This entry will make more sense after reading the latest blog from the pastors at The Village Church: http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/blog/pastors/?p=716
Apparently, I need to start watching the news more often, cause I had no idea this was even an option.
This is where I’ve often been conflicted lately. As an American, I have been taught that we’re right, they’re wrong. We’re “good”, they’re “terrorists”, though not all of them, to be sure. We should stand up for our rights and freedoms, at the expense of their rights and freedoms, because they’re the “bad guys”. And that if they don’t know our language, they need to go back home.
So much of this resonates with what I was taught about patriotism and taking pride in where I live.
Then there’s Jesus…
Jesus shatters all of those ideas. In the Old Testament we see Jonah being sent to the Ninevites, who were “terrorists” to be sure. Was he sent there to wage war and to go in as a wolf among wolves? No, He was sent to preach God’s judgment against them so they might repent and turn toward God. The only repentance we have is through Jesus. Then in the New Testament, God the Son, Jesus, comes down as a sheep among wolves, dies to show God’s love, and then commands us to do the same.
How are we, any of us, really taking the gospel that seriously??
The disciples were murdered for the sake of the gospel, except for John who was exiled, but only after being boiled alive! Paul tells us to be “all things to all people” for the sake of the gospel. And we tell immigrants to learn our language or go home, rather than learn theirs for the sake of the gospel?
We think it’s amazing and glorious to go reach THESE SAME PEOPLE overseas on “missions trips” but we ignore or disdain them in our own backyard? Really? It seems as though one may claim their identity in Christ, or their identity in America. Those two seem to be polar opposites today, regardless of how this nation was founded.
We are to boast only in the cross of Christ, for us to take pride in anything else is idolatry. Does that mean patriotism is idolatry? Well, if you’re patriotic at the expense of the gospel, then yeah, it looks like it.