Perhaps my view is a bit biased. After all, my family includes many veterans who sacrificed much for their county. My uncle, Charles Spurgeon Keller, gave his life in World War II when he stepped on a landmine at age nineteen. My father, Sam Rainer, was likewise a World War II hero with a number of medals, including the Purple Heart.
The bias may be there, but I believe that Christians should be loyal to their country, that patriotism should be the default for those who follow Jesus. I know that God is always first, even over country. And I know that our own nation was founded in the bloody resistance against our home country at the time. Still, there are a number of reasons that Christians should be patriotic. Allow me to share five of those.
The Five Reasons
My list is not exhaustive. But perhaps it can be a beginning point when we begin to think of our lives as both citizens of our country and citizens of the Kingdom of God.
1. God uses the government for His good (Romans 13:4). The government is often God’s instrument for carrying out His purpose. We are to subject ourselves to that government out of obedience and deference to God (see all of Romans 13:1-6).
2. We should have an attitude of gratitude. We are commanded in Scripture to rejoice in all things (Philippians 4:4). We have so much for which to be thankful, and many of our blessings come from living in this great nation. Though America is not perfect, we have more to celebrate than to bemoan.
3. We should understand the issue of sacrifice better than anyone. Christianity is the one true faith. It is the only belief system where God dies for the sins of others. Christ’s death on the cross appeased the wrath of God. It provided forgiveness to a fallen people. The sacrificial death of Christ was bloody, horrendous, and totally self-giving. Though the deaths of mere mortals in no way compare to the death of Christ, we should have a humbling appreciation for those who gave their lives for our country. The men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice should never be forgotten.
4. The heart of our nation is God–centered. Though historical revisionists would like us to believe otherwise, the heartbeat of the founding our nation was God-centered. It is impossible to look at any number of our founding documents and believe otherwise. We are truly “one nation under God.”
5. We are called to be on mission where we are. The missional message we have been given is to make disciples from our backyard to the nations on the other side of the globe (Acts 1:8). We cannot reach out to those we do not first love. America is our home and our mission field. We therefore must love this place and her people.
God Bless America
I wish I had listened more to my dad before he died. His exploits in the Army Air Corps were incredible and heroic. I find myself trying to find out more about him in the years since he died. I should have taken the opportunities to ask more when he was alive.
But my father was but one of thousands who loved his country so much that he was willing to die for her. I cannot forget his sacrifice. I cannot forget the sacrifice of so many.
On this Independence Day I am reminded again how blessed I am to be in a nation like the United States. Though not perfect, this country has given me every opportunity a person could ask.
Happy birthday America. Thank you for being the wonderful land that you are. And more than anything, may you continue to be a land of the one true living God.
God bless America.
You are the land that I love.