Author and radio host Michael Brown will confront the issue of Christian nationalism in an upcoming book in which he argues millions of believers have conflated "patriotism with loyalty to the kingdom of God," he says.
The book, titled The Political Seduction of the Church, is scheduled for release in September and will discuss how "millions of American Christians have confused the gospel with politics," Brown said. He recently released The Silencing of the Lambs: The Ominous Rise of Cancel Culture and How We Can Overcome It.
Brown made the remarks on John Cooper's podcast, Cooper Stuff. Cooper is the lead singer of the rock band Skillet.
"Christian nationalism is the unhealthy conflating of the gospel with politics. It is wrapping the cross in an American flag," Brown said. "It is confusing patriotism with loyalty to the kingdom of God. It is very dangerous."
Brown acknowledged that many Christians are falsely being labeled "Christian nationalists" simply for voting Republican or for supporting former President Donald Trump.
Still, Brown said, Christian nationalism is very real and is a danger to the church.
"It reached a fever pitch under the presidency of Donald Trump. I voted for Trump in 2016, 2020. I had reservations along the way [and] the reservations became more prominent as time went on, but I voted for him twice," Brown said. "Nonetheless, I began to see a very, very unhealthy joining together of Messianic hope for the kingdom of God and the success of America – or that somehow the goals of the gospel would be realized through Republican talking points.
"I thought this is very, very dangerous," he said. "So I wholeheartedly separate myself from that. I work with my black and Hispanic and Asian brothers and sisters, each of which bring a different perspective to the mix."
Christians can oppose evil in the culture while not embracing the elements of Christian nationalism, Brown said. He referenced William Carey's opposition to "widow burning" in India and the American abolitionists' fight against slavery. All of them were driven by their Christian beliefs, Brown said.
"That's why we stand against abortion, for the same reason, because we're followers of Jesus, and we value life," he said. "But it's not because I sleep next to an American flag. It's because I follow Jesus."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ehrlif
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.