True Patriotism an exposition of Micah 7:1-20. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 5, 2015.
I’m torn today. This is the weekend for celebrating and glorying in the history of our nation. A weekend for flag-waving and singing “God Bless America” but I feel more like mourning than celebrating. It’s hard to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land. The events of the last week have served to remind me that we and our Christianity are increasingly not welcome here. The decision of the Supreme Court making same-sex marriage the law of the land has brought an unsettling clarity to this whole issue. The chorus of celebrations on the news and in our neighborhoods, and then the White House being lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the decision, it seems to make clear what most Christians knew deep down, “We’re not welcome here.” What should be our response? We must not respond with bitterness or hatred. Sarcasm and vitriolic are of little value. Rather we must never lose sight of the fact our speech and conduct most always reflect the love and grace of Christ. At the same time we must not be silent. We must continue without apology to speak and stand for the truth of God as declared in His Word. The decision of the Supreme Court changes nothing for us. We will speak the truth of biblical marriage and how if reflects the glory of the Gospel. We have been given a mandate by our King. We have something to say and we will not be silent. In other words, we will be true patriots.
There are those who seem to think that true patriotism is best expressed through clinched teeth wildly accusing the administration and fellow Americans of the most vile acts. Others seem to think patriotism is best expressed through unquestioned support and blind allegiance. But simply put, a patriot is one who loves his country and zealously supports its interests. The key, as far as I can tell, is the last part of that phrase – “Its (the country’s) interests.” I love my country. I am proud to be an American, I wouldn’t trade it for anything but I do not wear blinders.
I confess that I have a higher loyalty and we, in the church, must not abandon our prophetic post. We have a responsibility to speak to the nation – both the government and the citizenry. We must not allow anything to distort our vision or silence our voice. Corruption is corruption, evil is evil and injustice is injustice regardless of who is in “power.” We must not fail to hold the moral rope. We must not fail to point to a higher standard. We must speak the truth with passion and conviction.
In May of 1776, just weeks before America declared her independence, John Witherspoon declared, “He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I do not hesitate to call him an avowed enemy of his country.”
Love of country and love of God are not antithetical. God grant us the courage and boldness to speak with a true prophetic voice to the heart of our nation. Our text this morning is found in the 7th chapter of Micah.
Micah lived in turbulent times.
He lived in a time of great moral, spiritual and political corruption.
During his ministry the nation of Israel lived under the shadow of Assyrian domination.
Micah was charged with delivering the message of God’s judgment upon God’s people.
In delivering the message Micah became the voice of the oppressed.
His message was a mixture of doom and glory.
He spoke on the one hand of the judgment of God bringing the nation to ruin and yet he also spoke of God’s future grace in bringing His people to glory.
Though written 2800 years ago it speaks eloquently to our own day. As we reflect on the grace of God shed on our nation and our responsibility as “Christian Patriots” I want to remind you that…
Thesis: The godly do not put their trust in the impermanent society in which they live but in God who is sovereign over all.
Where is your hope or confidence?
Are you trusting in the American way?
Is your confidence in a political party?
Is your hope in this world?
These are not merely rhetorical questions. They are questions every thoughtful Christian must answer.
There are three characteristics of genuine patriotism in our text.
- The godly weep over evil and corruption wherever they find it. (7:1-6)
- The godly humbly submit to God’s judgment and patiently await the vindication of His own. (7:7-13)
- The godly rejoice in the grace and greatness of God. (7:14-20)
A genuine patriotism, a true love of country, demands that we live and preach the Gospel. Ultimately the fate of our nation rests not in who is elected to office but rather what we as a nation do with the God of the Bible. Your hope as an individual rests not in which party is in control but to whom you yield control.