Christian nationalist David Lane has slammed “Christians Against Christian Nationalism,” a group of “largely liberal-leaning Christian leaders and thinkers” who published a statement on July 29 calling Christian nationalism “a distortion of the gospel of Jesus and a threat to American democracy.” The CACN statement also said that Christian nationalism “often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” Lane’s response was published by Charisma on Monday.
Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, teaches that the U.S. has a covenant with God and a national mission to advance the Christian faith that goes back to the Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower. For more than 20 years, Lane has been organizing events that bring conservative politicians together with evangelical pastors in hopes of inspiring the pastors to get their congregations more politically active. In recent years, Lane has been urging pastors themselves to run for office. Lane was a huge Trump booster who organized a prayer rally just before the 2016 National Republican Convention and raised money for evangelical turnout in swing states. As a presidential candidate, Trump attended one of Lane’s events in Florida in the summer of 2016.
In his recent Charisma column, Lane took issue with the portion of the Christians Against Christian Nationalism statement that says, “Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.”
But Lane’s response comes across as confused and confusing. He criticized the Baptist Joint Committee, a leader of the CACN effort, over statements contained in a different, older document, the 2012 “Interfaith Statement of Principles,” which dealt with the role of religion in political campaigns. Moreover, in making his case that a call for respectful engagement was somehow asking Christians to water down their religious beliefs, Lane seemed to wrongly attribute to Christian apologist Joseph Boot the idea that Christians shouldn’t insist that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation; in the video to which Lane links, Boot explicitly rejects such “inclusivism.”
Lane warned that “syncretism brings God’s judgment upon a nation,” adding, “Admixing the practices of various ideologies and religions appears to be the CACN’s political platform for 2020, which adds an element of duplicity to their endorsement of the overall removal of religion from political campaigns.”
And Lane took things even further by recounting a story about religious pluralism that then-President Barack Obama told at the 2016 National Prayer Breakfast, saying it “cemented” Obama’s “legacy as the high priest of syncretic worship.”
It is for such attempts to unite beliefs or conflicting principles, among plenty of other reasons, that America finds itself in a state of spiritual apostasy, a land destitute of the Word of God. The liberal Warren Court had it removed from education in 1963.
As a result of the removal of the Word, the culture has spun out of control. Since the 1970s and ’80s, an anemic church became preoccupied with the anticipation of the rapture. This has become the escape valve, having left the American culture over to decline.
Barring a spiritual resurrection, our kids or grandkids are likely to see and experience persecution.
Having lost the culture, 21st-century Christians can practice their faith in private if they wish, as long as they don’t bring the Bible to school, let alone Jesus. There should be no public demonstration of one’s Christian faith, and, heaven forbid, never ever release the “J-Bomb” in public, on media outlets, or—unless negatively—in Hollywood movies.
Lane’s article cited Religious Right author and broadcaster Eric Metaxas saying that Hillary Clinton “once coined the term ‘freedom of worship’”—which would surely be news to Norman Rockwell and his famous painting by that name (sometimes called Freedom to Worship), not to mention President George W. Bush, who used the phrase repeatedly. Lane quoted Metaxas saying that Obama and Clinton wanted Christians to “bow to the secular authority of the state.”
Lane complained that “secularism’s onslaught” has produced a “spiritual famine.”
The former glory of the nation—the righteousness of the early culture that produced American exceptionalism—emanated from those who “founded [America] for the glory and the advancement of the Christian faith,” as early Pilgrims wrote in the Mayflower Compact.
Having bowed to secularism, Christianity is now the “second-class faith,” as the edict above has it. …
There will be dark times ahead, unless Gideons and Rahabs move into the public arena from behind the four walls of the church building, inserting the ‘leaven of heaven’ across the whole interior of America in every hamlet, every town, every city.”
For years, Lane ended his columns and emails by asking whether a Gideon or Rahab would make a stand. In the Old Testament, Gideon is called by God to defeat the armies of the enemies of the Israelites and end the worship of false gods. Rahab the Harlot enabled the Israelites’ conquest of Jericho by helping two spies sent into the city by Joshua. She and her family were the only ones spared when the city was destroyed and every other man, woman and child was killed. In his Charisma column, Lane says, “God be praised that Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.”
Lane has said that “the Christian Church” should have responded to Roe v. Wade with “riots, revolution, and repentance.” He is anti-LGBTQ and has demanded the impeachment of judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality. In 2013, he declared that “Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America.”
Lane is not the only one to take on the Christians Against Christian Nationalism. The Washington Times’ Cheryl Chumley described the ideals and teachings of the group’s members as “very un-Christian.”