J. WRITES: With my own country celebrating Canada Day yesterday and my American friends celebrating Independence Day on Monday, I’m left wondering: what’s the line between patriotism and idolatry? How do I celebrate the nation God has put me in without unhealthily exalting its place in my life?
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Oooo! I’m fist to comment? I don’t think this has ever happened to me!! 😆 Lol
I deal with the same thing! In facti would almost go so far as to call myself unpatriotic. I see so many people who are all over ‘God bless America’ and it makes me angry! How can we expect God to bless us when we kill hundreds of thousands of babies just because we don’t want them? How dare we ask God to bless is when our very reputation and lifestyle spit in his face? Why even bother asking when our two main options for leadership are either a playboy pimp or a murdering criminal? How can we ask Him, the Holy Creator, the Sovereign Lord, to bless us when we sit in church (which commonly misrepresents Him) on Sunday and then go love like animals without a conscience on Monday?
I don’t really have an answer to your wrist ion but I’m interested in seeing what others have to say.
Yeah I’ve had a funny feeling about saying “God bless America” for a while now too.
Me too. I mean it when I say it myself, but I have always wondered about the people who say it and don’t mean it, or don’t even think about what they’re saying. How can you say “God Bless America, land that I love” and then turn around and do all those things Delaney mentioned above?
I think a lot of perople like the fereling it gives them, they like feeling like they’re serving God and doing something for the US of A without having to actually do anything… That’s just what I’ve observed in I’ve known not saying this applies to everyone.
That is an accurate observation.
Ooooh burn, lol!! =P I totally agree
I wholeheartedly agree that the US of A has sinned a whole bunch and really does deserve what it gets for turning away from God. But I wouldn’t say it makes me angry to hear someone say “God bless America!” Although I do prefer how a man who calls himself Wild Bill For America says it “America bless God again.”
You can look at it from both sides of the coin. You can see the people who kill, the ones who steal and the ones who hurt. Or you can see the people who help, who heal and who do their best to stop the hurting. An eldedly lady fell down the other day, and in a matter or minutes we had 7 Firefighters / EMT’s, a cop, two paramedics, and a chopper on standby. The majority of us do it for free to. So we can see the hurt, but also see the healing. America does lots of evil, to be sure. I see my fair share of it. But I also see the ones who try to stop it. And to make life better. Life is mostly perspective 🙂
I like your comment. I believe that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
I couldn’t agree more! My older brother is a full time firefighter (he also works part time as an EMT) and my dad is an EMT. As far as the people go, I believe that America does do some good things. But our nation just legalized the rewriting of marriage. We kill countless innocent babies because we “don’t want them” o think what makes me mad is when people act like the USA is Gods chosen nation.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Screw Israel and all that. We are the ones God really parted the Red Sea for!
That’s what pulls my strings.
Usually, when I say “God bless America”, I’m thinking, “Oh, God, please save our country from what’s happening!” I love America. It’s a free country, and I’m glad to live here. But recently, it’s turned into a horrifying nightmare. Our leaders are corrupt, I feel like the election is rigged on both sides, we’re killing babies, and our culture is very anti-God. Yes, I love America. But I don’t love what’s happening in it.
That is what I think when I say it as well. I believe that is what was thought when the song was written, for one line says, “Stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above.” The history of the song is actually pretty interesting.
I agree. Although I do struggle with loving America a little bit. More on that later 😄
(note before you read this: I speak as an American and I don’t know a whole lot about your country’s government or how it was founded, but hopefully some of this is relevant to you.)
I am an American citizen, and I love my country. My nation is home to some of the freest people in the world, and I thank God for the incredible privilege of living here. In addition, my country was founded on Christian principles. (Again, I don’t know much about how Canada was founded, but the preamble to your charter of rights and freedoms simply states, “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:”.) In contrast, the nation of Haiti was founded with a dedication of the island to Satan. Look where it has led them. Yes, I am truly blessed to live in America.
Over the last 240 years, those foundations have eroded. One of the biggest evidences of that, recently, has been the redefinition of marriage as no longer a sacred covenant, between one man and one woman, for life. My country has forgotten where she started and what made her great.
I am an American citizen. I love my country, but I do not love her sins.
So what does all this have to do with patriotism and idolatry? Well, according to Nancy Pearcey, an idol is “anything we want more than God, anything we rely on more than God, anything we look to for greater fulfillment than God.”
I love my country, but I do not believe that the government can save me. Believing that, my friend, is idolatry of your nation. Do not look for politicians and laws to save you. When a culture turns its back on God, judgment comes. It may be delayed for now, but judgment comes. Unlike Reader’s Digest, which proclaims we are becoming better and better, I believe my country is going downhill, and sliding faster and faster every year.
