Proud to be an American?

The most patriotic week on the calendar is upon us–the time when we celebrate the birth of this great nation called America.

We’ll celebrate with a cookout and fireworks, maybe sing a couple rounds of “God Bless America” and feel all nostalgic about our freedom.

As a southern American, patriotism was ingrained into my psyche soon after I learned to talk. As a Christian growing up in the southeast, patriotism took on a whole new level of relevance.

There is perhaps no segment of the population quite as patriotic as southern, Christian men.

It’s not uncommon for churches across this country to perform Fourth of July plays, musicals, and retrospectives during the first week of July. Old Glory, that good ole’ red, white, and blue flag, has a prevalent place on the property of many churches in every state.

We as Christians should take our freedom and our rights very seriously. After all, isn’t freedom what grace is all about? Maybe that’s why American Christianity and American patriotism are so closely held in our hearts.

The question in my mind is, should we be so patriotic in this day and age?

Should we, as Christians, be proud to be Americans considering the awful atrocities that take place on American soil in the name of freedom these days?

Thanks to our Supreme Court, there are more than one-million babies are aborted in this country every year. Since the court’s decision on Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 56 Million babies have never even had the chance to experience the freedom that we hold dear.

10 years prior to that fateful decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Holy Bible, which we hold even more dearly than our American freedom, should not be read in public schools. It also decided that prayers to the God who gave us this freedom in the first place, shouldn’t be uttered in government institutions.

50 years after prayer and the Bible was taken out of the public sector and 40 years after Roe vs. Wade, the same court has recently decided that marriage between two members of the same sex should be allowed despite the will of the people declaring otherwise in the state of California.

The court also decided to place the government’s stamp of approval on such unions by allowing federal benefits to be extended to these couples.

That’s three landmark decisions in 50 years time–all of which are a slap in the face of God and His holiness.

But I’m not just picking on the Supreme Court here.

Just last summer at a major political party gathering the names of God and Israel were lustily booed upon inclusion to the party’s re-election platform after public backlash forced a PR nightmare upon a sitting president.

I’m proud of the men and women who gave their lives to earn and protect the freedom that I hold dear. My heart breaks for families that have sent husbands, wives, sons, and daughters off to war in the name of freedom never to return.  That will never be lost on me.

But to say that I am “proud to be an American” right now, might be an overstatement.

As an American Christian, I have dual citizenship. My allegiance to this country is merely physical and temporary. I’m only an American by birth.

The truth is, I’ve been born again. And this time, I was born into an heavenly Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28). In reality, I’m now a foreigner in a strange land.

According to 1 Peter 2:9-12, I’m a part of a nation within a nation. I worship and serve the King in a kingdom that is perfect and has no term limit.

Now that’s something to be proud of.