However I am gravely concerned when pride in one's country takes center stage and God and His Kingdom are bumped down a notch. I am even more concerned when I see people mixing and equating God and American culture as synonymous.
I have heard from more believers around the world who feel their Christianity has been "stolen" by the Religious Right in America. I have met many non-Christians who now equate Christianity with American politics and cultural beliefs.
It doesn't help when we have the American Patriot's Bible which seeks to intersect the teachings of the Bible with the history of the Unites States while applying it to today's culture. With everything from Christianity and the equal rights movement to the faith of our early American founders this Bible intertwines the Word of God and American culture. One line from their website which I think sums up my concern is:
In the midst of these faith-related debates, the recession and other turbulent times, a new Bible project is offering hope to rekindle the American spirit, The American Patriot's Bible.See, I thought the Word of God was "inspired by God and useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God's approval. It equips God's servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) I did not realize it was to rekindle the American spirit! Which chapter and verse do we find the American spirit in anyway?
Then today I read in the USA Today that a KY church was promoting a "bring your gun to church day!" Seriously! This article states that "200 people answered gun-toting Pastor Ken Pagano's call to celebrate the Second Amendment at New Bethel Church in Louisville on Saturday." The only rule was they had to leave their bullets at home.....I guess that is a relief!
Preaching about the right to bear-arms, and that America would not be there without this right, the crowds offered hearty 'amen's as they celebrated their 2nd amendment rights! This right means among other things, you can carry a gun to church and worship the 2nd amendment!
Which begs the question: If everyone is focused on the 2nd amendment in church, who is focused on God?
Are we not told to seek God? Matthew 6:33
In the end where does your citizenship lie? Are you prouder of being a citizen of your country first? If so it's time to lay aside your priorities. I leave you with this sobering Scripture:
"In the end they will be destroyed. Their own emotions are their god, and they take pride in the shameful things they do. Their minds are set on worldly things. We, however, are citizens of heaven. We look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ coming from heaven as our Savior."