This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on Jan. 24, 2024. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Sam Rohrer: Well, hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Stand In the Gap Today as today I invite back Dr. James Spencer, currently serving as president of The D.L. Moody Center. The title for today’s focused conversation is, A Closer Look at Christian Nationalism.
Now this is going to be the second program I’ve done on this general theme of Christian nationalism, but from a different point of consideration to the first time I did it, Dr. Alex McFarland, Christian apologist was with me that day. The title of that August 28th program was a title coined by Dr. McFarland, and it was this, Christian Nationalism: A Tsunami of Smear.
Now in short, the focus was that the phrase Christian nationalism was coined years ago and generally used derogatorily by such liberal political pundits back then as James Carville and Bill Maher and others to create a negative association with people embracing Christian moral principles who were also patriotic and believed it was their duty to be involved in civil government.
Now in short, Dr. McFarland in that program made clear, as I do regularly on this program, that while physical strife and division is happening all around us, scripture says it will increase, as Christians we understand that there is a greater battle in the heavenlies and that will only increase. And that in this life as Christ’s ambassadors on earth, we struggle and fight, but not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. We left that consideration with the thought that we must understand that as Christian citizens, the world and the enemies of truth despise us. Why? Because they hate God and they love sin. And they will try to demonize us by changing definitions of terms and traditionally held views to label and destroy individuals and people.
So to be a Christian is good. It has no limitations, right? Do not ever back away from being a Christ follower, a Christian, because if we do, the scripture says that Jesus will not confess us before his father in Heaven. So it’s a big deal. Now, to be a nationalist or patriotic is also commendable, and certainly under our constitution is both civilly responsible and right, but frankly, this duty does have limitations.
But in today’s program, I’m going to ask Dr. James Spencer, again president of The D.L. Moody Center, to share his views regarding a recent research study conducted by a Raleigh, North Carolina nonprofit group called Neighborly Faith Incorporated. The title of that research report was entitled Christian Nationalism: A New Approach. Now in that report, Neighborly Faith defines Christian nationalism as, “A movement advancing a vision of America’s past, present, and future that excludes people of non-Christian religion and non-Western cultures.”
From a media perspective, politicians branded with the Christian Nationalist label include GOP, for instance, reps Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert, as well as new US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson of Louisiana. Now my guest, Dr. James Spencer has written a detailed commentary on this entire study as well as specific responses to three recommendations that came out of it. That’s going to be the bulk of what we’re talking about today.
And with that, I welcome to the program Dr. James Spencer.
James Spencer: Hey, thanks for having me back.
Sam Rohrer: It’s great to have you back, James. Like I do routinely on this program and in private life, I encourage the upfront definition of terms so that our conversation will be fully transparent and that we don’t engage in any way in the normal deception of the day by allowing people to think one thing but leading them to an opposite conclusion. So I want you to define terms, and I don’t want to put you in that box. But I defined Christian nationalism as this group Neighborly Faith defined it, starting here for the sake of this program today, how would you define Christian nationalism and from where did that term come?
James Spencer: Well, I had the opportunity to listen to your conversation with Alex McFarland, I agree with many things that were said in that program. And so I don’t know that I’m going to be disagreeing in substance. I’ll probably be disagreeing in details. So I just throw that out there and I appreciate what you said in your introduction.
When I think about Christian nationalism here’s what I think. I think that the Bible distinguishes between the church and the state. Christian nationalism is a group of people who tend to want to fuse Christianity with the state. So there is a confusion and a blurring of lines between what is Christian and what is the state, what is the church and what is the state. I think we have to preserve that distinction.
The Neighborly Faith report does talk about it in terms of excluding non-Christian religions and non-Western cultures. I don’t generally think of Christian nationalism like that. Because what I am concerned with is less of a political movement and more of a religious belief system within Christianity whereby Christian people are deprioritizing the church and its faith in order to elevate the political realm above or give it an expanded authority, more authority than God has truly given it. And so that’s where I come to this question of it’s a fusion of Christianity with the state and I think that fusion is problematic for a number of different reasons.
Sam Rohrer: Okay. And I think that the balance of the program that’s going to come out more clearly and you’ll have opportunity to explain that. But in a general sense here, and again this is a generalized question so respond to it as you want. Let’s put it this way. Should the term Christian nationalism by a Christian or a patriotic Christian, is that a title that they should want to carry, should not want to carry or should want to carry only with very careful delineation and definition?
