I Prayed have prayed
Father, we pray that You would never let us confuse our loyalty to You with our loyalty to our nation. Nevertheless, Lord, we pray that You would raise up strong, patriotic, Christian leaders who will guide America towards You.
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Analysis. There are certainly times when our religious faith and our patriotism go hand in hand. At other times, our religious faith might cause us to seem unpatriotic. But at all times, it’s important that we distinguish between our faith and our patriotism. Blurring the lines can be dangerous.

Do you want state prayer alerts?


Before I focus on the subject of this article, let me give you some different but related examples.

Let’s say you’re a Christian and a policeman. If you give a driver a ticket for speeding, you’re doing so as a policeman who happens to be a Christian, quoting the law to the driver, not the Bible. If you share the gospel with the driver, you’re doing so as a Christian who happens to be a policeman, quoting the Bible to the driver, not the law.

Any policeman can issue a ticket. Only a Christian would share the gospel.

Let’s say you’re a Christian and a soldier fighting terrorists in Syria. If you kill an enemy combatant, you’re doing it as a soldier who happens to be a Christian. If you pray for the enemy’s family, you’re doing it a Christian who happens to be a soldier.

Any solider can kill the enemy. It takes a Christian to pray for the enemy’s family.

If you’re a Christian and a veteran reciting the pledge with pride, you’re doing so as a veteran who happens to be a Christian. If you pursue a fresh spiritual awakening in America, you’re doing so as a Christian who happens to be a veteran.

Many veterans can recite the pledge with pride. It takes a Christian to pursue a fresh spiritual awakening.

Yet in each of these three instances, there’s a good deal of overlap. The Christian policeman wants to be a good witness on the job, and as a Christian, he is committed to serve with integrity.

As for the Christian soldier, he prays for protection and for success in his mission of taking out the bad guys.

As for the Christian veteran, in his mind, love for God and love for country go hand in hand. Plus, as far as he is concerned, his beloved America is special because of its Christian roots.

You do not take off the Christian hat when you put on the hat of the policeman (or soldier or veteran). In fact, if you need to take the Christian hat off when you do your job (meaning, you cannot live by your Christian principles while doing your job), you should find another job.

Now, let’s say that you’re a Christian and a gun owner living in America and the government wants to take away your legally owned firearms. You will oppose the government’s actions as an American who happens to be a Christian.

But will you make a separation between your faith and the Second Amendment? Will you compartmentalize the two? I seriously doubt it. Chances are that the thought wouldn’t even come into your mind. In fact, you would probably call other Christian friends urging them to pray and strategize with you.

You would think to yourself as Christians, “We need to prevent this kind of dangerous government overreach, not just for our sake but for the sake of the generations to come. This is a matter for prayer and action.”

And so you would pray, “Heavenly Father, we’re asking You to help us fight against these ungodly forces. This tyrannical takeover must be stopped. In Jesus’ name, amen!”

After all, isn’t this what our Founding Fathers did in America? Wasn’t the revolutionary war fueled by preaching from our pulpits? Didn’t the ministers help stoke the fires of revolution? And didn’t Benjamin Franklin say that, “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God”?

The answer to these questions is yes, indicating the ease with which we can merge our faith with our patriotism.

And it can easily be argued that, at certain times in history, it is right and fitting to merge the two.

It can also be argued that now is one of those times, as the radical left, embodied in the current administration, has launched an all-out assault on our most fundamental freedoms.

But this is where we need to be careful.

On the one hand, many fine Christians are joining together to push back politically, just as those with other ideologies are pushing for their agendas politically.

We have every right to do this as Americans, but it is our faith that fuels our convictions and informs our voting. That’s why we pray for our elected officials, and that’s why we pray for God to turn the tide in our nation.

There is no separation here between our faith and our patriotism, between our loyalty to God and our loyalty to America. Let us impact our nation for good.

On the other hand, loyalty to Jesus is still distinct from loyalty to America (and on an entirely different level), and Second Amendment rights (to give one example) are not on the level of Scripture.

