Social Issues (Part 8): Nationalism

Social Issues

Before we begin, we need to be careful how we talk about nationalism because different people may have different ideas in mind when they use the term. On a fundamental level, nationalism is the desire for a nation to gain and/or maintain sovereignty (the right to rule itself without being ruled by others). In this sense it is closely associated with patriotism. These are not wrong in themselves. However, a spirit of nationalism can be dangerous when taken to an extreme, especially when it is in support of an oppressive and wicked government.

Those who argue in favor of nationalism will appeal to the people’s common language, culture, history, etc., in order to promote national unity. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there are three potential dangers that could come from this: (1) a willingness to support a godless, tyrannical government/leader who is advancing the cause of the nation; (2) a willingness to rally around an immoral or unjust cause because it has been adopted by the nation as a whole; and (3) a willingness to blindly follow the direction of the leaders because of the belief that they must be doing God’s will (or that the nation as a whole can be called the people of God).Continue Reading