Question: Is patriotism biblical? How does "rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air" connect to a gospel message that is for all nations? (Thanks for the question! Let's see what people have to say!)
My Response: There are some great comments on the comment page! Thanks for participating!
The Bible does talk about the relationship of the believer with the government. We are to obey, pray for and honor those that are in authority. That can be done in any cultural context, understanding that obeying government is secondary to our obedience to the Word of God (discussed in an earlier post).
Scripture does not seem to address patriotism directly. However, giving honor to whom honor is due seems to provide latitude for a patriotic position toward the good that government does. I believe it is incumbent upon believers to be good citizens and to celebrate those good things. Christian faith played a vital role in the formation of this Union. If we don't support and celebrate that, no one else will.
I do think we need to guard against a couple of excesses. First, the "my country right or wrong," philosophy is not a biblical position in any context. Christians cannot stand idly by and seem to support positions that are clearly unbiblical. The US is not right simply because it is the US. We need to oppose the unfruitful works of darkness, wherever they are active.
Secondly, the message of the church is not one of patriotism but of the Cross. We must be careful that we don't communicate a message that you must be a patriot of the US in order to go to heaven. The Gospel is to be proclaimed to all nations. We must hold up the message of Christ without linking that to loving the USA.
I am glad I am an American, but you don't have to love America to go to heaven. You only need to love Jesus. In our expressions of patriotism, we must never blur those lines!