Can a Christian be a patriot?

It is possible to be both a patriot and a Christian. It is not possible to confuse patriotism with Christianity and still be truly Christian.

It is possible to love both God and country. To become confused about which love is absolute, and which conditioned upon the absolute, is to become an idolater or a syncretist.

It is possible to be obedient to God and also faithful to country. It is also possible for obedience to a corrupted notion of country to yield unfaithfulness to God.

True faithfulness to country (like true faithfulness to spouse or to child) depends on the ordering of faithfulness to country (or spouse or child) under faithfulness to God.

Faithfulness to God entails loving the whole world and every person in it. It is not possible for the Christian to be more faithful to country–not really–by being less faithful to God.

It is permissible for a Christian, and obligatory for a Christian who is also a patriotic American, to pray “God bless America.” It is not permissible for a Christian in the United States today to participate in or condone any American-Christian movement that drapes the Stars and Stripes over the cross or pronounces a different or higher benediction upon our nation than upon any and every other nation of the world.

Originally posted on Facebook February 21, 2017.

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