God's Kingdom without Borders

The Vine Institute

God's Kingdom without Borders

Toward a Deeper Patriotism

Greetings, fellow kingdom citizens!

I figured I’d do just one follow-up entry to the first entry a half-month ago. Please forgive me for my tardiness of a couple days (goal was to post on the 15th). In future, by the way, we on the Vine Institute team will post more frequently: almost daily on Facebook, and I specifically will post on this blog at least weekly.

A Facebook friend of mine raised the question “Where’s the line between ethnocentrism and patriotism?” The question seems to me quite provocative, though not very well-focused. I mean, what exactly does she mean by ethnocentrism? by patriotism? As I said in the previous post, my take would start with our divine calling to be good and loyal citizens of the country God has placed us in though not necessarily “patriots” of that country, especially in the sense of an uncritical, morally blind “my country right or wrong” commitment. Nowhere in Scripture do I find God telling His people to baptize or support government corruptions or nationalistic sins just because they are done by “my country.”

Ethnocentrism relates more to one’s people group, one’s “ethnic” tribe, and sees the standards and values of the group to which one belongs as normal and right and good. In this case my tribe’s ways become the measuring stick or plumb line for all tribes. It amounts to a tribal arrogance that places my group at the center of the world!

Good citizenship gives us the answer to both of these abuses. It flows out of a commitment to God’s ways, God’s standards, which springs from life in Christ by faith and leads one to “honor the king” and “pray for leaders” and serve our neighbors by loving them as ourselves. Which is to say, it flows out of a deeper patriotism–an unqualified commitment to God’s kingdom-without-borders where all ethnocentrism dissolves away in the unity of the Spirit.

I welcome responses. What’s your take on all of this?

David Livingstone Rowe

Posted in Ethnocentrism on 19 July 2012
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