Patriotism and Jesus Christ

American Patriotism and Loyalty to Jesus Christ

"You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. -Jesus Christ (Mat 5:38-48 NASB)

  Who can blame American-Christians for some confusion as to how to place our subjection to governments of this world within the full picture of God's faithful government called for in the Gospel and presented in the New Testament.  I would like to commit to writing a prayerful and full-orbed Bible Study on "How Submission to Jesus Includes Being Subjected to the Satan-Promoted-Authorities of this Passing Age."  I hope such a study would answer any suspected contradictions between selected passages such as Romans 13:1-7 or 1Peter 2:13-17 over against the Gospel and the NT political world-view. But before getting to that may I mention  here one deficiency that may be clouding our view.   
  We Americans, after all, have grown up with in a culture which has taught us to place a white hat or a black hat on governments judged by our own human standard (maybe even borrowing this or that from somewhere in the Bible).  And then we have been taught to support the execution of our collective wrath, applying the name of God presumptuously to our actions and judgments. Note, ours is a culture which celebrates armed rebellion and (white hat) war as an essential virtue. Evidence is seen in July 4th celebration of the American Revolution. Whereas the Jewish people of Jesus' time, to whom he was sent by God, celebrated God's ability to deliver apart from armed rebellion (passover/exodus) and their cultural identity had been stamped by God with the heavy impression of the Exile -
explicitly teaching patient endurance of pagan government even at great cultural expense and personal harm. What an extraordinary difference! This completely contrary difference between the cultural consciousness of the world into which Jesus and the New Testament came, compared with the cultural consciousness into which you  and I were born. They understood pagan government, under which they were subject and suffered, as a temporary tribulation resulting from God's ancient judgement on this evil age. They had this concept of God explicitly commanding them, to pray for peace, to tend their own business, and to WAIT on God who would soon enough not simply point out evil according to the true standard, but with condemnation and personal violence, judge the governors for their own evil behavior. Israel, having been taught by the prophets of God, had, and should have had, the concept.  
  This understanding of subjection and patient waiting on God to execute wrath was absolutely necessary for a people who would like to do the will of God. Not unlike them, Christians today who happen to live in America also ought to be trained. Worship and our mission belong to God.
  Because of a judgement,the sword (blood and strangling force) temporarily belong to states whose allegiance and equipping are from Satan though they are ultimately used by God for his overall purpose. Grace and truth have been realized in front of us by our prophet, Jesus Christ. We should be trained by him rather than by the "fathers" of America.
patriot from patrios "of one's fathers," patris "fatherland," from pater (genitive patros) "father"

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. "They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. "They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. "Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. "But the greatest among you shall be your servant. (Mat 23:1-11 NASB)

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