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January 12, 2021
When an NAR Dominionist Tries to Convince You He is not a Christian Nationalist
By Anthony Wade
If you have to explain how much you are not a dominionist, chance are...
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, - Philippians 3:20 (ESV)
"During the past several months, there has been much talk and concern regarding Christian nationalism. There is a fine line, an almost indiscernible line, between Christian nationalism and patriotism." - Joseph Mattera
So starts the article linked above posted today at Charisma News by Pastor Joseph Mattera. For those who do not know Mr. Mattera he is widely known for three closely connected things. First, he is a staunch defender of the false signs and lying wonders perverting the Charismatic Church today. Secondly, he is unapologetic in his beliefs regarding the New Apostolic Reformation. Lastly, he is a rabid dominionist, which is another term for "Christian Nationalist." It seems that some of this critique must have started to bother Mattera as he literally writes this article to swear he is not the dominionist he clearly is. The reason why there was "much talk" recently abut this subject is the disgusting idol worship involving the current president from so many who have the microphone in the church. There is no line however connecting patriotism to Christian nationalism and only a dominionist trying to excuse himself would think so. You see, they are interchangeable because both are more concerned about this world than the kingdom of God. Let us reason once more as we continue through Mattera's musings:
"I am willing to die for my nation. I believe the United States of America is the greatest nation on the earth despite all its flaws and sins. Hence, I am a patriot. I support our right to have a strong military, and I believe God had a special plan for the nation from its very inception. I would love to see the United States build its laws upon the Scriptures' standard of morality and justice. I am strongly pro-life and pro-biblical marriage. I also advance a biblical worldview in many of my teachings. These beliefs do not make me a Christian nationalist." - Joseph Mattera
Beloved, stay with this rationale. Joseph Mattera is a pastor. I will assume that call on his life is genuine for the purposes of this argument. Yet his warped view of patriotism so eclipses his duty to the Gospel that he admits being willing to die for America. This is how dominionism perverts. Our responsibility is to Christ and His Gospel - not anything of this world; yet this pastor is willing to die for something completely unrelated to it. Now I also believe that in the history of pagan nations, the USA is the greatest but I do not elevate America beyond the status of pagan nation. Mattera and dominionists have this fanciful version of history where the founding fathers all spoke in tongues and were slain in the spirit after signing the Declaration of Independence. As for his list of beliefs? They are exactly what makes him a Christian Nationalist! You believe God had a special plan for your country but you do not think you are a dominionist? Are you kidding me? You would love to see your country build its laws upon the scriptures? That not only makes you a dominionist but a theocrat also! God never asked us to make our nations obey His law. He expected us to do so in our lives. Being strongly pro-life and pro-traditional marriage in our own lives is of the kingdom. Insisting that everyone believe what we do by legislation is not. Behavior modification will not save a single soul. Employing a "biblical worldview" is textbook code for dominionists. A true biblical worldview understands that this world is passing away and our job is to represent the Gospel. That means not try to save this world but rather see some saved out of it through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and the preached Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"I am more committed to advancing the Gospel of the kingdom of God than a set of policies of a particular political party. While being a patriot is a noble thing, it's more important for a person to be "born from above" and become part of the kingdom of God (see John 3:3-8). I am first a Christian, secondarily an American. As a Christ-follower, I am a citizen of the world; my concern is global. I desire for God's kingdom to influence every nation, not just the United States." - Joseph Mattera
This is where so many dominionists go off the biblical rails. God does not condone dual citizenship, period. The bible says were pilgrims and sojourners traveling through this world. God calls us exiles in this world. The key verse today does not say "one of our citizenships." Nope. Our citizenship is in heaven - period. The object is not influence nations. How sad. Let's say that Joseph Mattera achieved his dream and completely influenced the United States to base all of their laws on Scripture, forcing people who are not saved to simply "behave better." How many will he have saved? Zero. The truth is that Joseph Mattera has always shilled for the Republican Party as all good little dominionists do. There is nothing noble about conferring righteousness where it does not belong. The Republican Party is evil, just as the Democratic Party is. Just because you have determined your party as the lesser evil does not change the fact that they are evil. Do not be caught defending evil beloved.
"In the context of this article, most of the recent concerns about the rise of Christian nationalism are coming from the radical Left. This is primarily because most evangelicals support President Trump's policies. The radical Left utilizes a lens of interpretation skewed against anything for what conservative evangelicals stand. However, there are also important concerns coming from conservative evangelicals. Joel McDurmon criticized Trump supporters for desiring top-down power and control. Although I thought the article in which Joel criticized Trump raised some crucial issues, Joel failed to mention that it is the radical Left themselves who seek top-down control. It is the Left themselves who promote laws and celebrate court decisions that most Americans would never vote for (such as those related to abortion and gay marriage).
Some in the body of Christ have done an excellent job addressing Christian nationalism.
