God and Country

by Tank Tankersley

I always look forward to the Fourth of July.  It means good food and good times shared with people I care about.

Expressing one’s patriotism is the thing to do on the Fourth!  And I have no trouble doing so.  I’m glad to live in a country that grants me the freedoms that this one does and I acknowledge an inestimable debt to those who have sacrificed, some ultimately, to preserve the freedoms I hold so dear.  I root enthusiastically for our Olympians.  I get as riled as most when I hear the U.S.A. unjustly maligned.  My response to such is this:  How many people are doing everything they can to get into this country, preferring it above all others?  How many people are doing everything they can to get out of it, preferring to live else where?  I rest!  And finally, I’m a Viet Vet!  Convinced?  I hope so, for I don’t want to be misunderstood as to what follows.

I get a little nervous at the linking of God and country.  There are all sorts of “good Americans” who are not “God’s people” in any way.  And, of course, there are believing English, Russians Japanese, and such.  Don’t we share something with them that is far more significant than a mere common citizenship?

And though there is much in our country that is good by virtue of the influence of Christian values, this country can by no stretch of the imagination be accurately described as “Christian”.  A quick look around should convince you of that.

One can be both a “good American” and a Christian, but they are entirely separate things, the latter being of infinitely greater significance than the former.  God is God.  He is not the representative of any particular nation, not even such a wonderful one as ours.  We Christians would do well to remember it, even on the Fourth!