It is great to be an American. In some countries writing an article like this one could get me in big trouble with the government. I can’t think of a better country in this world than America. So, what is the danger. The danger is two- fold actually. One is that we push our Americanism on other countries and people, and the other is that we allow America to take the place of God.
The danger of devotion to the U. S. shows itself when one goes beyond liking the country and idolizes it. We may send missionaries to foreign shores and instead of teaching them Christianity, we may be attempting to teach them to think like Americans. It would be wonderful if all countries allowed religious freedom, but sometimes Americans equate freedom of religion with true Christianity. We need to remember that the early church had no such freedom and they were probably truer Christians than many of us. Paul admonished them to obey the governing authorities, even though those same authorities had arrested him. Peter and John explained in Acts 4 that if there was a choice between obeying men (governing authorities)and God, they would obey God. They never tried to overthrow the government, nor did they disobey any laws that were unjust, unless the law tried to keep them from doing God’s will. We need to draw a clear distinction between what is American, and what is Christian since they are not the same thing.
We should never put devotion to the U. S. or anything else before God. There are many who equate the writings and teachings of the ‘Founding Fathers’ with the teaching of scripture. There is a huge difference that we should recognize between the writing of wise but uninspired men and the writing of scripture by men inspired by God. One might try, as many have, to say that since we have freedom of religion protected (not granted) by the Bill of Rights, “all religions are equally valid” or “one church is as good as another.” That may indeed be the way things are seen legally in this country, but that is not the way the Bible views the subject. Jesus said he was “THE way” not “A way”, “THE truth” not “some of the truth”, and “THE life” not "an American way of life". He declared that not one single soul could get to the father and thus heaven any other way. He also stated in Matt. 16:18 that he was going to build one church that would be his. At last report in the city of Los Angeles there were over 600 different religious groups, and Jesus only founded one. Equal legal rights does not mean equal in God’s eyes. There are many other things about which we may be confused if we take the government’s word for it instead of God’s.
We must be careful to separate good from bad and line everything up against the word of God. It is great to be an American, but it is better to be a Christian. We are not to be American Christians any more than we are any other kind of Christians. We are to be Christians only and obey God only.