Recently a new church network launched in the United States. Its a variation of evangelical theology but it emphasizes Christian nationalism. This post looks at the Patriot Church network and looks at the consequences of having a network where you can worship Donald Trump as your personal Lord and Savior and make the Gospel great again in the process.
“One man’s cult is another man’s religion.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the first business leader who was able to establish a cult of personality around his tenure was Lee Iacocca.”
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29 ESV
Another perspective on the Patriot Church Network from a Baptist Pastor in Texas
Recently a new church movement was born in the United States. Its purpose is to use politics to take the country back to God. Its called the Patriot Church Network and as of this writing consists of three churches in the United States. You can find Patriot Churches in Virginia, Tennessee and Washington. The church has a statement of faith and also a description of what a Patriot Church also believes.
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
And this is what the church also believes as well.
We seek to establish local churches of any size, stir up Christians, and network with like-minded Churches, Pastors, and Parishioners to preach the gospel and fight for Freedom, Righteousness, and the Well-Being of the United States of America. Our goal is a spiritual revival in the church and an awakening in this land.
Patriot Churches, Pastors, and Parishioners will Regularly Speak Up about (with the primary focus being the Word of God and the Gospel):
- Sexual Morality
- Biblical Marriage
- Government Coercion
- The Blessing of Israel
- The Islamic Invasion
- Godlessness in Government
- Inalienable Rights / The US Constitution
- Marxism / Leftism / Socialism
This blog post is inspired from the following article in The Washington Post called, “Seeking power in Jesus’ name: Trump sparks a rise of Patriot Churches” and The Friendly Atheist’s, “Christian Nationalist “Patriot Churches” Are Popping Up Around the Country.”
Patriot Church Spokane
Patriot Church Spokane is led by Jay McPherson. Matt Shea took over Covenant Church in Spokane from Ken Peters, so he could move to Tennessee to launch a Patriot Church plant in the Knoxville area. Shea himself became a polarizing individual in Washington State. Matt Shea served in the Washington legislature in the lower House where he represented a part of Spokane. Shea had written document that called for training young men in Washington for “holy war.” He also created a pamphlet called “Biblical Basis for War” and advocated replacing the government with a theocracy and “the killing of all males who do not agree.” In a move that has similarities with the Taliban of Afghanistan Shea believed that males should be killed if they disagree with him. Washington State investigated Shea and tied him to a domestic terrorism organization. He was kicked out of the Republican caucus. Shea proclaimed that he was being persecuted for his faith. Peters it should be noted also started a church outside a local Planned Parenthood Clinic which harassed people and led to a lawsuit.
Patriot Church in Knoxville and Lynchburg
Ken Peters went to Knoxville to start a Patriot Church which has a big American flag on the roof. At Knoxville they regularly pray against communism and socialism from taking root in the United States. At Patriot Church Knoxville the Gospel is mixed with politics and you can expect to hear sermons about immigration or the First Amendment of the Constitution. You can also hear sermons against face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. After the service expect to participate in a caravan of cars and go to an overpass on a highway and wave Donald Trump flags. Patriot Church Knoxville flourishing recently because of Christian nationalism that has been pushed by many evangelicals. This blog spent a good amount of time researching into Ken Peters past and found limited information. He grew up in an evangelical Pentecostal home in Washington and Oregon. Ken attended seminary in Dallas and engaged in ministry in Washington State. The other Patriot Church is planted near Liberty University in Virginia and is led by Jason Binder. No doubt it will be inspired by The Fallkirk Center which is about Christian nationalism also.
Conspiracy Theories Will Be a Part of Patriot Church Network
There is another aspect about Patriot Churches that at least “evangelicals” appears to be open about. Expect to see more conspiracy theories inside these churches. In the Washington Post article Ken Peters called face masks diapers. So in this setting you will hear more conspiracy theories about science, the COVID-19 pandemic and modern medicine. In this setting I would venture to state that you will also hear conspiracy theories about females, education, gays, vaccinations, government, and so many other topics. Will Q Anon become a part of the Gospel of a Patriot Church? This blog believes it will. Facts will be out and conspiracies will be in. If you attend Ken Peters church make sure you bring your tin foil hat to wear as you are singing to Tim Hughes or Matt Redman.
