We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, July 7, 2014

Christianity Does NOT Equal Patriotism

Something that disturbs me around national holidays is how the in the assembly we tend to sing patriotic songs.  While I think there is nothing wrong with a brief mention about honoring those who have died to protect our freedom to worship on Memorial Day, or a brief mention of our nation’s founding providing a country with freedom to practice religion on Independence Day, or a brief mention to recognize those who have served and are serving in the military to continue to protecting our freedom to worship on Veteran’s Day, I don’t think it is appropriate to sing songs about patriotism to the USA.

Our times for worship should not be directed at “worship” of the nation; this is why so many non-believers see Christians as a danger to their freedoms — the belief that Christians want a theocracy.  While there are “Dominionists” and “Reconstructionists” who truly are seeking theocratic government, the majority of Christians are not seeking such nonsense.

Songs like “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” “America,” et al, are great for singing in other venues, but let’s keep the focus of worship times on the worship of God.


Anonymous said...

The Gospel of Jesus Christ......

Years ago, in a small church of my youth, there was no.....

1) American flag in the front of our church sanctuary, nor was there a Lutheran flag for that matter as this was a Luther following church system.

2) There were no patriotic services on or near Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, or any other militaristic day of the calendar year.

3) There were no singing patriotic songs, calling out those who served in our nation's military, nor honoring our nation's men who founded this country (for they were sinners too) nor worshipping a piece of land (America) which is not our true home in the first place; born again believers' citizenship is with Jesus, and Him alone.

4) There were no special sugar treats to honor the day, no fireworks, no movies on the "big screen" showing our nations' idolatrous monuments to man to tug at our carnal heartstrings, no red, white, and blue, and no stars......just another day our LORD hath made in which He mercifully granted us.

5) Our church did not have a float, or sell pop and goodies, or walk in the local 4th of July parade, therefore we were relieved of that impeding guilt that abusive clergy and leadership lords on another for not participating in tradition of man.

6) And we did not miss out on a thing in not recognizing freedom, war, nationalism, or the superiority of power and might.

The teachings of Jesus Christ were the meat of our assembly gathering together for where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is the freedom, faith, and hope of things to come eternal.

For when man substitutes nationalism for Jesus Christ, this my friend, is antichrist (in place of Christ) and Jesus was neither a democrat, republican, a liberal, or conservation. To label our Savior with any type of humanistic name is blasphemy against our God who shed his blood freely for the sins of the whole world.

Nationalism feeds the fire of carnal superiority, or as our Scriptures call it "pride/being proud." Where does it say in the Bible where we are to say "I am so proud?" Perhaps my studies are missing these verses and I need to be corrected by someone more qualified, however, right off the get go, I see satan/Lucifer/the angel of light confronting Eve in the Garden of Eden stating "you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

I grieve to say this, and I may be way off (my ancestors came out of Hitler Germany and my research indicates otherwise); what I see is nationalism breeding a mighty proud spirit, colder hearts, and a godless society. The first command of our Great and Sovereign God is that we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Did our God forget to mention to juxtapose the word "country" in there?

Please forgive me if this entry offends as I recently came out of a church system who believes Jesus is a conservative Republican.......and the games men play is legion.

Anonymous said...

We left a church for this - and other - reasons. But this was a huge problem at one of our former churches. Memorial Day one year, the pastor actually cancelled regular worship (church being to lift up the name of Jesus Christ and to give Him the honor and glory) to hold a patriotic service for man. Idolatry plain and simple. We did not attend that service, needless to say, and were not at that church much longer.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Our church just does the opening song, and sometimes the second song, as patriotic ones. But there is no mention about the day - just the songs.

If it wasn't for the songs, I wouldn't have a problem with the recognition for Memorial Day and Veterans' Day; we have a lot of veterans as well as many in service, and many families have children in the war zones. Memorial Day they just make a short statement about the importance of remembering those who have died protecting our freedom to worship, while on Veterans' Day they usually ask all vets to stand and then thank us all for serving to protect our freedom to worship. I think these short recognitions are fine, since they point to the Lord and what we sometimes have to do to be able to freely worship Him.

But drop those patriotic songs - we aren't there to celebrate the nation!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, I am ok with acknowledging and thanking God for our military, and praying for them, during worship service. As long as it's - just as you said - short and pointing to the Lord.

But the patriotic songs, no. And canceling an entire church service to have a completely man-worshipping day, wrong!


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Here's an article with a GOOD point about the patriotic songs: