‘Christ Is King’ Is Not the Slogan Some White Nationalists Want It to Be

Jesus’ lordship is not good news for those who want to use him to become kings themselves.

This piece was adapted from Russell Moore’s newsletter. Subscribe here.

If you’re one of the very-online white nationalists who decided during Holy Week to claim the hashtag “Christ is king” as an antisemitic troll, I’ve got what might seem to you to be both good news and bad news.

The good news: Christ is king. The bad news: He’s a Jew. The even worse news: He’s not the kind of king you think he is.

This week commentator Candace Owens, recently fired by The Daily Wire for anti-Jewish comments, made news as she used the slogan online, allegedly as a response to her former boss, Ben Shapiro, who is Jewish. The phrase was then amplified by so-called “Groypers,” the social media mob assembled around the white nationalist Nick Fuentes, whose singular mission seems to be to put the Mein back in Mein Kampf.

When some—such as on-air talent and executives at Owens’s previous media platform—criticized the use of the slogan, many of those using it pointed out that the words Christ is king represent basic Christian teaching. The words God and damn are, of course, perfectly good biblical words too, but most of us can see that context can change the meaning.

I’m less interested in the nationalist-on-nationalist social media controversy than I am in the much less recognized question behind it: Can “Christ is king” be antisemitic trolling? One could argue yes, and that the first time we find the words referenced as written down, they were just that.

The cross, after all, came with a label affixed to it. Above Jesus’ head were the words Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews, written not just in Aramaic but in Greek and Latin too (John 19:19–22). …

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