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Why have a Courageous Conversation about Christian nationalism? Let’s start by defining what we mean
by the phrase, “Christian nationalism.” Nationalism can and should be distinguished from patriotism.
They are not synonymous terms. (For example, supporting the military and saying the Pledge of
Allegiance does not make a person a Christian nationalist.) Being a Christian who shows pride or
supports his/her country of residence does not make that individual a Christian nationalist. Support for
the nation where we reside is not wrong; in fact, Christians are commanded to pray for those in political
leadership (Romans 13).

Nationalism includes affirmations such as “all citizens should speak a certain language” and identifying
with the nation as one’s highest allegiance. Christian nationalism adheres to the belief that Christianity
should be the cultural center of the nation.

This sample outline is in three sessions, since there are many tensions involved in this issue. Where
exactly is the line between patriotism and nationalism? When does allegiance to God conflict with
allegiance to country? How should Christians discern God’s will, not just for their lives, but for nations
and governmental policies? These questions should be discussed in an atmosphere that promotes
listening to the underlying values of participants. Likewise, a learning environment should encourage
participants to question their assumptions and see these issues from a biblical perspective informed by
Christian tradition.

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