Can I Still Be Patriotic?
Yesterday was Independence Day, and I hope everyone took the opportunity to celebrate the founding of our nation.
I assume that most Bible-believing American Christians are patriotic. Not long ago, patriotism was one of the distinguishing marks of conservative Christians. Churches often had special services and celebrations marking July 4. Christians had much to celebrate because our nation was founded on biblical principles by God-fearing people. The nation basically upheld and promoted biblical values at the beginning. But much has changed over the past century or so.
Today, we see a large segment of our population rioting, looting, burning buildings, tearing down monuments, and generally behaving very badly. Many people today are ashamed of our founding fathers and the principles that they held. They want to deface and tear down the monuments to our founding fathers. It seems that about half the population is in favor of changing American culture fundamentally. They are not interested in fixing the problems. They think what we need is a total destruction and renovation of America. The whole system of culture and society is corrupt, they tell us, and needs to be burned down and rebuilt.
In light of recent changes, and in light of the current situation, I think it is entirely suitable for us to ask the question, “Can I still be patriotic?” Given the current conditions, can we be supportive of America as it exists right now?
Some people, I suppose, have the attitude, “My country, right or wrong.” That is, no matter what happens in the country, no matter who its leaders are or what the country stands for or what it’s doing, they will be supportive.
Christians need to realize that “this world is not my home.” We are strangers and pilgrims here; this is not our final destination. We are citizens of this country, but in a much more profound way, we are citizens of heaven and of God’s kingdom. When there is a conflict between these two worlds, our loyalties lie with God, not with this world.
Given how things are changing in our nation, is it still reasonable for Christians to be patriotic? How bad do things have to get in our country before we stop being patriotic?