Accordingly, as followers of Jesus, we are called to die rather than deny Jesus. As believers, we are not called to die rather than surrender our weapons.

There will also be different perspectives during a war, because of which there were British Christians fighting against American Christians in the Revolutionary War and northern Christians fighting against southern Christians during the Civil War.

Does that mean they were killing each other in Jesus’ name, or does that mean that national issues can sometimes divide true Christians? The answer is obviously the latter.

Patriotism and discipleship obviously do not always go hand in hand.

The reality is that America is a fallen nation, just like every other nation on the planet, and as such, is part of what the Bible calls “the world.” The political system is also part of this fallen world, with even our favored party mixed with corruption and compromise.

As for political leaders, no matter how heroic and strong they might be, all of them have clay feet (to use a biblical idiom) and all of them are mere mortals, here today and gone tomorrow. The Bible frequently urges us not to put our trust and hopes in them.

So, while our faith and our patriotism often overlap, there is a vast difference between the two. There is a vast difference between our loyalty to Jesus and our loyalty to a party or cause or leader, between the kingdom of God and America.

We do well to keep those distinctives in mind.

Otherwise, when the lines between Christianity and patriotism get blurred, the spirit of the world will enter our hearts. And soon enough, we will look more like the world than like the people of God.

What do you think of this article? Are patriotism and faith incompatible, or is a merging of the two needed in America today? Share your thoughts and prayers below.

(Used with permission. Ask Dr Brown, by Dr. Michael L. Brown. Photo Credit: Canva)

Comments (14) Print


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Nancy Penoyar
September 14, 2022

Excellent article. Each one of us needs to see what our purpose and object is in our everyday choices. We no longer live in a country where it was thought that everyone believed in God. Our freedoms are also allowing others to have freedoms too, even those may be in opposition to our Christian views. Thanks for the reminder that we often wear two hats, but God always comes first. Making good laws will never make people good, but along with our prayers, God can through the Gospel.

Irene ArmendarizJackson
September 12, 2022

Yes, it is important to raise God fearing leaders but it is just as important for the body of Christ to support them.

Jackie Hardman
September 11, 2022

Thank you so much for this article. As a Navy veteran I AM IN TURMOIL ABOUT THIS CONTINUALLY. I KNOW WE ARE CALLED to render unto Ceasars that which his and to God that which is Gods’. However we are also told that when government goes against God’s law we are not required to obey. Our country has been living against God’s law since Roe vs Wade and now we drown in evil. I believe God has withdrawn His blessings on America in hopes they will awaken to the spiritual darkness surrounding us. I pray everyday for a repent and turn around, and that our leaders be saved. When is enough enough. When do we literally have to fight the evil? Are we to ? Are we just to pray and let our country be overrun by communists , crime and murder of innocent people. I will continue to pray for fair elections and the raising up of God fearing, Bible believing Constitutionalists. I guess I am asking when is enough,enough or shall we just be led to the slaughter like the Jews in the 30-40s?
I pray for God’s wisdom for myself and other Christian patriots to know when to stand or when not too. I still remain conflicted. Please give more Godly insight to my dilemma. God help America🙏🙏. Pray it’s not too late.

September 11, 2022

This article was enlightening and needed. I struggle with this. If we are His hands and feet, should we not be engaged in every facet of life including politics. We see what has happened as more non-believers have authority and power in decision and law making. On the other hand, God is in control and His plan will play out. The Bible tells us the end of the story.

September 11, 2022

Martin Niemöller a Lutheran Pastor during WWII is famous for this saying:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

He ended up in jail. If we do not take heed to his warning, history will repeat itself. The first thing a country does to remove power from it’s people is vilify weapons and take them away. Even in the Bible there are stories of opposing kingdoms taking control in this way (before guns). If we do not stand up for what is right we will follow in the way of Pastor Martin Niemöller.
Just saying.

