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Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Proud of My Nation and Thankful to God

It's the 4th of July today!

Right now patriotism has sort of gone out of fashion. I just finished watching the NBC Nightly News (from last night) and I was struck by the sheer negativity of the vast majority of the news.

But I don't care. I still want to express why I'm thankful to God to be an American.

Before I do that, I want to explain the proper Christian attitude toward government. On the one hand, we don't worship our nation! We may love it, but our eternal king is God. Martin Luther spoke about the idea of "two kingdoms." We're citizens of the United States, but also citizens of heaven. So Christians should keep the finite nature of this world in mind.

On the other hand, the Bible teaches that governments are instituted by God, and we owe them proper respect (for example: Romans 13:1-7). We are called to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). And many of you remember Jesus saying "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's."

So it's ok to thank God for good government, security, peace and prosperity. In fact, it's necessary. We ought to thank God for blessing us. With that said, I'm thankful to be an American for these reasons:

-I can practice my Christian faith without interference from the government.

-I'm free to express and exercise my political and civic opinions.

-People from all ethnic and racial groups can become Americans by subscribing to an ideal- that is, the American concept of freedom. Being the son of an immigrant, this is even more important to me. We are not a nation defined by an ethnic group, but by ideas and values.

-My kids can go to school, for free, and receive an excellent education.

-We can go to the mall, to sporting events, to museums, to youth activities, and be reasonably certain that there will be no violence or civil strife.

-Our nation was founded by the idea that human beings have certain inalienable rights, endowed by our Creator.

-I can own property, and be a steward of what God actually owns, with a minimal amount of interference from the government.

-We have a powerful military that is ready to defend our nation from attack.

-We live in prosperity unheard of in 99.9% of human history.

-When the leadership of our Congress or Presidency changes, it is always a peaceful transition.

I'm also thankful for more "superficial" things such as football, shopping malls, fast food, road trips, having a beer with friends, or a glass of wine with my wife, and all the other little luxuries we have.

We Americans believe that all people have rights granted to them by God- regardless of their race, religion or gender. The role of the government is not to grant rights, but to protect our God-given rights. These ideals are based on the Bible and have served us well for 231 years.

The United States is not perfect. But you know what? There is not a single other nation, past or present, in which I would rather raise my children.

And for that, I thank God.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris,

Not only am I thankful to God but also our military.

So, happy fourth of July to you and all troops.

THANK YOU.

God's Peace,

Kate Person

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Independence Day to you and all our troops!! We're so proud of you all & proud that you protect our freedom & our ability to live in a country like the USA!
God Bless!
~The Bittners

9:09 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

One of the things I did today was thank God for our nation. Thank you Chris and to all of our armed forces in harm's way. God Bless America. Happy Independence Day!

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just basically gave Pastor John's sermon at Zion from last weekend. :-) I think it was the same scripture, too.

His added perspective of living for the past several years in a post-communist state and the lingering fear that the people still had of speaking out added a bit more insight into the blessings that we Americans take for granted.

For what it is worth, however, I think you both are on the same page . :-)

Me

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

I agree - our media always seems quite negative and I've personally taken to reading the news then tuning in at nights.

On the flip-side, I am very happy to say that what I feel from those around me (co-workers, friends, family...) is quite the opposite. They are very supportive and thankful for all our troops are doing for us and look forward to a new leader and a new era.

God Bless America and all whom care for her.

5:53 AM  
Blogger LHX2004X said...

AMEN..

I HAVE YOU AND OUR TROOPS IN MY PRAYERS....

GOD BLESS

2:04 AM  
Blogger Bruce-Julia said...

Thanks for such an inspring site/blog. I'm just an old (getting older) retired CWO. Like you My faith in Christ carried me and by family for 23 years with two Vietnam tours. I'm thankful to say I was NEVER discriminated against for my faith or my Christian stand. In fact I believe they earned me respect aboue what I deserved. He is a Great God and Lord.

Thanks for your service and may the Lord richly bless you, your loved ones and your troops.

That's the way this old soldier sees it,

PTL and WOPA

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bruce-Julia,

Just read your post. My father also served two tours in Vietnam as a chaplain in a MASH unit. Thank YOU for your service; it has been undervalued and under-appreciated.

Thanks also for reading this blog and keeping my husband in your thoughts and prayers,

The Chaplain's Wife :-)

8:22 AM  
Blogger Paul Smith said...

I just wanted you to know I finally joined the 21st Century and now have a blog!

I have been either "ANONYMOUS" or PAGGS long enough!

Stay safe, Chris!

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Salomé said...

Wow, that was an inspiring post. I can't say yes to all of those in my case, but I am so thankful too, because I share most of them.

And from deep down in my heart, I'm actually proud to be a South African.

Sorry I've not been keeping up lately, but things have been terribly hectic around here.

God bless.

11:00 AM  

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