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Patriotic Christian dealing with Christian Nationalism

The 4th of July is has become a difficult day for me in recent years. Growing up I have always loved the 4th, the principles and ideas that I learned the country stands for have always been an inspiration to me, but with the rise in Christian Nationalism, I have struggles.

If you do not know, Christian Nationalism is where Christians work to make their beliefs the ones that instruct and inform laws, society and power, usually to the detriment of other religious views (including other Christians). This is usually done through working to align biblical teachings with how the country "was supposed to be" even though Biblical teachings should inform faith and not government and the way in which people view the History of the country is skewed in how the nationalist views are.

This is especially concerning because Nationalism in general puts ones country ahead of everything else, usually to the detriment of others. The Christian Nationalism will include the detriment of some of the citizens in the country, and it breaks my heart. Christianity is a faith that is global, and has been since the events of Acts. Jesus came for the world, so if there are persons working to use Christianity to bolster one country to the detriment of others (and its own citizens) then it is not Christianity they are doing.

As a minister it makes me sick that people are willing to do this, to abuse the system of faith meant to show the world God's grace and love, to hurt others and push their own agenda. In ministry I have to think about what our faith is meant to be, so I have to constantly think about the global picture, because of Jesus coming to the world, not just me, not just those of us in the USA. But that does not mean I do not have some pride in my country, some patriotism.

You see, patriotism and nationalism often get confused, because Patriotism is the devotion and love to ones country. I am so glad to be from the USA, I grew up believing that we are a country that strives to embrace our diversity, to lift each other up, to not oppress our citizens (the whole reason our country exists is because the colonists felt oppressed and .unrepresented), and you see, it is in the love of my country, and in my love of my savior that I have cried for my country in recent years. We are divided, we seem to having growing hate for one another and we have people trying to suppress and grow hatred towards our fellow citizens. As a young nation, that was built with the intent to grow as a nation, I always carry hope that we can move forward and become an example for others, as a country that truly represents freedom, our freedom to worship in our own way, to express our love for others safely and to feel safe being who we are.

As a Minister and a FireFighter, I will continue to serve others and love them, but I will also continue to work to instill the values of Love, Hope and Compassion in Christianity and live my patriotism by working against nationalism to do my part to help us move forward as a country.

This 4th of July, as you celebrate our country, remember that we are meant to grow, that we are meant to be a country that lifts up each other and fights against tyranny, so that everyone has a voice and everyone can pursue life, liberty and the pursit of happiness. May God bless the world this day, and may we be servants used to share Love, Grace and Compassion wherever we go.

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