July 3, 2008
God and/or Country?
Does the Bible command us to love our country?
I've got a special treat for you to commemorate Independence Day - a preview of the summer issue of Leadership due out later this month. The issue focuses on the intersection of church ministry and politics (not an irrelevant subject this year). Here is a snippet featuring Charles Colson and Gregory Boyd debating the biblical basis for loving one's country:
Charles Colson: I don't think that you can simply forget the fact that we live in a kingdom and a state. Our job is to make the state as righteous and conformed to God's standards as possible. But you can love the Lord your God with your heart, mind, and soul and also love your country as a way of loving your neighbor.
Gregory Boyd: This is the fundamental difference between us. In your book you speak a lot about our dual commitments, our dual allegiances to God and country. I just don't know where in the New Testament you get that. I can't imagine Jesus or Paul saying such a thing. God tells us to obey the laws of the land and to pray for peace. Those are our two engagements. But I don't feel we have any kind of duty to love or defend our country.
As you can see, this issue is sure to spark some debate. Share your thoughts here, and look for more thought provoking discussion on Out of Ur in the coming weeks.