James Spencer: I would tend to say the third option. I would say that right now the trouble with the phrase Christian nationalist is that it is a very confusing term. I mean just right now we’re taking time to really try to hash out what does this mean? What does it look like? What are the characteristics of someone who would call themselves a Christian nationalist? It takes time to understand it’s not a term that you hear and you automatically know where someone stands in general. And so I would say at best we need to be carrying this term with a high degree of care and really specifying what we mean by a Christian nationalist.
And just to give you an example, if what we mean by Christian nationalists is that we believe that Christians should be able to participate in United States politics, I agree wholeheartedly. But in saying Christian nationalists, that is not what most people are meaning by the term at this point. They’re not suggesting, I just think Christians should be involved in the political process. [inaudible 00:07:31]-
Sam Rohrer: Okay, hold that right there, James. That’s perfect. Ladies and gentlemen, again, you get why we’re going over this Christian nationalism because so many different people bring to it many different perspectives, that’s why we’re trying to define it. And just to say, because those who are evil accuse us of this, we don’t necessarily wrap our arms around it and say, yeah, we are, or no, we’re not. There’s more to it. It’s very critical and that’s why we’re going to try and walk through that for better understanding today. A closer look at Christian nationalism.
Sam Rohrer: Well, if you’re just joining us today, our theme is this, a closer look at Christian nationalism. Christian nationalism. Have you heard that term? Need to be aware of it because it’s around. Back on August 28th of last year, I did like a first part of this, a different perspective than we’re doing today. Dr. Alex McFarland was my guest that day. Listen to that, listen to this, you’ll understand this issue even more clearly.
My guest today is Dr. James Spencer. He is the president of D.L. Moody Center. It’s a nonprofit organization, it’s a good entity. They’ve got a website at moodycenter.org, moodycenter.org. A lot of information there. Dr. Spencer’s actually, has a new book, Christian Resistance: Learning to Defy the World and Follow Christ and that can be found that Amazon, go there. I’m going to get back into this because we’ve got a lot to go over here yet.
In response to a recent 14 question survey, the nonprofit group, Neighborly Faith Incorporated, and its president, Kevin Singer, said the survey, these are his words, “Helps to distill attitudes among adherence of Christian nationalism and those who merely sympathize with some of the movement’s beliefs.” It included questions about whether American culture is, this was their stating, “Fundamentally Christian” or whether the nation’s success is, “A critical part of God’s plan” and whether the federal government should declare the United States “A Christian nation.”
Then he said this, “We just felt that the current slate of research on the topic is selling the field short. Studies by other organizations” he said, “We’re taking what we feel is a very complex phenomenon and reducing it to some questions that not just Christians but anyone who’s interested in faith being a part of public life can answer in the affirmative.” Now what I just said there, probably hard to understand, but I think it’ll fit together here as we go forth.
Dr. James Spencer, in a response to the survey you felt led to respond by writing a short commentary, very good by the way, entitled, Does Christian Nationalism Pose a Threat to The American Church? And you actually set up a little bit of that concern in the last segment, but before I go into these three segments, we walk through that, is there anything that I just said that you want to discuss a little bit further generally before we go into your article directly?
James Spencer: Yeah, all I would say is this survey included statements that people were asked to strongly agree with or strongly disagree with. And so they had a range between those two poles. And so every statement, something like faith makes better citizens, you could strongly agree with that or strongly disagree with that. And so each of the statements had that sort of dynamic. And I think the reason I felt compelled to take a look at these three statements that we’ll discuss going forward, which are the three statements with which those classified as Christian nationalists most strongly agreed is because they have pretty deep theological implications. I think that the real danger to the American church from Christian nationalism is the reorientation or maybe even some of the difficulties of squaring the beliefs of Christian nationalism with the biblical text and with a theological orientation. And so anything that poses a threat to our theological thinking I think is a problem.
Sam Rohrer: All right, that’s very good. And so that lays out that foundation. Let me get right into it.
The first statement that the report made that you commented on was what you just said, faith can make better Christian citizens. Now before I want you to explain that there’s some listening who would say I’ve heard something similar to that. In fact, Daniel Webster’s often quoted as saying whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens. Well, all right, from your perspective is the phrase, faith can make people better citizens, an accurate thought or goal or does that raise questions? Comment on what they said and then what you wrote.
James Spencer: Sure. So as the people who are classified as Christian adherence they strongly agreed with this statement more than many of the other statements. My difficulty with the statement is just this, yes we are to honor the emperor, we read that in 1 Peter. We are to submit to governing authorities that God has delegated authority to, we see that in Romans 13. And in that sense, Christians should be good citizens.
