Monday, March 3, 2008

Proud To Be An American

Is it un-Christian to not be proud of America? Is it un-American to not be proud of America?

BigHugeThing is a flag waving patriot so hearing slurs against our country grates to be sure. But let's face it, we all have complaints about some facet of our government, its actions or lack of action. A false picture has been painted of our country's founding and early days. Stately founding fathers, arm in arm and singing Kumbia and establishing the greatest country on earth, always fair minded, never arguing, one common and noble goal. The historical truth is far different. Politics in the early days was rough, dirty and malicious. I venture it was far worse than today, now probably moderated by our prolific media in all its forms.

Who can pretend to know just what mistakes our country has made over the years. Half the country thinks we give too much foreign aid and the other half think we give too little. How do we compare to other countries really. I read articles stating the USA compares poorly to other nations in giving and articles stating the USA is the most generous country on earth. I guess figures don't lie but lairs figure. Many think we should not have tried helping our South Vietnamese friends and many feel we were right to do so. Some think we should have socialized medicine, others view national health care as the final step to communism. Should we be in Iraq now? So who is right? I am of course and you are "right" in our own eyes and we will have the country we deserve perhaps (by majority vote of course).

So is some contrary opinion (whatever your particular flavor of complaining) unpatriotic? I'm not sure. Is it un-Christian? About that I am more certain. Christians do not have dual citizenship. Our passport resides with the Kingdom of God. We are simply tourists no matter our physical location. We are told to respect government (regardless of flavor) but to hold to Godly principles even unto death. Our citizenship is in heaven. Daniel was a great example, Joseph another,Paul and let's not forget Jesus. Maybe if we are asking the un-Christian question, we are already on the wrong track.

Much is being said now about change. One thing does not change, the Kingdom of Heaven. Christians should be accustomed to negotiating change, uncomfortable situations and circumstances because they are always in a foreign country. If we fear change maybe we have been assimilated into some foreign culture and are in danger of giving up our citizenship in the Kingdom of God (if that is possible?).

I despise any inconvenience or discomfort and fear change as much as anyone. But I see Scriptural patterns validating the value and inevitability of difficulty in a Christian's life and development. Where is our country going? All I know is there will be plenty of opportunity for trusting God and practicing our Kingdom living. There always is.

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