The False Prophet of the Globalist American Empire Speaks
One of the most influential leaders in American evangelicalism has signaled how terrified he is that Christian Nationalism is gaining ground among the very people he is supposed to represent.
Russell Moore is one of the most influential leaders in institutional evangelical America. He was one of the top professors at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, influencing countless pastors in the largest denomination in the country, before becoming the head of that denomination’s lobbying group, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, before leaving that post and the denomination altogether to be the Editor-in-Chief of Christianity today.
He became the regime’s pointman to both oppose President Trump and to push the leftist agenda on conservative churches. Before anything else, it must be understood that this man was and is a political operative within conservative evangelical institutions. There are many just like him, but he is at the top of the regimevangelical hierarchy. All the pastors and Christian social media influencers with masks in their profile picture and a Ukraine flag and pronouns in their bio want to be just like him.
We should look in detail here how this operative wheels and deals in his latest piece. First he starts out by claiming the idea of Christian Nationalism is spreading worldwide, but conveniently refuses to define precisely what Christian Nationalism is other than a boogeyman for lib Christians to lump together everything they do not like.
Just as some North Americans are explicitly claiming the label of “Christian nationalism,” the ideology is advancing around the world.
What are some examples of this undefined ideology advancing around the world? Well Putin’s Russia is apparently Christian Nationalist.
The ongoing near merger of the Russian Orthodox Church with Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian government made headlines when the church’s patriarch declared that dying in Ukraine as part of Putin’s invading army “washes away all sins.”
And Moore cannot help himself but conflate new Italian PM Giorgia Meloni with Benito Mussolini!
Analyzing Giorgia Meloni’s win, commentator Damon Linker noted that her Brothers of Italiy party—with roots in the World War II remnants of the fascist strongman Benito Mussolini’s political movement—has significantly moderated its rhetoric in recent years.
And that she has the audacity to point out megacapitalist banks and transatlantic corporations have eroded Italian national sovereignty is forbidden by Moore. It doesn’t matter that what Meloni describes is undeniably true (in Italy and in the United States), no, what really matters is people might think she is talking about Jews. Moore immediately plays the antisemitism card to shut up any criticism of the global financial order that he has devoted his entire career to protecting.
Some might view that with suspicion given Meloni’s post-election speech in which she blamed “financial speculators” for robbing Italians of their roots and identity—language that throughout history has almost always been equated with Jews.
Moore goes on to cite the political theory that in Italy the largest demographic group are the nominally Catholic, those who don’t regularly practice their faith or attend mass, but who see recognize their identity as Italians is inextricably linked to Roman Catholicism. Moore, of course, sees this as a bad thing, but a culture that has at least a modicum of respect for Christian tradition is at the very least fertile ground for evangelization and clearly far better than a culture that has nothing but antipathy for the Christian religion.
Halfway through this article, Moore finally gives a definition of Christian Nationalism or at least gives us a muddled word salad in lieu of a definition.
The term Christian nationalism refers to the use of Christian words, symbols, or rituals as a means to shore up an ethnic or national identity. As with every other ideology, it exists along a spectrum.
Clearly, Moore thinks using Christian symbolism to shore up a national identity is very bad. But the entire world just watched as the English national church laid to rest its queen. Is Anglicanism an evil ideology that uses Christian symbolism for cynical political ends?
Moore goes on to explain the spectrum, with Meloni on the more benign side and Patriarch Kirill on the most extreme. Moore is determined to force the association between Kirill’s ridiculous pronouncements with Christian Nationalism in America. He wants to tie Kirill’s blasphemy to any Christian here in the US who loves his country and wants to see it return to Christ.
Moore rightly sees Kirill as a religious propagandist for an authoritarian regime. What Moore does not recognize is the closest analog for Kirill in America is not the Trump-supporting dad who faithfully takes his family to church every Sunday. The closest parallel to Kirill in America is Russell Moore himself.
This is not hyperbole. Every outrageous thing our authoritarian regime does to us Moore has outspokenly supported. Open borders? Endless war? Lock you in your home for months? Shut down your churches? Force you to wear a face diaper? Allow organize communist cells to burn and loot every major city in America? Run an entire season of ballot harvesting for months and decry anyone who calls foul as a lunatic conspiracy theorist? Be forced to submit to a dangerous medical experiment just to be able to feed your family? Moore has not only supported all these monstrosities, he has denounced any Christians who give anything other than full-throated support of them as sub-Christian. And he did this as the most influential evangelical public thinker in America from the lofty heights of CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Russell Moore is the Patriarch Kirill of the American Regime.
After spending half the article denouncing his Russian counterpart, Moore then begins to play even more bait-and-switch with his definitions of Christian Nationalism. Out of nowhere, he insinuates that Christian Nationalists believe that one’s salvation is tied to their ethnic identity.
Additionally, the truth of the gospel according to Jesus means that less bloody forms of Christian nationalism are also one birth short of the kingdom of God.
Indeed, the argument of the entire New Testament is that people cannot stand before God on the basis of ethnic, cultural, or even moral solidarity (Luke 3:8–9; Col. 2:16–22). No one stands justified even by the works of the law given by God, much less by the flesh of one’s temporal ethnic or national identity (Gal. 3:15–16). Each person must be joined to Christ by personal repentance and personal faith—not by living in a culture conformed to some external definition of “Christian values.”
