I will look at a common term often heard among the conservative evangelical fringe called "progressive Christianity". 

What is progressive Christianity (PC)? Alisa Childers describes it as a movement that seeks to re-interpret the Bible, re-assess historic doctrines, and re-define core tenets of the faith. [1]

Michael Kruger states that "PC" has a low view of Christ. They don't believe that Jesus is the divine Son of God, but rather just a moral example for us to follow. 

That "PC" is focused on moralism, not salvation. Therefore the highest goal of "PC" is that you just have to be a good person. You're not really left with the gospel of salvation; you're left with a moral code, and it really reduces it to sort of this moralistic religion.

Because "PC" think you can be a good person, you must have a low view of sin. It's the idea that people aren't really that fallen and they're not really all that bad...that we're all good people at the core and therefore really do have an opportunity to do even better. [2]

Hopefully this helps to paint a picture for you of "PC" in our post-modern day.

"Orthodox" Christianity also label such "PC" as being those who lack a biblical worldview, that is they take the Bible or Scriptures and mix or blend it's teachings and ideologies with the world's, syncretizing them to create something entirely different. 

Recent polls by George Barna and Gallop showing that only 6% of professing Christians have a biblical worldview; that is, one unadulterated by worldly principles. That even among preachers its not much better as even "youth pastors" only have a 12% biblical worldview for example. That a record-low 20% of Americans now say the Bible is the literal word of God. [3][4][5]

George Barna said the following based on his poll:

One of the implications of the research is that we no longer live in a nation where we can choose a church home based largely on its denominational affiliation. Large proportions of pastors across all Christian denominations do not consistently think and act biblically. Neither can we assume that the popularity of a church, based on the number of people it attracts, is a sign of biblical fidelity. The research outcomes suggest the opposite.

It is time for American Christians to institute a major shift in our church selection process. We cannot attend a church hoping and willing to be spoon-fed theological truth. A healthier way of seeing our church experience would be to do our homework and choose a church we believe is faithful to the Word of God — and then to test and verify everything that we receive in the teaching from the church. When objective data shows that the teaching of most pastors cannot be trusted, we dare not ignore that warning. [6]

Truthfully, this is something a believer should always do. George concluded with the following exhortation:

In the end, God will hold you responsible for what you choose to believe and how you live. On Judgment Day, you will not escape responsibility for bad choices by pointing the finger at a pastor who proposed those beliefs or behaviors. The full responsibility for what you believe and how you apply those beliefs, regardless of what influenced your choices, lies on your shoulders. [6]

Ken Ham from Answers In Genesis also commented on Barna's poll. Following is his description of those lacking a biblical worldview:

Their prevailing worldview is best described as syncretism, the blending of ideas and applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that represents their personal preferences. 

Rather than building their thinking on God’s Word, the majority of pastors are basing their beliefs on “personal preferences.” In other words, it’s like I’ve been saying for years: many in the church, including its leaders, have set themselves up as the authority over God and his Word. It’s a devastating disease and it’s infecting both pulpits and pews! [7]

Sounds quite serious! Man replacing God. In fact Ken has been calling the Body of Christ to repentance for decades!

From a worldview perspective, a church’s most important ministers are the children’s pastor and the youth pastor. Discovering that seven out of every eight of those pastors lack a biblical worldview helps to explain why so few people in the nation’s youngest generations are developing a heart and mind for biblical principles and ways of life, and why our society seems to have run wild over the last decade, in particular.”
This study’s results are extremely alarming for the future and health of the church. If pastors don’t possess a biblical worldview, they cannot pass it along, and individuals and families suffer from the lack of biblical shepherding and teaching.

Sadly, I’m not shocked by the results of this study. Anyone who has heard me speak over the past few decades knows I’ve been calling the church to repent of compromise with the world’s thinking and get back to God’s Word. If we don’t take God’s Word as the ultimate and final authority, from its very first verse, compromise and syncretism are direct consequences. Truth becomes a “pick and choose” buffet instead of a commitment to God’s Word.

We need a new reformation in the church—a return to the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse. Pastors need to repent of compromise and get back to first believing and then teaching God’s Word accurately, instead of adding the world’s opinions into Scripture. [7]

Thus, American Christians who perceive they hold to a biblical worldview are alarmed, though not shocked by the poll and survey results. It has them looking at root causes for this as well as solutions. 

