Christianity and Nationalism Conversation Hosting

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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9 Responses to Christianity and Nationalism Conversation Hosting

  1. Kris Van Engen says:

    Thanks for this conversation opportunity. Here are links to two more articles that give more context plus a pulled out quote:

    Pulled quote: “This inspired New Testament regulation of slaves and slavery proves that slavery is not ipso facto a denial of the rights of “full humanity” to blacks, and at this point, Dr. Bradley’s criticism against the Old South is really a criticism of the biblical view of slavery.” http://faithandheritage.com/2012/07/correcting-bradleys-misconceptions/

    And here is the author’s link to more description of “the biblical view of slavery”: http://faithandheritage.com/2012/04/slavery-its-morality-history-and-implications-for-race-relations-in-america-part-1/

    The view can be summarized as: biblically, races are not equal, slavery based on inequality of race is a Biblical norm, and when we stray from those truths we risk straying from Biblical orthodoxy.

    Ideas matter and in my opinion these ideas are cause for concern. They are a flag that the CRC still has work to do.

  2. Michael Fort says:

    I am a Presbyterian in Texas who, despite the great distance between us, has been greatly blessed by Pastor Bret’s ministry. He has personally put me up in his Michigan home for nearly a week, and even gave the sermon at my wedding reception, which was hosted by his family and the generous members of the church he pastors. (My wife is from Dutch-heavy northwest Iowa, but we have many mutual friends in Michigan, including the McAtees.) Pastor Bret knows full well that my paternal grandmother was half Choctaw, and I’ve regularly seen him on Facebook in friendly interactions with a black gentleman who emigrated from Guyana, a Pakistani man who is in a mixed marriage, a Filipino immigrant, and an Indian immigrant. I’m not going to claim that we’re all holding hands, dancing in a circle under a rainbow, but you’re nevertheless really going to have your work cut out for you if you want to paint this fine man as some cartoonish, spittle-spewing bigot. He is a kind, generous, and fair man, but he defends the Faith with vigor, and that can sometimes come off as brusque to those who do not know him personally, but a bigot or a cross-burning white supremacist he most certainly is not.

    I’m not sure if the salvation of white people is of any concern to the CRC these days, but I’ve also personally observed the power of Pastor Bret’s witness to a number of whites who had left Christianity altogether, feeling alienated and disenfranchised from what they increasingly viewed as a suicide cult for virtue-signaling social justice warriors. The Lord has used his frank but fair discussion of racial/national issues, from a Biblical standpoint, to open the eyes of a number of such folks to the Gospel of grace. I have seen more evangelism through his ministerial efforts on and off Facebook than I have in any of the literally and figuratively frigid CRC churches that I have visited with my wife.

    This witchhunt appears to be based on the fact that Pastor Bret specializes in dealing honestly and frankly with the difficult verses of the Bible. I’m not sure if you folks have just spent too long in the ivory tower to realize it, but the humanists that dominate our culture have been using such passages as a primary means of destroying the faith of young minds. Y’all do realize that Leviticus 25:44-46 is a part of our belief system? Or that many great heroes of our Faith such as Job, Abraham, and Philemon were slave owners? Hand waving and misdirection will fail to impress those who’ve been trained for at least 13 years of their lives to distrust anything the Church says. Pastor Bret’s forthright approach may not be your approach, but can you claim that your present methods are working?

    And what of the famed due process of the Reformed church? Can this Internet Kangaroo court produce any ACTUAL victims of Pastor Bret, or are y’all just offended in the abstract for abstract people who might have been offended? Who’s the real white supremacist here: a man who labors to preserve the diversity of nations, or a group of whites who are so virtuous that they feel the need to be offended on behalf of people of color who might not be offended at all?