There is not a single person of any note who describes himself as a Christian Nationalist who would say that anything but personal faith in Christ is the basis for his salvation. Yes, we want our nation to repent of its apostasy and return to the faith. We want our cultural habits to be formed by faith in Christ once again. By conflating living in a society discipled by the gospel of Jesus Christ with salvation, Moore demonstrates that either he doesn’t know what we believe (unlikely) or that he is a lying subversive whose job it is to attack any Christian effort that opposes the regime.
Moore goes on to reference Mark 7:14-23 to attack the effort to disciple the nations, as though external cultural habits of a people cannot bring the judgment of God. “Only the heart really matters” says Moore. Any application of the gospel to all of life, including politics, culture, and economics, that’s just externals that don’t matter and “using the gospel for political liberation or for material prosperity.” Would Moore say this to the Hebrew judges and prophets who preached repentance to the nation of Israel, that they must stop serving other gods, and when they do so God would liberate them from foreign oppressors and bless the work of their hands and produce of the land? Jesus Himself, in His earthly ministry, came specifically to a singular nation, Israel, and preached that they must repent or be destroyed. They rejected Him and were indeed destroyed, and His kingdom went on to conquer the very empire that destroyed Israel. Does Moore see the slow, patient evangelization of the Roman Empire and Greco-Roman world, and the political and cultural benefits which resulted from majority Christian culture as a bad thing? Apparently.
Jesus taught us that nothing coming in from the outside can defile a person; rather, it’s what is within a person’s heart defiles him or her (Mark 7:14–23). That’s why he specifically walked away from those who wanted to use his gospel for political liberation (John 6:15) or for material prosperity (vv. 26–27).
Moore then makes an analogy between leftwing social gospel and Christian Nationalism. Instead of manufacturing utopia on earth, according to Moore, Christian Nationalism seeks to “build a social order in step with national or ethnic identity.” Think about the meaning of what Moore says here. When a nation becomes overwhelmingly Christian, how exactly are they supposed to live? Does God’s Word give any instruction on how their social order should operate? And does a nation becoming Christian mean that the grace of God eradicates nature, and they cease to recognize themselves as a distinct people?
If over the next 200 years Iran was rapidly evangelized, in Moore’s world, what are they supposed to do? Just adopt Moore’s preferred homogenized globalist social order where there are no distinctions between nations and peoples and we are all an undifferentiated blob whose only allowable identity is whether we are Marvel or DC comics fans? No, when nations become Christian they retain what makes them a distinct people. At the very end of Revelation, at Christ’s Second Coming, we don’t see an undifferentiated, homogenized blob of nameless, faceless people, we see every tribe, tongue, and nation confessing Christ as Lord. As you read what Moore writes, the unstated alternative that he is implicitly defending is the Global Empire of Babel.
And that is why he offers the most disgusting slander of faithful Christians who desire their nation returns to Christ: “Christian nationalism is a liberation theology for white people.” He compares faithful god-fearing men and women who love their country to marxist revolutionaries who wear a hollowed out Christian faith as a skinsuit. That is what regime theologians think about you.
Moore doesn’t care what actual Christian Nationalists actually believe. He is a political hack. He doesn’t care that we read the Great Commission as a charge from Christ to disciple our nation into obeying all that Christ has commanded. He projects onto faithful Christians his own cynicism and desperation for political power. His ideology seeks to reverse the Great Commission and disciple the nations in globalist liberal democracy, using Jesus’ authority to baptize the nations into a homogenous blob of megacorporate consumers. And he projects this cynicism onto sincere Christians who are watching the people Moore exists to defend destroy the country they love.
And in doing so Moore denies the implications of the gospel
The gospel is a means to no other end than union with the crucified and resurrected Christ who transcends, and stands in judgment over, every group, identity, nationality, and culture.
There are no other ends, for the announcement of Christ’s kingdom arriving in the world (the literal definition of that Greek word translated as “gospel”)? The Gospel is the announcement that Jesus Christ is King of this world, that you are invited into His kingdom, that you are forgiven for your rebellion against Him, and you are made to sit at His table and rule with Him. Moore doesn’t think King Jesus standing in judgment over the nations has any implications on how those nations conduct themselves?
Moore concludes with a statement that is astoundingly absurd:
Christian nationalism cannot turn back secularism, because it is just another form of it. In fact, it is an even more virulent form of secularism because it pronounces as “Christian” what cannot stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Christian nationalism cannot save the world; it cannot even save you.
The idea that the nations must become Christian is “secularism.” This is the leading evangelical public intellectual in America. The regime is not sending their best. Quite obviously, the call for America to return to Christ is the antithesis of secularism. Moore could not be more wrong if he tried.
This is the reality: Christ commanded His people to go to all the nations of the world, to disciple them, to baptize them, and to teach them all that He has commanded. The very mission of the church is to make the nations Christian. And that mission is going to save the world. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
All quotes and reference from the article published on Christianity Today by Moore.
Andrew Isker is the pastor of 4th Street Evangelical Church in Waseca, MN. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University and Greyfriar’s Hall Ministerial Training School, and he has served churches in Missouri, West Virginia, and Minnesota. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Boniface Option. Andrew, his wife Kara, and their five children reside in his hometown of Waseca, MN. He can be found on Gab @BonifaceOption.