When Does Patriotism Become Idolatry?
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

When Does Patriotism Become Idolatry?

I think the time to praise our nation is not the same as the time to praise our God.

171
When Does Patriotism Become Idolatry?
foreward.com

In the book of 1 Samuel Israel asks God for a king. They felt as though they needed an earthly symbol of power despite having the most high King in existence. This need for earthly legitimization seems to be reoccurring in today’s America. For every American holiday in my church it seems we switch gears. In a place we normally worship God we start to worship America. I find something inherently wrong with such an act. Let me break down where I think we have gone wrong.

Singing Patriotic Songs During Worship

This is by far my biggest grievance with churches during holidays. Consider for a moment the lyrics to "America the Beautiful" as we sang it in church today. “America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!” Who is this song about? God is mentioned, but not as the focus of worship. America is clearly the focus of this lyric. That is problematic when placed in worship time during church. The focus of many of these songs is America as the saving nation of the world. The reality is that America is not the savior of the world, Jesus is. Furthermore, America is portrayed as God’s chosen nation. Last time I checked that was Israel. Do not get me wrong-- I am not anti-America-- but I think the time to praise our nation is not the same as the time to praise our God.

The Flag

The American flag can be a symbol of hope and freedom, but it can also be an idol. In many churches across America the flag sits in the front of the sanctuary next to the icons of the Cross, Christian flag, and communion table, sometimes among other things. On the surface this doesn’t seem to hold much of a problem, but it seems much less innocent when one thinks more deeply. Firstly, consider how would the Jews have felt if the priest would have put the symbol for Roman rule on the curtain of the Holy of Holies? It would seem blasphemous. Secondly, for us in the new covenant, we must consider the nature of icons. For many Protestant churches icons are not an integral part of worship, but for almost any Protestant church we still use the icon of the Cross. The Cross is representative of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and it is unarguably a Holy symbol. Amidst such a core piece of tradition sits the flag of a secular governing force. One that often breaks God’s commandments without refrain. How dare we put such an idol with an icon of our salvation!

Please do not get me wrong: I love America. But I think we have let our good intentions lead us astray. I am sure the Israelites did not intend to put an idol between them and God when they asked for a king. On the same note, we do not intend to put love of our country before love of God, but we often do. We slip into idolatry, or we let our politics determine our beliefs instead of our beliefs informing our politics. We skip church to celebrate independence, or let our American beliefs stop us from performing the Great Commission. I would love to explain in more detail, but that may be another article for another day. Until then, God bless America, but also everyone else as well….

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine

You know YOU are not determined by your romantic status

3278
How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine
https://www.southbostontoday.com/celebrating-valentines-day-in-southie-next-thursday-of-course/

Although the most romantic and love-filled holiday is right around the corner, it's important to know that Feb.14, the middle day of the shortest month of the year, doesn't need to be determined by your current romantic status. With that being said, you can either choose to sulk over the fact that you're single or you can make the best out of Valentine's Day without even having one.

Here are a few ideas to celebrate the day:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Fun Facts About The Eiffel Tower

The iconic landmark is reinventing itself with a splashy new color.

5595
Eiffel Tower

Soon, the 2024 Summer Olympics are coming to Paris, and the Eiffel Tower will be in the spotlight.

Embedded so much into Paris's identity, the iconic landmark is no stranger to historic events and world-class gatherings over the years. It is sure to shine again.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

You don't just start as the person you are meant to be; there is a journey full of ups and downs that mold a person, so this is my journey.

5203
Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

Overall I'd love to say I grew up a happy overly enthusiastic child that was taught to love herself and be loved by everyone else, but I can't say that and I never will. My smile wasn't always as bright as it is today, but this is the story behind my smile, the story about how I got here to the happiest place I'll ever be. I'll begin at freshman year of high school.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants

Just remember sometimes it is gonna hurt, whether we want it to or not!

7413
The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants
Where to start...... Let me start with the cliche that life throws us curveballs and what we do with it is what counts.

One day he walked into my life. UNEXPECTED! And one day he walked out!

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

See which conversations rose to the top on Odyssey this week!

6167
Pixabay

New response writers means exciting new conversations on Odyssey! We're proud to spotlight our talented creators and the topics that matter most to them. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments