In Their Own Words: Conflating Patriotism And The Gospel

To follow up on that last post, here’s a sermon from Truth Baptist Church entitled In one Accord – Patriotic to God and Country.

There’s really too much here to catalog all of it. After some special music, the pastor starts out by claiming to have gotten his message straight from God while driving down the highway reading his Bible (yes, you read that right), then there’s lionization of patriotism as the ultimate in Christian virtue, sales pitch for the pastor’s book, random congregational pledge to the flag, and then…well…it just gets fun from there.

(Yes, this is the entire sermon, I felt like editing it down would ruin the overall feel of it. Feel free to stop at whatever point you actually start to get physically ill.)

70 thoughts on “In Their Own Words: Conflating Patriotism And The Gospel”

    1. At the risk of getting entirely too serious I will say that I don’t believe that our theology can be totally separated from our political views (not that you’re saying that). Our values will inevitable influence our public lives including what and who we support in the political arena.

      The most important thing is that we start with the gospel and a firm grasp of Scripture (not a political agenda) and let all the other areas of our life flow out of that.

      1. Well I don’t disagree with you unless all of that means that I must be a Republican or conservative or espouse their political agendas. To me the Gospel and the Bible is inherently non-political and it should stay that way. My politics will be guided by my Bible, but then it could rightly lead one person to conservatism and another to less conservatism (ie liberalism). I don’t have a problem with someone who is a conservative and is conservative because of their faith. My problem is with the person who thinks that his conservatism is biblical and if you disagree it is because you don’t read your Bible or may not be a Christian.

      2. “The most important thing is that we start with the gospel and a firm grasp of Scripture (not a political agenda) and let all the other areas of our life flow out of that.”

        That is so good. It took me 28 years to learn this. Jesus is our Savior and our only hope, not talk radio hosts. Politicians and Media types can’t fix our problem. Only Christ can because sin is the problem.

      3. Some people say “keep Religion out of Politics” That is difficult, especially in America. Personally I would rather say “keep Politics out of Religion” that is even more difficult

    1. BTW, I made it about 15 mins in. Surprised myself w/ ability to listen to that much. Almost stopped twice, but kept going to that 15ish minute mark.

  1. How about an entire Bible version dedicated to Americanism. Enter, the American Patriot’s Bible.

    From the site: “The American Patriot’s Bible intersects the teachings of the Bible with the history of the Unites States while applying it to today’s culture. Beautiful full-color insert pages spotlight America’s greatest thinkers, leaders, and events that present the rich heritage and future of our great nation.”

    I saw this in a Christian bookstore and my eye started twitching. On every page there was some sort of american imagery (flag, seal, F-16′s, Lincoln Memorial, etc, etc). God help us.

    Sorry Darrell, I intended to leave this reply in this post, but accidentally left in in the previous “The Flag” post. I apologize that it appears in both…

    1. Zippy, I saw an ad for that right before the Glenn Beck Self-Promotion and Restoring Honor event. I was disgusted.

  2. Ah yes! His text comes from the first mention of cars in the Bible. You know, how the Apostles all continued in one Accord. [groan] 🙄

  3. Every time I read a post on this site, I realize I was part a tradition that came just one step short of IFB groups.

    I recall being introduced to Carman’s “We Need God in America, Again” video in an evening service of the at the church I attended many years ago. I also remember singing “God Bless America” every morning around the flag pole at Summer Camp…and singing “I’m in the Lord’s Army” at evening services. We also held services for Memorial Day and Veterans Day without skipping a beat. Though I tend to think that what I just described is typical for many church groups across the spectrum.

    But… I have NEVER seen people in our tradition go as far as draping the U.S. flag over the Cross or the Bible…or hearing a sermon from the puplit that blended nationalism/patriotism with the Gospel.

    Hmmm…interesting insights I am receiving from you folks.

  4. Made it to 30. Gotta stop. But he said Jesus, Peter, and Paul had a patriotic love for his country…that is what he said, but none of the verses he quoted have anything to do with country…he quoted John 3:16 “for God so loved the world” as proof that God loves his country…say what?

  5. By faith he [Abraham] went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
    (Heb 11:9-10)

    These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
    (Heb 11:13-16)

      1. HA! I didn’t listen that far, but had the same idea from the first 15, that he wasn’t gonna get political. Not that it’s shocking, but it sounded like he was gonna avoid naming names.

  6. I’ve recently changed my political views to that of a Christian Libertarian – I believe in maximum individual liberty and freedom under the confines of God’s Word. The non-aggression principle also defines libertarianism, which means refraining from the use of force or coercion by individuals or government.

  7. “If you wanna be like Jesus you MUST love your nation” = Typical fundy twisting scripture to make it say whatever you want it to say.

  8. In the song at the beginning, it is referenced that we were “founded on the Bible” – that makes me mad. Of all of the outright lies! The American revolutionary movement is based on Lockean philosophy, not historic Christianity. 😯

      1. Actually it’s obvious from reading their writings that we were founded on Christian principles (God-given liberty, justice, individual responsibility, etc.), but that’s a very different thing from believing we were founded “on the Bible,” which is ridiculous. Our country is a country of religious freedom, not a Christian dictatorship! I think fundies secretly want a Christian dictatorship, since that is what they’re used to in their churches. 🙄

        1. I always like finding an IFBer, asking them what they thought of a Founding Father like, say, Thomas Jefferson, and then springing the trap on them when they say he was one of America’s “Christian” leaders:
          “Oh, really? Did you know he read the Koran? And edited the Bible to remove any supernatural things that Jesus did?”
          It usually is about 50/50. Half just turn and walk away, and the other half accuses me of lying. 😉

    1. But don’t you think people back then had mixed motives the same as people today? There was a flag and slogan during the Revolutionary War that said, “No King but King Jesus.”

