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USA? No, Not Really

July 2, 2016

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 Jesus and sometimes our country gets directly in the way of that. Anyway, those are my thoughts on Independence day.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

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25 Comments
  1. Dave permalink

    There are so few who see through the fog of tradition enough to question why we do the things we do. I’ve struggled with how to apply the knowledge of the origins of the pledge of allegiance and many other traditions, both civic and religious, in a way as to not be perceived as a threat to those who value tradition to the point they defended it with zeal. I still struggle, but sometimes I choose my battles out of the wrong motivation. Be it fear, cynicism, or simply what “I” want. I know I’m to be a light to a dark world, but I also know that light hurts the eyes of those in darkness at first. So I try to remind myself the answer lies in seeking wisdom and strength from the Lord, and dying to my own will. Just like everything else.

    • Dave I hear you. We all need to struggle to find Spirit led balance in these matters. I appreciate your portion brother.

  2. Dan permalink

    Here’s a pledge (courtesy of Keith Green):

    “I pledge my head to heaven for the gospel”

  3. Jonathan Lindvall permalink

    Amen!!! Our allegiance is to Jesus alone! Check out the haunting, insistent declaration: “I pledge my allegiance to Jesus!!!” embedded in this Misty Edwards song. https://youtu.be/KDsSeG71sJ8

  4. david permalink

    You are correct in this message Chris. I agree totally with everything stated anything thst has more focus thsn Christ is energy wasted and Yes is idolitary. I often pose the question to professed Chritians, did Jesus come to earth to fix the nations and it’s people? He tells us that he is bringing a Kingdom that is not of this world and the govt. will be upon His shoulders. So to me why place emphasis where there is no Spiritual fruit.

  5. Zelos permalink

    Anything can be taken to an extreme, including pacifism. We generally don’t appreciate anything as much until we lose it. For instance eating, breathing, children, a good job and a reliable car are things we want to have, none of these things are ‘christian’ but the need and desire for these things are as much as a desire for most people, as is freedom. Wanting these things is neither a lack of faith or idolatry. I also am glad my true citizenship is in heaven, because there we are truly free. I am bewildered by christians who think “persecution will be good for the Church! It will drive us closer to God”. Those who say that have never been been under real persecution (nor jailed or killed). Christians here in the USA may one day (get their wish and) experience what oppression, persecution, idolatry, hedonism and loss of freedom ‘actually’ looks and feels like. If some Christians don’t think freedom is worth defending and working for, that is still their free choice. But we also want to think about the christians who may live here after us (if they are allowed to live here at all). As a christian, I understand that it is not all about ‘me’, or just ‘us’ christians. We want freedom for our ‘whole’ community, for all people, atheist, agnostic and whomever. I don’t want ‘anyone’ being denied freedom or life. And so I will promote, work for, and defend that hope of freedom and opportunity for all my future and present family. Things like freedom are much more easily lost, than gained (I get that the blog here is expressing that some take their patriotism too far, but I wanted to express that wanting freedom and being patriotic about it, is no more unchristian than wanting children and a good job).

    • Zelos, thanks for giving us more food for thought by sharing your portion on this topic. Much appreciated brother!

    • Doug Marsden permalink

      I hear you because I have had to warn people in our church to keep their faith in God and their patritisum in proper order. I agree with Nelos, that my freedom in Christ allows me to be patriotic in prefering this country over all the rest. I am like JoAnna, for my Father and all my uncles served in WWII. I seriously appreciate you post, for it is sometime difficult to determine how to live in this world for we are in this world but not of it.
      God bless you.

  6. I agree with much in this post and sometimes feel the standard patriotism borders on blind arrogance. However, growing up as the daughter of a twenty year marine who served in Korea and Vietnam, I cannot stay seated and silent during the pledge of allegiance. I cannot stay seated for the National Anthem. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything the USA does, and neither does Jesus. God bless the whole world.

  7. I totally respect your views, but for me patriotism goes a little father then parades, fireworks and the flag. It goes into respect to the men and women that have served and died defending our right to gather to rejoice in n our Lord. I love this country and will defend it until I die. I feel as it is my responsibility to defend the right defending the ability to believe, serve and witness the word of God. I hope you understand my views why I believe that this “One Nation Under God” must prevail!

    • I respect you Matt, but ALL nations are under God whether they realize it or not.

      • True Chris, realize it or not. Judgement Day is a real thing.

      • And there isn’t 100 virgins waiting on any of us. But it will most definitely be worth it. ….

  8. Absolutely Matt, absolutely.

  9. "BK" permalink

    I guess I’m in the middle on this. I don’t believe love for one’s country is the issue but when that love becomes idolatry. As I read the scriptures I don’t see the disciples advised to or putting down the country they are in (including Daniel in Babylon….he rose to 2nd in command, as did Joseph) UNLESS it violates the principals God has placed in our hearts. I’ve researched some on the founding fathers not being ‘Christian’ and am not sure I agree with that. For sure they were all God concious and wanted the nation built on prayer and Godly principles. We are instructed to pray for our nation and its leaders, realizing they are put in there by God to accomplish His purpose at any given place in time. I don’t pledge allegiance to flag, but I do stand and say it, changing the words to pledging allegiance to God. And I stand for the national anthem because it is a sign of respect, not worship. If I am in Canada I also stand for their anthem, etc. Fireworks bother me because it’s hard to see all those thousands of dollars going up in smoke when there are so many hungry people in the world. So, that’s my take…….and I do get what you are saying, Christopher and appreciate it. “BK”

  10. Gus Row permalink

    I’m with BK in that I would stand for any countries anthem as a sign of respect, but I am fortunate that I don’t live in a country that has a Pledge of Allegiance because I simply couldn’t do that. Pledges are powerful things. I love the country I live in but I couldn’t pledge allegiance to it unless as a nation we are willing to acknowledge the many wrongs inflicted by it, and in its name. Particularly to our indigenous people. Unless we acknowledged that all people are God’s people. Unless we collectively have a humility that readily apologizes when we make mistakes and that honours other countries who do things better than us.
    I have had the opportunity to visit the USA many times and can say that I have never had a bad visit. I have been the recipient of the generosity of many people. I honour them for that. At the same time there is an underlying attitude that the USA has a unique place in God’s plan that seems to blind them to the hurt and damage their policy and practice often inflicts around the world. Anytime I have discussed this almost always the response is aggressively defensive – “where would the world be without us, we are championing democracy, etc.” I sense that this prevents them from hearing genuine prophetic voices that would lead them through confession, apology, forgiveness and healing as a nation.

    • Thank you very much for sharing that Gus. Pride, even national and Spiritual pride comes before destruction. May individuals and nations hear the Lord’s call for repentance and heed it.

  11. Ramma permalink

    Today, i’m going to let my focus remain on the REAL FREEDOM that I have in Christ:

    And this si something that thye will NEVER be able to take away from me, you , us! No matter what they do with the leaders, the laws of the land, etc!! This they cannot touch!!

    God’s richest blessing to everyone of knowing Him every moment of every day!!

    • Ramma, to many true freedom is just an illusion like the Matrix. However, in Christ we are totally found free!

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