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USA? No, Not Really

July 2, 2014

Greetings,

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,…” Philippians 3: 20

As I sit here and write this blog the fourth of July is nearly upon us here in the USA. July 4th is the day Americans celebrate the signing of the declaration that led to our independence from England. This is the day we watch or march in parades, salute the American flag, and enjoy massive, expensive fireworks displays.

To be totally honest I am not much of a patriot and never have been. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for the freedoms we enjoy here in the USA and I appreciate those who have died defending our country. Heck, when I was young I even served in the US army and received an honorable discharge. I have never been big on guns, but in basic training I was rated as an expert with the M-16 and was the top marksman in our company. However, my favorite memory of training at Fort Knox was that they were filming the movie comedy “Stripes” with Bill Murray while I was there. Our unit even got to march in the background in several scenes. That is as close as I ever got to being a movie star.

Back on topic…like I said I am not a patriot. In fact I feel that much of what we call patriotism borders on idolatry, especially in the USA. To many the love of country ranks equal or above the love of God. In many “churches” the love of country is completely intertwined with the love of God to the point it is nearly impossible to separate the two.

I am not anti-America, but I do claim that my sole citizenship is in heaven and not the USA. Because of this I personally refuse to say the pledge of allegiance to the US flag. I even hate to stand up when someone sings our national anthem. I refuse to find fault with those who do, but I do not understand the practice. My sole allegiance is to Jesus and I love and serve only Him and not a flag or a country.

I just feel that Jesus needs to be first and foremost in our lives. Plus the USA, in my opinion, is not the totally bright and righteous place that many claim it is. Our government and military has raped, killed, pillaged and burned with the worst of them. And I refuse to celebrate that fact. No country is God’s country, because the Lord does not play favorites. To somehow think that God is always on the side of the USA and that we are endorsed by Him to police and rule the rest of the world is just plain wrong and sinful. The USA is not now and has never been a “Christian” nation. We need to love, honor and serve God and sometimes our country gets directly in the way of that. Anyway, those are my thoughts on Independence day.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.s. I have been enjoying awesome fellowship with BK and Ken Zimmer while they have been here in Michigan. BK comments often on my blogs. The last 2 years I have flown out to Washington state to see them, but this year they came here and it has been a tremendous blessing to all who have gathered with them across the the state. Please be praying for this coming Saturday July 5th? Because that afternoon Janet, my true love, is opening her home in Zeeland for a relational, open and free, Spirit led gathering for the very first time. Jesus is doing amazing things with the Body here in Michigan and with my heart & mind.

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10 Comments
  1. Landus Rigsby permalink

    Thank you for this Brother Kirk. You wrote exactly what I believe God revealed to me about the patriotic idolatry that exists in the USA years ago. I remember sitting in a service around the 4th or July that year and the church I attended did a whole patriotic segment during the service. I remember my first reaction being one of “this isn’t right” but I couldn’t quite explain why at the time. So when I search Ied for the answer, I realized it was God who tugged at my heart and the very reasons you posted here were identical with what made me come to my conclusion.

    It is so dangerous to act as if God favors our country over others or to think the USA or any other physical country on this planet is “God’s country” when our Lord already has His own kingdom. I just appreciate your post on this brother.

  2. Cassandra permalink

    Kris, you are so right. How easy it is to get caught up in tradition and not even realize how far from God our path has gotten. The distractions are warned about in the parable off the soils.
    Thanks for pointing out some weeds. Time to do some tending of the garden of our hearts and pull some weeds out.

  3. Cool! I didn’t know you were in the Army! You and I feel much the same on the topic, and I, too served in the Marine Reserve.

    I am currently reading a book called “The Arrogance of the Nations” in which the author, Neil Elliott, makes a compelling case that Romans was primarily directed to non-Jewish Roman citizen Christians encouraging them to not buy into the ideology of the Roman Empire, but instead to fully grasp and be transformed (12:1-2) by God’s Empire.

    What makes it most interesting are the parallels he draws between ancient empire and modern day empire – primarily England and the good ol’ USA – and their effects on Western Christianity.

    At any rate…Happy 4th of July! ;~)

  4. Chris, you echoed where my heart is at. I know it won’t happen, but I wish every follower of Christ could read “The Church Contributes to War-Time Hysteria,” a chilling chapter in Ray Abrams’ “Preachers Present Arms: The Role of the Clergy in WWI & WWII” (Round Table Press, 1930; Herald Press, revised, 1964). Abrams shows how what called itself church unthinkingly bought into the war propaganda, and quotes profusely from sermons between 1914 – 1945 in which preachers said the most horrendous, Christ-dishonoring things you can imagine. Blind allegiance to the agenda of any nation can create terrible carnage.

  5. Erik permalink

    Kirk, I can relate to this greatly! I actually had to receive a dishonorable discharge from the US Navy because of my conversion. I’m not sure it is what every brother or sister should do, but it was what Jesus very clearly led me to do. Following King Jesus here in the USA is a tricky thing, because we are all so indoctrinated in an empire very similar to that of Constantine’s Rome. We are taught to pledge our allegiance to COUNTRY, and King Jesus has to somehow fit into this paradigm for us. But, for sure, we are not to hide away or form some weird cultic compound. 🙂

    I’m actually employed by the government as a public schoolteacher. Like you said, I’m grateful for so many opportunities I have because I live in this nation. And also, I am still not comfortable participating in patriotic rituals like The Pledge of Allegiance. “Caesar” is not my King. I’ll give to Caesar what’s his, and submit to authorities, but not my heart.

    I look forward to learning alongside you brother!

    • Erik, I love that you used the phrase “learning alongside” because the true church has no human hierarchy and we are all mutual sibling peers. We learn side by side and NOT from the top down.

      • Yes! That’s a lesson I have learned the hard way, but God is faithfully healing. I’ve truly been so encouraged this past year to discover that I am not alone in all my “divisive” views. In many ways, the internet is like the invention of the printing press, because it can expose us to perspectives we’d never otherwise know of. Peace and love to you today!

  6. bill permalink

    could it be that America is the healed head (the Roman empire)that was fatally wounded? Rev.13:3.

  7. Every time I run across a brother or sister that has the same understanding and whose eyes are open to these things, my heart leaps. Thanks for putting in the very same words my husband and I have discussed many times at length with great sadness for the blind…:-(

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