When Patriotism Becomes Idolatry

By S.C. Shaw

This is a follow up blog to my last entitled “Pro-God, Pro-Gun, Pro-Life…?”

This topic needs to be addressed because I see an alarming, disturbing and much contrary group calling themselves Christians and it is contrary to the Gospel. What I am talking about is when American pride takes place of Christ centered love for all. Now, hear me correctly, I know I am blessed to live in this country. Nothing is by accident with God. God is sovereign meaning; He is in control of everything. We are all here because God willed us to be here. It is a wonderful common grace God has bestowed upon us. What is common grace? It is the grace God blesses all people with like breathing. Every breath the believer takes as well as the ones who curse God’s name is all common grace. The providence of God is His upholding or sustaining all things. The hands that will evil against another are sustained by God’s common grace. That doesn’t diminish His goodness of holiness, it’s just who He is. Powerful and in control. The fact that you were born in America is grace. For any American to be overly proud of their lot in life is as ridiculous as being overly proud of the next breath you take. As if you have any control of how many breaths you’ll take in a lifetime. You can and should thank God for each breath, but it is only “your” breath as long as God plans on your life span. This country is only yours because God choose to allow you to enjoy its many blessings. 

What I see happening in the hearts and minds of the American believer, is contrary to this truth. We have been so ingrained with “American Pride” that we’ve lost sight of boasting in Christ alone. What happened to loving the foreigner and sojourner? What happened to putting everyone, not just Americans, but everyone above yourself? Your ideals as a proud American are disturbing and ignorant to the greater things God has planned in the life of true believers.

At this point here are a few things you are going to say.

“God favors this country because we are a country under God. Founded by Christians. “

“We need to respect the people who gave their life for our freedoms.”

“If we don’t regulate immigrants coming into our country it will destroy our system.” 

“Minority issues are their own issues, and we shouldn’t be bothered by them. After all they are destroying themselves so why should we care?”

Or the most popular one “All Lives Matter”. 

So, I beg to ask you, show me in the Bible where you can back up any one of these claims. Again, don’t hear me wrong. I am so thankful for the men and women who have fought to give us these freedoms. I believe we do live in a great country. I believe we once did find favor as a country because of our belief in God. But, those days are over. We are no longer a Christian country. Christianity no longer reigns as the majority religion. In fact, every year it becomes more and more far from the loving truth of the Gospel. 

On the other hand I can show you 100’s of verses that command true believers to die to yourself and live like Christ. Loving all people. Giving of ourselves for the good of everyone. By celebrating our differences, learning and loving from one another. And when a group of people are telling you there’s a problem, we shut our mouths and listen instead of fight back with ignorant statements. Instead, you know what I see? I see people who call themselves Christian who have such a pride in their land that in negates the Bible. It steps on the love Christ showed us. I see people loving their ideals much more than the grace of God. I see people loving all their comforts above the love of others above themselves. I see people living in fear that their way of life might be disrupted. Shame on us. 

This brings me to the main point. I am talking about the Christians blind eye to the still racial injustices going on. I know I hit this point in my last blog but this point stems into the reason why. Our ideology of our country, church, government, etc. There’s a real ugly version of Christian out today and actually has existed for along time now. It is the Christian that holds their government just as high as their God. They hold their freedoms as an American just as high as the freedoms offered to us by the Gospel. But wake up! These are not interchangeable. These are not one in the same. In fact, most of what you believe because of your political beliefs makes you a walking contradiction to the Bible. You are making God’s truth filth to the on looking world. Your political party on either side is lacking in more ways than it is correct on Godly issues. You think because you are pro-life, go to church and eat at chick filet that you are doing your part, but you are a hypocrite. Your life has no living example of Christ’s great call on the true Christians life. And if you are getting upset at me right now, I am probably talking to you. 

Now I know I am being a little dramatic but I am also being truthful. These people exist in a far greater number than should be. But a lot of you fall into this next category. I believe you are a real believer and truly try to live by Christ’s example. But there is still a major problem. Recently there has been lots of buzz around the NFL and the taking of a knee from many players. The outrage by proud Christian Americans have been pouring out and so has the revealing of ignorance. No one is talking about the real issues here. The real issue is why the players are taking the knee. The many racial injustices still occurring all around America is a real problem. Racism is still a huge problem in the hearts that hate and the hearts that just don’t know. Yes, willful ignorance is still a racial problem of discrimination. As white American Christians, it is your job to step up and speak up about these issues. They are not disrespecting the vets, nor are they claiming hatred of America. In fact, they are exercising their rights won for them by those vets. And yet they are being unfairly ran through the ringer like the very injustices they are silently protesting. But instead of listening and being aware of what is being said, we throw out rationalities that make us feel better about ignoring them and for us to feel comfy and justified in our thoughts. All the while not ever giving a glance into the world the African American has been living in since they were forced into this country. Instead, we continue to segregate and lump everyone in the same spot in our minds.  We wipe away any convictions that their life and all its potential messiness has anything to do with you. Well not sorry to say but WAKE UP! We need to make this personal. If you call yourself a Christian, then this is your fight. We are called and commanded to fight for justice. To care for all the oppressed and needy. You subconsciously think you are better then them. We are all born with racial bias. We need to pinpoint it and kill it. You believe they are the least of these? Read what the bible has to say about the least of these. There is not part of this story that allows you to lay in your ignorant comfortable bed anymore. I know I am being harsh, but I am speaking to my own ignorance. It took “making it personal” in my own life for me to wake up and learn. 

Now you may be thinking, “He only cares because his kids are black”. Yup. Couldn’t agree with you more. But that’s the problem. This stuff was not on my radar until it was personal. Now I want to fight every injustice I can to ensure that my precious little children won’t grow up in the world we are currently living in. They will be judged, not liked or unfairly treated simply because they look the way they do. Do you see the ridiculousness of that?

So, make it personal. We are commanded to live until it hurts. We are commanded to die to ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Yeshua (the real name of Jesus).

Closing.

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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