Lately, I have heard a number of people (intellectuals) comment that patriotism and faith do not mix well. Their claim has been that somehow being patriotic and Christian are opposing ideologies. Sometimes, pastors will not even allow the American flag to be in the sanctuary of the church. I would like to present a differing viewpoint for your consideration.
Psalm One begins by saying, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked…but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on that Law he meditates day and night." The word 'meditate' in this verse is also the Hebrew word for remember, and the word "Law" is also the word for teaching. So, to paraphrase this passage I would say, "Blessed is the person….who remembers what God has taught them." As Christians, we are the remembering folks. We remember the blessings and the teachings of God.
On this 4th of July I remember these things. In forty-four years no one has ever oppressed me. There have been no invading armies. There has been no threat on my life. I have had the freedom to come and go as I please. I have chosen my career and made all major decisions in my life without coercion. I elect my leaders, whereas half of the planet’s leaders have become so by force. Soon, I will be able to get in my car and drive to either of my nation’s seashores. There would be no checkpoints and no armed guards to question my travel. All of this I enjoy, although I have not paid for it. It is the product of a developing ideology called democracy that has produced a nation where no one person, group or entity is able to suppress another.
As Christian Patriots, our role is simply to remember. Not with a blind ignorance and complacency, but with a grateful, informed and remembering heart. The flag and the 4th of July are not graven images. They are reminders to remember with grateful hearts. So, let us remember to join in one voice and say, "We will not forget!"