Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 7.5.16 – The False Dilemma of Jesus vs. Patriotism

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Last week I looked at the false dilemma of King Jesus vs. King James. Today, rambling about another false dilemma: Jesus vs. Patriotism.

  • Has the believer who waves a flag, loves their country, respects the military, or sings a patriotic song in church traded God for country?
  • Some would say “yes”.
  • As a pastor, I respect people who hold to wide range of opinions or beliefs about the need for patriotism both in the local church and in the life of a believer.
  • Discernment of this issue, though, can’t stand on outward expressions alone: true allegiance lies in the heart.
  • The God of the Bible reveals salvation through Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Idolatry perverts that salvation, trusting in some other thing for the protection, comfort, and salvation only a true relationship with God brings.
  • So, if you trust more in the U.S. for your identity, belief, comfort, protection, and salvation, then you should smash that idol.
  • If in your heart you have more disgust at the fading of this once great nation than you do over the reality of lost sinners suffering forever in hell, repent and ask God to realign your affections.
  • A couple things worth testing regarding your heart and thought process:
  • First, wrestle with the true nature of the faith. The faith is global, multi-national (remember that “every tribe and tongue” part?). In this sense, any believer from a different country may endure confusion amidst a patriotic celebration in one of our churches.
  • Understanding the global nature of our faith can protect against idolatrous patriotism and enliven our prayer life for our brothers and sisters around the world.
  • Second, though, wrestle with the truth that no nation on earth matches the level of freedom and material blessing the U.S. has experienced for so long.
  • Is gratefulness for this reality such a bad thing? Is praying for freedom, prosperity, and sustained ability to promote the Gospel un-biblical at its core?
  • On one side, slapping an “idolatry” label on all patriotic expressions fails the balance test. Similarly, an “unpatriotic” label can’t accurately label those who prefer less nationalistic emphasis.
  • In sum, can patriotism blind believers from broader truths of Scripture and wider understanding of people groups? Absolutely.
  • Does a believer’s gratefulness for their nation’s history automatically turn them into an idolater? Not so.
  • Am I the judge of either? You and I both should praise God He stands alone as judge.
  • The right question: How would HE evaluate our hearts?

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