Buildings on fire, depiction of modern civil war
Let's hope it doesn't come to this.

As if election season wasn’t already contentious enough, a popular evangelical pastor is now calling for Christians to ‘mobilize’ for a coming civil war.

Rick Joyner, founder of MorningStar Ministries, made the comments during a recent appearance on The Jim Bakker Show. Recalling a dream he apparently believes to be preternatural, Joyner said he saw visions of militias sprouting up “like mushrooms” across the country, backed by God, who will lead the militias to victory in urban warfare against "the tyranny of Marxism."

"We're in time for war. We need to recognize that. We need to mobilize. We need to get ready," Joyner continued. 

"Jesus himself said, 'There's gonna be a time when you need to sell your coat and buy a sword.' Now that was a physical weapon of their day, and we're in that time here. We need to realize that."

As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, now we’ve apparently got a holy war to look forward to. How did we get here?

Militias in Training

Joyner’s hardly the first evangelical to believe that the Union is heading for splitsville yet again. Last year, Washington State state representative Matt Shea was under fire when his right-wing manifesto and roadmap for literal holy war leaked to the press. In it, Shea envisioned a war between conservative “patriots” and Muslim and Marxist “terrorists”.

Shea even recorded himself training teenage boys and young men in armed combat. One young man in the group, dubbed Team Rugged, described themselves as training “to be effective in Christian warfare.”

Christian Nationalism Surges

One of the most alarming aspects of this behavior is that it's becoming a pattern. These ideas are being promoted by elected officials and popular pastors on platforms watched by millions.

It's the type of disturbing rhetoric that has led fellow faith leaders to warn specifically against the rise of Christian nationalism. History does not cast a positive light on those who undertake violent crusades believing "God to be on their side," they point out.  

Not to mention, the very idea of a Christian-only America bit of a headscratcher. The notion of tying patriotism and being a "true American" to one's chosen faith is completely antithetical to the principles on which America was founded. Some folks slept through civics class, apparently. 

What do you think? Is it possible to live in harmony, despite differences in faith beliefs? How can we choose civility over civil war? 

44 comments

  1. Stephanie A Willey's Avatar Stephanie A Willey

    In Germany way back in the early twentieth century there was a Christian Nationalist movement that utilized civilian militias to help them promote their ideas and ultimately gain control of all of Germany. They called themselves Nazi's and my American father, most of his closest friends and most of my uncles fought and died to put an end to the evil of the German Christian Nationalists, aka Nazi's. So will I, my children and grandchildren be ultimately forced right here in the United States to put a stop to the same inevitable evil that results from Christian Nationalism ?

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Um PLEASE check your history, the NAZI's were NOT christian nationalists, they were SOCIALISTS from start to finish. This myth of yours that they were christian nationalists is just that and history is saying you are not telling the truth, not to mention that you got this lie from Think Progress, a well know left wing site that has been discredited more times then swiss cheese has holes.

      1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Um, PLEASE check your history. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord". So, Hitler believed that Nazism was Christian Nationalism and his followers went along with his view, regardless of whether you believe that they were Christian Nationalists or not, the same as the Inquisitors and other murderers and criminals in history thought of themselves, anyway, as "Christians", regardless of anyone's opinion about them. As for the "Socialist" in National Socialist German Workers' Party, that was just for drawing in the suckers and adding to their numbers, who were convinced, as you are, that "Socialist" in the party's name must mean that they are "Socialist" because they couldn't say it if it weren't true, now could they? DUHHH!!! Nobody seriously believes that the Nazi Party was a Socialist party because it advocated none of the programs and principles that Fabian Socialism and other traditional Socialist parties have advocated. Just calling yourself "Socialist", "Christian" or anything else doesn't actually make you that thing!! The proof is in the pudding and actual deeds, not what you say about yourself. Your "thinking" is more full of holes than Swiss cheese!!

      2. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

        A simple search of the Internet provides multiple citations regarding a Christian Nationalist movement that took place in Germany both before and during the existence of Nazi Germany. Respected sites such as Britannica.Com, GeorgiaSouthern.edu, Dominican.edu, ChristianityToday.com, and PewResearch.org .. to name just a few .. have articles on this specific topic.

      3. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        Buddy just because they called themselves something didnt make it so. You think fascists advertise they are fascists? Yes they were nationalists because they pushed a germany for germans agenda. That is nationalism plain and simple.

      4. Mark Hannon's Avatar Mark Hannon

        The Nazis persecuted the Communist party members. Socialists killing Communists. Kind of weird to think of. It was the right-wing conservative party that convinced Hindenburg to make Hitler chancellor.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          sorry but no. The NAZI's were SOCIALISTS (communism for the slow minded) and according to the laws of germany that have not changed in over 100 years, the party that has the most votes is the one that is made the ruling party and the head of the ruling party is the one that is made chancellor or leader. Your claim of some mythical right wing group is just that, a myth. maybe you need to actually know history before you can speak on history or about history

  1. Barry Weisenbach's Avatar Barry Weisenbach

    We need to do what's required of us. No MARXISM !

