Psalm 33:12 (NKJV): Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Written by Pamela K. Orgeron, M.A., Ed.S., BCCC, ACLC, Author
Patriotism . . . What is patriotism? Is it ever wrong to be patriotic? What does the Bible say about patriotism? Was America really founded on Christian principles? Has patriotism gone by the wayside in America? Can Christianity continue to reign in America? These are among the questions that will be addressed in this article. First, let’s look at what is patriotism. Dictionary.com defines patriotism as ” devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty”.
Is having patriotism ever wrong? Got Questions reports,
As long as that love for country does not supersede one’s love for God, and if it is kept in proper perspective, there is nothing wrong with a Christian being patriotic. However, another definition of “patriotic” implies that the individual should place the interests of the nation above his or her personal and group interests. Carried to this extreme, patriotism can become a form of idolatry, particularly if one’s love for his country is greater than his love for God and God’s plan of redeeming people from “every tribe, tongue and nation.” (¶1)
What does the Bible say about patriotism? To my knowledge, the word “patriotism” is never mentioned specifically in the Scriptures. However, Scriptures exist related to patriotism that offer general principles as to how Christians should relate to being a citizen of the United States of America, or any nation, for that matter. What are those Scriptures ? Here are the verses I found applicable to the discussion in this article:
- Psalm 33:12 (NKJV)
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
- Romans 13:1-5 (NKJV)
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
- 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NKJV)
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
- Acts 5:29 (NKJV)
But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.
America’s Christian Heritage
Was America really founded on Christian principles? I believe so. How did I establish my belief? Let’s look at a few facts. First, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia reports
“In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States of America and of the U.S. state of Florida. It was adopted as the nation’s motto in 1956 as a replacement or alternative to the unofficial motto of E pluribus unum, which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782.
“In God We Trust” first appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. A law passed in a Joint Resolution by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by President Dwight Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declared “In God We Trust” must appear on American currency. This phrase was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate. The first paper currency bearing the phrase entered circulation on October 1, 1957. The 84th Congress later passed legislation (P.L. 84-851), also signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declaring the phrase to be the national motto.
Even before America was created as a nation, our founding fathers and other US leaders since America’s founding have placed great importance on God and the Bible. To support this, I share the following slideshow:
My intent for the next two sections of this article is to offer evidence on both sides of the coin regarding whether patriotism and Christianity have gone by the wayside in America. I encourage you to look at the facts, and then form your own conclusions. I will conclude this article with a discussion about how God is calling America to revival and spiritual awakening.
The State of Patriotism in America
Has patriotism gone by the wayside in America? According to the latest statistics by Gallup (2016),
52% of U.S. adults say they are “extremely proud” to be Americans, a new low in Gallup’s 16-year trend. Americans’ patriotism spiked after 9/11, peaking at 70% in 2003, but has declined since, including an eight-percentage-point drop in early 2005 and a five-point drop since 2013. (¶1)
What are indicators that patriotism still exists in America?
- Patriotic ceremonies and celebrations still conducted on Thanksgiving, July 4, and other national holidays
- Singing of the national anthem at sporting events
- “Make America Great Again” Campaign spearheaded by President Trump
What is the evidence to lead one to believe patriotism in America is dying out? According to Brooks (2016), “Many schools no longer teach American history, so students never learn the facts and tenets of their creed. A globalist mentality teaches students they are citizens of the world rather than citizens of America.” With these changes in the classroom, it’s only makes sense why the biggest decline of American patriotism is among adults ages 18 to 29, dropping 26 percentile points from 2003 to 2016 (Gallup, 2016).
Also, regarding changes in the environment of American schools, when I was in school I recall every morning before school started, particularly in early elementary school, my whole class would simultaneously recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States. We also sang “America, the Beautiful” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”. This is no longer the norm in many schools today.
Christianity Under Fire in America
Now let’s consider the status of Christianity in America. In this section I will present evidence gleaned from both research and personal observation that exists to support both the decline of and the existence of traditional Christian values in America. First, let’s look at evidence pointing to the decline of traditional Christian values in America.
- Removal of prayer and the Bible from schools
- Abortions in America
- Increasing rates of unmarried couples cohabiting, crime, divorce, drug abuse, illicit sex, & teenage births
- LBGT propaganda and support
- General decline in respect, including self-respect and respect for others and one’s environment, especially among children and teenagers.
With strong evidence that traditional Christian values are going by the wayside, can Christianity continue to reign in America? I believe so, as long as Christians speak up and fight for traditional Christian values. What are indicators that traditional Christian values in America are not dead?
- National Day of Prayer—In 1952 President Harry S. Truman signed the law instituting the National Day of Prayer as an annual practice in America. The purpose of creating the National Day of Prayer was to ask people from all faiths to join together in prayer for America. In 1988 the law was amended, signed by President Reagan, and designated the first Thursday of May each year to be a National Day of Prayer.
- National Day of Prayer Task Force—a privately funded group, this task force promotes the National Day of Prayer. The group
exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible. (Mission & Vision section, ¶1)
- The influence of Christian political activists groups, such as Christian Coalition, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Focus on the Family, Liberty Council, National Pro-Life Alliance, etc.
- More Christian parents homeschooling
A Call for Revival & Spiritual Awakening
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV): “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Given the increasing numbers of natural disasters, such as wildfires in California, flooding across America, and other storms and recent tragedies America has faced, I have no doubt that God is trying to get the attention of Americans to repent and return to Christian principles that made our nation great.
Before a spiritual awakening can occur, I believe the church must first experience revival. Christians need to be in prayer repenting of how far the church in America, in general, has backslidden from living authentic biblical lifestyles. We, as Christians, need to repent of all the children murdered by abortion, laws supporting supporting “gay marriage” (which by the way is not a marriage in God’s eyes, Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:6-8), and other ungodly practices that we have set back and allowed to infiltrate our society.
Christians have been apathetic long enough, some even endorsing the “politically correct”. For example, regarding homosexuality, which is an abomination, a sin, to the Lord (Leviticus 20:13), a person said to me not long ago, “Most Christians believe homosexuality is wrong until it gets into their family. Then it’s okay.” That ought not be. To do otherwise also is a sin, according to Proverbs 17:15 (NKJV): “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”
Lost souls in America, I apologize for the doctrinal drift Christians have taken and how often we have failed to be Christlike examples standing firm in the faith. When God calls you through the Holy Spirit, I urge you to answer affirmatively. Look to the Bible, and not to mankind, to find hope, peace, and direction.
Christian Americans and lost souls, I pray you will join me in humbling your hearts to the call of Christ on America. Only then will America become great again. Neither you, me, President Trump, nor any other individual on earth can make our nation great again. Only with all of us leaning on the Lord and cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives can America shine again to become the Godly examples He wants us to be to other nations around the world.