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Summary: We can only love our government as much as we love God. Our most patriotic duty would be to pray that the two never conflict.

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Title: Payer and the Patriot’s Act

Text: Romans 12:18 – 13:7

FCF: Because Governments derive their authority from God, we ought to pray that they don’t set up themselves up in opposition to him

SO: We cannot love our country more than we love God, because God is the means by which our country is to be loved.

Argument of the passage – Live peacefully (Who doesn’t, except for maybe the rogue Klingon or two…

Let God be God

Let the authorities be in authority

Let the government do God’s work

- Polygraph

Thankfully, God didn’t force me to choose that day. Upon hearing the struggle between God & country in my mind he tried to dismiss it. He just said, “There’s not really any conflict there.” What he simply took as a matter of fact, I still view as a matter of prayer. I never want there to be conflict of those loyalties, because that’s a war that should never be fought. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “We all pray that God is on our side. That is not the question. I am more concerned that we are on God’s side.” On this post-July 4th weekend, I hope that can be our prayer too.

- Being subject to ≠ blind worship of

o Easily twisted into unthinking obedience

o Tension (Heb 11, Rev 13)

o Blind patriotism Robert E. Lee fights for the wrong side

- If it is possible means there may be conflicts

- Our priorities must be God then country, not the other way ‘round

- No Authority apart from God, b/c God is the author of authority

- Not sep. of Church and State - God is God in our civic lives too

- Loving Susan in order to love Rachel

- looking to a far off city.(Heb 11) Citizenship in heaven (Phil 3 20)

- Carrot & Stick

- Governments not perfect

- April 1865

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They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In my case, only knowing the theory without the reality could have kept me from a really good job.

After September 11th, a lot of us felt our patriotism. Less than a month after the attacks, I found myself ready to work for the federal government I had to get very specific about what exactly that patriotism meant to me. You see, in order to work for where I work, I needed to be polygraphed – hooked up to a lie detector. Before they start taking measurements, they work with you to ask good questions that don’t unnecessarily set off the needles. The guy in charge asked me if I had any questions that I was afraid of answering.

Now, here’s where a little bit of knowledge came in. I knew enough about the Bible to know that when the earliest Christians said their creed was “Jesus is Lord,” it meant that Jesus was Lord, and not Caesar. In a conflict of loyalties, I love my country, but I know my God is bigger and better than even these United States. I was afraid that if he asked me if my highest loyalty was the United States, I’d have to say ‘No.’ God is bigger.

As one who was raised on the notion in Hebrews that we are just aliens and strangers passing through, I didn’t want my theology to be confused with his checklist. But I wouldn’t have been honest if I thought they were unrelated. I am a Christian first, and to deny that Christ has claim even over my political sensibilities is to be setting up a no-go zone for God. That’s not a place where I want to be.


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