    1. SueW's Avatar SueW

      Please explain what’s happening that you’d call “Marxism.”

    2. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Why not?

    3. Edwin Merle Waltz's Avatar Edwin Merle Waltz

      I agree 100%

  1. sage Whitewater Ali 's Avatar sage Whitewater Ali

    I’m openly a Marxist online but I don’t talk about it in my community. I’m deeply spiritual but non religious. The ministry that I’m building is based on common sense and facts. Naturalistic Christian

    1. Edwin Merle Waltz's Avatar Edwin Merle Waltz

      Why don’t you move to Russia then

      1. SueW's Avatar SueW

        Please tell us you aren’t ordained.

      2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        Russia has nothing to do with marxism in this day and age, you silly ignorant person stuck in the 1950s.

  1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

    American evangelicals are Satan's secret weapon. What better fools than the ones that work for him and do not even know it. Trump is under daemonic influences and they still support him. Support Trump and you are supporting Satan's plans for America and the world.

    1. Edwin Merle Waltz's Avatar Edwin Merle Waltz

      God your a mental case

      1. SueW's Avatar SueW

        That might be your mirror.

      2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Don't give Lord Satan a bum rap. He isn't nearly as bad as some people make him out to be. And a little evil can be a lot of fun. As long as it isn't hurting anyone, don't knock it. If that hurts you, run like hell, or the devil will have your worthless tail!

      3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        I agree. It sounds like his God is a mental case; a total nut job.

  1. Reverend Bob's Avatar Reverend Bob

    Hmmm...Communion and Communism. Jesus was/is a communist in the truest sense. Why is it so hard to understand that faith requires one to give up earthly possessions and help in all ways possible our neighbors? That's what Jesus believed in. That's the point of Christianity. Be kind. Share. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God,” Jesus said in Matthew 19:24 NIV. Why spend a few hours on Sunday, worshiping the ultimate Communist, only to condemn and fight against His principles during the rest of the week? Why be a capitalist-dollar addict? When do we have enough? Perhaps I'm rusty in my scriptures but I've never seen in the Bible (New Testament) a passage that recommends we kill our neighbors that don't agree with us. As I understand it, that was Old Testament thinking and Jesus arrived to correct that behavior. Perhaps we should pause a bit and recognize the single biggest challenge that we ignore. AI (Artificial Intelligence) capitalism is behind the scenes in all of our lives' everyday activities, perhaps most of all in what we think of as our news media resources...Our future will be war, death and enslavement if we continue to be unaware while manipulated by it. Time to unplug a bit or at least think more deeply about the algorithms that now control us. In conclusion...we're being played!

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Yeah, Jesus was weird, in that way.

  1. The Right Reverend D. Batch's Avatar The Right Reverend D. Batch

    How many Christians have been killed by Marxism? My conservative guess is at least 100 Million.

    1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

      Oh really and just where are these Marxism you speak of, really I like to know because as far as I can see there aren't any to be found here in the U.S.A.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        use your head for something besides a musical instrument. He was talking world wide. And in China alone over 100 million were killed. And lets not count the purges of Communist Russia, or the local purges from the Muslum nations. Honestly Kossee, if you dont know what you are talking about then please keep your lips zipped

        1. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

          Communist Russia was not Marxist. The old U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was not Marxist. China is not Marxist. Muslim Nations are not Marxist.

          Working our way backwards: Muslim Nations are generally Theocratic (aka: ruled by religious leaders). Theocracies are based on Religious Teachings; not on the theories of Marxism.

          The People's Republic of China is a Totalitarian Regime. It's structure was originally based on modifications to Marxist theory by Lenin and Mao Zedong. It's structure was not / is not built on original / Orthodox Marxism.

          Similarly, both the old USSR and old Communist Russia were Totalitarian Regimes loosely based on Lenin's interpretation of Marxism.

      2. SueW's Avatar SueW

        I’d like to know the same thing.

      3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        I haven't seen any iether, T Kosse.

    2. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Like guns, political movements do not - can not - kill. Only people kill. But, let's say, for the sake of discussion, marxists have killed christians. On what verifiable evidence is that 100 million figure based? Any opinion on the 1 billion + non-christians killed by christians?

