Nationalism as Idolatry

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ABCJim, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. ABCJim

    ABCJim
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    Whether US or Japan or Ghana or Iran...what are your thoughts?
     
  2. Lagardo

    Lagardo
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    I recently heard someone say that when they look at the American flag they "see the face of Christ." I think this over-zealous patriotism comes dangerously close to Idolatry.

    I have also encountered many people that equate American and Christian. A friend was once reprimanded by his boss (a fellow church member) for witnessing to his co-workers. My friend said to his boss, "aren't you concerned that these guys aren't Christians?" His boss replied, "What? There are no communists here, they are all American!"

    Yeah, nationalism can easily become Idolatry.
     
  3. El_Guero

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    Ironic that you would post such a comment . . .

    So, why do you use a talisman?

     
  4. DeeJay

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    The Talisman is a book co authored by Stephen King and Peter Straub.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0345444884/?tag=baptis04-20

    Not that the info helps him any, but at least your questions can follow the right track.
     
    #4 DeeJay, Jan 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2007
  5. ABCJim

    ABCJim
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    It's just a quote from the book:laugh: ...as DeeJay said it's written by SK (King) and PS (Straub)

    God pounds His nails...it's sort of a fatalist expression in the story, but it's interesting.

    ...now that we've cleared that up we can put the train back on track:thumbsup:
     
  6. tinytim

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    If a person worships the Country they live in, then it is wrong.
    But if a person appreciates what God has given them and the place He has placed them in this world it is OK...

    It is all about the attitude.

    I Love my wife... I appreciate my wife... I am loyal to my wife... I brag on my wife...I would die for my wife...God gave me my wife... But I don't worship her... I realize she is a gift from God...

    I love my country... I appreciate my country... I am loyal to my country... I brag on my country...I would die for my country...God gave me my country.....But I don't worship it... I realize it is a gift from God.
     
  7. ABCJim

    ABCJim
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    Do you consider the US (and I say US since I live here-if you are from another country substitute your nation) as the people in it or as the idea presented in the Constitution? Is it your neighbor or is it the gov't? To "die for my country" is it for the people or the principals?

    I am a former Marine, so I do very well understand the nature of nationalism.
     
  8. blackbird

    blackbird
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    Me, too, Tim!! Me too!!

    I get plenty of "stares" when I tell people that I love the USA---but that one day I'm gonna turn my back on this country and say Hello to another one!! I'm gonna say goodbye to the finite and say hello to the infiinite!!

    People act like Jesus gives "special attention" to the citizens of the US---like we are the "Teacher's Pet" or something-----like Jesus just "winks" at our sin and the way we're behaving----people need to get a life!!!
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    It is for the people..
    Freedom for the people to Worship, speak, live, etc...

    The country is the people in it...
    But we in the US are governed by the people. So it is virtually impossible to separate the US Government from the US people...(although sometimes I feel the elected people to our government misrepresents their constituents.)

    But one day I will gladly give up this county for a Theocracy, in which Christ is King, and His word is law....
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    It's pretty easy to tell the difference between idolatry and nationalism in Japan. When a Japanese claps his hands before an idol (to get its attention) and then prays to it or offers green tea to it, that's idolatry. When a rightist gets in his sound truck and cruises through the neighborhood with loud march music playing, preaching about how Japan ought to kick the foreigners out and build a great military again, that's nationalism. They ain't the same thing. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  11. StraightAndNarrow

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    Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    Who or what is your master? If you find yourself taken over by patriotism/nationalism to the exclusion of serving God then your country has become your god. I think there's a lot of this in the U.S. today among professing Christians.
     
  12. Alcott

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    Since we cannot serve 2 masters, then we must hate our country or else hate God? How about our families, particularly in light of Luke 14:26? Keep in mind the 'average' (if there is such) dedicated churchgoer still contributes more (service or money) to the country/government than to one's church, and much more to one's family. [Not that I am claiming the church and God are absolutely identical, should that be presupposed.]
     
  13. ABCJim

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    The hate Jesus speaks of in Luke 14:

    Lk 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

    Now you don't hate your mama-that is not the meaning here in the sense we understand hate. BUT it is a following of the Lord that will have the appearance of hate because the Lord is put first to such a degree that it can have the appearance of hate. And even that, upon further examination, will be found to be not true, since even if we have parents that despise us for following God, they are still our neighbors and we are to love our neighbors as we love ourself.

    StraightAndNarrow is spot on with his analysis. The bigger picture is that the church-the Kingdom of God-is so much bigger than political borders. And I'm not seeing a New Testament reference to becoming part of or defending a worldly kingdom.

    Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

    So in going about the work of the Kingdom we still submit to the authorities:

    1Peter2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

    &

    Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

    But understand too that there is a difference between obedience and submission-only God deserves unconditional obedience. We pay our taxes and serve the community to the extent that it doesn't contradict our calling (and honestly that is going to be left up to the individual to flesh that out-different ones are going to understand different applications), but we are still little more than ambassadors of the Kingdom.

