Christian patriotism – what is it?
In just a few days in the United States of America patriotism will be displayed in full force through the observance of Independence Day. Fireworks demonstrations, barbeque, and red, white, and blue are the order of the day.
From the time I was a young boy I understood the 4th of July to be a celebration of our country’s freedom, and the day our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence. I still think those are important things to know.
Though I’m happy to live in the United States and am very thankful for the many who have gone before me to provide the blessings I enjoy, I don’t always find it easy to be patriotic. Our country and its leaders don’t always do the things that make me proud or happy.
- Approximately 55,772,015 abortions have been legally performed in our country since the Roe V Wade decision in 1973.
- Our country has engaged in “police actions” in various parts of the world when I’ve felt we had no business involving ourselves.
- Presidents have behaved scandalously while in office and have done verbal gymnastics to worm their way out of it.
- Politicians have created laws contrary to the constitution and have acted like they are doing the citizens a favor in doing so.
Like I said, it’s hard to be patriotic sometimes.
Clearly, things are going wrong in this country, on a number of levels… and I’m all for doing what we can in the voting booth to make the changes that seem wisest and best. But that’s a far cry from what happens every election year in the Christian community. It seems we American believers actually believe our nation can be “saved” by the right people being elected to office. I hear cries of “turning America back to it’s Christian heritage” (which is not an entirely accurate statement).
But what happens in “our nation” is not the primary thing we Christians should be concerned about. In fact, even to think of it as “our nation” borders on having a misplaced devotion.
The scriptures tell us…
The issue that truly matters is not American or Non-American. It’s not even red or yellow, black or white that matters. Being a Christian takes us out of the realm of politics and ethnicity. Here’s why…
When Jesus created a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” He created an entirely different group of people, an entirely different “race” if you will. It’s a race that consists of all skin colors, both male and female, old and young, and all nationalities. It does not have anything to do with political viewpoints or boundaries on a map. It doesn’t have to do with green cards or oaths of allegiance.
It is only and forever about absolute faith in the Son of God as both Savior and LORD. Our devotion to that truth is TRUE patriotism.
Jesus said it this way…
Look at the extremity of what Jesus demands:
- Deny yourself (yes, you).
- Take up your cross (an instrument of execution).
- Follow Jesus (not your own desires).
- Lose your life (instead of seeking to save it).
- Don’t be ashamed of Jesus.
That is a patriotism that runs circles around any other. It’s patriotism that is radical, sacrificial, and obsessed with one thing – following Jesus, our KING, at all costs.
Your children have heard about the kind of patriotism that has to do with this country… but have you taught them about the patriotism that has to do with their Savior and LORD?
Are they willing to lay down their life for the King of all kings, the One who rules over every President or dictator, the One who holds the universe in the palm of His hand?
If they don’t know about that kind of patriotism, then they don’t know about the only patriotism that matters.
I had never really considered using this holiday to teach these lessons to my kids. That’s a great idea!
Spoken with great passion and conviction! Wise words. Wonderful perspective of “Independence” day. If we would all convey this to our kids, our nation’s ills would be hugely impacted in the long term.