At Last an Honest Place Where You Can Worship Donald Trump as Your Personal Lord and Savior
This blog can just imagine it. Close your eyes and picture the following scene. Ken Peters on his knees before Donald Trump. And in a very John the Baptist like moment pointing and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world!” Donald Trump…yes that Donald Trump. The word become flesh. The Book of Matthew starts out with the genealogy of the Messiah. The son of David, the son of Abraham and then in a long list of names it makes a massive jump and is linked to Donald Trump formerly of New York City. Donald Trump the one who gave the Sermon on the Mount where he said, “Blessed is the man whop grabs pussy. Blessed is the man who cheats with porn stars and makes them sign non-disclosure agreements. Blessed is he who thinks countries in Africa are shitholes.” On and on it goes. Remember all ye who are thirsty come to the Donald for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. And remember the trinity is between Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump. Donald Trump the one who bore the sins of mankind and who died at Calvary. As the Donald hung on Calvary bearing the sins of the world his last words were not “Lord why have you forsaken me?” No his last words were, “Its the deep state and fake news! Oh do you see that girl down there she has a nice ass! Man I want to date her she reminds me of my daughter”
Yes I was wrong about what I thought faith is all the years I spent inside evangelicalism. At least Ken Peters can now be honest about who he worships. And so can other like minded individuals. And though he will most likely dispute this and deny that he worships Donald Trump his actions are speaking louder than his words. This blog will tell you to follow what a man does and not always listen to what he says.
Analysis and Closing Thoughts
This development does not surprise me at all. After seeing the issues of Christian nationalism take place in evangelical churches over the years this is the next step. I wrote about that in, “Reflecting on Christian Nationalism in Evangelical Christianity and Being Caught Flat Footed in its 2016 Resurgence” Before the election this blog which writes about the Evangelical Free Church of America looked at a warped voting guide an EFCA church in Minnesota passed out to its congregation. You can read about that in, “Randy Discher of Constance Free Church in Andover, Minnesota on Voting While Engaging in Slander and Pushing Warped Facts.” The reality is that many evangelical churches flirt with Christian nationalism and are already encouraging it. There were many who stated that in the start of 2017 that Donald Trump would be harmful for American evangelicalism. People like Ken Peters and Jason Binder show how lost many evangelicals are. As someone who has rejected evangelicalism this type of garbage is one of the many reasons as to why. In regards to hell its this blog’s belief that God would show much more wrath to evangelicals then he would atheists, gays, or others. That prior group of people this blog would contend are much close to faith then anyone in the Patriot Church movement.
Also don’t believe it when pastors from this network start to push back and claim that they don’t worship Donald Trump. It will be a lie. This network allows them to be who they want to be. Accepting Donald Trump as your personal Lord and Savior will be the faith in Patriot Churches. The last four years were a defining time and helped to show me why I do not belong in evangelicalism. And this development shows how evangelicalism is broken and beyond repair. It seems like many topics that I write about here go back to what Mark Noll said about the scandal of the evangelical mind. Ken Peters and other Patriot Church pastors confirm once again that there is no evangelical mind. If you were to ask me I think efforts like this are variations of orthodox theology and I would describe the Patriot Church Network as more a cult like organization. Its a personality cult created in the Donald Trump era. The Patriot Church Network is to the United States what Juche is to Kim Jong Un and North Korea.
But there is more to criticize. This blog would ask what is the purpose of faith? If you are going to be a Christian what is the basic faith? Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. Regular, normal faith is about the redemption of a sinful and fallen broken man. For Ken Peters and other pastors in the Patriot Church network its different. Faith is about the saving a nation-state. Its a fallacy for people like Ken to believe that there is a covenant with the United States government. That is warped.The United States is not Israel. Now in Mormonism they believe the Constitution is sacred and blessed by God. The Mormons are more orthodox in this area than the Patriot Church Network is. After all their theology has been talking about this for the past century.
But here is the other thing that is striking. Look at the statement of faith pages from several churches here, here, here and here. The EFCA has a national statement of faith that is orthodox across the denomination that you can see in all EFCA churches. You can see an example of that here and here. But not only is Patriot Church statement of faith not tied to scripture it also attaches other beliefs as well. What is the “Islamic invasion?” What is”Godless government?” Is Godless anyone who doesn’t buy into MAGA theology and who might by Wesleyan, Calvinist, traditional Baptist and more? This blog disagrees with people like John Piper, Matt Chandler and Mark Dever. But it certainly doesn’t believe them to be Godless. If someone disagrees with any of that then what happens? If John Calvin had Michael Servetus burned at the stake what will the Patriot Church network do to heretics? Turn them over to a white nationalism militia who worship the Confederacy and could not get into the United States military and run around clinging to their AR-15? Then what face a firing squad? Patriot Church Network is some really warped stuff from the
Here is another thing that is off also. Do you notice at the website that there is no push or emphasis on mission work? Many denominations like the Southern Baptists or the EFCA have a strong push for foreign missions. What does the Patriot Church Network want to do? Win elections and control a bicameral legislature? Is that the great commission as Jesus intended it? When I was researching online to work on this blog post I came across a talk from a Baptist pastor down in Texas who explained his problems with the Patriot Churches. Its an interesting listen. I would probably disagree with some aspects of his church’s teaching as someone who was burned and fried from evangelicalism But he has some interesting things to point out. If you want to listen to it its leading this post. Well this blog will see what happens with this movement.