Patriotism and the Church: Is It Too Much to Ask Churches to Be Careful?

“53% of Protestant pastors say ‘our congregation sometimes seems to love America more than God.’” - Stetzer



Church I helped lead worship in last Sunday: we referenced America in prayer, and “independence day” was a springboard for a sermon on Jesus’ liberation of the Gadarene demoniac. The focus of the gathering was the grace of God. No flag on the platform (there is one in the lobby), no patriotic songs.

It was a joy to be part of a gathering that put first things first and fourth or fifth things fourth or fifth.

Also missing: dire pronouncements about loss of freedom, the leadership in Washington, etc. That was a huge blessing also. Nations come and nations go. Our God is forever, and His gracious plan to redeem those who believe for His glory is forever also. We gather to rejoice in that and be challenged and convicted by that.

I’m all for applying Scripture to our cultural moment, but we have so much focus on political fights these days that we tend to lose all the context. And for Christians, the context is what matters most.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

In yesterday’s service at the church I grew up in the pastor expressed his great displeasure with an article saying that US flags should not be in churches. He handed out flags for every person in the church including even the children in the nursery and then they sang patriotic songs while waving the flags. This was followed by a video on Francis Scott Key and a patriotic sermon. There is usually a large cross at the front of the auditorium, but yesterday it was covered up with an even larger American flag.

The suggestion that this could be idolatry goes right over their heads. It’s super disappointing to me as I still have many family and friends there.