How Patriotism Works With The Gospel

Forward Faith: Politics

NOTE: This is the second post of the Forward Faith series. To read what this series is about, click here.

I’m not a patriotic person. I don’t know why. Maybe, it’s because I’m Indian or not that spirited. But whatever the reason might be, patriotism just does not resonate with my core of who I am.

Now don’t mistake my words here. This doesn’t mean I don’t support the troops. This doesn’t mean I’m not proud to live in America. What this does mean is that I am more than capable of being one of those people who bashes patriotism in the church.

But I’m not.

Though I have my struggles with patriotism, I believe it does have the power to further the reaches of the Gospel.

Patriotism is the language of the people. It is the song unashamedly sung at the tip of our tongue. It is the reflex snapping our hand to our chest when the American flag dances with the wind. Patriotism is simply how we communicate with our cultural identity.

Last I recall, Jesus didn’t tell people to overthrow their cultural identity to preach the Gospel. He commanded people to take up their cross and follow Him. While for some, patriotism might be the idol that needs to be dropped in order to carry the cross, for others, patriotism is the gun in their pocket they can use to give a quick and tangible context for the workings of God’s grace.

Patriotism is just another language and worldview to communicate the Gospel through. [Tweet that] It is only problematic when it attempts to trump our identity in Christ. But for the other times, we can speak the patriotic language to communicate the provision of God’s love and blessing over our country, and what that means in relation to the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins.

In Acts 22, my main man, Paul, takes advantage of an opportunity to share the Gospel in front of the Jewish nation of Jerusalem. What’s interesting about this passage is that Paul speaks in very Jewish terms throughout his entire message. He relates to the people in their own language and worldview to show that Jesus Christ is not opposed to Jewish culture.

Jesus Christ is not opposed to American culture either.

Media loves to capitalize on Christian groups that make anti-patriotism their doctrine for faith. This misrepresents us. This misrepresents Christ. The church of tomorrow will not stand for this misrepresentation.

Jesus loves His people more than ever. It’s time we stop defining Him by what He might or might not be against, and start defining Him by the compelling and powerful God that He is.

We’re not called to be anti-patriotic. We’re called to preach the Gospel. [Tweet that] Just like Paul who wielded the language of Jewish customs, scholarship, and notable people in telling the Gospel to the Jews, we too have a language in which we can communicate the Gospel. It’s called Patriotism. Use it.

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