  9. Because Jesus would have been a good ole’ gun-totin’, flag wavin’, red-blooded American…if only guns and America had existed then.

  10. I almost choked when early on in the “message” he said “You can agree or disagree with me but since I’m preaching, I suggest you not.” Well, since he’s preaching I guess he can say anything he likes and we are better off not disagreeing with him. I will give him that possibly he only meant that we shouldn’t disagree out loud with him since he is preaching a service BUT it is apparent from his attitude that he means much more than that.

      1. Not only would he not; if he did, he would be breaking a major rule. The Pope may be the leader of the Catholic Church and he may recommend ways for us to interpret Scripture and thus how to live our lives…but in no way is he allowed to have the “final” word. That is reserved for Jesus, always.

  11. Speaking from another country, English churches have gone to the other extreme in that any hymns with a patriotic verse, such as I Vow to Thee my Country, are frowned upon.
    I’ve seen a couple of churches with flags in but they have been fellowships with a diverse congregation and have lots of flags from different countries.
    UK popular patriotism focuses on the Second World War (last time country did anything of note) and football (soccer) – invariably ending in tears.
    I had a look at the American Patriot’s Bible and thought the contents of the pages shown on the site didn’t seem too bad. Why couldn’t it have been a book on Bible’s influence in American history rather than interposing itself alongside the actual text of the Bible though?

    1. “invariably ending in tears”

      I like your soccer team. Always cheered for them. They’ll win some day. 🙂

  12. Wow! I made it to about 32 minutes. He’s going to rule with the sword during the millennium and chop people’s heads off, bless God?!?!?

    He has to brush his teeth after praying for Pelosi and Hillary!! What kind of effectual fervent prayer must that have been?

  13. I remember more than one pastor telling the congregation “I’m not up here to tell you who to vote for, but no good Christian would vote for people who believe in” etc, etc, etc.

  14. Made it to 19 minutes and boy was I in for a hokey treat! Be sure to turn up the volume right at 19:40. Hahahhaha. I would have loved to have seen the looks in everyone’s eyes went that sounded off. My ears are still reverberating. 😆

    1. I don’t think my kids said it once last year in public school in Michigan. It certainly wasn’t said first hour in homeroom anymore.

      1. For what it is worth the pledge was written by Francis Bellamy who was a Baptist preacher and a Christian Socialist, hence the words “liberty and justice for all.” His biography is worth reading.

    2. Why would a Christian pledge allegiance to anything? It’s quite confusing. I pledge my allegiance to an ideal? Why? I just don’t get it.

      1. exactly. the country i pledge allegiance to is not physical. i mean… isnt that like EVERYTHING that jesus taught about his kingdom????

        1. “my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man…but to a King and a Kingdom” -Derek Webb (disclaimer:i do not endorse everything Webb sings, says, or does – especially recently – but this is a phenomenal song.)

      2. All members of government, military, and federal employees take an oath to uphold the constitution and defend the country from all enemies foreign and domestic.

        Would you think that a Christian should never hold and office or join the military as well lest he be made to take such a pledge?

        We can express our loyalty and patriotism without diminishing our heavenly citizenship. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  15. OMG. . . its like thanksgiving when everyone gave thanks for one thing and someone said ” Iam glad that clintons out and one of our men is in”. . .refering to bush. . .i dont think jesus cared about political parties and if he did he was rather liberal. . . 😯

    1. I think Jesus had very specific goals to accomplish in his time on earth that didn’t involve political action. We really can’t draw absolute parallels in that area between His life and ours any more than we can walk on water or raise the dead.

      The early church didn’t have the ability to vote for their leaders or hold political power the way we can now.

      1 Peter and Romans do seem to indicate that we are to work within the system in which we find ourselves giving honor and obedience to our government and its leaders for conscience sake.

      Being apolitical sounds nice in theory but since politics is what determines things like religious freedom, justice, and so on, I think it doesn’t best serve the cause of Christ or His church for Christians to leave all of those decision completely in the hands of secularists. Just my .02. Feel free to disagree.

    2. Wasn’t that one of the things Judas had against Jesus – he was thinking Jesus was going to be the warrior Savior.

      1. I don’t know that there’s a Scriptural case to be made for that. It’s definitely a possibility.

        Another is that when Jesus said “and one of you is a devil” he was speaking in a quite literal sense.

  16. The Apostle Paul was an American-style patriot huh? Cool.

    Paul must have been quite a person. If you were to compile all of the stated ‘facts’ about Paul by all the preachers in the world, you would find that Paul was both adamantly supportive of and violently opposed to every act, thought, and doctrine known to man. He was an exclusive member of every denomination, division, cult, and sect in any way connected to Christianity. He utilized technology and had decided opinions on issues and current events that would not come up until almost two thousand years after his death. He was a patriot of countries he never visited, an avid follower of every school of philosophy, an active member of every political party, and a fan of half of the sports teams in the United States. Although he never married, he was also a model husband and father.

    1. We have a “Christian” Bookstore in our area that will not sell any version but King James. They even go so far as to put disclaimer stickers on all books in their store that quote from any other versions. 😕

  17. i feel like a champ…..made it 15 minutes in.
    then couldn’t take it anymore…time to go listen to some Paul Washer…

    1. That is noore blasphemous than what fundamentalism has been doing with Christianity and Patriotism. Or are they objecting to the Blasphemous image of the Statue of Jesus having a Cigarette in His hand?

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