Personally I believe the public school system plays a big part in this. John Dewey introduced progressive education into our public schools. [8] Kids are being taught not how to think but what to think. The thoughts of Vladimir Lenin who said, "Give me your 4 year olds and in a generation I will build a socialist state." [9] have been the goal of our public school system. Even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sees what's going on in the public schools:

Following woke indoctrination in our schools, that is a road to ruin for this country, and we're not going to let it happen in Florida.

There's an element on the far left that believes parents really have no role in the education of their kids. You drop them off at school ... and they impose the ideology and worldview that they want. [10]

Look at the typical American, whether they profess Christianity or not. Their typical daily and weekly routines are not much different. Both are so wrapped up in worldly pursuits, whether on the job where working 60 or more hours in a week is common, or running their children to extracurricular activities starting at the preschool age for many. Hobbies and entertainment of all sorts. It is evident that Christianity has become progressive and is devoid of a biblical worldview. 

 Erwin Lutzer, the former president of Moody Bible College had the following to say:

Progressive Christianity has the same basic worldview as the theological liberalism that shifted authority away from the Scripture to human opinions. Progressive Christians do not reject Biblical authority outright; rather they purport to walk a middle path with the Bible in one hand and cultural sensitivity in the other.

To put it clearly: Progressive Christianity interprets the Bible through the lens of culture; it does not critique the culture through the lens of the Bible. So, in the name of love and inclusivity, progressive Christians apply their teaching to matters of sexuality, the doctrine of salvation and the eternal destiny of lost sinners. They wish to make Christianity blend in with the culture rather than stand against it. They believe that in this way, the church will become more relevant and loving. “Can’t we just abandon some of the hard edges of Christianity and move toward a more inclusive understanding of the Christian faith?” This, they say, will remove barriers for those who see the church as unloving and hopelessly exclusive.

Progressive Christianity surrenders to the moral revolution, the essential goodness of human nature, and an inclusiveness regarding essential doctrines. In other words, they have developed a worldview based on human desires, not the clear revelation of God. This is exactly what Paul warned against: “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). [11]

I like what Erwin said, "They wish to make Christianity blend in with the culture rather than stand against it." Also "...they have developed a worldview based on human desires, not the clear revelation of God. This is exactly what Paul warned against..."

Now what I find as additionally sad is that those who claim to have been warning the Body of Christ about its drifting from the truth through syncretism have likewise been taught by preachers of old to develop "a worldview based on human desires, not the clear revelation of God." They've been duped to believe and practice doctrines and traditions of man and not God! This alarms me!

Whoa! Wait. What am I talking about? Let me begin with some of the things that I've been warning about for years which you can find articles on this blog, like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Sunday worship which came about largely due to anti-semitism (let that sink in for a minute, especially for the Sunday worshipping "pro-Israel" crowd who dis those who are not "pro-Israel" according to their doctrine), the immortality of the soul, the trinity, non-profit corporations, among others. These were not in the Scripture nor believed by the early church fathers per se. Yet, as more Gentiles believed, they brought their baggage over with them and blended it with the truth much like Christians with a biblical worldview today are saying has been occurring among the people of faith in America. Or as John Mason put it, "Christianity does not "progress" with the times. If it did, it would be a false religion. Do not be deceived into thinking there is a progressive form of Christianity. It doesn't exist because the truth never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." This is exactly What Orthodox, mainstream, Evangelical Christianity has done. The truth it professes is false because from early on it blended itself with the culture around them. Remember that God and His truth never change.

These same people who warn (?) against "progressive Christianity" and those lacking a biblical worldview, who are often touting their "Judeo-Christian" faith don't realize they are identifying themselves with "progressive Christianity"! Check it out! It was during World War II, that "Judeo-Christian" was taken up by liberal intellectuals as an umbrella term to designate the religious dimension of the Allied cause. It was the liberal Protestants and Catholics in particular who stressed the existence of the Judeo-Christian tradition to indicate their spiritual solidarity with the threatened Jewish population of Europe.[12] George Orwell is one who helped propagate it. [13] Recall Erwin Lutzer's words, "Progressive Christianity has the same basic worldview as the theological liberalism that shifted authority away from the Scripture to human opinions. Progressive Christians do not reject Biblical authority outright; rather they purport to walk a middle path with the Bible in one hand and cultural sensitivity in the other." The use of this phrase among mainline Christians today shows their ignorance of its origin as well in 1821 referring to Jewish converts to Christianity. [14] Shortly thereafter it was referred to as a type of church that would observe some Jewish traditions in order to convert Jews. [15] Yet Mark Silk states in the early 19th century the term was "most widely used to refer to the early followers of Jesus who opposed the wishes of Paul the Apostle and wanted "to restrict the message of Jesus to Jews and who insisted on maintaining Jewish law and ritual". [16] How can one say they belong to the "Judeo-Christian" faith or use this term to describe themselves unless they are "progressive Christians"?

