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Home The Light Articles from 2004 War and Patriotism

War and Patriotism

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War and Patriotism

It has always been of concern to conscientious objectors that fellow citizens look upon them as unpatriotic. The Christian's objection to carnal warfare does not erase our patriotism. A patriot is defined: "one who loves his country and supports its authority and interests." The definition of patriotism is: "love for or devotion to one's country." Christians are patriotic. So long as our government does not require of us that which violates the will of God, we "pledge our allegiance," that is, we promise to be loyal, faithful, and true citizens of our Republic. The true Christian should be amongst the most compliant citizens of government. Objection to war is only that: objection to war. It is not an objection to our great nation. Although we often do not agree with legislation nor the direction in which our national leaders are guiding, we love our country and strive to be the best of citizens. We are law abiding, not troubling our courts with unlawful or criminal behaviour. We have no sympathies with such demonstrations as flag burning and other displays of disregard and disrespect for our national heritage. We strive to live peaceable with all, in all godliness and honesty (Rom. 12:18).

As stated, although we live in humble submission to the demands of government, when these demands violate God's will His sovereign rule takes priority, civil authority is secondary (Acts 5:29). The apostle Peter spoke the Christian's conviction when he said to authorities: "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye" (Acts 4:19).

As Christian objectors, we are not a subversive element in society. We take no part in, nor do we endorse or participate in riots and rebellion against government. We are simply Christians, giving God first place in our lives, seeking to avoid the harm, the hurt, the hate of that awful thing called war.

Patriotism? When Union forces seized Nashville, an oath of allegiance was required of all citizens. Apparently, bro. Tolbert Fanning was willing to declare himself loyal in the same sense he had been loyal to the Southern Confederacy. But this was unsatisfactory and Fanning was classed as disloyal. Because of this "disloyalty," he was not paid for honest labor which he performed and his possessions were confiscated and burned. At times bro. Fanning was destitute of food. Such is often the toll of refusing to violate conscience.

 

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