Loving our Country
Members of the Church of God just returned from celebrating God’s commanded Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day at the place which God had chosen, reminding them, among many other things, that they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth; that their true citizenship is in heaven; and that they are waiting for a better homeland or country to be established here on earth—the peaceful and glorious Kingdom and Government of God, which will rule all men with peace, justice and LOVE.
And still, all of us live right now in a particular country ruled by man. In the USA, the fight for the presidency is in full gear, and the candidates assure us that they love their country, and that its citizens should and must do so as well. However, “loving our country” means different things to different people. Depending on their political affiliation and human philosophy, it may mean following the leader without question or reservation, as long as their leader belongs to their party; and it may mean opposing him in every conceivable way if he belongs to the opposite party. It may mean to some engaging in peaceful or violent demonstrations in an attempt to correct the perceived wrong, while others may support police brutality or injustice in order to correct the perceived wrong… arguing likewise that the desired end result justifies the means.
What does it mean to true Christians to love their human country… the country in which they live? How can true Christians be true patriots… or can they?
What it most assuredly does not mean is to be a nationalist—a person who “loves” his country “uber alles”; who looks exclusively to his country’s benefit while wanting to harm or destroy other countries. But there is a huge difference between being a nationalist and being a patriot. In fact, nationalism is an ungodly perversion of patriotism. A true patriot—someone who loves his country with God-pleasing love—is someone who wants the best for his country–as well as for other countries. He is to love his neighbor as himself… or in our context, he loves his country as much as he loves other countries. He will not engage in warfare for his country to fight other countries. Loving his country excludes fighting in war, and God curses those who delight in war.
Loving our country means that we do not overlook or justify sin. God tells us what sin is… it is the transgression of His holy and righteous law. His law can be summarized with the word “love”—love for our God and love for our neighbor… for all men in whatever country they may live. The Ten Commandments tell us further how to love God and man, and God’s statutes and judgments explain in more detail how to apply the Ten Commandments in certain circumstances.
We must love God more than any man or any country. And loving man does not mean, loving his sinful ways which are opposed to the love of God. As ambassadors of Christ, we have an obligation to stand up for the Truth. God’s Church today has the responsibility to show the people their sins… in the hope that they repent and change their ways; knowing that otherwise, they and their country will be destroyed. To shrink away from such duty only shows that we do not love God, our neighbor and our country—that we are indeed not true patriots.
Let us take our commission seriously. Let us show the right kind of love towards others, because the time of worldwide war and destruction is near. Political speeches and promises, even if they are meant seriously, will not help us if we continue to live in sin. God compares the USA today with ancient Sodom, but the USA is by no means worse than any other country. The whole world is in the hands of Satan, the power of wickedness and darkness, and every country is alienated from God. God undoubtedly blessed the USA once, as well as the UK, Canada, Australia and other English-speaking nations— fulfilling thereby His unconditional promise to Abraham to do so—but He also said that He would remove His blessings, if those nations would descend into sin, which they have done. To point this out with force and power does not mean that we do not love our country… just the opposite is true. We want to see peace, prosperity, righteousness and love in every country, but we do not see that, because the entire world is spiritually “sick,” having turned their back on God with willful ignorance and having been kidnapped and held captive by Satan to do his will.
And so, we cry over the abominations happening around us, separating ourselves from this world’s Babylon of confusion, and praying to God to hasten Christ’s return to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. That is HOW we love our country, knowing that only God’s government can and will bring peace, happiness, prosperity and LOVE to this world.