If these people I've referenced would examine the doctrines and traditions which they were taught to believe through their congregation based on their seminary's or school's biased interpretation of Scripture, which are based on translations from scholars picked for the job to translate according to particular theological biases. There are those who talk about the corruption of what they call the "New Age" perversions that refuse to examine their so-called "pure" translation to see it also has been corrupted by the theological biases of it's translators. Sounds crazy, but honestly check it out for yourself. As George Barna wrote, "We cannot attend a church hoping and willing to be spoon-fed theological truth." Do you know that what you've been spoon-fed is pure, or does it contain GMO's? Again, remember George Barna's words, "... then to test and verify everything that we receive in the teaching from the church." Sadly we do not honestly test and verify everything according to truth without our own biases we have picked up along the way.

Don't laugh. Remember that Harvard was established in 1636 for the sake of educating clergy and raising up a Christian academic institution to meet the needs of perpetrating the Christian faith. [17] Yet in 1869 Harvard started to incorporate evolution into the education system, even as Ken Ham's Answers In Genesis affirms. [18] In this guest article written on May 6, 2000 they reveal what their (AIG) hope is:

In the following guest commentary you will discover how education in America has changed from being Christian-based to humanistic-based, and how evolutionary thinking played a role in this shift.

Remember how Ken Ham has been warning Christians for decades. Not only are public schools diverted in what is taught, but so are Chritian institutes of learning whether K-12 or seminaries, colleges and universities. Look at the poll numbers again. There are professors even in Christian seminaries that are agnostic and atheist yet they are training future scholars and preachers. Again, what have you been spoon-fed or are being fed today? Just because your English Bible may say something doesn't mean it's true to the original languages it was translated from. Have you studied and learned these languages? While the translations are good overall, anyone who studies  languages knows no language can be translated perfectly because of all the nuances. Do you know where the scholars translated according to their own theological biases? If not, you need to! Recall George Barna's words, "The full responsibility for what you believe and how you apply those beliefs, regardless of what influenced your choices, lies on your shoulders." Also remember 2 Timothy 2:15: Study, be diligent, to show, present thyself approved, worthy, qualified unto God, an unashamed workman rightly dividing, accurately apportioning the Word of truth.

I believe I have given you plenty to chew on and digest; to examine and verify. For most, what I have presented today flies in the face of what you have been taught to believe. As Paul said, "Examine yourselves whether you be in the faith. Prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves how the Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you are unapproved, not standing the test." 2 Cor. 13:5 Today is the day to repent and be not unequally with the world. (2 Cor. 6:14-16). That you come out of the world and it's ways that you do not partake of it's sins nor receive of it's plagues. (Rev. 18:4) Dare to stand alone if need be. Make sure that you are a doer of the Word and not deceived. (Jam. 1:22) Help deliver others who are in error; who have been taken captive by the devil to do his will. (Jam. 5:19-20; 2Tim. 2:25-26)



[13] Orwell, George (2017-02-04). George Orwell: An age like this, 1920-1940. David R. Godine Publisher. p. 401. ISBN 9781567921335.

[14] M'Caul, Alexander (1820–1821). "Extract of a Letter From Mr. M'Caul"The Jewish Expositor, and Friend of IsraelV: 478. and Judæo-, Judeo- in the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. Accessed online 2008-07-21

[15] Wolff, Joseph (1829). Missionary Journal of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, Missionary to the Jews. Vol. III. London: James Duncan. p. 314.5

[16] Silk, Mark (15 April 2019). "Mark Silk on the history of the term 'Judeo-Christian'"National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 18 March 2020.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Happy Birthday?

Happy Birthday? It seems unusual to see a question mark after the popular phrase, "happy birthday" doesn't it? The reasoning is that I'm calling into question this celebration that seems to practiced by people all around the globe. Where did the origin of birthday celebrations originate? We're they a common practice among believers in Scripture? Did the early "church" fathers celebrate them? When did it become acceptable and should it be among Christians?

