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Featured Should Christians oppose patriotism?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by compassion 4 humanity, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Yes

  2. No

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. compassion 4 humanity

    compassion 4 humanity Active Member

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    Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy once said, “Patriotism in its simplest, clearest and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, conscience, and a slavish enthrallment to those in power.” His quote is a bit grim and cynical, but he makes an important point.

    Patriotism is nothing short of government worship. Arguably, patriotic feelings are a form of idolatry which replaces God with a nation. If someone recites the Pledge of Allegiance or otherwise expresses devotion to a flag, country, or national emblem, he is committing idolatry, something which the Bible forbids in Leviticus 26:1: “Do not make idols or set up an image or sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.”

    We Christians should be worshipping God, not a flag or nation. For this reason, do you think Christians should be opposed to patriotism? If you think patriotism is harmless, explain why it doesn't constitute idolatry.
     
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  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    That's similar to what Hitler said, too, but I think most people who are patriotic understand the word to mean loyalty to and pride in the country and its people quite apart from feelings about the government.
     
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  3. compassion 4 humanity

    compassion 4 humanity Active Member

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    Why are you associating my opinion with what Hitler allegedly said? Did I strike a nerve with you? Next time you write to me, please make your point without using Godwin’s Law. Also, I didn't say patriotism only constitutes government worship; it also means worship of a nation, flag, or national emblem. This was clearly spelled out.
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    From what you wrote, you both have the same basic idea of what patriotism is about. That doesn't mean that you're a fan of his or agree with him on anything else.

    But in fact, patriotism does not mean devotion to the government OR "worship" of the nation, flag, or national emblem.
     
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  5. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
    5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
    6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
    7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. - Romans 13
     
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  6. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Unless they're like hitler, then you'll die either way.
     
  7. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    And in remembrance of that good man, Dietrich Bonhoeffer....
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To be for God and Country is not a bad thing in my mind if done properly.

    All depending on the Country too.

    I've often found myself thinking, to heck with patriotism and feeling like burning a flag or two myself, but I do get it.

    That said, the OP has a point, at least in what patriotism "can" entail for the gullible. The gullible being, for instance, the "You burn the flag or badmouth my president, I would or would like to whoop yo' #%$. That without even asking or caring why you feel the way you do.

    But in the end close minded, short sighted people happen, so not a big player here.

    Personally, I pay little attention to it, and I'd say I'm not particularly patriotic.
     
  9. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I agree in basics to the truth of what you've written here. HOWEVER, that isn't what the OP said. It didn't make the point that patriotism CAN BECOME extreme, perverted, or twisted.

    Instead it attempted to define all patriotic expression as "worship" of the government, flag, and so on.

    It's that kind of argument by which one thing is turned into another thing merely because it is possible to find someone who has misused or misunderstood the real article, which we need to reject.
     
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  11. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's why I made the point for him. Open discussion ...right? :)

    And I touched on the small minded that worship without question, not being a good thing, and that the small minded are always a part of life..
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Welll, what you said was that he had a point. Now you are saying that you had to make the point for him (because he had not made it).

    I agreed with you in that.
     
  13. christianforumsuser

    christianforumsuser Well-Known Member

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    Check if you're even on the right side. Look what Saul/Paul did until he repented
    Lots of people say their parents or country is basically perfect and righteous. People love sinning and murder and other pleasures and point fingers that religious people are hypocrites or have ego. I could explain what I'm saying if it isn't already clear.
    People do have bias and go running straight forward taking sides in social drama and bigger wars. Or they think they're being a peacemaker while only mixing things in error. Carnal people can't read the Bible and have so much conflict and contradictions.
     
  14. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I expanded his point.
     
  15. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Paul still showed a healthy degree of pride in being a Roman citizen even after his conversion.
     
  16. christianforumsuser

    christianforumsuser Well-Known Member

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    Did he have pride in being a Roman citizen? Didn't he refer to how much he could boast in flesh but shame for it even if it could be boasted of in the world
    He was spiritually minded, but also had the flesh. I'm sure he recognized that he wasn't God I guess. People think of themselves so highly and speak well of their people
     
  17. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I don't want to argue with you Kenny, but his post specifically excluded the point you thought necessary to add.
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Acts of the Apostles 22:25-29

    25. But as he was being tied with the thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?"

    26. Now when the centurion heard this, he went and reported it to the chief captain, saying, "Do you realize what you are about to do? For this man is a Roman." 27. And when the chief captain came up, he said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" And he said, "Yes." 28. And the chief captain answered, "With a great sum of money I bought this citizenship." And Paul said, "But indeed, I was born free."
     
  19. christianforumsuser

    christianforumsuser Well-Known Member

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    White people moved into the Americas and there's been a number of religious wars where people consider their thoughts and traditions and culture godly, godlier than someone else. Various families talk to their neighbors nice. And they refuse to admit their error in their arrogance. People might assume anything different ad opposed to them is arrogant and demonic because of course who thinks his root is evil and wicked...if anyone holds the Bible's true interpretations rather than all this debate they would be the one with a duty to believe and share it.
    Else carnal men keep going around making excuses to get riches.
     
  20. elliott95

    elliott95 JESUS PRAISER

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    The alternative to country in todays world, is to descend into the anarchy of warlords, or to be at the mercy of other countries who are rapacious of your material goods.
    Country is the means by which free people are enabled to live freely.
    We in free countries do not worship our flags, or (blech) our current political leaders. That is ludicrous pap that has become a mindless meme in recent times due to ongoing current events.
    We do respect the flags and the institutions that those flags represent, because we appreciate the protection to our freedoms that those institutions provide us with. These freedoms include freedom to worship God, and God alone for those of us who are Christians, at any rate.

    Throughout history men have placed themselves above flag and country in order to oppress the people, acting as gods over us.
    Flags however wave over the heads of our political leaders. Their respect for flag is a respect for the limits that that flag puts them under too.
    Patriotism is not the ultimate value in America. From 1776 onward, people have declared the right to revolt, if and when their freedoms are not being respected.
    Our flags are not emblems of our political rulers. They are emblems of our freedom, and that is the value that we are respecting when we respect our flags.
    We are patriots of freedom, and nothing more.
     
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