Posted by: amylamb | March 13, 2012

Practical Patriotism

Two years ago, after returning to the United States after spending a considerable amount of time abroad, the concept of patriotism deeply troubled me. “Who are we,” I thought, “to presume that our nation is exceptional among the others? Who are we to pledge our allegiance to a nation, when nations are still vulnerable to their own mortality? How can we claim that a country is truly worth dying for?” I decided that if I ever wanted to enjoy the use of my American passport again, I should embark on an adventure to learn the nature and meaning of true patriotism. Two and a half years later, I think I am beginning to understand.

I want a different kind of patriotism. Not the kind that blindly follows a commander into battle, but one that has thoroughly counted the cost and deemed this country’s cause worthwhile.

I want the kind of patriotism that knows we are not free because we are exceptional, but exceptional because we are free.

I want the kind of patriotism that is rooted not in unfounded pride, but humble reverence for the self-evident truth that makes us exceptional.

Ultimately, I want the kind of patriotism that relentlessly pursues the revelation and application of self-evident Truth that sets us free.

It is not necessarily the flag to which I pledge my allegiance, but the liberty — established by Truth –for which it stands.

It is the true principle of the universality of freedom – that every man, woman, boy, and girl across the world has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – for which I stand.

Because it is the Truth that sets us free, I will not cease seeking it, and I will not cease declaring it.

It’s up to us to preserve our freedom by applying Truth in our every day choices and electing people who do the same. Your patriotism – and your liberty – demand it.

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Responses

  1. That’s so good Amy! Great points to keep in mind as we raise Levi to understand patriotism! I am just going to go ahead and print this blog out and stick it in her school books! 😉

  2. Liberty fundamentally is a God-given right that every human being possess. However, as believers we are to lay those liberties down, much in the same way that Christ laid down his rights as the Son of God in his life and clearly in his death. The Christian is one who is more free in serving sense and less free in the libertarian sense. Freedom is given by Christ to all who embrace it; the only true freedom that matters is a liberation from sin and compliance to the entities and systems that cause it. What if one believes that the United States of America is one of those entities, inflicting injustice and selfish poverty on the other nations across the world? Does one pledge allegiance or raise the banner of such an entity bent not on its supposed ideals but in selfishly mastering and consuming the world’s resources and wealth? What does the Gospel say about such things? As an ambassador of Jesus Christ am I to drop his flag just to be patriotic?

    The liberty that is won with war, blood, and sweat is not real liberty; in the end you are ensuring your rights to be free and depriving them of theirs. That kind of libertarian view is what most people in this country stand for; a liberty that tells anyone who opposes to drop dead and go to hell. At the same time we must ask ourselves how much freedom in this sense we really have? Could it be the liberals and the conservatives are really on the same time and in the same club and out to do same thing? I find it hard to believe that any of these challengers will make things any different than Obama, they will just placate the sheep with lip service about how the support their cause. This country, as is inevitable with all great empires, is corrupt to its core; the election of Barack Obama shows the desperation people are experiencing; they are looking for answers…they are enslaved to their own desires that continuously make things more and more hopeless. All Christians want to do is elect leaders who supposedly give lip service to their beliefs…men and women who ultimately cause more damage than good.

    True freedom is always found in Christ; it is found in the darkest ghetto. It was among some individuals in the concentration camps at Auschwitz. It is to be found among the millions of Chinese Christians who meet every day, despite the law of the land. Freedom is found every time a Christian refuses to take the life of the Muslim who seeks to kill him.Every time a soldier refuses an order because it violates his conscience and higher orders, that is freedom. Liberty in its highest idea is found when I people lay down their rights and serve, they give and do not care what the rest of the world thinks.

    Perhaps what is scary to most Christians in this country is the idea of persecution; of finally having to decide whether or not believing is worth the cost. Fear has gripped us to the point where we are now grasping at slick corrupt straws that would just as soon sell us out for their own than to help us. I don’t think you have to worry about persecution, secularism and science are just going to eventually make you ignored and obsolete. So, let me ask you, are you going to continue being Christians if you lose the political fight or are you going to avoid the church because it is no longer legal? That is exactly what I feel like every time I read something about a Christian demanding rights that honestly they should be willingly giving up.

    Jesus said:

    “He who would come after me must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

    Perhaps it is time for us to stop focusing so much on winning a political battle and start concentrating on the REAL battle: people are dying around the clock without Christ. Even if you got what you wanted; a Christian-run Republic, do you think the citizens will just fall down at Jesus’ feet in repentance? Do you really think that you can indoctrinate God’s truth by secular means? Look at church history, has that EVER worked before? I think we need to realize what is important and what our mission as ambassadors of Christ is: we are to represent God in spiritual form on this earth; that means we tell people the truth of the Scriptures and we oppose their evil…it does not mean that we seek to control them or legislate non-essential morality.

    Look,I am not saying that you cannot respect the country you find yourself in, nor am I saying that it is not ok praise the United States. What I am saying is that sometimes our Christian beliefs get way subjugated to our patriotic conditioning and before we know it we worshiping the American version of Christianity rather than the God of the Scriptures. Christ came to save the whole world, every tribe people and nation, and he came to do so through the preaching of the word and a demonstration of love. When we get so wrapped in making America Christian rather rescuing Christian Americans…we waste all of our efforts and energy for naught, and we sometimes make the situation worse.

    Thank you for letting me say my peace.

    Will


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