Remember, Paul warned the Colossians not to be led captive through philosophies, principles, fundaments, traditions and opinions of men. (Col. 2:8)

To begin, there are only three passages in Scripture that we see anyone observing birthdays. They pertain only to two individuals, namely:

1) Pharaoh - Ge. 40:20; and
2) Herod - Mt. 14:6; Mk. 6:21

Pertaining to Pharaoh’s birthday, no evidence for celebrations surrounding the birthday of a pharaoh is known until the first millennium BC. The day of birth may refer to the anniversary of his accession or coronation as king (cf. Ps 2:7), for which there is evidence as early as the Sixth Dynasty (second half of the third millennium). - Cultural Backgrounds SB

Concerning Herod’s birthday:

Only Pagans held birthday celebrations; Jews never did. And the Jews used to look on the Pagan birthday celebrations as a terrible act of shame. In fact, there was a phrase, “Herodis dies” in Latin, which means “Herod’s birthday,” and it came to be a proverb for excessive, orgiastic festivals. In those days, the Romans held stag birthday parties. All the birthday parties were stag parties; only men came – and they were gluttonous, and they were drunken brawls, and they were climaxed by women who came in and danced immoral, lewd, seductive dances; and then the thing became an orgy; and that was Herod’s birthday. - JMSB

Aside from these two men there are no references to observance to a person's date of birth. Therefore we shall look at some sources outside of the Scriptures to gain insight into this custom that we take for granted. Our search begins with astrology.

The Babylonians are generally credited with the birth of astrology. Babylonian astrology was introduced to the Greeks early in the 4th century B.C. and, through the studies of Plato, Aristotle, and others, astrology came to be highly regarded as a science. It was soon embraced by the Romans (the Roman names for the zodiacal signs are still used today) and the Arabs and later spread throughout the entire world. (

“Astrology is an ancient system of divination based on the belief that the stars can influence the fate and behavior of men and the general course of human events. A belief in the supernatural powers of the celestial bodies was common to the Babylonians, Egyptians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans. In the 4th century BC, it reached the Greeks and somewhat later the Romans.” (Negev, Avraham. The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land. New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1990.)

Horoscope - The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
  1. The aspect of the planets and stars at a given moment, such as the moment of a person's birth, used by astrologers.
  2. A diagram of the signs of the zodiac based on such an aspect.
  3. An astrological forecast, as of a person's future, based on a diagram of the aspect of the planets and stars at a given moment.

In Scripture we find reference that God does not want His people to observe or practice the ways and customs of the other nations around them, including astrology.

Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment [5172], nor observe times [6049]. - Le. 19:26

5172 nachash {naw-khash'}
Meaning: 1) to practice divination, divine, observe signs, learn by experience, diligently observe, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen 1a) (Piel) 1a1) to practice divination 1a2) to observe the signs or omens

6049 anan {aw-nan'}
Meaning: 1) (Piel) to make appear, produce, bring (clouds) 2) (Poel) to practise soothsaying, conjure 2a) to observe times, practice soothsaying or spiritism or magic or augury or witchcraft 2b) soothsayer, enchanter, sorceress, diviner, fortuneteller, barbarian, Meonenim (participle)

 15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
 16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
 17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
 18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
 19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
 20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. - Dt. 4:15-20

 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. - Ro. 1:21-25

 9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. - Dt. 18:9-14

We even see that the prophets derided those that consult astrologers.

 12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.
 13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.
 14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. - Is. 47:12-14

 2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. * Jer. 10:2

There are also references to astrology in the apocrypha. In the Book of Jubilees 12:16–18 it says that Abraham overcame the beliefs of astrologers by accepting one God. In the first Book of Enoch (8:3) includes astrology among the sins spread among mortals by the primeval giants (nefilim).

It is palpable that astrology and all things relating to it are an abomination to the Lord. Which things consist of horoscopes and birthdays.

