Can a Christian be patriotic?
Years ago on BreakPoint, Chuck Colson pointed out how Americans used to openly embrace the Christian traditions and values that shaped our Republic. In that culture, it was easy for a Christian to be a patriot. Perhaps too easy. Vibrant, biblical faith could degenerate into a civil religion, where the country’s well-being and the expansion of God’s Kingdom were synonymous.
But today, many Americans have rejected the religious values that informed our society.
Where along this range of attitudes is true Christian patriotism?
Well, first, we mustn’t deify our country. We don’t wrap the flag around the cross. Our citizenship is in heaven, and that’s where our ultimate allegiance is.
But as Chuck said, we can’t love mankind in the abstract; we can only really love people in the particular, concrete relationships God has placed us in—our family, our church, our community, and our nation.
So celebrate this July Fourth by thanking God for calling us into His kingdom and allowing us to live in—and yes, love—this land of liberty.
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