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 Jemima »

Bradskii wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:05 pm 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?
Its not naivety...its simple obedience to the one who directs my life and always has.
I can assure you that the world will defend what belongs to it, but since I am no part of that world, I will just conduct myself as honestly as I can and not worry about defending anything in it. If my enemy is more powerful that I am, where is the victory in my death? To me, there are worse things than dying.
Making a friend of your enemy without compromising your principals is not a bad thing. They too are human beings with the same wants and needs as we do. We can be led to ignore that.
When it comes to self defense, we imitate Jesus Christ.....if danger threatened he simply left the scene, despite the fact that he could have used his God given power to call up a powerful army to defend him. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

If you can hear yourself from my perspective, you would see how ridiculous it is to defend yourself with your bare hands against someone who has a semi-automatic weapon. Since I will never carry a weapon, my enemies will get no resistance from me, unless they tell to do what my God forbids or forbids me to do what my God commands. Yet I will never raise a hand in anger. Its really that simple.

I see Americans with their 'gun toting' mentality, assuming that being so armed will give them some advantage in self defense, or in case of an anti-government uprising. It makes me laugh because the death toll in the USA from gun related means is so ridiculously high compared to the rest of the (civilized) world that it appears to make no sense. They have more to fear from their own armed citizens than they ever do from any other threat.
To us outsiders, it seems like a very false sense of security to depend on weapons that your enemy may have superseded decades ago.

What is the point of your knife if he has a gun...what is the point of your gun, if he has a bomb? What is the point of your puny bomb, if he has nuclear weapons? Do you see the futility?
Sometimes we have to think with our brains instead of our egos. Pyrrhic victories are hollow IMO.
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #12

Post by Purple Knight »

Bradskii wrote: Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:40 pmAnd if the law says Christianity is to be banned?
This demonstrably clinches it. No, you can't have both. You'd be serving two masters. Pick one.

The Bible does tell people to follow the law, however, the Roman Christians didn't. They kept their religion even though it was, at one point, outlawed.

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #13

Post by Bradskii »

Jemima wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:07 pm
Bradskii wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:05 pm 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?
Its not naivety...its simple obedience to the one who directs my life and always has.
You skipped the question. Would you not defend a loved one from violence?

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #14

Post by Jemima »

Bradskii wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:06 pm
Jemima wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:07 pm
Bradskii wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:05 pm 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?
Its not naivety...its simple obedience to the one who directs my life and always has.
You skipped the question. Would you not defend a loved one from violence?
There are various ways to defend yourself and your loved ones. As I mentioned, Jesus avoided situations where confrontations were looming by leaving the scene. For me personally that means not hanging around in places where you court trouble and telling my nearest and dearest to do the same. However, if you find yourself under attack, then there are ways to defend yourself without violence. I have heard of people talking to an assailant and asking them to put themselves in this situation if it was their mother, sister or partner under attack.....if there is a shred of decency in them, sometimes that works.

In today's world those affected by ice or meth, well, there would be no arguing with them. Your life is worth more than your possessions if all they want is drug money.

As to the use of violence, no one should deliberately mean to kill an assailant because that would bring you right down to their level. But 'defend' I would without deliberately intending to harm the individual. Screaming my lungs out and struggling are perhaps the only means I would have at my disposal.
That is on a personal level, but on a national level, I have no horse in any race.

If war was declared then I would do what JW's have always done in those situations. We simply don't participate in politics or the conflicts that nations create. We just become the innocent bystanders. What the world does is its business....nothing to do with us. We will not be part of the bloodshed....as if it achieves anything in the long run. As the Bible wisely says..."a live dog is better of than a dead lion"....
Always what I post is my opinion, according to my understanding.

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #15

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Jemima in post #14]
What the world does is its business....nothing to do with us.
All fine and good, but not totally true. You being alive contributes to, and detracts from, 'the world' in many instances. It seems disingenuous to eat food, water and oxygen provided from 'the world' and contribute waste back into it, pay taxes, drive on public roads and on and on, then say 'nothing to do with us'.
Seems to be living a lie in the strictest sense, here. Lies can make you feel good, but it's not reality. Or, well, truthful.
Last edited by nobspeople on Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #16

Post by Jemima »

nobspeople wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:53 pm [Replying to Jemima in post #14]
What the world does is its business....nothing to do with us.
All find and good, but not totally true. You being alive contributes to, and detracts from, 'the world' in many instances. It seems disingenuous to eat food, water and oxygen provided from 'the world' and contribute waste back into it, pay taxes, drive on public roads and on and on, then say 'nothing to do with us'.
Funny that you mention things that the world provides, when in actuality these are what God provided for all his creatures for free. Food water and oxygen are not provided by the world at all....in fact what the world does to food water and oxygen is to pollute the daylights out of them and give them back to us, contributing to an global epidemic of ill health. But don’t let that worry you, there is a whole industry created to cater to your ill health by giving you pills that mask the symptoms. You’ll still be sick but you’ll feel better and you will be their customers forever. $$$$$$

If we work and pay our taxes, then we are entitled to the public facilities that we pay the government for.