Unfortunately, often we are going to end up in opposition to the state because the state is trying to take on more authority or exercise its own authority on its own terms. And at those points Christians have to oppose the state. We are not good citizens in the sense that we are going to sit by as the country and our governing leaders do things that are an affront to God. We are a mouthpiece for the Lord. We are to be proclaiming in his excellencies as people who are called from darkness to light.
And so I think what this statement suggests is that there’s going to be more or less strong alignment between what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a good citizen. And I just have difficulty equating those two. I think there’s a more profound task that we do as Christians as opposed to simply the task that we perform when we’re being good citizens.
And so it is a matter of nuance. Do I believe that faith generally makes people better citizens? I suppose so. But I think that if we look in any aspect of the Christian scriptures when we’re looking at things like in Revelation, Christians, they’re not doing things to create the persecution, they’re not being evil in society so that the governing authorities bring the sword down on them, they’re being faithful and it’s that faithfulness that makes the state turn against them. And so I just think that we need to be careful of aligning what the state is going to be with what Christians are actually called to do. That’s my problem with that state.
Sam Rohrer: Okay. And you used the word nuance, there’s a little bit of that in there, but I think the key that we’ve talked about before and you’re talking about before as well, is that being a good citizen as a Christian must incorporate the element that we obey God rather than man or government. And as long as that is in place then that can help to keep this concept in balance. Is that what you’re saying?
James Spencer: Largely, yeah. And I think that there is a point at which, if you actually think about what we are doing as part of our Christian mission, we are trying to draw people into a new citizenship. We are trying to draw people into a new kingdom. We’re asking them to stop being allegiant to the country that they’re being allegiant to as their primary form of allegiance. And we’re asking them to substitute that for a new primary form of allegiance, which is God. And so.
I think that we should be good citizens within the nation, but we are not driven by good citizenship. We are ultimately driven by a Christian mission that will come up against what many of our governing authorities believe to be good citizenship. And so I think an easy way to say it maybe is that Christianity is just the bigger category and so it entails more, it requires more and it will ultimately put us at odds. We’re trying to be disciples of Christ, we’re not trying to be good citizens. And so we’re always going to have a tension there because what the government is trying to do is produce good citizens. But we’re not trying to be good citizens. We’re trying to be disciples of Jesus.
Sam Rohrer: All right. Boy, we could go much further on that. I’m just going to let that stand for right now.
There was a second point that came out of that that you commented on, it was this, public schools should allow teachers and coaches to lead or encourage students in Christian prayer. Sounds good at first, but again, you’re concerned there?
James Spencer: I think I have two concerns. Number one, I think that our society generally lends itself to if Christians are going to pray and we’re going to allow Christian coaches and teachers to lead students in Christian prayer, we should then allow people of other faith to lead students in Jewish prayer or Muslim prayer or what have you. And we should allow new age folks to come in and allow them to lead students in to transcendental meditation or what have you. And so I think that is a problem that is going to be really difficult. If we were to implement a strategy like this in the United States, I’m not sure how from a policy perspective that actually gets coded in. So that will be more of a practicality issue. How is it that this doesn’t look like and smell like state establishment of religion? And so there’s problems there, I think.
The other side of this thought is just I think more of a theological point, which is Christians are always free to obey. And so yes, it may have very negative consequences for teachers and coaches who are trying to lead and encourage students in Christian prayer in schools, but Christians are always free to obey. We do not need the government to tell us we can or cannot do something. And so it has implications, I realize that. But all of us are going to have to make those choices at some point. And this is where I think the theological point of we will not coexist with the world.
This is Matthew 10, Jesus sending the disciples out amongst the wolves and telling them to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. These men are not to be trusted, the men that the disciples are going out amongst, because they will betray the disciples. We’re just not going to have the sort of alignment, coexistence with the government that we think we’re going to. I think those systems and structures are always ripe to portray us. And so we have to be careful who we’re depending on to give us authorization to do what God is telling them to do.
Sam Rohrer: And that right there, again, don’t have time to build that out, but authorization. Ladies and gentlemen, Daniel was told by government he could not pray. He prayed because God said to pray. All right, now that’s all I’m going to throw that out there that he had to make a decision. God authorized him to pray, he did. Now we’ll come back, we’re going to continue with point number three.
