What is true Christian Patriotism? We know we should be good citizens and pay our taxes and pray for our leaders, and give thanks for living in country as free as the USA. But let’s look at the bigger picture. It’s much, much bigger and better than “My country is awesome and yours isn’t! LOL!”
We see from the overall flow of Scripture that national entities are a temporary creation of God to accomplish his redemptive purposes of gathering culturally distinct people, but making them one in Christ. This is fully accomplished after the return of Christ, but is seen partially in the multinational, diverse church that is being built on earth and united finally and fully in a new city on earth, a fully mature people who can at last safely dwell together (Genesis 11:5-8), united towards one purpose—the glory of God. Today, we live in the “middle” where nations are real, and we follow the guidelines of Scripture as they denote how we interact with the nation in which God has placed us and with other nations.
Here’s what the Christian approach to our nation looks like in context of the overall flow of Scripture.
Goal: A Multinational Church United Forever Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. (Genesis 17:3-5)
Beginning: A Single Nation Blessed by God Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-7)
Transition: A Single Nation Scattered by God Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God….And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. (Deuteronomy 4:27)
Middle: A Scattered People’s Mission Around the World Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:4-7)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior… (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
Transition: A New Nation Taken from Every Nation This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)
End: The Nations No More Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband….” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.