The Difference Between Patriotism and Christian Faith

The Difference Between Patriotism and Christian Faith by Michael L. Brown for Ask Dr Brown

There are certainly times when our religious faith and our patriotism go hand in hand. At other times, our religious faith might cause us to seem unpatriotic. But at all times, it’s important that we distinguish between our faith and our patriotism. Blurring the lines can be dangerous.

Before I focus on the subject of this article, let me give you some different but related examples.

Let’s say you’re a Christian and a policeman. If you give a driver a ticket for speeding, you’re doing so as a policeman who happens to be a Christian, quoting the law to the driver, not the Bible. If you share the gospel with the driver, you’re doing so as a Christian who happens to be a policeman, quoting the Bible to the driver, not the law.

Any policeman can issue a ticket. Only a Christian would share the gospel.

Let’s say you’re a Christian and a soldier fighting terrorists in Syria. If you kill an enemy combatant, you’re doing it as a soldier who happens to be a Christian. If you pray for the enemy’s family, you’re doing it a Christian who happens to be a soldier.

Any solider can kill the enemy. It takes a Christian to pray for the enemy’s family.

If you’re a Christian and a veteran reciting the pledge with pride, you’re doing so as a veteran who happens to be a Christian. If you pursue a fresh spiritual awakening in America, you’re doing so as a Christian who happens to be a veteran.

Many veterans can recite the pledge with pride. It takes a Christian to pursue a fresh spiritual awakening.

Yet in each of these three instances, there’s a good deal of overlap. The Christian policeman wants to be a good witness on the job, and as a Christian, he is committed to serve with integrity.

As for the Christian soldier, he prays for protection and for success in his mission of taking out the bad guys.

As for the Christian veteran, in his mind, love for God and love for country go hand in hand. Plus, as far as he is concerned, his beloved America is special because of its Christian roots.

You do not take off the Christian hat when you put on the hat of the policeman (or soldier or veteran). In fact, if you need to take the Christian hat off when you do your job (meaning, you cannot live by your Christian principles while doing your job), you should find another job.

Now, let’s say that you’re a Christian and a gun owner living in America and the government wants to take away your legally owned firearms. You will oppose the government’s actions as an American who happens to be a Christian.

But will you make a separation between your faith and the Second Amendment? Will you compartmentalize the two? I seriously doubt it. Chances are that the thought wouldn’t even come into your mind. In fact, you would probably call other Christian friends urging them to pray and strategize with you.

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