So how can I be a patriot without succumbing to idolatry?
I will take pride in my country’s Christian heritage and original principles of government. I will honor her laws as God has commanded (1 Peter 2:17). I will respect her flag and symbols. I will support her military in safeguarding us against threats to freedom. I will fulfill my civic responsibilities, such as voting. And I will salt the culture.
Salt the culture?
Yes, salt the culture. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13a)
“The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads, declares the LORD.” (Ezekiel 22:29-31)
This passage was speaking to Israel, but I believe the principle is the same for us. The prophets are full of passages about God’s judgment on other nations for failing to acknowledge Him and honor Him. But the presence of a righteous man (e.g. King Josiah) held back that judgment for a time.
I will salt the culture. I will stand in the gap. And when even the presence of a righteous (in Christ) minority fails to hold back the judgment of God, I will still be a light in a darkening world. Because when everything around them falls apart, those people who trusted in government instead of God are going to be completely disillusioned. Some of them are already becoming disillusioned. If I still live I will be there to point my country back to the God who made her great in the first place. I will be a true patriot.
Will you join me?
This is wonderful and inspiring. Thank you so much for commenting!
Anna, this is beautiful!
Thanks Haylie! (btw, I love the way you spell your name…been wanting to tell you that for a while but we haven’t interacted on here)
You’re welcome :)*feels like I should say “thank you!” for the compliment, but realizes I had nothing to do with my parents choosing how my name was spelled* Thank you anyway 😉
Wow, I’m speechless. This is awesome.
This is an awesome comment! Ha, I wish my brain was that organized so that I could formulate a comment like that… lol
I’m sure your brain is just as organized as mine…it actually took me over an hour to write that, not including the thinking time before I started typing! 😛 In real life, I have an attention problem–my mind literally goes in a million directions at once. When you read that, you’re only seeing the end result. And on other discussion threads, there have been many others (e.g. @a_haylie:disqus) who have absolutely nailed it in answering a question, and I’ve sat there thinking, wow, wish I could do that! ~Anna
Haha, I guess we can be friends then!! We’re in the same boat!! Yay scatter-brains!! 😜😜
I dont have a lot to say here, but this might help.
Thanks for sharing! Very good point about our citizenship being above all in heaven, and loving our fellow believers.
Ha! I also was going to share that article because it seemed very fitting but then I couldn’t find it because I didn’t remember which website it was on. XD
Hmm. This is a very interesting question J. I don’t live in Canada so I don’t know a lot about you government and all that jazz. But here in America we appreciate every single day we can live as free people, we are so blessed to have all the freedoms we have. So when my family celebrates Independence Day we thank God for allowing us to be part of such a great country we also ask for forgiveness because our county has made some very bad choices regarding religion and morality. We also take time to remember the ones who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. I don’t think celebrating your country is idolatry I think being thankful and proud of your country is honorable and commendable. I hope I understood your question and I hope you get my advice. 🙂
Bekah ( http://thenarrowroadforteens.blogspot.com/ )
Sadly, America is in the position it’s in right now because Christians have been silent. According to the Barna group, at least 38 million evangelicals didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election.
Thats Horrible!!! NO wonder we are having leaders with anti Christian agendas in office! Why are us Christians staying home and letting the democratic liberals win elections and continue anti Christian agendas? And my opinion of patrotism to my country is thus: God firs, Then our country and defending the constitution
Speaking as an American citizen, I agree with @Anna G.:disqus
The American culture, standards, and principles have fallen and strayed away from what they were founded upon. In my opinion, it’s hard to idolize my country, considering its pitiful state in every area, but that’s a different story.
I think realizing that you were sent to that specific country, that specific town, with that specific family can help. I’ve come to realize and be grateful for the town where I live. I often wonder how I could be different if I had been placed in a different family who lived in a different place.
You were placed there for a reason. Think of all the people you know. Then think of the impact you have on them. If you’re having trouble with that, watch the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
Yes, I know, It’s a Christmas movie, and it’s mid-July, but whatever! It’s a good one! 🙂
You can focus on the good in your country, just as I try to in mine. Yes, it might be hard, considering government, the world, and just human nature in general. Once you educate yourself on governmental forms–good and bad–it will be easier for you to become patriotic. You will see things in your country you might not have noticed before, and you will be grateful for the freedoms you enjoy when you study different cultures and their governments.
Overall, you’ll be better off!
Good luck, my friend!! 😀