  3. Brenda Kronemeijer-Heyink says:

    While I do not doubt your personal experience with Bret McAtee – and am thankful that you have been blessed by him, this positive experience does not make words that are racist any more acceptable. While the original post – and McAtee’s rebuttal – can leave one doubting whether he is racist (after all, as he personally notes, McAtee doesn’t use the word racism in his post), I’m not sure how to understand the following quote from an earlier blog (https://ironink.org/?p=7327) as being anything other than racism (and blatant disregard for first nations people): “What immigration does as it comes from nations that share no blood, religion, manners, history, and language with the White Anglo Saxon Christian origins of this nation is that it destroys the organic community roots by snapping off the shared plausibility structures, destroying the shared common way of life, and poisoning the well where the waters of common culture are drawn. .. . When we rejoice with the entry of the third world into the West we are rejoicing at the death of Christianity and the death of that ethnic group that God has pleased, by His grace alone, to make the primary civilizational carrier of Christianity.” Besides being racist, it is also false as it disregards the fact that Christianity started and thrived for centuries in the Middle East, which is NOT Anglo-Saxon white.
    Such views go against the teaching of the Christian Reformed Church, including the Belhar confession which addresses racism particularly. McAtee’s teaching on his blog is thus misleading to people wanting to understand Reformed Christianity better and it is potentially hurtful to and demeaning to people who are not white.

  4. Michael Fort says:

    As to your main point, that is perhaps the most uncharitable reading possible of what Pastor Bret wrote. Should we not assume the best intentions from an ordained minister, especially when the fruit of his ministry is so contrary to your sensationalized interpretation? All Pastor Bret is saying is that strong communities are based on a shared understanding, and the foundation of that shared understanding is similarity. Putting very dissimilar people elbow-to-elbow is a situation naturally producing social conflict, alienation, and isolation. While all Christians have a spiritual unity in Christ, their primary identity as Christians does not undo their secondary identity as blacks, Hispanics, Filipinos, Indians, etc. Would you prefer that we tell minorities that to become Christians they have to give up being black, Korean, or whatever the good Lord chose to make them?

    Pastor Bret’s comment isn’t supposed to be a comprehensive history of Christendom, but surely you’d agree that it’s a fair generalization to say that for many centuries it was the Lord’s good pleasure to manifest the Church militant primarily among the European peoples. I wonder how many Calvinistic theology books you’ve read from Chinese or Aztec authors. And while you may disagree with Pastor Bret’s list of factors that tend to make folks naturally congenial, I hope we can agree that celebrating the mass immigration of those expressly intent on making an end of Christianity is not a cause for joy for anyone but anti-Christs.

    To be absolutely frank, I have wondered the past couple of days if this persecution of Pastor Bret ironically has its roots in Dutch tribalism. The Dutch are infamous for their extreme clannishness, as well as well as for their exorbitant efforts to prove to everyone that they’re not clannish. Pastor Bret fails on both accounts: As a McAtee, he’s obviously not Dutch, so he’s not one of the clan. And as an author who confronts issues of immigration and community with Christian truth, he’s also not falling over himself to prove to the world how open-minded he is.

    Finally, let me ask you if a supposed “white supremacist” would raise funds for non-whites?:

    http://ironink.org/?p=683
    http://ironink.org/?p=685
    http://ironink.org/?p=691
    http://ironink.org/?p=697

  5. Brenda Kronemeijer-Heyink says:

    Michael – When things are written online, the most charitable response is to make the person aware of how their words can be heard by others. This is especially true when the person is a pastor and thus someone that others will look to for understanding the Bible. As a fellow pastor, I want to give McAtee the pastoral opportunity to edit his words so that people will not hear them as being racist or as inaccurate (as in the example of the history of Christianity).
    As for your comment about persecution, I’m not sure how two critiques on a public blog amount to persecution. Is there something I’m missing?

    • Jaime Castillo Jr. says:

      I am one of the nonwhite Christian friends of Pastor Bret. We have known each other for 7 years or so. He has counseled me often, and I have financially contributed to his ministry.

      I agree with the points he has made. I do not find them uncharitable. If whites can just closely observe how we are in the third world, they will realize that indeed we cause our problems that keep us stranded where we are. It is simple human depravity.

      And we do critique each other in my nation, especially when we recognize how our Japanese neighbors are far more disciplined and advanced. I personally would not desire the collapse of Japan by inundating it with my own countrymen. I will not be upset if we are restrained by its citizens after they notice how we are in my nation.

      For me it is Christlike empathy, humility, and charity if we confess our own shortcomings, which we should work to repent of, and which we should not want to burden other groups with. That’s how I take Pastor Bret’s point that has been quoted about the third world here.

      More importantly, I see it as a tribal issue. Even in ancient Israel, each tribe was responsible for its own members. It was so for other nations around Israel. We are to follow the same command of God.

      There is nothing racist about how God has created specific tribes with their own historical evolution of unity by blood and faith. Scripture shows how Israel began as an abandoned and crying infant child ignored and rejected by greater nations around her. But then God Himself had much compassion to take her as His own offspring. Each tribe and nation can have such faith in His love, regardless of their state in history.

