Thursday, June 19, 2014

God and Country

As you read this post, don't misunderstand me.  I love our country; I am beyond grateful for the freedom and rights that are assured by the United States.  And yet I wonder sometimes....

In his book, Making Sense of the Bible, Adam Hamilton discusses how we might interpret the Book of Revelation.  This fascinating, beautiful and perplexing scripture was written during a time when the Roman Caesar was worshiped as a god. Hamilton says:
In every age, there is a temptation for the state to deify itself.  And every nation has values and practices that are contrary to those of the kingdom of God.  The state at times seeks to be worshipped and served (it seldom uses these words, but it demands the allegiance of the heart).  And God's people may be tempted to give in and compromise and to accept the state's values.  The question Revelation raises is, will you worship God or will you give your primary allegiance to the state?
I get a little uncomfortable when we sing patriotic songs in worship or when we assume that God blesses the United States more than any other country, as if God has chosen sides.  I have heard of churches torn apart by the question of having a US flag in the church's sanctuary.  Some people's words about God and country make me think that Country is the god they worship.

I think we need to be careful that we worship only God.

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Anonymous Glenn said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post and taking on a controversial but highly relevant issue. I especially liked your Adam H quote.

9:25 AM  

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