    See ya after church!
     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

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    Money is part of this but not the only part. All I'm doing is quoting the Bible. Do you disagree with what it says here?
     
  15. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    A crticism of Nationalism can never be fully appreciated without shedding the light of its founding on it.

    Nationalism is the idea that we should as a country have our own specific boundries, language, political structure, (etc.) and that we should have a loyalty toward our country greater than others. It sets up boundries that protect specific values of a particular country.

    Critics of Nationalism in the past have been Karl Marx, Friedrich Engles, George Lukacs, Karl Korsch, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser and many other Marxists Communists.

    Criticism is at its founding a Communist ideology but is most certainly held by those who shun the label of Communist and embrace the label of Socialist. However when either ideology is held up to a magnifying glass it becomes difficult to determine just what the significant difference is between the two. It appears that it has more to do with the shedding of the negative connotations of Communism than anything else.

    Criticism of Nationalism appears on many levels to be a political tool to tear down the national boundries of a country (ie.) borders, set antional language, so that Socialism can be more freely embraced. Socialsim, which is founded in Communism and has very little difference one from the other, works to blurr the set boundries in politcal ways, physical ways, and religious ways. It is a clear blurring of the lines and boundries set by countries, individuals and by God.

    Nationalism is often presented as being at odds with consideration of other people not of ones particular country and God. But, as evidenced by history Socialism is always advanced by making victims where victims do not exist. In order for Socialism to take its desired effect someone must be suffering in an extreme and unjust way. So in many cases situations are exagerated.

    One example of such an exageration is the idea that Nationalism is a form of idolatry. In this political tactic God is represented as becoming secondary to the desires of the Nationailst and thus God has been treated unjustly and without sound Biblcial consideration.

    Nationalism is belittled and maligned with accusations of idolatry and pejoratives are often used. Words for these attacks are "Jingoism", "Chauvinistic Patriotism", and "Bullying". The intents of those who support the individual identity of their own nation are always presented in the worst possible light as a result of the Socialsit political tactic of creating vitims where none actually exist.

    The hypocracy of this maligning of Nationalists is found in the acceptance of those who illegaly and maliciously penetrate the borders of another country but protest in the very streets of that country bearing the flag of their country of origin all the while crying out for 'rights" in the country for which the only maintain an illegal standing. It is the hight of arrogance and "Jingoism" to perform such an act and all the while refuse to assimilate in any fashion to protect their own identity.

    To defend such an action, which is currently done by Socialists, reveals a inconsistancy with the values with which Socialists hold and the behavior of those who illegally and maliciously penetrate the borders of and indiviual and sovereign country. It also reveals a mind set that the means by which a goal is achieved is not important but only that the end result is attained.

    I find the criticisms of those who enjoy Patriotism hypocritical, exagerated, and unfounded.

    God Bless
     
  16. ABCJim

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    Interesting and I do see your point. Serving in the Marine Corps I would look with disdain at those that would belittle the Old Glory and would join in the chorus "America: Love it or Leave it". I grew up in the midst of the Cold War knowing that every second could be the last if the Russians decided to push the button.

    My point is toward the church, not the unsaved. The unsaved can have their patriotism-they have so little. When the church becomes folded into the flag and can't see past the stars and stripes we are putting something ahead of God.

    Consider Paul's statement from Phillipians. He had all sorts of reasons to be "proud" of his heritage:

    Phillipians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.


    I have reasons to boast: American, Missourian, US Marine Vet; yet as Paul says, I count it all as dung that I may win Christ. Consider that Paul's achievements aren't necessarily bad (well that persecuting the church is questionable:smilewinkgrin: ) but he knew that they were issues that would cause him to have "confidence in the flesh". I fear that Americanism can be "confidence in the flesh".

    No, I'm no socialist/communist by any length. The folks I learned this approach from aren't either (though there still some Hutterite communes around...commune as in community). It's just another way of looking at things, and the thing is, it works regardless of what nation you live in. Now historically it has lead to persecution, but then, that is what Jesus said would happen if we followed Him.
     
  17. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Well I have never seen nor heard of such a thing. However I have heard accusations to that effect coming from those who hate America first. It seems to aggrivate those who it stands in the way of their political agenda.
     
  18. LadyEagle

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    2 Timothy2:1-4, great post! :thumbs:
     
  19. ABCJim

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    I can see where it does. I suspect there are some that would like the UN to take over things in the US, though they can't seem to manage little things w/o screwing up.
     
  20. StraightAndNarrow

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    Did Jesus love or hate His country? He shed tears for Jerusalem but that had nothing to do with nationalism and everything to do with His love. Too many conservative professing Christians put America and Christianity as equals.
     

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