Christian =patriot?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Matt Black, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    This is an issue that has ben exercising me quite a bit recently. I've noticed on these boards that there seems to be quite a conflation of faith and patriotism/ nationalism eg: to be a good Christian is to be a patriotic American etc. Now, we have this phenemenon over here too, although it seems to a much lesser extent. My question is to what extent this is Biblical; is flag-waving nationalism consistent with Christianity? With all due acknowledgements to Rom 13, should not our first loyalty be to our 'foreign' brothers and sisters in the Lord rather than our secular masters and patria ? I cannot for example find that the Early Church was overtly nationalistic, apart from perhaps some pride amongt Jewish Christians of their Jewishness.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Americans tend to look at being an American is to be a Christian. Sadly, that day is long gone.

    Although America was founded a Christian nation, it no longer is.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  3. David Mark

    David Mark
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    I was introduced to the savior about 6 months after I joined the Navy. If I was told to partake in an event that would cause the loss of life of an enemy I would have done it. I would not have gloried in it nor rejoiced over the loss of life.

    I am no longer in the Navy. I cringe when I think any man rejoices over the death of another man.

    I think it's a heart of heart thing and God looks on the heart of man. If I was to join a group just so that I could kill others, I think God would see that. If I was obedient to a lawful order, I think God would see that too. If I had a change of heart in the midst of an enlistment, I would hope that I would have wisdom and an open door to avoid a crisis of conscience before The Almighty.

    Dave.
     
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I was a patriot before I was a Christian. So, I can't imagine being a Christian without being a patriot.

    My country is my home and God has a lot to say about our home i.e. defending it etc.
     
  5. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Sue, where is your Biblical basis for your patriotism? Your post suggests that as your patriotism preceded your conversion, your patriotism is more important to you, although I am confident that you didn't mean it to sound like that. [​IMG] Aren't we supposed to change when we become Christians, rather than remain imbued with worldly values? (Rom 12:1-2)? ;)

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  6. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Matt; No, my patriotism is not more important than my conversion...nothing is. I guess I am lacking in clarity this morning (blame it on the strong meds) :eek:

    My patriotism carried over into my Christian life. I have no scripture to back up why I am a patriot; but then I have no scripture telling me it is wrong.

    I love my country and I believe God does too. He made it the greatest nation on earth. We are losing some of our 'freedoms', but we still have more 'freedoms' than any other nation in the world.

    [​IMG] §ue
     
  7. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Don't worry, it's nearly 1pm here and I still haven't properly woken up and got with the program yet ;)

    My supplementary question (sorry to sound like Prime Minister's question time over here) then is to what extent you consider your patriotism to be the product of your faith or shaped by your surroundings/ nationality (I don't like using fundie words like 'worldly' - although kind of have above - but I guess that's what I'm asking!)

    To help (or hinder), I'll chuck in some stuff wrote a while ago concerning the dynamic of Scripture and culture re the US - bear in mind this was written with reference to the Word of Faith movement but I think the basic principles and dynamics are similar:-

    "Calvinist teaching of the above kind shaped the formation of the Puritan wing of the Anglican church after the Elizabethan Reformation settlement in England of 1559 (many English Protestants had taken refuge in European countries where Calvinism was flourishing and had absorbed its teachings during the persecutions under Elizabeth’s predecessor Mary). Finding themselves marginalised and hounded out of the Church of England under the early Stuarts, many took refuge in North America, the Pilgrim Fathers of course being the most well-known. Whilst it is true that Calvinism has remained a stream within American Christianity ever since, more importantly the ethos of the Puritans played a fundamental role in shaping the society and institutions of the United States, in particular by extolling work and wealth-creation and by fostering individualism. It is unlikely that the US would be the great capitalist nation that it is today had it not been for Puritanism. This link between Calvinism and capitalism has been highlighted by social commentators such as Weber and Campolo: “….as a result of the Protestant work ethic, people have endeavoured to accumulate wealth as a symbol of salvation. The clearest evidence of this is the materialism of America, which has resulted from a belief system that makes economic success evidence of one’s personal wealth and standing with God. Often without knowing why, people in this tradition work incessantly to accumulate as much money as possible. Subconsciously they want to assure themselves that they are God’s elite…Economic success assures them they are God’s people.”

    To be fair, not everyone agrees with this view of Puritanism; Adair, in his work on the subject, adopts a more measured approach, arguing that the picture was not so simple: “Also Winthrop [one of the leading lights of 17th Century New England] came to understand the paradoxical truth that it is easier to be a Christian in times of affliction than prosperity. Puritan self-discipline can be seen as a kind of self-imposed affliction designed to maintain the feeling of dependence on God in each minute.” “…the competitive qualities – the desire to move up the economic and social ladder, the obsession with winning – are not traceable to the Puritan spirit. One manifestation of that win-or-lose attitude – making as much profit from one’s neighbours as possible – struck them as both unchristian and immoral. Indeed, the ‘Puritan work ethic’ is too often made a scapegoat for modern qualities and ideas which the Puritans actually abhorred and discouraged. The common idea that Puritans looked upon success, especially material riches, as sure evidence of their election, is well off the mark. If they fell into that trap, which savoured of salvation through works, their preachers quickly pointed out their error.” However, despite whatever their original intentions and ethos may have been, the Protestant work ethic, with its emphasis on thrift and the accumulation of wealth as a sign of God’s providence, remains the abiding legacy to North American Christendom.
    This society that the church accordingly helped to create in turn has interacted with and impacted on the church and its teaching. Therefore, it is fairly inevitable that the teachings of many American churches, existing as they do in a profoundly capitalist culture, place a major emphasis on money and connected issues. In part, this is a good thing: the church has to speak into the society in which it exists and to say things of relevance to that society, and so it is to be expected that the church in the most capitalist country of the world should have something significant to say about money and wealth. But there can also be a down-side to this: the values of that society can equally rub off on the church; it can be a case of ‘too much of the World in the Church and not enough of the Church in the World’. This point should be borne in mind by anyone attempting an objective look at the Prosperity Theology movement; there is a need to assess soberly to what extent this Right-wing teaching is a product of Scripture or of culture."

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  8. Johnv

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    You can be a Christian and not be a patriot. Likewise, you can be a patriot and not be a Christian. They are not mutually inclusive, nor are they interchangeable.

    However, in my personal experience, most Christians I know are dedicated patriots.

    It should also be noted that patriotism doesn't mean everyone agrees on every aspect of matters of State. It simply means a love of country and devotion to the welfare thereof.

    Several of the founding fathers and framers were true patriots, but not all of them were Christians (though most were deist).
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    John: I couldn't have said it better myself! [​IMG]

    I choose to be both. I always put God first, but I don't think He minds if I love my country.

    *I worship God, I do not worship my country.

    *I believe everything God does is just, I do not believe that about my country.

    *I believe God does not lie, I do not believe that of all leaders of my country.

    *God saved me, I believe my country can protect me, but she cannot save a soul.

    Blessings,
    §ue
     
  10. just-want-peace

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    I Am Blessed 16:
    EMPHASIS MINE!!!

    Sue, am in total agreement, but unfortunately many of our citizens see the gov't fulfilling all these roles & more. Also, unfortunately, the gov't is leading every one to believe that it can if "we'll just cuddle up to the gov't teat"! :mad:
     

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