Monday Faith Links: Balancing Faith and Patriotism, John Piper & Rick Warren

On Memorial Day it seemed fitting to find something relevant to honoring our country while still keeping our ultimate allegiance with Jesus Christ.

I found the perfect article on the Gospel Coalition website, where author Kevin Deyoung lists five points to consider when it comes to patriotism and the church.

He makes good arguments under all the points, and his final point is especially thought-provoking: While patriotism can be good, the church is not a good place for patriotism. Not the typical statement you’ll hear from evangelical Christianity in the United States, but it’s important to consider.

We sang “God Bless America” at our church on Sunday morning. I love that song, and it’s somewhat worshipful in nature because we’re asking God to bless our nation. But we’re not really worshiping God, more praising our country for being so great. And I’ll be honest, it felt a little awkward to be singing it at that moment.

I’m not sure if that’s because I haven’t sung a patriotic song in church in a while, or maybe it’s because I’m becoming more mature in my faith and putting life in a different perspective.

Whatever the case, I think I agree with Deyoung’s point that the church is not the best place for patriotism. Yes, we should remember and honor our soldiers, give God praise for the blessings He has given our country, but we shouldn’t place American or any nation above God. The focus should always be on Him.

Other links

  • I haven’t had a chance to watch the video yet, but ultra-influential pastors John Piper and Rick Warren sat down for a 90 minute conversation. They discussed a number of topics, with Piper’s purpose to draw out from Warren his view on deeper Biblical doctrines. For a great summary, check out Justin Taylor’s overview on his blog. I have a ton of respect for Piper, and Warren holds an incredibly high position in evangelical Christianity in this country. His “Purpose Driven Life” book has sold millions of copies, and he has influence with people in power much in the way Billy Graham did. So I encourage you to check it out, and I’ll definitely do the same.
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