Christianity and Nationalism – Let’s Keep The Two Separate

pexels-photo-933846.jpegWhen I was younger, I travelled in several countries and visited lots of cathedrals and churches. Never, to my recollection, did I ever see the flag of the country I was in displayed inside the church or cathedral I was visiting. When I returned to the US, I never gave the subject any more thought.

Several years later, I became a Christian and again visited several churches. In a few I noticed that a flag was set up on the dais where the preacher would give the sermon. I spoke to my husband about it and said it bothered me to see a national flag set up in a church. He had seen it before and it didn’t bother him one way or the other.

I have thought about it since and have come to the conclusion that we should keep our Christianity separate from our national affiliation. There is nothing wrong with national pride and patriotism, but our first allegiance must always be to Jesus Christ. We serve a King who is over all earthly kingdoms and reigns from his heavenly kingdom.

If for some reason or another, the country we are living in outlaws Christianity and forbids us to gather together, pray and read our Bibles, we will have a decision to make. Will we obey our heavenly King or follow the laws of the land concerning our beliefs? We only have to think of the millions of Christians living under Communist rule to realize the dilemma that is created by a government passing laws against the Church universal.

Christianity does command that we be good citizens of the country we are living in. We are to follow the laws, pay our taxes, pray for our leaders and seek the welfare of the city where we live. If called into the military, we must follow our beliefs and serve wherever our beliefs allow us to.

Christians need to remember their history and recall that some countries have sought to incorporate their political beliefs into their churches. As an example, there are still churches in Germany working to get rid of the Nazi symbols placed in them without destroying the architecture of the church itself. These churches should serve as an example of what super-nationalism looks like and why we would want to avoid it.

We should never seek to impose our nationalistic beliefs onto our Christianity. Instead, we should serve the country we are living in because of our beliefs and seek to be the best citizens we can be under the existing laws of the land.

Politics and Religion – A Toxic Mix

poison-bottle-medicine-old-159296.jpegIn our country, there are two main parties, Democrat and Republican. Most people are a member of one or the other, and may or may not espouse their party’s platform. That is how our country works: we vote, elect an individual, and either two or four years later we get to decide to re-elect that individual or vote someone else into office.

It’s called politics. It is dirty, messy and sometimes distasteful, but that is how we do things in this country. The problem comes when people decide to mix their political beliefs with their religious ones. There is nothing wrong with joining a political party because you feel their platform lines up with some of your religious beliefs, but the problem lies with associating that particular party with your religion.

Once a person does that, they begin to assume that everyone who believes what they do religiously should belong to their party. Of course, we know that is a fallacy, but if enough people align themselves with a political party because of their religious beliefs, a bloc of voters is formed and that reinforces the idea that all people of that particular religious persuasion are part of that party.

I have been at different religious meetings, and the person talking about certain policies assumes that everyone in the room believes the way they do and is part of their political party. I have even heard people make the statement that those who are not part of their political party may not even be part of their religious belief system.

Hold on……religion is religion and politics is politics. Let’s not meld our religious beliefs with any political party. If there is an issue that we feel we must align ourselves with a certain party, great, do that, but let’s not expect everyone else’s thoughts and political beliefs to line up neatly with our political persuasion.

One political party may champion life, but the other may champion social issues. Both are important to the well-being of our country and the fabric of our society. Let us never try to pigeon-hole people into one or the other parties because of our own religious beliefs. It doesn’t work, is totally toxic and only tries to force people to not think for themselves and conform to whatever we think they should believe.