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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Can A Christian Be Patriotic?

Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate his country…, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.
– Luke 14: 25 – 26 SAV (Slightly Altered Version)

In this week’s lectionary reading (Luke 14: 25 – 33) Jesus systematically dismantles all of our cherished loyalties.   We are called to ‘hate’ our families, ourselves, and our possessions.  And even though we know that this is typical Jesus hyperbole, that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) diminish the discomfort we feel when he uses the word “hate.”

And though Jesus didn’t specifically include a hatred for our country, I am inclined to believe that his list is meant to be interpreted broadly.  We are to ‘hate’ everything except following Christ.

Even our country.

So can a Christian be patriotic?  Should an American Christian swell up with pride when they see ‘old glory’ waving?

I would suggest, no. 

*This quote, while like something Sinclair Lewis might have written, is not actually attributable to him...

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