Monday, July 04, 2011

How to be a Patriotic Christian



Today Americans celebrate the 235th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America. It's a time for citizens to express our patriotism, our love for our country and its people.

Recognizing that many of my blog's readers live in different nations around the globe (some of which are hostile to the Christian faith), I have been thinking about how the Bible gives us some guidance in expressing our love for our countries and their people.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Pray. "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:1-4). If we have a fair, decent, competent, and honest government, we are more likely to be able to live peaceful and quiet lives. We will be able to spread the good news of Christ with fewer obstacles in our way. Perhaps more people, even leaders within our governments, will be able to hear God's message more clearly. Perhaps they will respond favorably and join with us in following Jesus.

2. Submit. "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities..." (Titus 3:1). "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God...for he is God's servant for your good" (Romans 13:1, 4). Generally, when we follow the rules, we help our societies to function better. Anarchy and rebellious attitudes can bring societies to ruin. Our neighbors could suffer harm when we are rebellious against authority.

3. Go Beyond the Legal Requirements in Order to Do Good to Others. "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people" (Titus 3:1-2). A person can treat people horribly and not violate a single law in my country. The law tends to set minimal standards of behavior in a society. A Christian can stand out in a community by going beyond the requirements of the law, by being "ready for every good work," by refusing to slander others (especially the government's leaders), by avoiding quarrels (especially concerning relatively unimportant political preferences), and by being gentle and courteous toward everyone.

Whether a Christian lives in the USA, Russia, China, Nigeria, Iran, Brazil, or anywhere else on the planet, he can love his country and its people by adhering to these principles.

16 comments:

Warren Baldwin said...

Good points, and great conclusion. I love our country, but we have brothers everywhere. As Christians in America it is important that we remember that. Good post.

mykey said...

I read this post before going to work. It lifted me up. I am here just to say thanks for posting such an uplifting message.

Terry said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Warren and Mykey!

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Thanks for the links, guys. I'll check them out.

counter strike said...

My father used to display a crisp American flag outside of our house. That flag flew not just on holidays, but on every day of the year. He never told us why he flew the Stars and Stripes. It was not because he was obviously patriotic. Sure, he had served in the Korean War, but the experience sounded mainly harrowing. As an analyst for Congress, he was involved in the hurly-burly of public debate on major policy issues. He respected how our country's democratic system works. He was not sentimental about our nation. But he flew that flag every day.