Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reflections on Patriotism

Our pastor gave a wonderful talk this weekend. She shared that it concerned her that a lot of the build-up to Independence Day (and talk about patriotism generally) involves the promotion of "American Pride." She noted that as Christ-followers, it is clear that we are to avoid pride, which involves exultation. The Bible teaches us that we are only to exult God. The Bible has plenty of warnings about the poisonous effects of pride.

Instead, she suggested we abandon the phrase "American Pride" to talk about the blessings of living in the United States. Instead of boasting of pride, we ought to adopt a spirit of humility and gratitude. Instead of indulging in pride, she encouraged us to recognize and give thanks for the blessings we enjoy.

She shared that she was thinking this week about all the many blessings we enjoy by virtue of living in this country. For purposes of her talk, our pastor said she just wanted to focus on the blessings of the people in our lives. This week she didn't want to give a sermon on the many freedoms we're blessed with, though those are very important too. Instead, she encouraged us to give thanks for our friends and family, and everyone else who makes our lives safe and happy. Our pastor said she was grateful for teachers who share their knowledge with students, for people in the medical field who keep us in good health, for police, firefighters and soldiers who keep us safe, for the folks who take away our trash so we don't live in squalid filth. She said she was even thankful for politicians, who do a very unpleasant job in her opinion. They work hard and are always criticized from all corners.

Our pastor closed her talk by reminding us that the Body of Christ recognizes no nationalities, and every single human being ever on this planet is a beloved child of the most high God. Amen!

Proverbs 8:13 (King James Version)
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Proverbs 13:10 (King James Version)
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

1 John 2:16 (King James Version)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

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