Old Testament stories link worship of God with honor of country. Of course, the Israelite situation and identity is unique. Or is it?
According to Paul and Peter, those who believe in Christ should be upstanding citizens. Even in the case where human law contradicts with God’s law, believers are encouraged to stand for their beliefs with grace, not revolt.
“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” – Romans 13:1
In light of this, was the American Revolution in the 1770s part of a God-given plan? If the revolutionaries were disobedient to God, wouldn’t that mean our country was birthed from rebellion (and the British would agree this is true)?
God sets up rulers and brings down kingdoms. A careful review of the War for Independence will reveal that our forefathers tried to appeal to their government through proper channels. Were they perfect? No one can claim that.
However, if the King of England would have allowed the colonies their freedom as requested in the Declaration of Independence, war could have been avoided. As with all nations who have increased power and wealth, England wasn’t willing to let their profitable colonies slip away so easily.
Since the colonists prevailed in the war that followed, America was born. If we choose to believe that the winner decides the right of the matter, we have justified disobedience to a direct command to “Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:17). With God in ultimate control, it is easier to believe God had a planned purpose for this new country that was born from the ashes of revolution and war.
Even in her infanthood, the United States was far from perfect. However, many of the principles outlined for the new government were based in scripture. How could it be any other way when most of the framers believed in God and worshiped Him through some sort of organized “Christian” religion?
Yes, America the Beautiful has fallen far from those earliest ideals. That doesn’t excuse me from the responsibility to “submit…to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (1 Pet. 2:13). A day may come when laws of the land contradict the ordinances of God. Then it will be my duty to submit to the highest authority of all – God Almighty.
Flag Day decorates our streets and businesses with the rippling stars and stripes. I choke up when I hear a group of people recite the Pledge of Allegiance together. It is difficult not to stand at attention and salute when the National Anthem plays.
These are such small signs of respect, but our patriotism starts with the little things. Regardless of our frustration with Congress or disappointment in the Executive Officer of our country, our loyalty to the ideals should be steadfast. Men fail but God’s will prevails.
A day will come when Jesus Christ will set up a perfect government. Even then, people will grumble and complain, refusing to comply with the laws (Zech. 14:17). Those grumblers will not be honoring Christ. The grumblers in our time should not be Christians either.
Christians should be Patriots. They should vote according to the principles of God’s word. They should serve on juries to help execute justice. When the flag is raised, they should honor it. At the sound of the National Anthem, they should stand in silent contemplation, thanking their Heavenly Father for this “land of the free.”
How can you show your loyalty to Christ and country today?
Next week: Changing Seasons