Nashville, TN

Tennessee Pastors Call Out ReAwaken America Tour for Peddling "Unholy" Theology

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition says event featuring General Michael Flynn and Wilson County Pastor Greg Locke promotes "Christian Nationalism"

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is calling out a national religious tour called "ReAwaken America" as the event travels to Nashville. Speakers at the event include retired General Michael Flynn, who resigned from the Trump Administration under federal investigation, and Wilson County shock pastor Greg Locke.

The Southern Christian Coalition claims the event promotes "unholy" theology, including the exceptionalist agenda known as Christian Nationalism.

A national group known as Faithful America joined with the Southern Christian Coalition to condemn the tour's stop in Tennessee.

“The goal of Christian nationalism is to seize power, political power, at any cost, no matter who you have to hurt along the way,” said the Rev. Nathan Empsall, executive director of Faithful America, explaining his organization’s motivation for connecting with local partners across the country to respond to the tour. “No matter how many rights you have to take away from other groups, no matter how many elections you may have to try and overturn despite the will of the voters. The ReAwaken America tour is a dangerous and immoral political circus that abuses Jesus’s name and teachings. Christian nationalism isn’t just a threat to our communities, it threatens our very democracy. This scourge is counter to the Christian belief to love our neighbor, and to live nonviolently.”

Local pastors warned that the ReAwaken America tour carries the risk of inciting violence.

The Rev Rick Roberts, pastor, St. John's Lutheran Church, Donelson: “Today we are here to speak the truth that the ReAwaken America event at Greg Locke's church is more about people trying to grow their personal power, platforms, and political ideologies -- even at the risk of inciting more political violence in Jesus’s name -- than to grow the true Kingdom of Christ in truth, peace, and love.”

One local pastor even compared the ReAwaken America tour with past movements advancing white supremacy.

The Rev Aaron Marble, pastor, Jefferson St. Missionary Baptist Church, Nashville: “What makes ideology and an event like this so sneaky is their ongoing language about 'returning to God.' However, Christian nationalism isn't actually about the God of the Bible or of Jesus. What they want to "return" to is a system of power and control where white supremacy, patriarchy, guns, money, and power are all worshiped higher than Jesus. Christian nationalists don't just want to push their agenda, but they need a way to exert their will and dominance, even if it means threats of violence, as we saw on January 6th.”

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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