The primary purpose of a home is to reflect and to distribute the love of Christ.It is so easy to think of home as a safe haven, a place for me to be insulated from the world, a place I can come to have things my way. Instead, as Zacharias says, I should be thinking of my home as a means to an end, as the tool with which I am privileged to share the Gospel. It should indeed be a safe haven, a place insulated from the trials of life, but not just for me. It should be that for everyone in my sphere of influence. . .a place where Christ's way reigns supreme and there is never fear of embarassment, reprisal, or inhospitality. I think this means I can't be a hermit.
The words of Jesus are a stirring reminder to all of us that the pride of birth carried to extreme can be a vortex that sucks us into destructive ways of thinking and living. The rising voice of nationalism has unleashed horrors too numerous to mention. In years of travel, I have been to many places in the world where people think they are superior because of their culture, places like China, the Middle East, Europe, and America. One way or the other, we all think we are the center of the universe because of our place in life. We had absolutely nothing to do with our birth. Jesus did, and He chose a most unlikely city to call home. He was not ensnared by the flimsy and fickle attachments of nationalism.
We have made truth relative and culture supreme and have been left with a world in which wickedness reigns.
taken from Jesus Among Other Gods, by Ravi Zacharias
The comments on culture are provocative. It is not exagerration to say that I have always seen patriotism as a godly trait. God, family, country, in that order, deserve our devotion. I think this is a particularly sticky subject for Americans because of our Christian founders. American history is important, not only for national pride, but to discover the godly principles upon which our nation was built. Foreign policy is important, not only for its impact on our country, but because we have responsibilities as a Christian nation. I realize that the nation as a whole has largely strayed from its Biblical roots, yet our culture still shows Biblical influence in areas such as work ethic, equality of persons, etc. It may be that truth and American culture were, at one time, largely intertwined (or were seen that way). I wonder if this is true for many--all?-- countries, if I am again falling to the American ego. What are the responsibilities of a Christian toward his country, in terms of attitude or devotion? Is that answer somewhat dependent on the godliness (or lack thereof) of the country's culture?