What is Christian patriotism in itself?
Patriotism itself is love of country. And the country the love of which is patriotism, is the country of one's birth, or of one's adoption by naturalization.
Christian patriotism, then, being Christian love of country, can be nothing else than the Christian's love of the country of his Christian birth.
But the Christian birth is the new birth; it is the being "born again," which is being "born from above." And this "above," the place from which the Christian is born, is heaven.
Heaven, then, is the Christian's country. And even so saith the Scripture: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29). And to Abraham it was said, "Get thee out of thy country, . . . into the land that I will show thee." "He . . . obeyed," and thenceforth he and all his "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He hath prepared for them a city" (Heb. 11:13-16).
Patriotism, then, being love of one's country, and the "heavenly country" being the Christian's country, Christian patriotism is nothing else than love of the heavenly country.
True patriotism is the love of one's country above all other countries: so much so that the true patriot willingly lays down his life for his country. Christian patriotism, then, is the love of the heavenly country above all other countries: so much so that the true Christian will willingly lay down his life for that country.
True patriotism is "the spirit that, originating in love of country, prompts to obedience to its laws; to the support and defense of its existence, rights, and institutions; and to the promotion of its welfare." The Christian's country being only the heavenly country, Christian patriotism is nothing else than the spirit that prompts to obedience to its laws; to the support and defense of its existence, rights, and institutions; and to the promotion of its welfare.
The spirit that, as to the Christian, originates in the love of the Christian's country, is none other than the Holy Spirit. For without being born again, there can be no Christian; and there being no Christian, there can be no love of the Christian's country -- no Christian patriotism. Being born again is to be born of the Spirit. Therefore without the Holy Spirit's creating the new creature and the new life, there can be no Christian patriotism.
Are you a Christian patriot? Do you love the Christian's country above all other countries? Have you the spirit that prompts to obedience to the laws of that country, above all other laws; that supports and defends its existence, rights, and institutions above and against those of all other countries?
But may not Christian patriotism, this support and defense of the rights and institutions of the Christian's country, involve fighting? -- It not only may, but it certainly does. Read: "Fight the good fight of faith." "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal," yet they are "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:4, 5).
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Eph. 6:13-18).
Are you a Christian patriot?