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Indochina, Cuba, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique estimates more than 100 million Christians slaughtered. Stalin and Mao were the biggest killers, followed by Pol Pot, Mengistu and the Kims. Hundreds of millions of Christians were terrorized by totalitarian police states requiring all to render homage to Marx’s delusions. Even the usually wrong Wikipedia validates this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union

        And sorry there has not been 1 billion non Christians killed by Christians. That is a complete myth and you have no basis in fact to even say it

        1. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

          Your link to the Wikipedia article clearly states that although Marx was anti-religion, at no time did he advocate the killing of Christians. Marx position was that religion needed to be dismissed as a crutch so that people could realize their own human agency.

          It was Lenin who promoted the idea that people should engage in combat with religion. The Bolsheviks expanded on Lenin's interpretation and began the systematic arrest, imprisonment and killing of Christians.

        2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          Even the catholic church recognizes events like the crusades, the inquistion, the genocide of native tribal groups all over the world. Every single one of them a death that stains the faith called Christianity.

        3. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

          Where do you want to start? The crusades - christians killing muslims. Catholic inquisition targeted primarily jews. Jews killed by all christian denominations as retribution for killing jesus even in the US. Most German soldiers guilty of murdering jews in the 1930's and '40's were raised as good lutherans. Serbian genocide of muslims. The list is not a myth and murders go on and on even today. I'll stick with my 1 billion non christians murdered by christians estimate based on historical and modern facts.

          Yes, you are very sorry person for perpetuating your myth. I bet you're white, too.

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      And there's still too many christians in the world.

  1. Vern Dee Wall's Avatar Vern Dee Wall

    I missed the intent of the remark about missing civics class. I took civics in 1956 and the entire class could have been reduced to a single sentence: "Cops can go anywhere and do anything." The high point of the class was a tour of the county jail.

  1. Pamela Kay Waters's Avatar Pamela Kay Waters

    I think the black lives matter group better stand down or maybe if they want a civil war did they forget what the kkk can do? This is bull their lives matter no more than the rest of us. If they would just do what the police tell them to do when they are stopped instead of running or arguing with the police and do what most people do obey. But they never do. They have to cause problems and always bring attention to themselves.

    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      Pamela, you touched on a vital element often overlooked. Most police-involved shootings result from the 'victim' failing to do what's ordered. In the 13th chapter of Romans, we are told to respect, obey and pray for authority, because it is 'God-ordained'. It starts in the home: 'Don't play with matches!' Then school: 'Don't use cell phones in class!' Police: 'Stop! Show me your hands!' Employer: 'Be at work 8:00 am sharp!' State: 'Speed limit 55 mph! National: 'Deploy to Viet Nam!' And finally, God: 'Thou shalt not . . . . .!'
      It's quite basic. Either obey a lawful order, or suffer the consequences. . . . . and, don't blame the authority figure!

    2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      LOL you really do not understand a thing about systemic racism. how at least a 3rd of all law enforcement identify with at least one militant white nationalist group?

      Oh wait ofcourse you do, you are literally trying to threaten pov with the KKK like any sane citizen of this country doesnt want to see every single person who is part of the KKK and such groups lobotomized and tossed into the wilds to be finished off by nature.

  1. Richard Arriaga's Avatar Richard Arriaga

    'Then the Lord will settle arguments among many nations. He will make decisions for strong nations that are far away. Then the nations will make their swords into plows. They will make their spears into hooks for trimming trees. Nations will no longer fight other nations. They will not even train for war anymore.'

    Isaiah 2:4 https://my.bible.com/bible/1359/ISA.2.4

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I have some very interesting beach property in Nevada that you might be interested in. Just let me know.

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      .

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Then some faith leaders are wrong. Dont go looking for conflict, its not pretty. Just do what your religion dictates and stop looking for trouble. As a 100% Perm and Total Disable Vet who received my injuries in conflict, I can safely state that the vast majority of these religious leaders either wont or dont have the stomach to start a fight. So have a coke and a smile and mind the business of your church and religion. Thats all you are supposed to do anyway is to care and tend for the flock that has been assigned to you, not to start trouble or go looking for it if it isnt bothering you

  1. Mark Hannon's Avatar Mark Hannon

    Let's all base a civil war on a sentence or two from the Bible! Think of how many people will send us money. I wonder how Marxists there were before Karl Marx? Could someone take a conservative guess?

  1. Steven P Robinson's Avatar Steven P Robinson

    I am a Heathen and my wife is an agnostic deist, who is culturally Greek Orthodox.

    However, we do have military experience, basic US civics education and firearms ownership in common.

    We are opposed to both Marxists and Millennialists..

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      So you are vile wastes of life who do not recognize that as people who have joined the military you are now slaves of the citizens, and have no place to challenge any citizen at all. You only may serve, never challenge nor threaten even the least of the people of this country unless you wish to betray the oath you claim to have made.

      There are no such thing as millennialists, to even say something like that suggest you are unhinged and ready to start attacking anyone who deem a target of opportunity. That speaks volumes about your mental health or lack there of.

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