Sam Rohrer: Well if you’re just joining us, my special guest is Dr. James Spencer. Our theme, a closer look at Christian nationalism. And it comes out of a recent research survey really that came from a group out of Raleigh, North Carolina. And we’re looking at a couple of… Well, we defined some things in the first segment. If you just joined us, go back and listen to the whole program to make it fit. But there were three statements that they made among 14 that they identified in this survey.
First one we’ve talked about was, does faith make better Christians? Second, public school should allow teachers and coaches to lead or encourage students in Christian prayer. All right, go back and listen to what we commented on. We could spend a lot more time, except we don’t have it.
So I’m going to have to move on to number three because I think probably on the site moodycenter.org maybe you might find the complete analysis that my guest wrote and some of this can be put together and you probably can find there within that a link to the survey that has generated the reason for talking about this today.
Now that being said, within the phrase Christian nationalism is buried many perceptions to which people can bring many views. You get that idea as we’re going through it. That’s why we’re dealing with it because there are many views. The enemy of truth views this phrase, Christian nationalism as a derogatory term. Many Christians are from this recent study viewing this as a banner and assigning to it a developing body of foundational principles so that you’ve got these two contrasts.
Now into that is important to know that while the term Christian, again definition is so important, while the term Christian was coined obviously 2000 years ago, back in Bible times, the scripture tells us when the word Christian was formed, nationalism as a term was not a word. Not even in 1829 at the writing of Webster’s Dictionary. In fact, I had to go to Britannica, a more current definition, and that is, I found the word there, but it means an ideology based on the premise that the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation state surpasses other nation state. So you link those together and they have a definition, but it’s not quite what the enemies of Christianity and so forth in our country intend.
Now, but for the Christian however, when it comes to this idea of national we are told in Acts 17 and other places that God raises up nations and actually is defined there are boundaries from before the beginning of the world. And it’s all for the purpose of working his will, his plan of redemption through the nations. That’s why nations come about. God can use righteous nations and righteous leaders, but he more often uses evil nations and evil leaders because there’s more of them. Just like Babylon and Persia of old, God even called Nebuchadnezzar his servant because he used him for God’s purposes.
Now prophetically, God’s also going to use this coming antichrist led global government that’s being formed before our very eyes. In fulfillment of Psalm chapter two, if you go and you look at that, the gentile nations, the kings, they gather themselves together. God’s going to use this 100% alliance of the gentile nations of the world to demonstrate his power as king over all kings when he levels justice and brings to naught the God rejecting rebellious gentile nation leaders, even the own rejecting Jews are going to be a part of that.
But every person alive since the time of Christ in this time of Gentiles which started when Christ was here, all Christians have been citizens of one nation or another depending upon where God placed them. And each nation has played a God designed role understanding that biblical role though is essential for all biblically obedient Christians. And I just lay that out there just as a concept.
James, the third key statement arising from the survey to which you’ve written your considered thoughts is this, the success of the United States is a critical part of God’s plan. That wasn’t your statement, that came out of the survey. And now to that, in fact I would say yes, God’s hand has been on this nation from its inception, it’s been obvious. America has played a key role in God’s plan to this point, I’m going to say particularly as it relates to Israel, but otherwise too. So what’s your concern with this statement, the success of the United States is a critical part of God’s plan?
James Spencer: I think like many of the statements in this survey, I think I’m concerned about what assumptions people are reading into this statement. So what you just talked about, nations in the Old Testament, Babylon and Persia, the United States is a nation like those and God is using the United States in various ways, some of which we may have an inkling that we understand, other ways that we have no idea how this is working. God’s use of the nation isn’t always clear to us.
And so my concern with this statement, the success of the United States is a critical part of God’s plan, is that I’m concerned that it’s tying into notions of American exceptionalism where we have decided that we have a covenant with God, that we have a specific mission from God, that we have determined God has called us to do, that is nowhere particularly in the biblical record. And so we are sort of making a lot of presumptions about what our nation does. Now in saying all that, what I would say is we don’t have to suggest that America has not been blessed by God. I think America has been blessed by God. I think America has served God’s purposes in some amazing ways and I think it continues to do that. But is it an enduring and permanent part of God’s plan going forward? I don’t think we can say that. At the very least we need to admit that we don’t know that for sure, that there is not a biblical justification to say that America is a critical part of God’s plan in an enduring and permanent way.
