by: Allen Domelle
Should a Christian love their country? There are some in the Christian world who would say that a love of country is unbiblical. There are religions that teach one should not quote the pledge of allegiance to their country’s flag because God is the only One Who deserves our allegiance. There are religions that teach it is wrong for a person to serve in the military.
We find a story in Luke 7 about a centurion who’s servant was sick and dying. When he heard that Jesus was coming to his area, he sent the elders of the Jews to beg Jesus to come and heal his servant.
What is interesting about this story is what the people said about this centurion and how it affected Jesus. They said in Luke 7:5-6, “For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them…” Notice that this centurion was recognized for loving his country. He loved his country and the people of his country so much that he built them a synagogue. It was right after this statement that it says Jesus went with them so he could heal this centurion’s servant. There are three things I want you to notice about this story.
1. Christians should love their nation.
When I look at this story, I see that there is nothing wrong with loving your nation. I believe we ought to love our nation. If God didn’t want us to love our nation, then why did he point out about this centurion loving his nation? He did so because He was showing us that it is good to love our nation.
I love America for many reasons. One of the greatest things I love about our nation is that we are known as being a Christian nation. We are a nation founded upon Christian principles. In spite of what the liberals would want you to believe, Christianity was at the core of our founding documents. It was the Danville Baptists who influenced our founding fathers in the writing of the Bill of Rights. George Washington, our first president, was known for his passionate prayer life. Many of those who signed the Declaration of Independence strongly believed in Christian values. Though there are some in our nation who would like to make us believe that Christian values and politics have no part with each other, this story of the centurion clearly debunks that thought. This story very clearly shows that Christianity should be involved in the forming of political thinking, and our forefathers strongly believed this.
I love America because she is a nation that allows us to have the freedom to preach. There are many nations that dictate to their citizens what religion one must be a part of, but America is that one nation that has enabled Christians to freely preach the Gospel without fear of imprisonment or death. Christian, your freedom to express your Christian beliefs should cause you to love America.
I love America because she has been the shining light to spread the Gospel to the world. Because God has blessed our country, America has had the opportunity to finance missionaries worldwide. There are countries that would not have heard the Gospel in the past 200 years had it not been for American missionaries who were financially supported by American Christians. There are many who read this article in other countries because of an American missionary who brought them the Gospel. Yes, I love my country because of her concern to get the Gospel to other nations.
Is it wrong for a Christian to love America? Absolutely not! No Christian should ever have a problem putting their hand to their heart to pledge allegiance to the American flag, because that flag represents the Christian freedoms we have today.
2. Christians can serve in the military and still be in God’s favor.
One of the things you will notice about this story in Luke 7 was that this man was also recognized for being a part of his nation’s military. Centurions were soldiers. This man had fought for his nation to allow it to be free. If God was not for Christians serving in the military, then why did He point out this man’s employment, and why did his employment have a part in Jesus’ motivation to heal his servant? If Jesus would have been against serving in the military, he would not have healed a servant who would help this centurion serve his country in the military.
I have known many fine Christian men who served in the military. Some would say that a Christian has no right to fight in the military for their nations freedoms, but that would be in direct contradiction to God’s Word. If God didn’t want Christians in the military, then why did He bless David who was a strong military man. If God didn’t want Christians to serve in the military, then He would not have told Moses how to order their military. I do believe that every Christian who desires to serve in the military should be sure it is God’s will for their life before entering the military.
Just think of how many people would have gone to Hell had there not been Christians in the military. The church I attended as a teenager had several military men who were very good Christians, and some who had a great impact on my life. In fact, one of the men, Rick Flanders, started a church while in the military and allowed me to preach in his church after I was called to preach. These men were godly men who were soul winners and witnessed to several other men with whom they served. I have preached in churches that were predominately military, and these churches had many good Christians serving their country.
I certainly understand that not everyone has to serve in the military, but I do believe those who do serve should be recognized for their contributions to our freedom. Many have given friends and parts of their body just so we can be free. In a time of the year when we celebrate our country’s independence, I think it is good for everyone to recognize the contribution of those who have served with honor. These people have had a great part in the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether or not they are saved themselves, their effort as a soldier to defend our freedoms is what allows us to freely spread the Gospel.
3. The best way to express your love for your country is by spreading the Gospel.
You will notice that this centurion was recognized for building a synagogue. The synagogue was the worship center of their nation. I am not going into whether the synagogue was right on salvation, but I want you to see that this centurion was recognized as a patriotic citizen, not only for his service to his country, but also his service in building a synagogue.
You may never have served your country in the military, but you can still serve your country by spreading the Gospel. Every time you lead someone to Christ, you are helping to keep your nation free. I dare to say that soul winners are some of the truest patriotic citizens of their country. We have freedom of religion, but what is the value of that freedom if we don’t show people how to free their soul from Hell. Christian, if you want to serve your country then become a soul winner. Get involved in your church’s bus ministry and bring people to Jesus Christ. Get involved in discipling Christians so they too will become a part of the soul winning ministries of the church. If you truly love your country, then show the citizens of your country the greatest freedom of all, and that is the freedom that comes from a person accepting Christ as their personal Saviour. It is that freedom that keeps the soul of a person from the bondage of Hell for an eternity.
I asked, should a Christian love their country? Absolutely, yes! It would be hard to have a passion for souls if you don’t love your country. This Independence Day weekend should not just be a time when we forget those who have served our country, but it should be a time that we remember the price paid for our freedom and a time of commitment from every Christian to do what they can to keep their country free.
My challenge to every person reading this article is to do your part as a Christian to keep your nation free. Keep passing out tracts and witnessing to the lost. Keep the busses rolling and bring in children to hear the Gospel. Keep growing the Sunday school classes so we have more people to reach our community for Jesus Christ. Most of all, keep your walk with God in the Scriptures and prayer active so that sin will not destroy your ability to reach this world for Christ.
Allen Domelle is the editor of the Old Paths Journal which is more than just a Christian’s publication. It is an excellent place to learn how today’s headlines will forge tomorrow’s laws and statutes. Keep yourself in tune with what is happening around the world, as well as in your own backyard with our daily updates and devotionals.