ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, August 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
LGBT debates in churches
Is the definition of marriage an important enough issue to split a church?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



#TopSummer
 

Nationalist extremism in Europe today and the Gospel of Jesus

The extreme political right has simply developed a compelling narrative that weaves a dystopian mythology around the themes of ethnic dilution, conspiracy, migration, religious terrorism, and resource scarcity.

CHURCH PLANTING IN EUROPE AUTHOR Darrell Jackson 23 AUGUST 2016 14:00 h GMT+1

2083: A European Declaration of Independence is not a widely read nor a well-known text. It was distributed electronically on the 22nd July 2011, the same day that a 36 year old Norwegian murdered 77 people, including 69 participants of a Workers Youth League Camp in Norway.



Its author, Anders Breivik, espoused a far-right, nationalist extremism that rejected multiculturalism, Muslims, ‘cultural Marxists’ and feminists. In it he declares himself ‘100 percent Christian’ though not ‘excessively religious’ and ‘not necessarily in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God.’ He believed that only the ‘Christian cross’ would unite Europe in opposition to Islam.



Breivik’s views would be considered by most to be extreme and the manner in which he was prepared to take the lives of others to publicise his Declaration leaves one searching for words to express the enormity of his crimes.



 



FORMS OF EXTREMISM



Breivik’s was a peculiarly individual, narcissistic, form of nationalist extremism. More commonly, nationalist extremism tends to be collective, usually focussed around a particularly charismatic and persuasive leader. In order to try and understand extremism, it’s important to understand the forms it tends to take. It’s not uncommon to boil these down to a form of political extremism.



However, in most contemporary examples, national, ethnic, or religious extremists gain political influence or power and use this to target those of other religions, ethnicities, and/or nationalities. The extreme political right has simply developed a compelling narrative that weaves a dystopian mythology around the themes of ethnic dilution, conspiracy, migration, religious terrorism, and resource scarcity.



 



SIX CHARACTERISTICS OF EXTREMISM



Whilst contemporary forms of extremism are largely motivated by either ethnic or religious convictions, are there nevertheless things that can be said that are of a general nature about extremism? In general, extremist movements reflect most of the following characteristics:



A. Convictions and objectives that are claimed to be obvious to all, irrespective of one’s personal or subjective opinions. By definition these lie at, or beyond, the edges of what is usually considered to be politically or religiously acceptable by the majority.



B. A totalising view of the world in which notions of ‘purity’ and right conduct will guarantee a better way of life for all. This forms the basis of an ideological worldview that brooks no alternatives.



C. The perception that there is a dangerous and conspiratorial enemy with evil intent and a wide reach. One’s enemy has typically corrupted minority groups and these must be resisted and eradicated.



D. An unyielding refusal to compromise or modify their views or their judgement about their enemies. Extremists refuse to see any value in the opponent’s position and religious extremists certainly can’t because they’re driven by convictions concerning divine edict.



E. Goals sought must be achieved immediately and in full and, if necessary, this involves a willingness to use extreme measures (violence, protest, limiting the rights of opponents, etc.)



F. Organization into movements that will work towards the shared objectives. Such movements provide the necessary moral legitimation, especially of the violent means necessary to compel compliancy or punish divergence.



Charles Taylor (’Nationalism and Modernity’ in Robert McKim and Geoff McMahan, eds, The Morality of Nationalism, 1997, p51) concludes that nationalist extremists, above all else, issue a ‘call to difference in the face of homogenizing forces’ (Breiviks characterised this as ‘Eurabia’) that are global in nature and which assume that the nationstate is deeply implicated in various global conspiracies.



Gerard Delanty (Community, 2nd Ed., 2009, p151) adds that the success of nationalism lies in its capacity to imagine forms of community that nurture national belonging, commonality, independence and selfdetermination; those things that are perceived to have been destroyed by nationstates, undermined by political parties, and weakened, we might add, by Islamic migration.



Far-right nationalists resist Islamic presence in Europe because they imagine it as a globalising tendency that is rooted in forms of trans-sovereignty that undermine the nation-state. Similarly, nationalist Eurosceptics are frequently convinced that the European Union is wittingly or unwittingly facilitating its own undoing by failing to regulate the entry of Muslims.



To resist these globalising tendencies, most nationalisms use alternative narratives that are mythological. These can include ‘frontier’ myths (common, for example, in the USA); ‘sacred origin’ myths (such as the primordial Magyar myths of the far-right parties in Hungary); ‘heroic’ myths (such as the ANZAC mythology that is so important to contemporary Australian identity); ‘creation’ myths (common among the indigenous peoples of the world); and myths of ‘manifest destiny’ (again including, though not limited to, the USA).



Of course, I’m very aware that writing in this way will offend some of my friends in countries where these myths are credited with greater historical veracity than I may appear to concede. This fact alone illustrates the power of myths; their capacity for mobilising public opinion, galvanising action, and ultimately motivating nations to terrible deeds.



Evangelicals may choose on occasion to express solidarity with their country or their Government and it is not always wrong to do so. However, they are well advised to keep in mind the counsel of British theologian, Esther Reed,



“It is not possible to work with an account of […] nation and nationhood […] if this means a moral partiality or politics of superiority that would deny to others the same human rights as those of its members, is marked by hostility towards and suspicion of other nations, and condones the violence and destruction that results from these attitudes.”



This perspective reflects a biblical theology of the nations that portrays them as the pinnacle of God’s creative acts (Gen 10:32), laments their incredible hubris (Gen 11:4), declares them to be at the centre of God’s missionary purposes (Gen 12:2-3), that excludes not a single nation from the body of Christ (Rev 6:9), and which concludes with an eschatological picture of the nations in submission and under judgement (Rev 19:15).



Christian allegiance can only ever ultimately be to Christ. All other forms of loyalty are temporal and will pass away, finally exposed as pale reflections of the real thing by the Judge of every tribe and every nation.



 



Darrell Jackson is Senior Lecturer in Missiology at Morling College in New South Wales, Australia. 



This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of Vista magazine.



The extreme political right has simply developed a compelling narrative that weaves a dystopian mythology around the themes of ethnic dilution, conspiracy, migration, religious terrorism, and resource scarcity.

See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/1567/Nationalist_Extremism_in_Europe_Today_and_the_Gospel_of_Jesus_


The extreme political right has simply developed a compelling narrative that weaves a dystopian mythology around the themes of ethnic dilution, conspiracy, migration, religious terrorism, and resource scarcity.

See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/1567/Nationalist_Extremism_in_Europe_Today_and_the_Gospel_of_Jesus_

 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Nationalist extremism in Europe today and the Gospel of Jesus
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
The abilities of Mefi-Boset The abilities of Mefi-Boset

Christian ministry Mefi-Boset has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in their leisure time, and supporting their families in Terrassa and Barcelona (Spain) for 20 years. 

 
Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church

The 2017 European Leadership Forum gathered hundreds in Poland to celebrate the Reformation and connect to better share the gospel in diverse national contexts. See picture gallery.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
How can local churches evangelise their communities? How can local churches evangelise their communities?

Evangelist Michael Green speaks on how to mobilise the local church for effective evangelism.

 
What is scientism? What is scientism?

“Scientism is the view that Science provides knowledge, and that is the only source on knowledge”, says Rik Peels, Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

 
Living without your favourite things Living without your favourite things

A video by Open Doors UK & Ireland explains to children what it means to be a refugee. 

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.