Do the above words go together? A Christian is someone who has trusted in Jesus alone for salvation and seeks to follow Him. A Patriot is someone who loves and supports his or her country with devotion. So, the question is, can one be a Christian and a patriot at the same time? I believe the answer is absolutely, yes! With this week being the celebration of our nations birth, this subject has been pressing on my heart for a while.
The Apostle Peter wrote a letter in the Bible to a group of Christians scattered around a region of the world that was facing severe persecution from their own government at the time. He lays this truth out to them and now for us all when he says in chapter 2, “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
Honor the King? Honor the nation you live in? The argument of course is, this is fine if you have a Godly government and Godly people in control. True, the Bible teaches that God’s blessings are upon a nation when it is righteous. However, no matter of the condition, we are told to give honor to our rulers and our nation.
The ruler at the time of Peter’s letter is Nero, an ungodly ruler who would end up persecuting Christians. Yet, Peter says Fear God and Honor the King. As Christians, we can love God and love our nation too no matter what, we are called to do both. I believe it does not take away from my believes as Christians to be a patriot, I believe it has the potential to make me a better citizen as I desire to fear God and Honor the King.
I can pledge my allegiance first to Jesus Christ but I can also stand and pledge to our flag in honor of those who have given their lives so that I could be free and for those who put their lives on the line every day so I can stay free as a citizen of this nation. That does not mean I have any hate in my heart for any person because I want to honor our nation and to show my love by standing to attention when I hear our national anthem or hear Lee Greenwood sing God bless the USA. That is so far from the truth.
Jesus changed my life and gave me a love for everyone, no matter color or creed, even if they disagree with me. That is the beauty of being a Christian! Jesus loves me and in turn, by His grace I seek every day to love others even if they do not line up where I do. And I think that is what makes America great, we do not have to agree to both love this nation!
As a patriot I may stand strong in my convictions and love for this nation, but as a Christian I do not have the right to be unkind, unloving and am called to honor all men, even if they disagree. I would just ask the same from those who would disagree with me.
In this verse, I am called to be a citizen of two worlds, in heaven and until He calls me home, here in the United States of America. Which means I believe I am called to be a Christian Patriot, I just do not have the right or calling to be mad about being both! I just ask you do not get mad about it either. God bless us all and may God bless America.