The purpose of this article is to further clarify the issue by contrasting the kingdom of God from Christian nationalism." - Joseph Mattera
I do not play these divisive games Joseph. Realize that you are splitting against the church the very people who may need the Gospel the most! Are the radical left beyond the saving grace of Jesus Christ? You are supposed to be a pastor! You have ONE job! Preach the Gospel! This divisiveness does nothing but foment hate. The forces of the left are not your enemy anymore than the forces on the right are your allies. Let's take a look at the areas Mattera sees as differentiating the kingdom from nationalism.
"The kingdom of God focuses on the advancement of the gospel. Nationalism focuses on the advancement of the politics of the nation. As much as I believe politics and economics are vital and, to an extent, can represent biblical ethics, I am much more committed to making disciples and seeing humanity change. (It is also possible for a committed Christian to be a faithful witness for Jesus while serving in public life as an elected official.) For me, anything that potentially distracts my energy and focus away from advancing the Gospel takes a backseat in my personal life and ministry." - Joseph Mattera
Well you could have fooled me. Half of what Mattera publishes deals with politics. You are committed to making disciples but write off half of the population because they do not agree with your politics? Why would anyone care what you have to say about Christ if you so casually throw away your witness on the Republican Party? While it certainly is possible for a Christian to be an effective public servant it is not for a pastor.
"The kingdom of God produces loyalty to Christ above all else. Nationalism produces loyalty to the nation above all else. I have studied the behavior and writings of Christians for many years. In some cases, I have concluded that some Christians are more committed to their nation and ethnic heritage than they are to God. The kingdom of God transcends all nations and ethnic identities (see Ps.103:19). In the mid-20th century, we witnessed Christian nationalists turn a blind eye to the 3rd Reich when most of the German churches aligned themselves with Hitler. If it happened once, it can and will continue to happen again, especially to a non-discerning church. The kingdom of God produces martyrs for the cause of Christ. Nationalism produces citizens who are willing to die for their nation. Although I am willing to defend my neighbor and die for my nation, I believe the greatest honor is to die for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. (Some may argue that I am a better citizen not because I am willing to die for my nation but because of my faith in God.) Hence, it has to do with motive, not merely actions." - Joseph Mattera
This is so sad because Mattera is again correct and cannot see how his life is lived in opposition to this. In this very article he declared he would die for this country! How in the world is that loyalty to Christ above all else? This is how dominionism blinds the believer. I have had sad conversations with Christians who were biblically sound in seemingly every area but NAR dominionism. It is an idol, nothing more.
"The kingdom of God raises the banner of Jesus above all else. Nationalism raises the national flag above all else. During this acerbic political season, I have witnessed Christians fighting on social media, becoming irate and condescending towards those with a different political view. (Consequently, Christians are jeopardizing the eternity of unbelievers who may be the recipients of their political rants!) We are called to walk in the ideals set forth by Jesus in the "Sermon on the Mount" and aspire to represent His kingdom. We must be the "salt of the earth and light of the world" (see Matt. 5-7)." - Joseph Mattera
Condescending? Wait a minute. Didn't Mattera just say that this was all the fault of the radical left? How in the world are you behaving like salt and light when you insist on taking sides in carnal politics? The very nature of politics is to pit one against another. Do you think that rank hypocrisy of leaders in the church defending the immorality of the current president was lost on the unsaved? Just this week on Charisma have been articles defending the insurrection attempt last week that left five dead including one police officer. The problem for the dominionists like Mattera is while he may try to raise the banner of Jesus up high, he does so while wrapped in the American flag. That hypocrisy damages the witness for Christ and His Gospel. Mattera concludes:
"The kingdom of God promotes the interests of God above the world. Nationalism promotes the interests of the nation above the kingdom. In the Old Testament, we have seen many times that prophets like Jeremiah, Amos, Jonah, Isaiah, Elijah and more, declared words from the Lord that were not always good for Israel. They risked their lives because their first allegiance was to His kingdom rather than the nation of Israel. Jesus even corrected Peter because he was more interested in the things of men rather than the things of God (Mark 8:33). Consequently, we in the kingdom of God should have our essential allegiance to Christ and His gospel, even if it does not comport with our nation's rank and file and the policies they espouse." - Joseph Mattera
If the kingdom of God promotes the interests of God above the world and nationalism promotes the interests of the nation above the kingdom then you should know that you cannot play both sides. God is a jealous God. The very first commandment is having no other god before Him! Dominionism is the textbook definition of idolatry. It is so ingrained within the apostate church however that no one even blinks anymore about it. The truly sad thing is we know better. Matera clearly knows better but he just cannot see how far he has been blinded. You cannot serve two masters beloved. We are called to great kingdom matters. Leave the petty politics of this earth to those who insist on perishing with it and get back to preaching and living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Reverend Anthony Wade - January 12, 2021