i only wish i had photoshopped this...

more and more i am saddened, frustrated, and irritated by those who mix christianity with american patriotism. i do not think it is wrong for christians to be involved in government,or to love their country, but it is very wrong to use christianity as fodder for slogans and as bait to generate a political following or to equate love for god with love for country.

singing “god bless america” has become so routine that has been emptied of any real sentiment- which is still ok if it is sung as a request. but far too often it is sung with a spirit of entitlement that is sickening at best and horrendously blasphemous at worst.

god does not have to bless america. jesus does not love america anymore than he loves iran. he never has. america is not on god’s “top 5 list of favorite civilizations”. god is not wringing his hands over the fate of the u.s.a.- holding his breath to see if we can endure our present difficulties. he holds all of time, creation, and history in his hands and has no vested interest in the success or failure of america. he is concerned with his own glory and the gospel of his son. he is much more concerned that he be exalted, worshiped and seen for who he is and that the gospel be spread so that whoever believes will be saved than he is about whether or not we call america a “christian nation”.

does he care about us? does he love us? absolutely. but the greatest thing he can do for us to demonstrate his love he has already done in christ. he demonstrates his love for us by sending his son to that we can enjoy him forever instead of paying the price we deserve to pay for our own rebellion and treason against him. he loves us by giving us the gospel, not by making america the greatest country on earth.

we have been blessed with a great many things in the short history of our country. i am thankful for the many who have given their lives for us to enjoy the many freedoms that we have. but as scripture reminds us- every good and perfect thing comes from god. he didn’t have to show his favor on america. we certainly didn’t/ can’t earn it. we cross the line when we think and act as if “of course god will bless us- we’re americans!“.

here are more insights regarding this repulsive trend in this country of mixing patriotism to a country with worship to and faith in god to the point where there is little distinction between the two.

from nathan finn:

Perhaps you’ve heard that Glenn Beck is the newly anointed leader of American evangelicals. It is a self-anointing that has apparently found widespread approval in the secular media (the latter, no doubt, has their own reasons). Lots of Christians seem unconcerned by this, while others are aghast that a Mormon with small government political convictions has so successfully bamboozled socially conservative evangelicals. Co-belligerency, including that of the Religious Right, is a useful strategy for activism, but it always carry the temptation toward syncretism. Thus, we find ourselves at this particular moment in the history of American evangelical Christianity.

and from russell moore:

A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they’ve heard the gospel, right there in the nation’s capital.

The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.

If you’d told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it’s not. It’s from this week’s headlines. And it is a scandal.

In order to be this gullible, American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined “revival” and “turning America back to God” that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.

Rather than cultivating a Christian vision of justice and the common good (which would have, by necessity, been nuanced enough to put us sometimes at odds with our political allies), we’ve relied on populist God-and-country sloganeering and outrage-generating talking heads. We’ve tolerated heresy and buffoonery in our leadership as long as with it there is sufficient political “conservatism” and a sufficient commercial venue to sell our books and products.

Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it.

The answer to this scandal isn’t a retreat, as some would have it, to an allegedly apolitical isolation. Such attempts lead us right back here, in spades, to a hyper-political wasteland. If the churches are not forming consciences, consciences will be formed by the status quo, including whatever demagogues can yell the loudest or cry the hardest. The answer isn’t a narrowing sectarianism, retreating further and further into our enclaves. The answer includes local churches that preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and disciple their congregations to know the difference between the kingdom of God and the latest political whim.

this isn’t about right vs. left, republican or democrat. it is about the gospel. we must get the gospel right. the gospel is the good news that, because of the great love and mercy of god, we, a sinful and undeserving people who are by nature enemies of god deserving His wrath, can be reconciled to god by faith in the life, death and resurrection of jesus christ, and can rejoice in god, enjoying him forever. (romans 5:1-2, 6-11)

there is nothing “american” about the gospel. god forbid that we ever say or act like there is.

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