But when it comes to war, then that is an entirely different thing. It breaks no law of God to work for a living, in fact the admonition from God’s word is “if a man does not want to work, neither should he eat”.....but it does break his law if a government asks us to kill for them. Christians are commanded to ‘love their enemies’....you can’t do that with a weapon.
Seems to be living a lie in the strictest sense, here. Lies can make you feel good, but it's not reality. Or, well, truthful.
You really have no idea....do you? It feels good not to be part of the corruption that saturates this world. Not part of its politics or it’s racism or it’s greed or bigotry.
Truthful? Reality? That depends entirely on your perspective. Mine comes from the Bible.....yours are your own.
Always what I post is my opinion, according to my understanding.

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #17

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Jemima in post #16]
Funny that you mention things that the world provides, when in actuality these are what God provided for all his creatures for free.
It's funny because that's not true.
First, there's zero proof god provides anything.
Second, nothing was 'free' as you had to work for it; no animal came to your feet, butchered itself, cooked itself and offered itself to you on a golden platter. Same can be said for any fruit or vegetable. Even the bible indicates this isn't 'free':
"All the days of your life you will have to work hard. It will be painful for you to get food from the ground. 18 You will eat plants from the field, even though the ground produces thorns and prickly weeds. 19 You will have to work hard and sweat a lot to produce the food you eat. You were made out of the ground. You will return to it when you die. You are dust, and you will return to dust.”
Food water and oxygen are not provided by the world at all
Unless you're living on Mars, yes they are.
in fact what the world does to food water and oxygen is to pollute the daylights out of them and give them back to us, contributing to an global epidemic of ill health.
Nope. That's what people do who take and don't appreciate what's given to them.
If we work and pay our taxes, then we are entitled to the public facilities that we pay the government for.
Yes, as I said, that's part of the world you seem to 'think' you have nothing to do with "What the world does is its business....nothing to do with us."
Funny how hypocritical that is.

It seems that, when you're shown to be wrong, you resort to uncivil tactics (typical tactic). Being as above being uncivil back to you as I am, it seems we have nothing left to say to each other.
Happy posting
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Post by otseng »

Jemima wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:32 pm You really have no idea....do you?
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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

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Post by Jemima »

nobspeople wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:32 am [Replying to Jemima in post #16]
Funny that you mention things that the world provides, when in actuality these are what God provided for all his creatures for free.
It's funny because that's not true.
First, there's zero proof god provides anything.
That depends on your own mindset. There is no proof that he doesn’t.
Second, nothing was 'free' as you had to work for it; no animal came to your feet, butchered itself, cooked itself and offered itself to you on a golden platter. Same can be said for any fruit or vegetable. Even the bible indicates this isn't 'free':
"All the days of your life you will have to work hard. It will be painful for you to get food from the ground. 18 You will eat plants from the field, even though the ground produces thorns and prickly weeds. 19 You will have to work hard and sweat a lot to produce the food you eat. You were made out of the ground. You will return to it when you die. You are dust, and you will return to dust.”
Why is it that people who are unbelievers can quote the Bible as if they actually know what it says….?
Please tell me who this passage is addressing and why it was said…..because if you know that, then your whole argument just disappeared. :tunedout:
in fact what the world does to food water and oxygen is to pollute the daylights out of them and give them back to us, contributing to an global epidemic of ill health.
Nope. That's what people do who take and don't appreciate what's given to them.
Food, water and oxygen are not manufactured by the world…..food grows in the ground, from seeds that are found in the plant so that you can keep growing them forever….the water is made by the process of precipitation , which science knows well…..and oxygen is created by exchange with trees taking in our carbon dioxide and giving us back oxygen. Where in the world did you get the idea that you need to pay for what God gave us for free? Have you ever considered how manipulated we humans are, living with a system that robs us blind by giving us what was always available at no cost? People can actually live off the grid if they want to and never pay for anything. What we pay for is convenience…..we are basically lazy because the system has us tied up chasing material things in the mistaken notion that these will make us happy….are we happy yet? :shock:
If we work and pay our taxes, then we are entitled to the public facilities that we pay the government for.
Yes, as I said, that's part of the world you seem to 'think' you have nothing to do with "What the world does is its business....nothing to do with us."
Funny how hypocritical that is.
How is it hypocritical? Even Jesus and his apostles once worked for a living. Jesus was a carpenter, following what most firstborn sons did in taking up their father’s trade as his apprentice. The apostles too worked as fishermen, Matthew was formerly a tax collector and Paul was a tent maker. They were not part of the world by being involved in its governance, which is the part Jesus told us to avoid participating in. (John18:36)
We are told to ‘give Caesar what is his, but to also give God what belongs to him’ …..Caesar has claimed it all unfortunately.
It seems that, when you're shown to be wrong, you resort to uncivil tactics (typical tactic). Being as above being uncivil back to you as I am, it seems we have nothing left to say to each other.
Happy posting
It seems to me that you are mistaken about a lot of things, but don’t let that stop you from offering your misconstrued understanding of biblical things…..if you even remotely understood them, you could not post what you do.
I don’t blame you entirely for that, but whoever gave you the understanding that you express, has a lot to answer for IMO.
Always what I post is my opinion, according to my understanding.

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Re: Can a Christian be a Patriot?

Post #20

Post by Jemima »

otseng wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:15 pm
Jemima wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:32 pm You really have no idea....do you?
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Sorry, its difficult when others make it personal and you respond in kind…..
Always what I post is my opinion, according to my understanding.

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