If we were to ask the same question, if we were to substitute in the statement the success of the church is a critical part of God’s plan, we can affirm that. We know that the church is going to be around, we’re established in Christ. We are going to be a perpetual body of people doing God’s work in the world. But I don’t think we can say that about the United States. And so to the extent that some of those assumptions are involved there and there’s not a more complex understanding of the way that God uses both righteous and unrighteous nations and really reckoning with the idea that a nation can be blessed, but that God is going to use it for a time and then that nation will spin down a bit. I think that the statement can become problematic because it begins to elevate the United States to a position that we probably shouldn’t elevate it to.
Sam Rohrer: All right. Boy, we could go a lot further on that too. But let me ask you this question. We’re in the middle of an election process. We see a lot of things unfolding, a lot of attention by a lot of people placing a lot of hope in what happens. Here’s my question. If we’ve grown up in America, James, which most of our listeners most of them have, it’s easy to think that God’s prophetic plan cannot go forward without an America in the picture, what you’re just talking about. And to some extent I’m going to put here that the entire MAGA movement as an example, make America greater movement, seems to link into this to some degree and that I’m going to make that because a lot of people are thinking it. So do you see a connection between the Christian nationalism movement and the MAGA movement?
James Spencer: I think it very much depends. So if we define Christian nationalism in the way that we’ve been talking about it, about a fusion of Christianity with the nation, yes, I tend to see that Christian nationalism and the MAGA movement fit together quite well. I don’t think one is the cause of the other, but I do think that they have some correlation together. Because embedded within the MAGA movement, the make America great again, movement is an assumption that we need to make America great again.
Now on the surface, making America great again is not a bad thing. Nationalism is not an evil, not in my mind. Augustine talks about this as Christians having ordered loves. And so I think love of nation is a completely appropriate thing for Christians to have. But it has to be situated within a love of God and a love of neighbor within our desire to see the lost saved. And I just would encourage Christians to think through if we’re so consumed with making America something that maybe it won’t even become, are we missing opportunities to serve Christ in other ways?
And so in some ways I see both of these things as distracting Christians, maybe causing them to deprioritize things that we really should be prioritizing. And in that way I see a linkage between Christian nationalism and the MAGA movement.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, and we’re going to come back with some response in the next segment, and we’re just about done. But I’m going to suggest… Ladies and gentlemen, something coming to my mind here at this point. James, you mentioned about clearly in our nation’s history, God’s blessing is undeniable. If I go to scripture and I go to for instance the Book of Deuteronomy in chapter 28 and you make a comparison between America and Israel, if you do that and I think the application is there, God makes it very, very clear. “You obey me, you keep me first, you put me first, then I will give you blessing.” Good health, prosperity, secure borders, you’ll not be in debt. All of the things that we now are not. But he said if you walk away, then that will turn on your head.
So ladies and gentlemen, think about this. We want America great again, but where does it start? I’m just going to put that out there. Can we ever be great again until we make God great again in America? When we come back we’ll try to conclude with some summary thoughts here.
Sam Rohrer: Well, as we bring this program to a close, before I say a few comments here, our intent is not to bring up a subject where we raise questions that are not resolved. The world does that all the time and that’s not good. However, I know there are things that we brought up today that will stimulate thinking. That is something that we want to do. Now today on this because this theme, Christian nationalism, is being thrown around as a term by those who hate God and Christians and Christian involvement in the political, there are also some who want that banner, it appears by the survey anyways that it came up a large percentage and are actually factoring it into it, their perceptions and things, some of which we touched on in the last segment as an example, that you can’t find in scripture. And so therefore there’s a balance. Like most things, there’s a balance. We’re going to try and end with a bit of a balance in that regard here today.
In Philippians 3:20, the apostle Paul speaking to the Philippians about their Christian walk in this evil world, which is where we are, and everybody’s been since Christ ascended the King James says, “For our conversation is in heaven.” Now the ESV translate this, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And from it we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now 2 Corinthians 5:20, the apostle Paul again states that Our identity as Christians in this world, I’m going to suggest because I’ve talked about it before, it does have a political aspect to it. He says, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.” Ambassador, it’s an appointed position by a king, in our case a king of a non-earthly government, our heavenly kingdom. Now in other places, this world we’re told is not our home, but we seek a heavenly city. All right? Within these biblical truths and more, regardless of the age in which we live, Christians have had to balance their duties toward God, which doesn’t change ever in any generation, in any nation within the aspect of the Christian lives and their relationship to God’s ranking of authorities.
