A Call To The Remnant

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Nationalism, Patriotism and Politics-Idolatry or God’s Way?

Posted by appolus on March 29, 2012

I remain simply astounded at the response to my posts on nationalism, patriotism, and idolatry. I am convinced the Spirit is actively doing a work of grace in many, many hearts. Just so everyone knows where I am in my journey I want to share. But do not think that your perspective has to mirror mine, or that you will be bullied if you are in a different place. But it would be edifying for brothers and sisters to sharpen each other´s iron.

I was brought up in a middle class home that went to a Lutheran church. I was baptized as an infant and I went for three years to catechism after which I was confirmed as a member. But I was still lost. But I was raised in a common patriotic family who watched the 4th of July parade and voted Republican. We always displayed a flag on the fourth.

But in 1975 I was born again. My life was changed and I was delivered from drugs and immorality and violence. But one thing that did not change was my patriotic perspective. I never questioned it and since all the new believers I met were also patriotic Americans it just seemed like a non-issue. And even after I became a pastor I held patriotic services on the fourth of July weekend. I can remember pledging allegiance to the flag on that Sunday as well as singing a couple patriotic songs. We were good American Christians.

During those years I can remember listening to radio and television people who held “conservative” political perspectives. Some would castigate the “liberals” and mock and berate them. And since being a politically active conservative seemed to be the evangelical way, I never questioned the Biblical nature of such verbiage.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait I can remember the patriotic pitch rising dramatically, and even in evangelical churches there was a frothing of the mouth concerning the coming war. The emotions ran high, and if someone even questioned all it they were considered liberal or at least some 60´s hippie throwback. And I can remember listening to the radio and television updates about how the coalition (America) was winning the war. Even the phrase “shock and awe” was a rallying cry!

It was around that time that men like Rush Limbaugh began what we now call talk radio and now talk television. And since we were all patriotic Americans who revered the Constitution and the founding fathers, we didn´t notice the caustic and self righteous rhetoric. Mocking liberals and demeaning jokes about President Clinton were commonplace and accepted even among preachers. The snowball got bigger and bigger and the evangelical church became very smug and self assured.

But in the late 1990´s something began to eat at my insides. I could not put my foot on it but something just seemed wrong with all the saber rattling and incendiary language. I would speak with my best friend about it and he too was feeling uncomfortable. One day he asked me for Scriptural support for a violent overthrow of the American government if we disagreed with its tax policy. I thought he had lost it! I told him there was absolutely no Scriptural grounds for violence over money, none. Then he asked me why then would God support the Revolutionary War? And where was Scriptural support for that war? I was stunned. I had never even considered the Scriptural validity of the Revolutionary War. In the crowd I ran with that would have been considered treasonous just to ask such a question. In some circles it still is.

I did a study of the New Testament just to allow the Spirit to guide me without any preconceived attitudes. It soon became obvious, I had been sold a bill of goods. Our allegiance is to Christ and Christ alone. To pledge allegiance to any earthly government is a form of spiritual treason. It does not mean you are not saved or that you do not love the Lord Jesus, but it does mean you are blind to that form of open idolatry. If we are to be honest, it is indefensible. But I was blind and I had to repent. And I would suffer criticism and even verbal persecution from some who were my friends. It was surprising how personally believers take even a discussion in this realm.

And then there was the battle of self righteousness and any air of superiority. Whenever the Spirit guides me into a truth that substantially changes the way I think and behave, the devil and my flesh immediately urge me to feel superior to others with whom I had agree not too long ago. Isn´t the flesh such a diabolical and clever enemy? I still need to guard against that kind of feeling.

And in November of 2000 I cast my last vote for George Bush. And during the last 12 years I have examined many things concerning politics and the New Testament. While we are called to obey the authorities, we are never called to join with them. Politics is an unholy alliance of the saved and the unsaved. And when we resort to the ballot box, we dilute the gospel. The world sees us involved in changing the outside of the cup and subsequently they are not confronted with the eternal aspect of the gospel message. They see us as a moral religion not a faith of redemption.
So now I ask for your thoughts…  – Rick Frueh.
-Original Source-

11 Responses to “Nationalism, Patriotism and Politics-Idolatry or God’s Way?”

  1. W.E. Smith said

    A good word my brother, that no doubt the many will reject.

    Many American believers may be most perplexed at the moment, as they see what amounts to the death of the “American Dream” and the end of the American century. Yet, in the great scheme of things set against His eternal purpose, the USA is nothing, and the nations are nothing. The Lord has a controversy with all of them! He is angry with every single one of them in fact! This is not one man’s opinion; but rather His Words –

    “Therefore you shall prophesy against them all these words, and you shall say to them,
    ‘The LORD will roar from on high
    And utter His voice from His holy habitation;
    He will roar mightily against His fold.
    He will shout like those who tread the grapes,
    Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
    ‘A clamor has come to the end of the earth,
    Because the LORD has a controversy with the nations.
    He is entering into judgment with all flesh;
    As for the wicked, He has given them to the sword,’ declares the LORD.”
    Thus says the LORD of hosts,
    “Behold, evil is going forth
    From nation to nation,
    And a great storm is being stirred up
    From the remotest parts of the earth. (Jer. 25:30-32)

