WiW: Patriotism and the Christian

Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

The Week in Words

I’ve been reading and discussing Greg Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation with a book group here in town. The reading–and the discussion–has been intellectually and spiritually stimulating. Some of my assumptions have been confirmed–but far more have been challenged, forcing me to think through how being “in but not of” the world informs a Christian’s political involvement.

Boyd on the calling of the church to be “set apart”

“We utterly trivialize this profound biblical teaching if we associate our peculiar holiness with a pet list of religious taboos…No, the holiness the New Testament is concerned with is centered on being Christlike, living in outrageous, self-sacrificial love. If you make this your life aspiration, you will certainly be peculiar–about as peculiar as a Messiah dying on a cursed tree! You will be a ‘resident alien.'”

Although I might disagree with Boyd over how involved a Christian can be in politics, I sincerely appreciate Boyd’s emphasis that the kingdom of God is not about promoting a certain political or social agenda but about being Christ-like (the culmination of course, of Christ-likeness being exemplified in the cross.)

Boyd on Patriotism, at Relevant Magazine via Becky S. on Facebook

“So over the Fourth of July weekend—and all year—be appreciative of your country. Be patriotic. But make sure your patriotism pales in comparison to your sacrifice, commitment and allegiance to the Kingdom of God.”

I was glad I saw this article linked by a friend on Facebook. From where I’m at in The Myth of a Christian Nation (Chapter 4), Boyd appears to be bashing any “proud to be an American” sentiment. I’ve been relatively cautious about making conclusions based on just these few chapters, but I’m glad to have this notice that Boyd doesn’t have a problem with patriotism in general, just overemphasis on patriotism at the expense of the Kingdom of God. :-)

Collect more quotes from throughout the week with Barbara H’s meme “The Week in Words”.

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Reader Comments (2):

  1. Barbara H. says:

    Those are both really good. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this book when you’ve finished it. I know people who don’t believe America was founded as a Christian nation. I don’t think it could be called a Christian nation these days, but I think in the beginning it was at least God-fearing if not truly Christian — so many of our historical documents contain references to God and the Bible.

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