Honestly, I don’t know who Josh Buice is except to say he is the head of something called G3 ministries and I just learned that in the last 5 minutes. However, over on Twitter he is stirring the pot with Baptist type of reasoning. When I learned that Buice runs G3 ministries I learned also that he was Baptist but I had guessed that before the Wiki article told me he was.
Here is Buice over on Twitter reasoning like a Baptist;
Even if you could baptize America, it still wouldn’t make America a Christian nation. The theological arm of the Christian Nationalism debate is extremely flawed. Nominal Christianity is not Christianity. Carnal Christianity is not Christianity. Our aim is Christianity.
It depends on what one means by “Christian Nation.” Christian Nationalism has never believed that in order for a nation to be Christian every single member of the nation has to be a bible thumping, twice on Sunday church attending, Baptized Christian. Christian Nationalism instead envisions instead at least a sizeable minority of the nation being Christian so as to maintain the Christian cultural Institutions of the social order that they might remain Christian in orientation. Christian nationalism quite understands that in a Christian nation it is altogether possible that much of the Christianity in that Christian nation might well be nominal and some of it even carnal. However, what makes a Christian nation a Christian nation is that objective the institutions of the nation are being shaped by Christian categories as at the very least a sizeable minority of Christians in the nation are the gatekeepers of the cultural and social institutions of the nation.
Let’s flip this around to explain it from another angle. Right now our nation is a humanist nation. All of our cultural civil-social intuitions have been captured by the humanist left (cultural Marxism) including the putatively conservative churches. However, clearly there remains in the US a sizeable number of Biblical Christians. Does the fact that there is a sizeable number of Biblical Christians in this country therefore provide proof positive that this country is not a Humanist Nation? Of course not. The country can be humanist while still having Christians populating it. It is humanist because objectively stated, all of the Institutions of America have been capture by the humanists.
In the same way, sans Buice, a nation can be objectively Christian and still only have a sizeable minority subjectively embrace the Christian faith that is operating objectively to make the nation Christian.
In brief, Christianity is both individual and corporate. A nation can be corporately Christian in an objective sense and yet only have a sizeable minority be subjectively Christian.
After Buice poste this a chap at Twitter named
You see, the fact that Otis is not a Christian subjectively speaking in the sense that Otis has personally owned Jesus Christ is true as Buice notes. However, Otis is a Christian objectively speaking in the sense that he is part of a Nation that is being ordered by the Christian faith in its various institutions. Otis will be damned forever if he does not embrace Christ for himself. However, Otis’s sin will be constrained because he lives in the Christian town of Mayberry and so because he lives in the Christian town of Mayberry he can be considered a Christian in an objective sense even if he is not a Christian in a subjective sense.
Buice in the Twitter thread keeps telling people not to conflate nation and church. This is curious because no one on the Christian Nationalism side who is Reformed desires to do that. We understand and desire for the Magistrate to be a Christian who enforces Christian law and who handles the sword in a Christian fashion. However, we do not desire the Magistrate to leave his assigned jurisdictional realm and come into the Church to handle the keys of the Kindgom (word & sacrament).
So, it is quite possible to have a Christian nation where the nation is not conflated with the Church while both church and nation are decidedly Christian. And we are quite willing to say that such a Christian nation could possibly have many nominal Christians in said Christian nation. This is why the Church would continue to preach law and gospel to the nominal Christians of the nation who may well be sitting in their pews on the Lord’s Day.
So, Christian Nationalism most certainly does not conflate nation with church. Further, Christian Nationalism anticipates that there will be nominal Christians in a Christian nation and even perhaps nominal Churches. However the only alternative to that is to say we should have a non-Christian nation which has consistent Christ hating pagans such as Hiram the Sodom drunk on every corner.
In some respects, Otis — Mayberry’s town drunk — is a blessing.