In regards to patriotism, the flag, and the national anthem concerning Christians...
Let me recall something to you about Emperor Julian and two quotes from my last blog article—you can read the article in its entirety footnotes to the quotes here: Two Ways To Become Popular
Something about Emperor Julian:
Julian ruled the Roman Empire from 355 AD TO 363 AD. He was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire, and it was his desire to bring the Empire back to its ancient Roman values in order to, as he saw it, save it from dissolution. He purged the top-heavy state bureaucracy and attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices at the expense of Christianity. His anti-Christian sentiment and promotion of Neoplatonic paganism caused him to be remembered as Julian the Apostate by the church. Julian basically made paganism an official religion. Ironically, he was the last emperor of the Constantinian dynasty, which was the empire's first Christian dynasty.
As you can see Christians in Julian's day were no longer in the driver's seat of power or culture—Julian made sure of that. He removed Christian leaders from seats of power and influence, and inserted secular-paganists. He confiscated money from Church treasuries and handed them over to the newly establised pagan priesthood to start pagan festivals, temples, and other things to help promote Roman religious practices. Simple put Christians were become politically powerless and loosing their cultural identity which had been at the forefront of being popular since Constantine became emperor and political leader who identified with Christianity and outlawed all Roman religions—some fifty years earlier.
So here is the point to this blog article—but first two quotes from Emperor Julian concerning Christians:
Emperor Julian the Apostate, writing to a pagan priest, said:
"Christians have gained most popularity because of their charity to strangers and because of their care for the burial of their dead."
"These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes."
According to Julian's observations, Christians didn't take to the courts of law, streets, facebook, or twitter to express their hurt feelings about their country being defamed or demanding their rights, power and culture be upheld—it's as if they didn't depend on an earthly president...um ur... emperor to make sure their culture was still popular or their rights were still law.
So what did they do—they focused on Jesus. They loved him and loved like him—they attacked people with loving kindness. Christians demonstrated kindness to everyone even the very pagans that were coming against them. And Christians really cared for people even in the depths of the darkest hour of death and their lack of understanding about heaven and hell.
Christians responded to hostility with kindness and caring.
I say this with all love and sincerity:
This world and its things will soon pass away, but the things of God will remain forever. Many Christians have forgotten the ways of Jesus or maybe never knew them. Following Jesus was only about being rescued from hell or a way to try and fit in until it has become unfashionable. Many are willing to die for this country but not for Jesus.
Many Christians live as if this world and time on earth is all there is. They fight for the ways of the world and become angry and zealous for them. I know many Christians won't understand this. I think it is because they've fallen in love with this world. It's seduction is subtle. And over time it can become throuogh and deceptive. There is a loss of transcendence—a sort of an eclipse of the heavens among Christians now a days.
Brothers and sisters get over yourselves—your time of favor and earthly power has come to an end if even it was a real thing to begin with. Be thankful that you are worthy to be counted along with our Lord Jesus in the fact that the world does not understand you and hates you.
Brothers and Sisters stop thinking you have any rights to demand. You gave them up when you surrendered your life to Jesus.
Brothers and Sisters stop loving the world to the point where you are willing to loose your life for the world. Do you love the world so much that you find safety and comfort in the things of this world?
This country and your constitutional rights don't save you. Your comfort and safety don't save you. Only Jesus saves and he did when he died on the cross and rose again on the third day after his death. Hope in a nation, a presidential office, in patriotism and a flag is a shallow hope—and no hope to live by. Hope in Jesus is deep and eternal.
So what if people kneel during the national anthem—this is not your country or your flag—your citizenship is in heaven and your kingdom is not of this world. Any rights you think you have here on earth are only temporary anyways, but the word of the Lord remains forever—and no the U.S. Constitution is not the word of the Lord.
Here is the Word of God—His name is Jesus Christ. And Jesus said this:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." —John 15:18-19
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." —Matthew 5:43-48
And a word from the Apostle John,
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[c]—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." —1 John 2:15-17
Someday everyone will knee will bow to Jesus—you, me, and everyone who has ever lived:
"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." —Philippians 2:9-11