As described in Romans 13, for instance, God has [inaudible 00:32:28] the institution of the family. A Christian man and woman have to balance their responsibilities toward what God says to do in the family. Have enough families together, you have a community. There’s a balance that has to happen there. And the scripture gives us principles. But then God says, civil government also, Romans 13 builds that out. But then with the creation of the church, which did not exist in the Old Testament, at Pentecost it began and the time of the Gentiles at which we now live since Christ’s ascension to the time the tribulation period begins, that’s the time of the Gentiles, we must walk in balance with all of God’s word. And he gives us the wisdom to do that. But it can’t be done without wisdom and that’s why it’s so greatly needed and we must talk it through as Bible believers because the world is not going to give us good counsel. Just the opposite. But there are a lot of people out there who speak like they are Christians, but they’re the wolves in the street. So we know that as well.
Okay, James, I’d like for you to identify now as we just round out this program, according to your Bible research and study and all that you’ve done in light of our focus today, paint the picture of how a true Christian should and can approach their priorities in life and focus in this historic time in history with these things we’ve talked about. I’d like to hear, what do you say?
James Spencer: There’s a passage that I would normally go to and I think would probably add some value to the listeners is 1 Samuel 24. Sort of an odd one to go to, but this is where David is hiding out in a cave. Saul comes into that cave. David’s men encouraged David that God has given Saul into his hand and they’re encouraging David to kill Saul and take the throne. Now at that point, David has already been anointed king of Israel. Saul has been chasing him around all over the place trying to kill David because Saul knows that he’s lost a throne. David, however, decides just to cut a corner off of Saul’s robe and he even feels bad about that. And when Saul leaves the cave alive and well, David comes out, holds up the corner of the robe and proclaims to Saul, look, I could have killed you and I didn’t because I would not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed.
Now, I think a lot of people might look at that and say, well, this is a passage that suggests that we should be less active. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that David, in that moment responds to God, his respect, his reverence, his actions are driven not by his earthly concerns or who is or isn’t in charge. What he is looking at is saying, how is it that I respect and fear and demonstrate my loyalty to God in this moment? How do I trust God in this moment? And he decides that killing Saul is the wrong move. We need to be embodying that sort of thought process. We need to be embodying a process that begins by asking, how is it that we show our loyalty to the Lord in this moment, even if it means allowing the guy who has been chasing us across the countryside to leave the cave?
And I think that sort of orientation for Christians today really sets the political realm in its proper place. It is absolutely under God’s authority and we don’t trust the people that we put in office beyond what God gives them authority to do. We trust God always. That means I think that we have to sit back and frame our actions so that we are always responding to God within the situations we face as opposed to simply responding to the situations.
Sam Rohrer: James, perhaps a follow-up to that because here’s a thought that comes in my mind as I look at it, is that as a believer, if our identity is right, our identity is in Christ as an ambassador, a child of God, a son of God, if that is forever kept proper, then from that flows what our action is. Then as it relates to those who speak evil of us or harm us or whether they be our employer, position of authority or the government or someone else, we’re always factoring into that how and what the scripture says we ought to do and we evaluate their actions as well. And just because we vote for somebody and put them in office because they’re the better, doesn’t mean we ignore what they do that is in violation of God’s word. We keep coming back to how does God evaluate that person and how should we… Anyways, just some thoughts right there. You have one minute before we close up, any additional thoughts?
James Spencer: I would say that’s really helpful clarification, and what I would say is this, as Christians, we need to keep a sufficient separation from the political parties, processes, and candidates, that we can actually be the conscience of the nation. That we can actually speak and proclaim Christ and criticize even the people that we voted for to call out the ways that they are not living under God’s authority, that they are not governing based on God’s authority. And when we become people who are so committed to a candidate or party that we can’t do that, I think we can be sure that we have lost sight of our priorities, which are to proclaim Jesus Christ in this world, to point others to him and to glorify God.
Sam Rohrer: And with that, James, we are at the end of the program. And I think that’s a great summary. So ladies and gentlemen, Christian nationalism. Christian, first of all, are you a Christian? Are you living like one? Are you thinking like one? I ask myself that same question. As we consider those things that come into our lives around us, are we evaluating on what we want? What makes us feel good? Or what God’s word says we ought to think and act and consider? I think if we keep ourselves anchored biblically, we’ll be able to understand and traverse these areas of confusion somewhat that comes before us.
Dr. James Spencer, website moodycenter.org. Thank you so much for being with me today. And ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being with us on this important Wednesday Stand In the Gap Today program.