I was forwarded the following interview from The Other Journal with Tony Campolo. This is an excerpt from it relating to the average church-goers allegiance to nation above their allegiance to kingdom.

TOJ: Do you think, then, that part of the problem is that a lot of
Americans confuse patriotism and the U.S. with the Kingdom of God?

TC: Yes, I think that one of the real fears that we have after 9/11
when our love for America became so intense, is that we tend to forget
that our ultimate obligation is not to the United States of America,
but to Jesus Christ and to the Kingdom of God. The Bible is quite
clear. As Christians, we are sojourners here. We are called in the
Bible ?ambassadors from God.? That is to say that we are in this world,
but not of it. And when in fact our patriotism takes precedence over
our spiritual commitments, we have to take a good look at ourselves and
ask whether or not we have become idolatrous. I think we are on the
verge of that in this country.

There’s a big argument right now as to whether American Flags should be
in churches. Brethren churches and Mennonite churches historically have
not had American Flags in the church because they sense the tendency to
idolatry that is in patriotism. Now I find that there are Brethren
churches that are beginning to put flags in churches. I don’t have any
problem if you put the flag of every nation in the world in the church,
but to single out one nation is to say that this Jesus that we worship
calls us to loyalty to one nation above all others? Because I’ve got to
tell you, I am committed to justice for all people, not just for
Americans. And I am committed to all of humanity, not just to
Americans. I think that Jesus calls us beyond our identity as
nationalists and calls us to be internationalists.

Go check out the rest of the interview and comment here.

On this day...


  1. Mark W. says:
    Don’t you think Campolo seems to be targeting a pretty small group of unbalanced radicals? I don’t think I even know a Christian who would confuse the two for the obvious reason that the moral character of this nation is in no way close to the expectations we have of God’s Kingdom. Certainly, we should offer due allegiance to this country, especially when we, the citizens, are under external threat. However, standing up for freedom and democracy is, by definition, opposed to the idea that nations have a divine right.

    In a religion with such rich symbolism, the idea that having a flag in the church house constitutes idolatry is ridiculous. These kinds of militant dogmatisms are the very reason why the Mennonite’s and Brethren are seen as deviant and offputting. I get the uneasy feeling that moving in their direction (away from solidarity with one’s home country) is a step closer to Waco/Ruby Ridge radicalism.

    Do you guys really know anyone like Campolo is describing, or is this a fictitious problem?

  2. Lindy Word says:
    If that interests you, you really should read Myth of a Christian Nation. It talks about how Christians confuse the Kingdom of God with the Kingdom of the world, believing that they’re synonymous. It’s pretty interesting/challenging.

    It just makes you wonder if the founding fathers did a detriment to the Church by making America “one nation under God” because, like the interview says, we as believers let our allegiance for our country, if not surpass then equal to, our allegiance to God due to some misguided belief about our country. God doesn’t love Americans more.

    Thanks for the intense break from work. πŸ˜‰

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