John Piper Warns Christians Against Putting Loyalty to the ‘Fatherland’ Above Their Loyalty to Jesus Christ

Theologian John Piper gives a sermon at Passion 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 1, 2020. | Passion/Garrett Lobaugh

Popular Reformed theologian John Piper warned Christians about being too patriotic and placing their loyalty to the “fatherland” over their loyalty to Jesus Christ.

In an episode of the podcast “Ask Pastor John” posted before Independence Day, a listener named Matt asked Piper about how patriotism fit in the Christian life.

“Obviously, as Christians we are to live as strangers, exiles, aliens, and pilgrims on this earth. Is there an appropriate place in the Christian life to be patriotic? If so, what is it? And at what point does our patriotism go too far?” inquired Matt.

Piper responded that patriotism, a love for one’s country, “can be right and good” even as Christians should identify as “exiles, refugees, sojourners.”

He believes that the Bible condones “special affections” in the life of a Christian, such as for a particular city or tribe or nation, in addition to the general love for humanity.

“For example, Paul says in Galatians 6:10, ‘As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith,’” explained Piper.

“So it’s as though there is this specialness about those who are close to you and like you. There is a kind of affection for them that’s different.”

However, Piper also said that such affections should only exist “up to a point” and that Christians should “never give them absolute allegiance.”

“Never feel more attached to your fatherland or your tribe or your family or your ethnicity than you do to the people of Christ,” he continued.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski