The Bible and Politics – Identitarianism

There are a number of identitarian movements; some of which we may agree with and some that may not align with our beliefs. Along with these movements, various definitions of identitarianism have sprung up to disparage these movements and to forward propaganda. For our purposes let’s focus on the definition of identitarianism as a belief in social identity. It is an ideology that focuses on homogeneity; the diametric opposite of the popular worldly phrase “diversity is our strength.” Identitarianism calls out the diversity movement as a lie that destroys all that adopt it.

Diversity is not a strength. We have seen the truth in this. Examine the world around you, challenge the validity of what I have said. Think about when you wanted to get married and you went to pre-marital counseling. What questions did the pastor/counselor ask? What do you, as a couple, want out of life? Are faith and spirituality important to you? What are your financial goals? Do you want children? What is your parenting philosophy? The goals of these questions are to establish your unity, and to expose areas of difference that need to be addressed. Differences add spice and variety to a relationship, but it is the things you hold in common that is your strength. Too many differences and the counselor will warn that the marriage will have a harder time succeeding. Belief in Christ, the desire to have children, shared financial goals and commonality is the strength of a marriage. You could say that differences can only really be enjoyed and enriching if there is a super-majority of commonality.

What about in the community? I grew up on a street of Protestant Christians that the supermajority of whom went to the same church. There was a shared culture, language, history and belief in God. It was a tight knit community that watched out for each other’s children and got together for worship and holidays. While there were differences that made for lively interactions at times, our commonality was our strength.

What about the church? The Protestant Christian church has spread across the world reaching people in diverse nations, tongues and cultures. There is a beauty in the church that inspires, and their worship is like a sweet incense to the Lord. It is their shared belief in a risen Savior and a shared desire to spread the gospel that unites them. Christ is their strength and lifting Him up, all peoples are drawn. Don’t you see? It isn’t different languages (that create barriers to understanding) or different cultures (rising up from different histories) that bonds the church. It is the homogeneous belief in Christ as our risen Savior that bonds us together. “Diversity is our strength” is a lie; when you focus on diversity you divide.

What about our nation? Does this concept apply? At this point, let’s shift from observation to the Bible. We know what we perceive but what does the Bible teach?

In Genesis, we read about Abraham who believed in God but couldn’t worship God according to his conscience because of the culture Abraham lived in. God called Abraham out of the idolatrous nation to a new land he would be given; where Abraham and his descendants could follow the dictates of their conscience in worshiping God. The descendants of Abraham that would become the nation of Israel – a large family of common lineage. In fact, in reading Chronicles we see that all Israel were reckoned by genealogies. The children were taught their history. They had a connection to their past that informed their future. They identified with heroes of their past, being children of Abraham and Moses. They learned about the weaknesses in their character by the mistakes of their fathers, wandering the desert. The homeland they were given, and the nation that formed, was a gift of God that was meant as a blessing to the whole world. God gave them strict rules on how to preserve their gift. As you read through Deuteronomy you see the Israelites were to preserve their land. Non-Israelites could not permanently own land in the nation of Israel. Even within Israel, the extended family of the tribes were kept together, with land being returned at the Jubilee.

Reading in Deuteronomy, we also see how those not of the nation, or extended family, of Israel were handled. Strangers could join the Israeli religion as we can see in Isaiah 56:3, but they were not a part of the nation. The nation was based on heredity. Treated with courtesy and honored as guests, strangers could dwell in peace with Israel, but they were not a part of Israel. Strangers did not have the same connection to the past. They did not connect in the same way with Israel’s heroes. Israel’s nation was set up in a way that kept the super-majority Israeli. Commonality and homogeneity was their strength.

Reading through the history of Israel, diversity was always a curse to them. Samson, attracted to the diverse offerings of the foreign nation of the Philistines, was brought down by a woman who did not share a commonality of faith and heritage with the rest of Israel. Solomon, who started his reign as a righteous God fearing king, was brought low when he made his house diverse with women from surrounding nations that didn’t share his faith or heritage. Again, in Ezra and Nehemiah the leaders of Israel failed God’s plan for them when they married women that didn’t share their faith and heritage. Their children could not speak the Hebrew language and they were rebuked for their folly. When Israel followed God’s plan they were a light to the world. Other nations learned of God, as kings were drawn by the blessings Israel had as a result of following God’s plan. Israel’s strength was in their shared culture, heritage and faith. Diversity was their failing that, over and over, led them away from God.

European Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries believed in God, but couldn’t worship God according to their conscience because of the cultures they lived in. Called out, the Protestants left the idolatrous nations to a new land where they, and their descendants, could follow the dictates of their conscience in worshiping God. The descendants of the Protestants that became the nation of America were a large family of common lineage, maintaining a majority until 2012.

“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.”-John Jay in the second of the Federalist Papers, 1787.

In fact, reading the Immigration Acts, Federalist Papers and the Constitution, we can see that America was reckoned by heritage and faith. The children were taught their history. They had a connection to their past that informed their future. They identified with heroes of their past, being connected to Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. They learned about weaknesses in their character by the mistakes of their fathers in the Civil War. The homeland they were given and the nation that formed was a gift of God that was meant to be a blessing to the whole world.

Are you noticing a pattern?

-By David