Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Jemima
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Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Post by Jemima »

This is a really good question for Christians, especially those raised in a very patriotic environment. To understand what happens when children are taught to love their country as much as they love God, is an part of the question....a trap.....because Patriotism and Christianity actually compete for our allegiance....and usually patriotism wins. Divide and conquer is an old strategy. So, why are they incompatible......and why does patriotism dominate over Christian teaching?

Because of this Law of God...”thou shalt not kill” (ratsach in Hebrew means to “kill” but especially to “murder”) meaning to take a life without God’s sanction.
There were cities of refuge in Israel where even an accidental manslayer was sent because he was still accountable to God for the loss of the life he took.

Looking back at the nation of Israel, we see that God sanctioned war only when Israel and its territory were threatened. Nations outside saw that their God-given land was prime real estate (“flowing with milk and honey”) and they wanted it for themselves. God authorized his people to defend that land because he gave it to them. But the original inhabitants were corrupt and violent, so God gave them permission to evict those depraved people.
Once in the Promised Land, they never went on the offensive, (that is to take land that was not theirs) but only on the defensive to protect their own land, and to show those nations, who often came to war in the name of their false gods, that Israel’s God was fighting for them, defeating not only that nation, but showing that their gods were useless.

Israel’s wars are in no way an excuse for Christians to take up arms and kill their fellow man for purely political reasons. This is a difficult subject to broach with those who have been taught from childhood that their country is sacrosanct and therefore they have a right to defend it by killing any who might threaten them.

Acts 10:34-35 says....”At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” So this means that God does not consider his Christian worshippers as members of any particular nation, but sees them all as part of his spiritual family. Christians virtually then have no nationality, (they become citizens of God’s Kingdom) and too many are living in lands stolen from their original inhabitants anyway. No one’s land is God-given, which means defending it by killing others is the same means by which the aggressors acquired it in the first place. The acquisition was evil....grand theft and murder in fact. Seeing this through God’s eyes is vastly different to seeing it through indoctrinated human eyes.

When Jesus said...”You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” we need to ponder his words carefully because according to 1 John 5:19..."the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one".
That means that there is no part of the world that is out of the devil's control. There is actually no such thing as a "Christian" nation.... and there is no such thing as a "just war".

Sadly, these words are virtually ignored by those whose patriotism outweighs their Christianity. Do you see the trap? When our allegiance is divided, the devil forces you to choose and he then he makes you blood guilty because you will break God’s law by taking human lives defending something God never gave you in the first place. Fighting over land has caused the spilling of much blood over the centuries and continues to this day.

Our Indigenous Australians see fighting over land like fleas fighting over which part of the dog they inhabit. And God sees the world he created in much the same way. Christians today live in all nations and are instructed by Jesus to 'love their enemies', which means we can do them no harm. We cannot hate them, no matter what they do to us. The first Christians showed us that. A genuine Christian will take a bullet for someone, but will never fire one.

So I’ll leave the Christians among you to ponder that serious subject because when strong emotions are involved, sometime clear thinking ability abandons us....
It’s a hard thing to process, but I believe that God will give us the right attitude if we ask him....
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Post by Bradskii »

Jemima wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:05 am
Sadly, these words are virtually ignored by those whose patriotism outweighs their Christianity. Do you see the trap? When our allegiance is divided, the devil forces you to choose and he then he makes you blood guilty because you will break God’s law by taking human lives defending something God never gave you in the first place. Fighting over land has caused the spilling of much blood over the centuries and continues to this day.
If someone were to invade Australia, do you think the inhabitants would have the right to use force against them?

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Bradskii wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:57 am
Jemima wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:05 am
Sadly, these words are virtually ignored by those whose patriotism outweighs their Christianity. Do you see the trap? When our allegiance is divided, the devil forces you to choose and he then he makes you blood guilty because you will break God’s law by taking human lives defending something God never gave you in the first place. Fighting over land has caused the spilling of much blood over the centuries and continues to this day.
If someone were to invade Australia, do you think the inhabitants would have the right to use force against them?
To answer that question, you have to appreciate that Jesus taught his disciples to be A-political, that is to be “no part” of the world and it’s rulership. We are to be supporters of God’s Kingdom and abide by God’s laws. That position was not going to make us popular. (John 15:18-21)

It doesn’t mean that we are anti-political because we need to have some order and God allows for that, otherwise the whole world would be in more chaos that it already is....but no government can tell us to do what God tells us not to do and vice versa. There is a list of things that we should, and should not do, and this issue is just one of them.

