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Jul 05 2012

Patriotism vs. Worship

Ed Stetzer:

…I believe that anytime we place country over cross in worship, we have forsaken our primary obligation as pastors– God-focused worship and gospel proclamation.

Now, please note that I did not say that you should not be thankful for your nation, acknowledge the holiday and the freedom we have, and even sing songs that express such. However, my concern is that– on every Sunday– we need to be careful that nothing including patriotism distracts from the gospel and confuses the issues. Your nation is important– and I am exceedingly thankful for mine– but I celebrate that today on July 4th not in Sunday worship. Actually, I am patriotic year-round, but you get the point. If your church service on July 1 this year was driven more by America than by Jesus, I think you need a change.

If your church has a regular habit of celebrating and singing about America and its greatness in the world, the line between God’s sovereignty over creation and America’s sovereignty as a creation will become blurry. America is not God nor is it Israel in the Old Testament, and you should not sing about a nation in church with the same enthusiasm with which we worship God. Worship God and celebrate your country, not the other way around.

Yes. Sundays are to be days of celebration. But our celebration is always to be rooted in a resurrection, not a revolution– a conquering King, not the conquering of a king.

via Ed Stetzer – Rightful Revelry: Cautions Concerning Combining Patriotism and Worship.

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