Dr. Colson deals here with the struggle between a "wrap the cross around the flag" mentality (anything patriotic is Christian; anything Christian is patriotic), and "just passing through" mindset (Christians have no obligation to their community or their country).
His conclusion is worth noting:
The Christian position is beautifully balanced. On one hand, we don't deify
our country. Our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and that's where our
ultimate allegiance is.
But the only place for expressing that allegiance is in the concrete
loyalties God calls us to here on earth—including loyalty to country. We can't
love mankind in the abstract; we can only really love people in the particular,
concrete relationships God has placed us in—our family, our church, our
community, our nation. I deal with this in a chapter in my new book, God and
So brush up on your civics, dust off your U.S. history books, and
celebrate this July Fourth by thanking God that He has not only called us into
His kingdom but that He's also allowed us to live in—and yes, love—this land of