Misunderstanding a Christian’s Patriotism

Based on the comments I’ve read in response to a previous post of mine, along with others across the social media spectrum, there seems to be a misunderstanding – even a mischaracterization – of mine and others’ patriotism.

Believe it or not (and some will refuse to), a Christian can love his country, even to the point of sacrificing his life, without turning it into an idol and worshipping it.

I love my country and believe in what the original framers envisioned this nation to be. I believe there’s never been a better Constitution, nor has there ever been a nation whose laws better reflected the fact that all men (and women and children) are created in the image of God and therefore intrinsically valuable and endowed with “certain unalienable rights.”

I believe that the American flag means a lot more than color on cloth and borders within borders.

I’m proud of the fact that the American soldier, despite the failures of policy and leadership, is the first to shed his own blood for the freedom of another, even the one that might hate him. And, yes, I see that as a “Christ-like” quality, but one that is endemic to a Christian ethic, not a parallel worth of deification.

But even though I love my country, I do not worship her. Even though I stand when the National Anthem is played, it’s not a creed I recite. Even though I salute the American flag and am greatly offended when it is disrespected or defaced, it is not an idol – it is not Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue.

As He changes the seasons, so God “removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Daniel 2:21). I worship Him. Before Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, Emanuel (God with us), I bend my knee.

Nations come and go, but the Lord of lords and King of kings remains the same; it is He that I serve.

Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. – 1 Peter 2:17

Don’t mischaracterize my patriotism: it’s not idol worship; it’s honor and familial love. But when this country and its founding documents have faded into the annals of history; when the only Old Glory still flying is over the old graves of citizens, His praise will be the only thing on my lips as I worship the Eternal King upon His throne.

I’m proud to be an American, but I’m a Christian first and foremost. Blue passport or not, I rejoice that my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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8 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Countries, politics

8 responses to “Misunderstanding a Christian’s Patriotism

  1. Excellent. Let’s give it up for King Jesus.

  2. I do stand and place my hand over my heart, but I refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because my allegiance is to God and God alone. Yet, that said, I consider myself a patriot.

  3. I concur! I actually struggle with this a bit. As a veteran, I happen to be quite patriotic. I love this country, and at one time let some not nice folks try to kill me for her. Yet, at the same time, I do believe that in some churches that Patriotism has been elevated to the category of Idol. I have seen way too many try to make the case that any “good,” Christian must also be patriotic. We are certainly required to be good citizens, but not necessarily patriotic. Yet still, there is nothing anti-Christian about being patriotic, as some would say. I believe you captured the essence of this well, thanks.

  4. Reblogged this on Truth in Palmyra and commented:

    I concur! I actually struggle with this a bit. As a veteran, I happen to be quite patriotic. I love this country, and at one time let some not nice folks try to kill me for her. Yet, at the same time, I do believe that in some churches that Patriotism has been elevated to the category of Idol. I have seen way too many try to make the case that any “good,” Christian must also be patriotic. We are certainly required to be good citizens, but not necessarily patriotic. Yet still, there is nothing anti-Christian about being patriotic, as some would say. I believe you captured the essence of this well, thanks.

  5. Thanks, Army officer training, I was taught that you do not defend the right of others to say what you agree with. There is no honor in that. You defend the right of the other guy to disagree with you, even when he is spitting in your face at the time. I am proud to serve, but I agree with both you and Wally that Patriotism is becoming an idol. We don’t have everything right here. At most, our church sings one Patriotic hymn on or near Independence Day, but I have been where there is great pomp and circumstance. Even as a veteran, it makes me uncomfortable in that setting. Our focus needs to be on God.

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