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Jul 04, 2008

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Dismal Deacon

Well said. You have made the issue more clear to me and I agree with you.

Thank you,

The Dismal Deacon

Strider

I agree with you completely Peter. Speaking as one who lives in a foreign land Americans are not grateful enough for what God has done for them. God worked in the hearts and lives of countless men and women to bring about our Country. Many today believe we have left our roots, we are a 'post Christian' nation, we have lost our way. I am very critical of many things in American life but having lived half my life overseas I can assure you that America has much more to be thankful for than the pessimists allow. No, taking a Sunday- or more- to offer thanksgiving to God for all he has done in and with our Nation is completely appropriate and honoring to Him. We should lift our Nation up to Him in thanksgiving and we should repent for all the ways we have misused the freedom He has given us. This Nation is not our savior and we should not worship it. But it is a gift from our Lord that we should cherish, prize, and treat with respect.

selahv

Peter: Perhaps, those who are so vocal against the patriotic message in a church service cannot distinguish that scripture reveals "the themes of patriotism are too tightly woven within the fabric of thanksgiving to God to allow for such an easy dismissal." Perhaps find their faith too vulnerable, their allegiance to Christ and Christ alone too threatened. I praise God for the land of milk and honey I am afforded to graze upon. I praise God for His protection and grace which affords me the privilege of praising Him in my closet on at the steps of the White House. I praise God that our flag stands for more than freedom from the tyranny of man, but liberty to worship free and unrestrained. Praise God and pray all the earth might find this privilege theirs some day. Too often we take our privilege so lightly, we need the reminder of God's blessing upon us. What better place to be reminded than in the walls of His sanctuaries? May we all bow our knees in humble thanksgiving. selahV

peter lumpkins

Thanks to all for logging on and expressing your views. I am especially grateful for our beloved nation and one regret I will carry to my grave is I did not serve my country in armed services, but now only comfortably drink at freedom's spring our Lord provided through others more courageous and willing than I.

I fear much of the reservation about patriotism expressed today comes either from well-meaning but misguided zeal to protect God's rightful preeminence over all things, a zeal so strong it wrongly insists challenges to His glory exist where there is no such challenge, or far worse, a subtle philosophical shift to cultural relativism; that is, one cultural heritage is no better than another, just different is all. Though understand, no one of the links above necessarily qualify as either.

Grace to all. With that, I am...

Peter

Debbie Kaufman

I agree with you Peter. To love our country is giving thanksgiving to God who placed us here.

The other posts speak for me as well, so I'll not repeat it here. We are in this world, not of this world. We do not have to shy from everything outside of the church. God gave us all good things to enjoy and give thanks to Him for. Even this country.

EA IMB M

Peter, I also agree with you and echo Strider's comments. While anything can be overdone, and substituting American patriotism for the worship of the God of the universe would certainly be a grave sin, I haven't seen too much of that type of extremism being practiced by Americans lately.

In my opinion (which is just an opinion) far too many citizens of the United States have lived in her comforts and riches far too long to truly appreciate the very nation that they are reluctant to honor. Perhaps they think they appreciate America, but I would suggest they live (not travel as a tourist) abroad for a decade or so and I suspect their appreciation level would rise.

With all her flaws, the United States of America is still one of God's greatest gifts. Not even comparable to the gift of His Son or His Holy Spirit, but a wonderful gift nonetheless.

As i sit on the other side of the world, I admit that it concerns me what is happening in America. Many people hate our country because it represents everything they lack or even oppose (freedom of religion, material blessings, representative government, a Christian foundation, etc. etc.). But foreigners who hate America, or even traitors and cowards who are trying to destroy America even as they bask in her bounty do not really concern me.

What really concerns me is that so many people apparently do not appreciate the fact that America's freedoms came at a high cost. Or else they believe our forefathers have already paid the full price for American freedoms, past present, and future. They seem to be unaware that we must exercise vigilance if we are to hope that our children and grandchildren are to enjoy what we have enjoyed.

I also don't buy the idea that it is somehow more spiritual to treat our nation as if it were like any other. I can tell you firsthand, as disappointed as I am with so many things about modern-day America, it's still the greatest nation on the planet! When I salute the flag, sing the National Anthem, or wave Old Glory, I do so with a grateful heart to God without whom our nation would never have existed.

Some misguided people may think it appropriate to shout "god damn America" because she has failed to live up to all her promises, but I am still not ashamed to shout "God bless America" because without His blessing we are already damned.

joe white

As one who has been engaged in these "posts scattered about this week", I appreciate your post and clarity on the subject. It is possible to love your country and your God, and while loving both, not mistake them for each other.

David R. Brumbelow

Peter,
Good post that adds a final touch to this subject. Our Baptist Hymnals through many editions have included patriotic songs. I know we are never to put tradition on the same level as Scripture. But before we throw out what good Baptist folk have done for years, we ought to consider whether they just might have known what they were talking about. Having dual citizenship (Heaven & the USA) doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of both countries.
David R. Brumbelow

Doug

Brother,
Nice to read so many who "strongly agree" with you in the comment stream.
The issue is a timely one, and one that really cannot be fully and properly explored in a limited blog article. However, I would like for you to consider and defend (if you would like) this surprising (to me at least) statement: "Nor can it be seriously argued that since Israel was a theocracy, texts such as these should be read in light of such; consequently, the Church must overlook them."
Why can this not be "seroiusly argued"?
Thank you.

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