Since we will never be part of the military, (because we could not in all conscience even train to kill other human beings) we would be no part of any government’s attempt to fend off invaders. Our non political stance would mean not even voting in elections because if you consent to putting people into office, you must then accept responsibility for the decisions they make. We have to maintain complete neutrality. We will not take up arms to defend any country physically......but at the same time we would be model citizens of that nation, never posing a threat to anyone.

If governments go to war over political issues, then we will leave it to those governments to handle that situation as they see fit. We will just not be part of the bloodshed or contribute to it in any way......it would go against everything that Jesus taught.

The emotional arguments for sending young men (and now young women) to war to sacrifice their lives for their governments’ agenda, has never really accomplished much in the long term, but the taking of fathers (and now mothers) from their children.....husbands from their wives (and wives from their husbands.) Seeing military cemeteries drives this home......vast areas of the scarified dead, who died and were buried with great honour....but how does that make up for their loss? This is seen as some kind of martyrdom, and yet if Christians are willing to sacrifice their lives to obey Christ, they are deemed to be cowards. Patriotism then supersedes Christianity.

Do you see how patriotism undermines Christianity? Do you see which one is fed in order to dominate the other? It’s really about manipulation of the emotions.....these are powerful weapons in the wrong hands. :sadblinky:
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Jemima wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:06 pm
Bradskii wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:57 am
Jemima wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:05 am
Sadly, these words are virtually ignored by those whose patriotism outweighs their Christianity. Do you see the trap? When our allegiance is divided, the devil forces you to choose and he then he makes you blood guilty because you will break God’s law by taking human lives defending something God never gave you in the first place. Fighting over land has caused the spilling of much blood over the centuries and continues to this day.
If someone were to invade Australia, do you think the inhabitants would have the right to use force against them?
To answer that question, you have to appreciate that Jesus taught his disciples to be A-political, that is to be “no part” of the world and it’s rulership. We are to be supporters of God’s Kingdom and abide by God’s laws. That position was not going to make us popular. (John 15:18-21)

It doesn’t mean that we are anti-political because we need to have some order and God allows for that, otherwise the whole world would be in more chaos that it already is....but no government can tell us to do what God tells us not to do and vice versa. There is a list of things that we should, and should not do, and this issue is just one of them.

Since we will never be part of the military, (because we could not in all conscience even train to kill other human beings) we would be no part of any government’s attempt to fend off invaders. Our non political stance would mean not even voting in elections because if you consent to putting people into office, you must then accept responsibility for the decisions they make. We have to maintain complete neutrality. We will not take up arms to defend any country physically......but at the same time we would be model citizens of that nation, never posing a threat to anyone.
Patriotism in itself can be a bad thing. 'My country, right or wrong' is never something to which I could subscribe.

I was going to ask at what point you might feel the need to resist any potential invasion. But as you seem to have absolved yourself from all responsibility as regards being a member of the current society then it would seem that you'd have no problem accepting any changes.

Jesus said to turn the other cheek. I don't recall Him then saying invite the guy into your house after he's hit you a second and third time and let him take whatever he wants.

