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Theology and Ethnonationalism By Chris Knight
This article has been sitting in the pile, gathering cyber-dust, but it is an interesting perspective, justifying ethno-nationalism, theologically. Of course, for many Christian universalists, any concern about saving one’s own race, even though the Others do it, is “racist.” This needs to be countered:
“It is common among white Christians today to believe that any sort of pride of race is inherently wrong or evil. Many Christians express the belief that we should only boast in our identity in Christ. There is a sense in which this is true. The Apostle Paul considered everything that he could claim to be “but dung” in comparison to the “excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,” including his own ancestry! It’s extremely important to note that Paul is making a comparison by hyperbole. Paul is saying that in comparison with Christ’s righteousness, all that we have and all that we are is worthless! It is also important to point out that Paul is comparing his own righteousness, to the righteousness of Christ. It is in this sense that nothing about us matters for salvation. We are saved solely by the merits of Christ. Even Christ demands that our loyalty to himself exceed our loyalty to our immediate families and spouses! It would be a severe mistake however to conclude that attributes such as ancestry or even marriage are meaningless!
Indeed, the very same Apostle Paul who spoke those words to the Philippians also said that he was “willing to be accursed from Christ” for his “brethren, his kinsman according to the flesh.” The New International Version renders “kinsman according to the flesh” as “race.” This is a clear and unashamed expression of racial pride and loyalty. Paul unambiguously expresses solidarity with his people even though they themselves were unbelievers! Paul’s commitment for his missionary work to non-Israelite people did not in any way compete with his natural affection for his own people. If it was alright for Paul to express such commitment to the welfare of his own kindred, why is it considered wrong for white people to express the same commitment? White people are usually singled out for any expression of solidarity with each other, even when there is clearly no animosity expressed towards people of different races. This sentiment of love and affection for one’s own people should not only be manifested in warm feelings of kind regard, but also should be manifested by outward actions and responsibilities.
Today many people do not believe in family responsibilities or obligations. This should not be so! The Apostle Paul tells his disciple Timothy that “if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel!” Clearly, our “own” probably cannot be interpreted to mean what we would call race today. Our own in this verse refers to extended family which centers in on the household or immediate family. What Paul is teaching here is that people have familial obligations that radiate outward in concentric loyalties. Our responsibilities to humanity at large are extraordinarily small in comparison to our responsibility to our immediate family. This again demonstrates that family, clan, tribe, nation, and race have meaning in the Biblical paradigm of society.
The purpose that God has for different nations or races will be fleshed out in greater detail in other articles. This should merely serve as a brief overview of the question of what purpose the nations serve. The first observation that we must make is that national distinction based upon heredity already existed at the time of Babel. We are given a relative time frame reference in the Table of Nations when we read that the division of Babel occurring during the lifetime of Peleg. Peleg is the fourth generation from Shem, and the fifth generation from Noah. Therefore, it seems that national identity was rooted in the sons of Noah and their offspring, and that the division at Babel was not a new or innovative arrangement, but was rather a reaffirmation of a preexisting social structure which had existed at least since the time of the Flood. God confused language as an additional tool for maintaining national distinction. This did not create new nations which had theretofore not existed! There had already been several generations of the nations listed in Genesis 10 by the time that Tower of Babel is formed and God was protecting the unique identity of the nations that already existed. It is certainly true that Babel was a punishment for sin, but it was also an act of mercy from God in order to restrain the evil that typically arises in cosmopolitan societies who have lost sight of their tribal identity. Raceless or tribeless societies become decadent due to anonymity and loss of patriarchal authority, which is inevitable in these regimes. When people forget their ancestors they will not regard their children and future descendants!
Deuteronomy 32:8 tells us that nations were divided by a special act of God’s providence. We read that the Most High divided the nations their inheritance and separated the sons of Adam, and that God set the boundaries of the nations. God’s dividing the inheritance to the various nations is a positive and intentional work of God’s providence. This means that God did not merely allow the nations to be divided but that He caused this to happen for man’s own good.
Another pivotal passage that addresses the purposes of national distinctions and affirms their propriety is Acts 17:26-27. In this passage we read that God made from one blood (presumably referring again to Adam) “all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.” It is worth pointing out that traditional Christians firmly believe that all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve, seeing as Eve is referred to as the “mother of all living.” Commonly, detractors of ethno-nationalism erect a straw man that suggests that ethno-nationalists do not affirm the unity of everyone under Adam as a covenant head. Indeed, it is this covenant unity by which original sin is transferred to all mankind. But this common descent from Adam does not change the fact that God intentionally divided the nations of men and appointed them their respective bounds and habitations. Notice also that verse 27 provides us with a reason why God did this. God did this so that man would grope for God and find him! It is important to note that no one can come to God through their own natural ability, but it is clear that God uses distinct nations as a means of bringing about salvation by his own sovereignty similar to the way that God uses believing spouses to sanctify and redeem their unbelieving husbands or wives.”
In a nutshell, if races are of no value or relevance, then why should God have created then in the first place? It is much like the traditional division into the two sexes: if this is all just a social construction, then why should even the concepts have arisen from the potential linfinity of other arbitrary constructs?