Welcome to Watcher Forum
 
HomeCalendarFAQSearchMemberlistRegisterLog in

Post new topic   Reply to topic
Share | 
 

 Patriotism and Christianity

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Josephus

avatar

Posts : 121
Reputation : 15
Join date : 2017-05-23
Age : 39
Location : Alabama

PostSubject: Patriotism and Christianity   Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:15 pm

Patriotism and Christianity
Do they Mix?
 
The 4th of July, this year, has brought up a question that I have never considered, or even heard, before. The question is, as Christians is okay to be patriots/patriotic? After hearing this question asked I thought it would be a good question to tackle as a kick-off to my blog. In answering this question, I think there are a couple of questions we need to ask, ourselves; 1. Where do our nations’ authority come from? 2. Does God speak on what type of relationship we are to have with our nations and the leadership of them? I think in answering these questions we can conclude whether patriotism is a characteristic that is okay for Christians to have and exhibit.
 
America’s Founding Fathers
 
I thought it would be good to take a moment to look at what our country’s founders said about where our nation’s authority originated. Even though there are many places we can look to see what they wrote on the origin of the U.S., I thought we’d look at a passage from the “Declaration of Independence”. It is the 4th of July, after all. In the “Declaration” it says, “We hold these truths, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” So, we see that credit was given to the Creator for our unalienable rights. And it was upon this Creator, that we know as God, that our founders created this wonderful country.
 
What does the Old Testament Say?
 
What, if anything, can we learn from the Old Law about the authority of nations? From where do they receive their powers? Can we learn anything there to prove or disprove our founders’ beliefs of where our national came?
There are actually quite a few scriptures addressing national authority, kingdoms, rulers, and our relationships with them. The 1st place I would like to look is Daniel chapter 2. Here we find the story of King Nebuchadnezzar looking for someone to tell him his dream and then interpret it for him. After the Chaldeans couldn’t do it, Daniel stepped up to take on the challenge. Daniel did so, but the important point is that within this story Daniel made some revealing comments about national authority.
In verse 21, for example, Daniel tells King Nebuchadnezzar, “for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom.” We see that the king’s authority came directly from God, as it was God that allowed the king to rule his kingdom. And, in verse 38, when talking about men, beasts, and birds, Daniel says God, “hath made thee ruler over them all,” further establishing from where the power of rulers originates. So, we see from Daniel chapter 2 that it is God that appointed King Nebuchadnezzar to rule, and God that allowed the king his ruling authority.
In Proverbs 8:15-16 we read, “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” This even applies to ungodly rulers, as we see above in King Nebuchadnezzar. We see Nebuchadnezzar spoken of again in Jeremiah.
In Jeremiah 25:8-11, we see God using Nebuchadnezzar, who was not a Godly man, to do His will. God warns Judah that He is going to move Nebuchadnezzar against the people of the land. God then follows through with His warning, moving Nebuchadnezzar against Judah to carry out His judgement upon the people of Judah.
From the Old Testament, we can see that God established and appointed kings, allowed them power to rule, and used them to carry out His will. While this does not directly answer the question about patriotism and Christianity, we are laying down a foundation that we will build upon in part 2 of this discussion. In part 2 we will look at what the New Testament says about national authorities, their establishment, and our relationship with them. We will look at whether the New Testament agrees with the Old Testament on this subject, or if we are told that a change has been made under the New Law.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Josephus

avatar

Posts : 121
Reputation : 15
Join date : 2017-05-23
Age : 39
Location : Alabama

PostSubject: Re: Patriotism and Christianity   Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:13 pm

Patriotism and Christianity (Part 2)
 
 
Do they mix?
 