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Bradskii wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:25 pm Patriotism in itself can be a bad thing. 'My country, right or wrong' is never something to which I could subscribe.
Sadly, many do...whipped up by the propaganda fed to them by their leaders and the media.
Can you imagine how many wars would be fought today if the "king" (President / Prime Minister) always had to be in the front of the battle line? Its so easy for them to send these expendable soldiers off to do their dirty work under the guise of patriotic duty. Isn't the Afghanistan fiasco proof that those who died in that conflict, gave their lives for nothing. Too many of those who did come home, felt used up and spat out when when they came back from Middle eastern conflicts, damaged and ended up mentally sick (PTSD) and homeless.
I was going to ask at what point you might feel the need to resist any potential invasion. But as you seem to have absolved yourself from all responsibility as regards being a member of the current society then it would seem that you'd have no problem accepting any changes.
Our contribution to society is to be honest law abiding citizens who will never take up arms against our enemies, even if they are our own government. The governments of the world actually have less to fear form us than the armed citizens of their nations. (I refer you to the Capitol insurrection) None of my brotherhood would have been party to anything like that. So you tell me who is being a true "Christian"? Jesus said that we are to be "Peacemakers"...but all we see in the world are "Peacekeepers" with weapons. Is that the kind of peace Jesus meant?
Jesus said to turn the other cheek. I don't recall Him then saying invite the guy into your house after he's hit you a second and third time and let him take whatever he wants.
Romans 12:17-21....
"Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good."

There is your answer....
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Jemima wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:00 pm Our contribution to society is to be honest law abiding citizens...
And if the law says Christianity is to be banned? If democracy is dismantled? Oh, hang on - you don't take part in the democratic process so you have no input on the matter. I'm afraid that 'might makes right' as far as you are concerned so you'll have to put up whatever is decided. Unless you want some input into how society is run?

The barabrian hordes have just come ashore at Bondi, Jemima. What do I do? Make sure they're fed and watered? I'll fire up tbe barbie in case they're hungry...

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Bradskii wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:40 pm
Jemima wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:00 pm Our contribution to society is to be honest law abiding citizens...
And if the law says Christianity is to be banned? If democracy is dismantled?
It won't be the first time we have been under ban. Our brothers in Russia are in prison just for being JW's. Our work is banned again as being "extremist" even though we are unarmed pacifists. We expect that things will get worse. We are not worried because the one who is for us is stronger than those against us. Its called "faith". Its what sustained the first Christians, who did not take up weapons to fight those who opposed them.
Oh, hang on - you don't take part in the democratic process so you have no input on the matter. I'm afraid that 'might makes right' as far as you are concerned so you'll have to put up whatever is decided. Unless you want some input into how society is run?
Jesus had no input as to how his nation was run by the Romans....so what makes you think we can't accommodate "might makes right" again if it happens in the future?
No enemy has anything to fear from us. We won't fight them and we will not fight our own governments either. We are to be peacemakers....remember?
The barabrian hordes have just come ashore at Bondi, Jemima. What do I do? Make sure they're fed and watered? I'll fire up tbe barbie in case they're hungry...
We won't take up arms to kill them...but you can if you like...that's your choice. The 'Barbarian hordes' are now apparently armed with millions of dollars worth of US weapons left behind in the Middle east....so what will you do? Image
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Jemima wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:12 am....so what will you do?
Ask you to keep out of the way. If you can't defend yourself and your loved ones then you'll be asked to step aside while others do so on your behalf.

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Bradskii wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:31 am
Jemima wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:12 am....so what will you do?
Ask you to keep out of the way. If you can't defend yourself and your loved ones then you'll be asked to step aside while others do so on your behalf.
Spoken like a true patriot..... [-(
We will already be "out of the way" because its none of our business.

You are free to take care of whomever you wish, however you wish.....that is none of my business either.

We will cop whatever is dished out like we have always done. There are no good guys in war.
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Jemima wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 5:50 am
Bradskii wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:31 am
Jemima wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:12 am....so what will you do?
Ask you to keep out of the way. If you can't defend yourself and your loved ones then you'll be asked to step aside while others do so on your behalf.
Spoken like a true patriot..... [-(
We will already be "out of the way" because its none of our business.

You are free to take care of whomever you wish, however you wish.....that is none of my business either.

We will cop whatever is dished out like we have always done. There are no good guys in war.
You appear to have a somewhat naive idea as to how the world works, Jemima. You need to think about what you are saying. It's perfectly ok for you to say that you'll personally accept whatever the consequences are. But is it acceptable for you to refuse to defend loved ones?

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