    And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (Rev. 16:13-14)

    A great storm indeed, my friends! Consider, if you will, America’s official foreign policy posture towards the nation of Israel, which amount to a two-sided game of playing both sides against each other for its own gain or advantage. The USA is not officially (nor perhaps has ever truly been) a supporter of the modern nation of Israel so the Lord’s covenant with Abraham is unequivocally against America. Nothing else really matters if a nation or people is cursed by God. Many American believers, it would seem, have little knowledge or regard for God’s ancient, but still effective covenants. Yet this does not negate them! Heaven forbid! His controversy with the nations stands! And let me assert here, by the authority of the Lord and His Word, that patriotism or nationalism of any kind or degree, is utterly inappropriate for any of His heavenly people in this dispensation. We are a heavenly people and to take only one stand, and that is the side the Lord is on! We are to represent only one kingdom, and that is the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ!

    Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)

    I am British by birth and the modern downfall of Great Britain has less to do with empirical over-reach (the historical account) and more to do with her support of Israel’s enemies in the period surrounding the wars. I just watched a documentary on the return of the Jewish exiles into Palestine after World War II, and Britain’s actions were downright appalling. I dare say I was ashamed. Yet the Lord’s covenants stand, unless and until He repudiates them. In point of fact, Great Britain hasn’t been all that “great” for a very long time, and today she runs on the fumes of debt, delusion and forsaken empire.

    Undoubtedly it seems, the UK and the USA will be part of the final days commercial-political system, maybe at its head, maybe not. All that is occurring presently we view as prophetic stage-setting, the placing of furniture. Existing global entities and institutions will quite readily fall under the control of the man of sin and his false prophet. Many indications affirm that ours is this generation, that things cannot go on for more decades or even less than that. Look how fast things fall once the tipping point occurs. God alone writes the history and the timing is in His hands. Lord make us ready!

    • appolus said

      Some great points brother, and while I am not a dispensationalist, I would agree that Britian paid a heavy price for turning its back on the promises it made to Israel. Israel will undounbtedly play an important role in politics, but this I know, the Scriptures tell us that all nations will come againts her, and obviously that would include Britain and America. ……….. bro Frank

  2. katt3682 said

    I am so GLAD to have read this post. When people around me are reciting the pledge to the US flag I always feel uncomfortable. For years I was a huge Rush Limbaugh fan but in the past few years I began to notice and feel uncomfortable with his arrogance, and sarcastic humor. My flesh argued it was reasonable because of how lawless the liberals are getting. Somebody needs to point out what they are doing. But the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Bible truths He was unveiling to me, how this behavior was not Christ like, nor was my allegiance to be to any government because this world is not my home, and my allegiance is to be Christ alone. He never got involved in politics, nor concerned Himself with government. He came to seek and save the lost, and to reveal the Father to a world in darkness. But somehow the church members are more comfortable getting on Facebook and ranting about US liberals and the president rather than getting alone with God and praying for their souls. 😦 I have not heard anyone else make this point of view until today. But I so agree. I have had many Christian friends get upset with me because of how I feel on this-but when I began to get angry at the deceitfulness of the current administration it was the Holy Spirit who rebuked me and reminded me of what the Word says “pray for your leaders, revile not, speak evil of no man” etc. This world is not your home, don’t act like it is. Amen.

    • appolus said

      Hi sister here is one thing I know, politics instantly quenches the Holy Spirit. I have seen it 100 times. Thses entanglments drive wedges between brothers and sisters in Christ, whether they are lfet leaning in their philosophy or right leaning, black or white. What I have also witnessed is the incredible miracle of brothers and siters from all backgrounds fellowshipping as a family. I will admit that I have not seen it often and the triumph of politics or class in the church is the victory of the world over the church. Rush Limabaug and company have made millions off of driving wedges between people and being the opposite of a peacmaker. I hold my ire for the right wing commentators because most of them claim Christ for their own which c=would make them hypocrites and Pharisees rather than plain old sinners and athiests. This lukewarmness the Lord will spue out of His mouth. For years now I have taken the positiion that these men are cancerous to the Christian community, you can find some articles on my site that talk about HIm and Coulter and Sean Hannity and how they inject anger and bitterness into Christians while at the same time enriching themselves. May the day dawn when the Church turns her eyes wholly upon the Lord……………….. bro Frank

      • katt3682 said

        Bro Frank I had not thought of it in that context as Hannity is catholic, and Coulter is just too harsh and arrogant for my taste, too, but you are right, they all claim to be Christians but act nothing like Christ…would to God His people were as passionate for His kingdom and His Glory as they are about politics. It’s just another worldly religion and I don’t want to be entangled in it. You can’t be and stay clean. They are so hungry for power and control they rip each other to shreds to try to get it-even in their own parties.

