Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Sunday, 13 September 2015


By Jim Jordal

 Nathan said to David, "You are the man. This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.  I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that would have been too little, I would have added to you many more such things. Why have you despised the word of Yahweh, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'                                              2 Sam. 12:7-10 WEB

In this biblical example, King David’s arrogance and lust got the better of him as he took the beautiful Bathsheba, another man’s wife, for himself; then had the innocent husband, Uriah, killed in battle; then mounted a conspiracy to cover it all up. Sounds like it could happen today, doesn’t it? But the dastardly deeds couldn’t be hidden from the Lord, who sent the prophet Nathan to confront David with these unequivocal words, “You are the man.”

These days we hear much about patriotism as both political parties and most candidates wrap themselves in the flag as they propound great theories as to what’s wrong and what they will do about it. But we the public need to judge for ourselves whether candidates are merely posturing for the news cameras, or whether they really intend to identify and deal with the pressing issues of the day.

On the surface there appears to be little conflict between Christianity and patriotism. After all, weren’t some of our greatest patriots and Founding Fathers like George Washington and most of the members of the early government also Christians? And William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth colony, said on many occasions that he believed God had directly founded the American colonies to carry forward God’s work on earth.

But today the definition of patriotism assumes new meaning because of the vast number of national values and behaviors that appear directly antithetical to Christian biblical principles. So is a patriot one who supports government and its leaders, right or wrong? Does a patriot blindly support militarism whatever its motivation, goals, or outcomes? Does a patriot favor a government/corporate partnership aimed at producing ever-more goods at whatever the cost to the environment? Does a patriot refuse to criticize government whatever it does? And does a patriot always support the same political party with no thought of discriminating voting?

You’ve probably heard all of these professed by zealots as true patriotism. And you’ve no doubt heard the opposite of these beliefs labeled as “unpatriotic,” or even treasonous. So is someone who questions government policy or action really unpatriotic? Are they a danger to freedom and public order?

Real patriots don’t unthinkingly “go with the flow.” As Texas political commentator Jim Hightower says, “…even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

 When the prophet Nathan confronted King David with his grievous sins of adultery, murder, and conspiracy by leveling the charge: “You are the man,” was he acting in an unpatriotic manner, or was he exercising real patriotism by confronting evil in government?

Real patriotism is daring to speak out and then be willing to act against evil wherever it is found---in government, corporations, schools, medical facilities, the military, or anywhere else. Anything less is merely courting public favor without serious risk. When you hear candidates speak, consider these points.

Yes, Christians can be patriots. All it requires is a bit of biblical knowledge, some common sense, and the courage to resist entrenched injustice.