Recap
            In the first part of this study we looked at who the founders of the U.S. gave credit for the authority for the founding of our country. Then we asked a few questions; 1., What does the Old Law say about the authority of nations. 2., From where do the nations receive their powers? Can we learn anything there that would prove or disprove the founders’ beliefs?
            I think it is safe to say we found that nations are set up by God, they receive their authority from God, and the founders were correct to give God credit for the authority to create our nation. So, in this post we will turn to the New Testament. Does the New Law agree with the Old, or has the New added or changed anything? Does Jesus, Himself, say anything about national authority? Is the patriotism question answered directly, or can we infer an answer from the Bible?
 
The New Testament
 
            Like the Old Testament, the New Testament says a pretty good bit about the nations, their authority, and how we are to act toward them. I’d like to start with Romans chapter 13 as it is very clear about the expected attitude toward governing authorities. The very 1st sentence of the chapter reads, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” Can’t be much more straightforward than that! Paul goes on to tell us that only God has power, but He allows the rulers a portion of that power. Then in verse 2 he tells us if we resist that power that is portioned out to the rulers we are actually resisting God and “they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” While this doesn’t say anything directly about patriotism, it is important because it gives us an idea of how important governments are to God, and it gives us an idea of how much respect we are to give them.
            In verse 4 Paul goes on to call the rulers “the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Now “minister of God” does not mean that all rulers are godly men, or men after God’s own heart, but God uses even evil men to do his will as we saw with King Nebuchadnezzar, in Part 1. And in verse 5 Paul says, “Wherefore ye must needs be subject.” Again, not a direct answer to the patriotism question, but it shows the level of respect that we owe our governments.
            In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 we see that we are to pray and give thanks for all men, and a certain group is singled out, “For kings, and for all that are in authority.” This may be hard to do, but it is something that wasn’t suggested but, rather, commanded. If nothing else we should be praying for laws that would allow us to keep the religious freedoms we have remaining, and to hopefully regain ones lost. Also, to lead a “quiet and peaceable life” as stated at the end of verse 2. Remember, though, that even though we may not like our authority figures they are holding a position created by God that was intended as a help for us.
            Did Jesus speak on this topic? He did. Let’s remember some of the history of the time before we look at what Jesus said. At that time, the Romans were an occupying force in Israel. To say that the Jews disliked the Romans may be quite an understatement! It made it worse that the Jews knew they were the chosen people of God, and they were being occupied by Gentiles. Needless to say, they wanted nothing to do with the Romans, and wanted them out of their land.
            With that in mind, in Matthew chapter 22 we see a group of Pharisees asking Jesus if it is lawful (meaning under the Old Law) to pay tribute (taxes) to the Romans. I suspect they didn’t like Jesus’ answer. Jesus had them give him a tribute coin, and asked, “Whose is this image and superscription?” When the Pharisees answered “Caesar’s”, Jesus told them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” So, we see that Jesus’ teaching (and those of the apostles) on national authority is in keeping with the Old Law, and we are to treat the authorities the same way the Jews would have. Respect, and as Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:17, “Honour the king.”
 
Conclusion
 
            So, does the Bible teach us anything about patriotism? No, at least not directly. I do think, however, seeing that we are to pray and be thankful for, respect, and honor those in our government, we can infer that patriotism is a characteristic that is fine for the Christian to have and display. Well, why do dome believe patriotism is wrong? Where I see the problem with the claim made that patriotism is wrong, is that the ones claiming this were saying “nation worship is wrong.” While I agree with that statement, being patriotic does not mean you are “worshipping” your country. You can be appreciative, thankful, and proud of your country without rising to the level of worshipping it. If you are someone that does worship your country, then you do have a problem and need to reexamine your priorities. If we are keeping God as our main priority and doing His will, then I think there is room to fit a little patriotism into our lives.
            If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask or comment away!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
 
Patriotism and Christianity
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Towel Symbol
» Bible Study: The Wait Between the Dream/Vision/Impartation and the Interpretation & Application
» Mixing Religions/What am I...?
» Request for a resource: Christian Mindfulness
» Animalism

Permissions in this forum:You can reply to topics in this forum
Watcher Forum :: Welcome! :: General Discussion-
Post new topic   Reply to topicJump to: