Go Back   Christian Guitar Forum > Deeper Issues > Theology
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 03-17-2015, 01:33 AM   #1
by hope we steer
 
Almost Enough's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Far Northern California
Posts: 2,639
Is nationalism idolatry?

I'm looking to see some ideas from across the board. What role does nationalism play in your personal faith, the church you attend, and what you think is theologically sound?

Almost Enough is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 03-17-2015, 02:06 AM   #2
Person
 
to_be_released's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 1,115
Commenting from a New Zealand perspective, nationalism to the extent that American's tend to exhibit is odd, disconcerting, and potentially idolatrous. I personally struggle with how many people treat America as God's anointed nation, and with people that take any criticism of America badly.

Nationalism doesn't play nearly as big a role in New Zealand society, as far as I can tell. People hear can far more freely criticise our own nation, as far as I can tell.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProdigalModern View Post
"Don't worry," to_be_released said. "I'm in the future, and I know what will happen."
to_be_released is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-17-2015, 05:40 AM   #3
Sojourner
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Just Passing Through
Posts: 59,102
Nationalism pretty much plays no part in my personal life or my faith. Outside of the kids saying the pledges at VBS...it doesn't really come into play in our church activities either.

I personally believe that you can be proud of your country and honor it without worshiping it.

However, I feel as if a lot of American patriotism has gone way over that line. Some people honestly act as if being a good American and a good Christian are the same thing.
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-17-2015, 07:33 AM   #4
and you were wondering??
Administrator
 
Dr. Thrunk's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2004
Location: In the bedrock of Being.
Posts: 15,432
paid
I have seen a remarkable difference in churches here in the UK and regular churches I have attended in the US regarding the presence and role of the nation in the church, both aesthetically and theologically.

But, I think it really all depends on where one is within a country and what sort of tradition one is a part of.

That being said, "nationalism" needs to be defined properly, I suppose. Usually there is, for instance, the distinction between "nationalism" and "patriotism", though it is easy to lose the details in the semantics. There is, for instance, no problem in loving and appreciating ones country; however, it should never be above proper criticism nor reproach. And, it should never take the place of where one truly considers their citizenry and allegiance toward.
__________________
Hello! Come visit my blog! http://taylormweaver.wordpress.com/

Yes... I am the official "Knight Who Will Write Something On Derrida".
Bask in the wonderful glory.

"outside of a dog a book is a man's best friend... inside a dog it is too dark to read."
-groucho marx

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon_Hunter View Post
Taylor, you just got drive-by theologied.
Dr. Thrunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-17-2015, 09:49 AM   #5
What do now?
 
Toast's Avatar
 

Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,730
You'll find me more strongly opposed to nationalism than most. I do not believe that it is possible to whole-heartedly serve both God and country in the Christian context; that is, I believe that serving country against Christian morals (which is rampant in America) is outright idolatrous.

Matthew 5:33-37
“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."

I do believe that when Jesus says, "Make no oath at all," it would include what we in America might call the "Pledge of Allegiance." Additionally, I would add that I do not believe Romans 13 is grounds for nationalism, as some might claim it to be.
__________________
Journal // I have a business! // What's a genre anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
...wives are expensive upkeep...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
Ben Toast, I have been sanctioned by the official CGRARC (Christian Guitar Resources Awesome-ness Recognition Committee) to declare that henceforth and hitherto, you are awesome.

Last edited by Toast; 03-17-2015 at 01:17 PM.
Toast is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 08:30 AM   #6
Registered User
 

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 821
I always thought I was the only one who had a problem with this
Most churches around here have the american flag and a Christian flag posted. I think church is a place where we should concentrate on God, and who he calls us to be.
jwbrownlula is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 08:56 AM   #7
Lieutenant Commander
 
slap_j's Avatar
 

Joined: Nov 2002
Location: the U.S.
Posts: 21,816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrash View Post
That being said, "nationalism" needs to be defined properly.
Right. I want to know exactly what the OP meant by "nationalism." Presumably he doesn't take it to be idolatry by definition, as then there would be nothing further to discuss.

I would say that, whatever "nationalism" means, if it involves grafting one's national identity and an exclusive love of one's nation into the Christian faith and praxis, then it's almost certainly idolatrous.

I have an affinity for America and I identify myself as an American before lots of other things (before my class and race and occupation and hobbies, etc.). So you could say I'm patriotic to that extent. I wouldn't say this is necessarily idolatrous but there's always the danger of it becoming so. Idolatry is probably one of the most insidious and easily committed sins there is (as it's often done unwittingly).
__________________

A d A s t r a P e r A l a s P o r c i
slap_j is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 09:44 AM   #8
Registered User
 

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,026
paid
Quote:
Originally Posted by slap_j View Post
I wouldn't say this is necessarily idolatrous but there's always the danger of it becoming so. Idolatry is probably one of the most insidious and easily committed sins there is (as it's often done unwittingly).
This
__________________
I'm gone.
athanatos is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 09:51 AM   #9
Sojourner
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Just Passing Through
Posts: 59,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by slap_j View Post
Idolatry is probably one of the most insidious and easily committed sins there is (as it's often done unwittingly).


Every one of us is, even from his motherís womb, a master craftsman of idols.

- John Calvin
Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 12:09 PM   #10
by hope we steer
 
Almost Enough's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Far Northern California
Posts: 2,639
I guess what I would like to articulate is the sort of confluence of devotion to whatever it means to be (in my case) American and devotion to Christ. Perhaps someone might be able to nail down a working definition for case of discussion better than I could. I think we all get a sense of what I'm talking about, especially those that are from outside the US or have dealt extensively with other cultures.
Almost Enough is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
Registered User
 

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,026
paid
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'm gone.
athanatos is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 12:57 PM   #12
Sojourner
Administrator
 
Leboman's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Just Passing Through
Posts: 59,102
My eventual goal is to remove the American flag from our stage.

Leboman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 01:00 PM   #13
by hope we steer
 
Almost Enough's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Far Northern California
Posts: 2,639
Quote:
Originally Posted by athanatos View Post
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 too have had to perform patriotic songs around the 4th of July. When I express my concerns I get a sort of vague feeling there's a modern day McCarthyism going on based on the responses I get.

I am playing drums at a church and have to stare an American flag and an Israeli flag hanging on the back of the sanctuary as I'm playing each Sunday.
Almost Enough is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 02:46 PM   #14
Person
 
to_be_released's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 1,115
We have flags hanging up in a few locations at our church, but I think it's to serve a very different purpose. The New Zealand flag is well outnumbered (I'm not even sure the NZ flag is in the mix), and we have a large number of flags from different nations across the world to remind us of the Christian's in those nations, and to encourage us to pray for those nations.

I find some ways in which flags themselves are treated to be idolatrous. It seems that many would consider damage to their flag (which is an image/idol to represent a country) more offensive than damage to a person who is made in God's image.

Statements about people dying for the honour of their flag somewhat sicken me, but so do many things associated with war.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProdigalModern View Post
"Don't worry," to_be_released said. "I'm in the future, and I know what will happen."
to_be_released is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2015, 04:15 PM   #15
...
 
thesteve's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 30,143
Send a message via AIM to thesteve
Quote:
Originally Posted by to_be_released View Post
We have flags hanging up in a few locations at our church, but I think it's to serve a very different purpose. The New Zealand flag is well outnumbered (I'm not even sure the NZ flag is in the mix), and we have a large number of flags from different nations across the world to remind us of the Christian's in those nations, and to encourage us to pray for those nations.

I find some ways in which flags themselves are treated to be idolatrous. It seems that many would consider damage to their flag (which is an image/idol to represent a country) more offensive than damage to a person who is made in God's image.

Statements about people dying for the honour of their flag somewhat sicken me, but so do many things associated with war.
Indeed. I think there are great reasons to have flags in the church, but I would wager that most churches that have only the national flag (or national flag and denominational flag) do it because of tradition and vague nationalism.
__________________
We've all got ideas. We are the music makers. We make money to buy things, and write down words.

I'm a podcaster
thesteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:54 PM.


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2