The Idol of Patriotism
Usually, patriotism is viewed as a positive attribute for one to have. I do agree that it is a good thing to be loyal to the country that God has blessed us to live in. I am happy that God has given me the blessing of living here. It is ok to be “proud to be an American” in that sense. I believe we as Americans need to be thankful to God for this blessing, but we do need to be careful with the amount of love and devotion we have towards this democratic country. If we are being too devoted to it, it can become an idol. It can get to the point where we puff out our chests with pride because of how great we are, or because of the physical prosperity that the nation has gotten for itself, or the large military and defenses that our nation has. We may think that no one can beat us or mess with us or our freedoms. But when we do this, we forget that all of these things have been given to Americans by GOD and can be taken away from this nation by Him in an instant. There is no reason for us to be filled with pride and to look down on other nations.
Whenever we are giving precedence towards our earthly citizenship and our place of residence over our heavenly one, America the Great, or even the state that we live in, can become our idol. I am happy to be an American and to be blessed by God to live here, but this is not what I boast in and find my identity in. Being an American is not something I boast in. I will boast in the cross which makes me a citizen of a better and greater kingdom. Do you believe that we as Christians are in the greatest nation there is? Not America, but God’s holy nation and royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)? This world is not our home. America is not where we belong. This country is not where our citizenship lies. We are pilgrims in America! Paul tells us in Philippians 3:19-20 that our citizenship is in Heaven. My devotion and love first and foremost belongs to God’s kingdom. That is where my citizenship primarily lies. If we are going to be "patriotic", should we not be patriotic towards the country of our primary citizenship?
Which national identity do you give precedent to? Which do you give more devotion to? The Kingdom of America or the Kingdom of God? Your answer to these questions may go to show whether your "patriotism" has reached the level of idolatry. Pay attention to the things you post online and what you say to people. Often our words show which country we are more devoted to.
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