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-   -   Is nationalism idolatry? (http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/t210998/)

dogfood 03-18-2015 04:34 PM

yeah nah we only bring a flag out for prayer events.

I identify myself as a New Zealand Christian and I'm proud of where I'm from but once I'm hanging with other Christians... it isn't important.

SomeCallMeTim? 03-20-2015 07:07 PM

Coming from Canada, I don't think I have ever seen a Canadian flag used in any way in relation to Christian events, except at a summer camp where we would 'meet at the flag pole' in the mornings, because it was close to the mess hall.

to_be_released 06-23-2015 07:40 PM

Recent events calling for questioning the usage of the confederate flag brought this thread back to my mind.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are churches with confederate flags on display. I personally would find it hard to go to such a church given what I associate that flag with.

zedman 06-28-2015 10:36 PM

Anything can become idolatry if not handled carefully--so yeah nationalism could be idolatry-it doesn't have to be, but it could be.

athanatos 06-29-2015 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zedman (Post 3891662)
Anything can become idolatry if not handled carefully--so yeah nationalism could be idolatry-it doesn't have to be, but it could be.

Wait, how is nationalism being defined here?

Is nationalism the idea that you're nation/country is better or should be the best? Or that you find your identity in your nation?

Giuseppe 06-29-2015 08:25 PM

I think we can safely say that Nationalism is a problem in many of us (me included). It seems a much bigger issue in the US (or maybe it is just the media that portraits it that way?).

It is important to remember that nothing lasts forever. Not even our countries. Eventually all of our beloved home nations will become part of other nations or split up into different ones (sooner or later), so we need to keep our priorities straight.

Almost Enough 06-30-2015 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by athanatos (Post 3891672)
Wait, how is nationalism being defined here?

Is nationalism the idea that you're nation/country is better or should be the best? Or that you find your identity in your nation?

According to Merriam-Webster:

Quote:

Full Definition of NATIONALISM

1
: loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
2
: a nationalist movement or government
When I first started this post I was really struggling with a lot of ideas that float around of America being a Christian nation and how there is a sort of confluence of patriotism/nationalism/politicism and piety or being a "good Christian." I guess I would consider the first definition a working definition of nationalism and "those of supranational groups" to be Christians, or possibly even non-Christians if consideration allows.

I just don't want to stifle discussion by leading it in one narrow direction, but I would like to see a little more going on in the discussion.

I recently just finished the book One Nation Under God by Kevin Kruse that discusses the history of the apparent marriage of American conservatism and evangelical Christianity. It speaks a lot to the origins of certain sayings or ideals that I've heard around my church-circle that focus on the "special-ness" of the USA or the Christian foundation that our government was supposedly built upon. I've occasionally expressed my concerns about supporting or identifying with the monolithic entity (if it could ever truly be such a thing) that is the "USA" because of many things that are done in the name of the USA that are abhorrent to the message of the Cross, and suggested a more critical approach that places that in which we find our national identity under a more scrutinizing light. In doing so, I get met with opposition or suspicion, which obviously disheartens me.

athanatos 06-30-2015 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Almost Enough (Post 3891733)
I recently just finished the book One Nation Under God by Kevin Kruse that discusses the history of the apparent marriage of American conservatism and evangelical Christianity. It speaks a lot to the origins of certain sayings or ideals that I've heard around my church-circle that focus on the "special-ness" of the USA or the Christian foundation that our government was supposedly built upon. I've occasionally expressed my concerns about supporting or identifying with the monolithic entity (if it could ever truly be such a thing) that is the "USA" because of many things that are done in the name of the USA that are abhorrent to the message of the Cross, and suggested a more critical approach that places that in which we find our national identity under a more scrutinizing light. In doing so, I get met with opposition or suspicion, which obviously disheartens me.

You should also check Mark Noll's "America's God" ... it presents a narrative of American history regarding the fusion/association of Christianity (Edwards, Finney, etc.), Common Sense (Payne, Reid, etc.), and Republican thought, and the outworkings of those in the conflict culminating in the Civil War.

TunerSteve 07-01-2015 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by athanatos (Post 3871470)
My Baptist church back home would have Battle Hymn of the Republic and God Bless America and a bunch of other songs around 4th of July. It made me sick. They defended their actions on the basis of America being most free (it isn't), most Christian (it isn't), founded on Christian principles (it wasn't), and that we are thankful that God has blessed us through this country that we might proclaim the gospel (we should!). Hard to disentangle that on the spot, let alone encourage them to scrap the music list. I should've focused more on correcting the situation after the fact, to recommend that they not repeat it the next year.

We also have an American flag on the stage, opposite the baptist flag.

I attend a United Methodist church, and depending on our Pastor assigned to our church, we have had similar songs. One year, after praying and thinking on this subject, when I was asked to once again sing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA", I refused and stated it didn't feel right to ask God to bless one country. Over the last 15 years we have NOT had the US flag in our sanctuary, although there have been members inquire why. It is in our Fellowship hall with the UM flag.

I just got the email with the song selections for this weekend, and there are no patriotic songs in the service, and that suits me just fine. If my congregation moved back toward fusing religion and patriotism, I would seriously consider removing myself from that congregation.


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