      Here we also do see God eventually raise Israel as a mighty nation where noble kings, prophets, and warriors would arise. I find nothing wrong if anyone should note that Europeans, in particular Anglo-Saxons, would have the most remnant raised by God to have special blessings similar to what ancient Israel and the kingdom of Judah once received from Him.

      It does not offend me because it is the pleasure of God to do as He will with individuals and their tribes since the beginning of creation, all for the glory of His name. I am content and fully accepting of this truth as the sovereignty of God at work. I am neither European nor Anglo-Saxon. I am a Filipino, and yet my hope is that the remnant among my people does have its own gifts by the grace of Christ too. God has decreed in history that not everyone can be glorious Judah; others are nurtured by God to be repentant Naphtali and Zebulun.

  6. Dan Brannan says:

    What a strange thing that Pastor Bret’s accusers are attempting to indict him based on terms and principles absent from scripture and Church history prior to the past couple decades; and which they themselves cannot even coherently define. To arraign a man on charges of ‘racism’ one might as well condemn one for ‘sexism’, ‘ageism’, ‘homophobia’, ‘Islamophobia’, ‘climate change denial’, ‘government school skepticism’, ‘media skepticism’, ‘Big Pharma skepticism’, ‘banking skepticism’, or ‘Red baiting’.
    The Church does need to confront a growing and already rampant evil in our midst — the wholesale replacement of biblical sin categories with those of Secular Humanism.
    And those levelling charges based on these worldly values are the ones due arraignment.

  7. cm miller says:


    While I wait for the chicken soup I finished this morning to cool so it can be put into the freezer, my mind turns to puzzle over this conversation which opens the door to so many challenges of scripture which disturb me today. I look to men like Pastor Bret to defend Biblical Nationalism which should be found in every nation of the world just as men of old defended Nations which were part of our Christian Faith and Western Culture. Not only am I not a citizen of the world, I am a free-born, blue eyed female, a European, the people called by Paul’s vision in the book of Acts to spread the gospel. I am also of the founding Calvinist stock which fought to establish in the New World a place of refuge for our beleaguered kind. I cannot nor would I change or reject my sex, ethnicity, nor any other status Christ selected for me just to fit into the current Cultural Marxist climate. The feminized church today values the tender call of Jesus to the lambs and loves the milk scriptures but the same church is silent on the male strength of Jesus and rejects the meat scriptures from the Father who disciplines every one of his own. I can’t help but wonder if this part of the ongoing attempt to redact passages that make women uncomfortable?

  8. Darrell Dow says:

    I first encountered pastor McAtee around 2004 as a Baptist with an interest in the cultural, economic, and political implications of the Law Word of God. Over the years, Bret counseled me personally and taught me through his writings and book suggestions. God used Bret’s patient (yeah, I said patient) care as one means of bringing me into the Reformed faith. It is sad to see attacks on a faithful minister–a pastor who labors in relative obscurity to care for the sheep, both far and near, and that God placed in his path.

    Bret is charged here with “racism,” but there is nary an attempt to define precisely this loaded term which has become a mere rhetorical cudgel, a weapon designed to destroy a man of God. One wonders if his dogged pursuers have read the 9th Commandment or fear the wrath of holy God who hates a slanderous tongue.

    You cite the following quote, calling it “racist”:

    “What immigration does as it comes from nations that share no blood, religion, manners, history, and language with the White Anglo Saxon Christian origins of this nation is that it destroys the organic community roots by snapping off the shared plausibility structures, destroying the shared common way of life, and poisoning the well where the waters of common culture are drawn. .. . When we rejoice with the entry of the third world into the West we are rejoicing at the death of Christianity and the death of that ethnic group that God has pleased, by His grace alone, to make the primary civilizational carrier of Christianity.”

    What is Bret saying? Merely that culture is religion poured over ethnicity and that the subversion of culture is, at root, and attempt to subvert the faith of a people. God in his providence used European peoples to spread the gospel to the four corners of the earth. Now the enemies of the faith once delivered have spent a century or more engaged in a strategy of misdirection—not attacking the church directly as such but working to undermine the faith by subverting the culture and peoples that produced it. The demonization of European people groups, customs, mores, traditions, legal structures, etc., is an attempt to destroy the cultural product of that civilization—Christendom.

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