September 10, 2022

Oh my goodness…This is such a compelling article. Thank you for this insight, helping us to truly weigh where we stand as this world system continues to unfold at such an alarming rate. We need to be aware of the evil poised to destroy, while understanding that whatever we face will be part of God’s continuing story. We have to be careful not to be overcome by fear as we put on God’s whole armor…We have to trust Him more deeply and completely than we ever thought we could as we face circumstances the Bible assures us are coming. We need to be able to stand strong and firm in the face of them, and (as the Lord is teaching me) not hate the naive and weak people who are blindly accepting and even encouraging the increasing evil being unleashed on our nation, and the entire world. I know I for one need Him to equip and prepare me to stand confidently and strong and not melt into a puddle of fear!!!!

Carol Bond
September 10, 2022

I believe that God was in the making of thos country, as our forefathers believed. And I know it was just for the enjoyment of freedom for them or us: it was so America would be a shining light, so we (yes, along with other nations too) would step out and spread the gospel of Christ to the world.

Of course, every person in every office are just people, people that do not always act in the ways of God, even those that earnestly follow Him. Our hope is never in a regular human; our hope is in Jesus alone. But I believe America WILL be saved! And I believe we as Christians have a responsibility to fight for our country.

Daniel Felice
September 10, 2022

I’m a Christian and a veteran. Do I mix these sometimes, yes. With the enemy on the attack in America, I believe in peace, but biblically it’s never going to happen. The enemy has had a foothold in this world since the beginning of time when God created the world. And that enemy will do what it takes, with whomever it takes to take away out belief in Jesus I’m willing to protect my family and friends from the enemies grasp with prayer, but I’m willingly ready to give my life to protect this country from that enemy.

    Virginia in Tennessee
    September 11, 2022

    Thank you brother for your past and continued service to our country-blessings to you!

    Jackie Hardman
    September 11, 2022

    Right there with you🙏🇺🇸🆘

Barbara Janicki
September 10, 2022

Thank you for this. As you say, we may take our police officer, teacher, etc. hats off when not at work but we never take off our Christian hat – it is in Him “we live and move and have our being.” We do our work as unto the Lord. Also true that political leaders come and go, we do not follow individual people except for Jesus Christ who is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” Faithfulness to God takes precedence over loyalty to country. Christ’s bride, the church, is comprised of people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Still on some issues like abortion and slavery I wonder how a believer would support either one? (you mentioned the Civil War where Christians were fighting against Christians)

One thing I do see today with young people is that “causes” ie. the environment, LGBTQ rights, BLM, attacking police etc. have taken on the form of a religion and have taken the place that church used to fill in their lives – causes have taken the place of a relationship with a living Savior, Jesus. We all want our lives to have meaning and purpose which is found and satisfied in a relationship with Jesus. Apart from that people look to “current causes” which come and go to give their lives meaning and it gives them a group to belong to and an identity (as we see clearly in the gay community)

I need to keep my eyes on Jesus 24/7, continually reevaluating – to be sure I am serving Him alone and not some political agenda or current cause or leader – all of which come and go. Lord, make me faithful to You alone and guide my thoughts and actions. Thank You for this country and this constitution, may I defend them but even more so may I be a defender of the faith, like Paul said, never wavering but fighting the good fight, contending for the faith. http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com

    September 10, 2022

    I appreciate your comment about causes and why people get behind them. It helps me to have a better understanding of where they might be coming from. Thanks!

James Beckwith
September 10, 2022

The Christian history of this nation is indisputable, but often ignored, or distorted by those who hate God. The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence clearly acknowledges the Lord Creator God. As a disabled veteran, LEO, and patriot, I cannot separate the two, as I believe the Lord endowed me with His Spirit which I try to let guide my every thought, word and deed. America belongs to the Lord!

September 10, 2022

My 10th grade civics class called it, Civil Religion, in 1978-ish. There is actually a name, is what I thought when I heard that. I think that is strange that if you love this country, it’s a religion and taught in schools.


Partner with Us

Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.

Dave Kubal
IFA President
Become a Monthly Partner


Click below to share this with others

Log in to Join the Conversation

Log in to your IFA account to start a discussion, comment, pray, and interact with our community.