I feel uneasy when I read that Christians should love this country, or any other country for that matter. One might retort, “You’re Welsh; you have nothing to be proud of!” A comment unworthy of a reply. Again, someone replies, “You’ve already admitted you are unpatriotic; you wouldn’t understand what it is to be American.” Mea culpa. Notwithstanding such objections, I don’t see anywhere in Scripture which calls me, or anyone for that matter, to “love our country”. Yet this was at the top of the list of Rick’s advice on how “Christians must respond as Americans”. At the risk of biting the hand that feeds me, so to speak, let me offer a few thoughts about this idea.
“Loving one’s country” strikes me as a peculiarly American, and American Christian, thing to say. American patriotism has long been the slave to a rather romantic view of American history. The amalgamation of the faith, or at least, the church with politics, has undoubtedly given rise to the view that somehow, America was once a Christian nation. (Just to be clear, I am not charging Rick with this. I’m not charging him with anything actually, just meditating on his piece). Rick, in fact, makes clear that he views the development of America not in Christian, but theistic, terms. However, the predominant opinion among American Christians is that America was a Christian country, and the way to return it to said Christian roots is to legislate that change (again, I don’t think Rick is arguing for this). There are better historians out there than I, but I doubt this romanticized view has ever really been the case. Has America really ever been a Christian country? Is there indeed such a thing in the new covenant era? If there were, one might, as a Christian, be able to stretch to the term “love” for one’s country.
Read the rest at Loving God AND Your Country? – Reformation21.
I thought this was excellent, but I am not sure I agree on all points (not sure I disagree either!).
For example, maybe , since God so loved the world, and since Christians are supposed to pray for the prosperity of wherever they are, a case can be made that Christians should love every country. This might actually support the writer’s concern better.