        • appolus said

          Hi KathyThere are many pundits that Christians follow and the pundits know what to say and how to say it to appeal to what they know to be the demographics. Its about the money. There pundits are the modern day soothsayers and they are paid handsomly to predict how dire the future will be if you dont vote for the Republican party. The Republican party and Fox News and talk radio consume enormous amounts of ” Christians,’ time and it is all fear based………………bro Frank

  3. abkeyte said

    Amen! I too am a red-blooded republican and American patriot who has looked at his ways in this regard, and repented for my selfishness and lack of depth. I didn’t vote for anyone in the election where George W. Bush was 1st elected. Every time I saw George W., I saw him looking down his nose at someone or I had a sense of foreboding too intense to ignore. By the time his 2nd election came around, he had cleaned up quite a bit and I did vote for him. I voted against President Obama and hopefully will do so again. This is the way we elect candidates here so I will vote my conscience if I can.

    I say if I can because I’m not too sure of the candidates we have opposing the current administration. I am convinced God gave us what we deserved in the last election and if this election goes the same way, then the die is cast. Either way, I will not vote for a candidate of lesser evil. If the republican candidate does not stand for God and against evil in it’s current forms, then I will not vote for anyone. I firmly believe this is the last presidential election America will ever hold. I believe this election settles the American question.

    I too am appalled at the rhetoric of both sides – conservative and liberal. I know the decibel level is rising because time is running out and we need to get this – we are not of this world! Our home is not America or some other country, but is in heaven with Jesus! Much of the discussion is targeted in such a way to engender fear in the population; fear of this or fear of that. And, we know fear is the opposite of faith and God always tells us to “Fear not!” We must stand against fear and not allow it to take hold in us. Only faith pleases God!

    I am not sure about the reasons for the American Revolution and whether or not they were part of God’s will. While I can’t substantiate it, I do feel America was a tool used of the Lord for many years but we are rapidly loosing our place due to idolatry and outright wickedness. I can’t listen to the talk radio shows or watch very much TV these days. It all offends the Holy Spirit. We have never seemed to learn we can’t fight evil with evil. We defeat evil by doing good – all the time! We are instructed to pray for our leaders – not just when we like them. We are instructed to pray for those who use us despitefully. We are told to bless and curse not! When will we obey? When we do, we will see the world change!

    The Lord is returning for a pure white bride, not a grey dingy bride. As men of God, we need to come up higher. We need to rise up and be men! I hear the Lord shouting “Wake up my people! Arise! Arise mighty warriors! Arise valiant ones! Come, take your place and stand!”

  4. Johnny said

    Reblogged this on Leaves Of The Tree and commented:
    I’ve long believed that the Church had been co-opted by the world. This may be the prime example of it.

  5. kenstewart said

    Very thought-provoking comments. By and large I agree. I definitely agree that we are not of this world. I have often wondered what stand I would have taken in the American Revolution and in the “War of Northern Aggression” (the “Civil” War)–I am a Southerner, but have always opposed racism, though sometimes arrogantly on my part, but also realize that one underlying issue in that war was States’ rights, even more so than slavery, and since Lincoln’s proclamation of martial law, there has been a steady degrading of freedoms. I see this as being just as inevitable as the idea that ultimately all nations will oppose Israel–Daniel’s prophecy seems to indicate to me that there will be an overcoming of the saints prior to the Lord’s return, so we probably have only begun to see the beginnings. The darkness must become darker in order for the light to really shine! May we all become as faithful as people like Betsy ten Boom (Corrie’s sister), who in Nazi prison found reason to be thankful even for flea infestation (it kept the guards out so they could pray and fellowship!).
    I’m not sure that the decisions we are called on to make individually will always be easy–I’ve just finished Eric Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer, and his decision to stand against Hitler, though a political one, was nonetheless (I believe) a necessary one, and cost him his life. His book LIFE TOGETHER, written in 1939, speaks eloquently but simply about our priorities, our allegiances, and other such matters.
    Many times, we will never know the true influence of our decisions. The American idea of “success” is not eternity’s idea of it, and often those who have the most influence never know it in their lifetime. Chuck Colson’s book LOVING GOD gives at least 2 stories of this: one of Boris Cornfeld, the Jewish doctor who had gotten radically saved in the gulags and ended up leading Solzhenitzen to Christ–and was bludgeoned to death before knowing it; the other of a monk in the decline of Rome who singlehandedly began the demise of the gladiator fights–but again, at the cost of his own life before any results were seen. I’ve glad that the Father discerns true motives and sees our hearts for what they really are–and doesn’t let us get away with not being fully committed to His Kingdom! He is indeed shaking all that can be shaken, and though it may not be pleasant, we will ultimately say, “It was indeed worth it!”

    • appolus said

      Amen Ken, amen. I agree with you in regard to Daniel’s prophecy and it certainly is only the beginning of the beginning, birth pangs to use the Lord’s words, in fact I have a piece on this site called Birth pangs. The saints will be overcome Ken, in the flesh, but they will be might in Spirit for I beloieve that is what the last great outpouring will be about, it will prepeare us and equip us to face a time such as never has been before. When you think about the Nazis who hunted don Jewish people for no other reasin than being Jewush, then it is easier to imagine a day whn Christians will be hunted down for being Christians…………..bro Frank

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