Dangerous nationalism

It is true that corruption exists to a greater or lesser extent in every society. That’s the effects of sin in a world that has largely rejected a holy Creator God. Muslim extremists hate the West because they claim it is ‘corrupt’. Communist leaders or neo-Communist leaders such as those in Russia, see the West as ‘corrupt’ despite the fact that Russia is the most corrupt country in the world. They then feel justified in taking extreme measures to force their philosophy and culture on the West, and to expand their influence by appropriating more and more territory.

This is quite a frightening trend, although it is not a new one. In some cases, due to the aggressive nature of their leaders, some countries seek to achieve their ends militarily. In some cases, seemingly non-aggressive countries seek to buy out more and more real-estate throughout the world. Because western leaders are always concerned about foreign investment, they tend to close their eyes to the long-term effects of such a sell-out.

For the Christian Church, a wonderful challenge exists. We have the opportunity to see the Gospel worked out in an ever-increasing multicultural society. Haven’t we been told that in Jesus Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither male nor female, neither slave nor freeman? So, why can we work shoulder to shoulder with people of different nationalities in the workplace, but when it comes to our churches, we have difficulty accepting each other as equals, despite the power of the Gospel?

From my experience there are two main reasons: 1) Overt or more subtle nationalism; where the host churches see themselves superior to the ethnic groups that come among them, and cannot accept others as equals. 2) When ethnic pastors come to our country to reap all the benefits of freedom and materialism, but accuse the Western churches of being ‘corrupt’ and exercise exclusive power over their flocks. ‘Christian nationalism’? Dangerous nationalism! Does that really happen?

One Chinese pastor in Melbourne has been telling his flock that they can’t learn anything worthwhile from Australian churches because all churches in the West are corrupt.

This is not said by a Muslim extremist. It is not said by a Communist leader. This attitude is being advocated by a ‘Christian’ pastor living in Australia!

I think some repentance needs to take place on both sides of the fence.