“The Egyptians… discovered to which of the gods each month and day is sacred; and found out from the day of a man’s birth, what he will meet with in the course of his life, and how he will end his days, and what sort of man he will be” (Herodotus, Persian Wars, Book II, ch. 82)

Since it was believed that the positions of the stars at the time of birth influenced a child’s future, astrological horoscopes came into being, purporting to foretell the future, based on the time of birth. “Birthdays are intimately linked with the stars, since without the calendar, no one could tell when to celebrate his birthday. They are also indebted to the stars in another way, for in early days the chief importance of birthday records was to enable the astrologers to chart horoscopes” (The Lore of Birthdays, p. 53). Rawlinson’s translation of Herodotus includes the following footnote: “Horoscopes were of very early use in Egypt… and Cicero speaks of the Egyptians and Chaldees predicting… a man’s destiny at his birth"

The Greeks believed that everyone had a protective spirit or daemon who attended his birth and watched over him in life. This spirit had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born. The Romans also subscribed to this idea. . . . This notion was carried down in human belief and is reflected in the guardian angel, the fairy godmother and the patron saint. (The Lore of Birthdays (New York, 1952) by Ralph and Adelin Linton, pgs 8, 18)

The ancient Romans enthusiastically celebrated birthdays with hedonistic parties and presents (Argetsinger K. "Birthday Rituals: Friends and Patrons in Roman Poetry and Cult." Classical Antiquity 11 (2), 1992: pp. 175–193).

It is of little wonder that we find disdain of birthday observances among the Jews, as we view more of their beliefs and practices:

 The famous historian Titus Flavius Josephus lived in the first century - a contemporary with Christ - and he wrote:

"Nay, indeed, the Law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess; but it ordains that the very beginning of our education should be immediately directed to sobriety. It also commands us to bring those children up in learning, and to exercise them in the Laws, and make them acquainted with the acts of their predecessors, in order to their imitation of them, and that they might be nourished up in the Laws from their infancy, and might neither transgress them, nor have any pretense for their ignorance of them." (Josephus. Translated by W. Whiston. Against Apion, Book II, Chapter 26. Extracted from Josephus Complete Works, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids (MI), 14th printing, 1977, p. 632). 

The Imperial Bible-Dictionary (London, 1874), edited by Patrick Fairbairn, Vol. I, p. 225 says:

 "The later Hebrews looked on the celebration of birthdays as a part of idolatrous worship, a view which would be abundantly confirmed by what they saw of the common observances associated with these days."

 M'Clintock & Strong's Cyclopedia (Vol. I, p. 817) says the Jews "regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship ... , and this probably on the account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born."

"Birth-day: The observance of birth-days was common in early times (Job 1:4, 13, 18). They were specially celebrated in the land of Egypt (Gen. 40:20). There is no recorded instance in Scripture of the celebration of birth-days among the Jews. On the occasion of Herod's birth-day John the Baptist was beheaded (Matt. 14:6)." - Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

In addition, even among the early "church: fathers the observance of birthdays were frowned upon.

"Some one of those before us has observed what is written in Genesis about the birthday of Pharaoh, and has told that the worthless man who loves things connected with birth keeps birthday festivals; and we, taking this suggestion from him, find in no Scripture that a birthday was kept by a righteous man. " (Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol IX Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew Chapter XXII, p429)

“The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period in general.” (The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries; New York, 1848, Augustus Neander - translated by Henry John Rose, p. 190.)

Grolier's The New Book of Knowledge, 1979, p. 289 states: "The early church fathers frowned upon the celebration of birthdays and thought them a heathen custom."

Origen of Alexandria, in 245 A.D., wrote in a dissertation on Leviticus that:

". . . none of the saints can be found who ever held a feast or a banquet upon his birthday, or rejoiced on the day when his son or daughter was born. But sinners rejoice and make merry on such days. For we find in the Old Testament that Pharaoh, king of Egypt, celebrated his birthday with a feast, and that Herod, in the New Testament did the same. But the saints not only neglect to mark the day of their birth with festivity, but also, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse this day, after the example of Job and Jeremiah and David."

The writings of the late third century Catholic theologian Arnobius show that, even that late, most Catholics were against the celebration of birthdays as he wrote: " worship with couches, altars, temples, and other service, and by celebrating their games and birthdays, those whom it was fitting that you should assail with keenest hatred." (Arnobius. Against the Heathen (Book I), Chapter 64. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 6. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886.).

The origin of birthday celebrations among Christians was inaugurated in the fourth century when faith and practice became syncretized with gnostic philosophies and took hold of another, foreign identity after Constantine supposedly came to Christ and granted Christians full liberty, favoring them in every way. Thus for the first time it became popular to be a Christian.