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The English word patriotism is based upon the Latin word for father, pater. A number of other words have the same origin, such as patriarch (the father of a family) and patrimony (an inheritance from one's father). Since nations are founded by people, patriotism came to be used as a term for the love and loyalty to the nation that was established by the "founding fathers," a term familiar to people of numerous countries around the world (patriotism literally means loyalty to the "fathers" of the nation; "patriotism" to a nation that was established by "founding mothers" would be known as "matriotism").

Christian Patriotism

Earth For most of us, loyalty to our country is regarded as a sacred duty. If it were invaded, most of us would defend our nation, wherever that is, in clear Christian conscience, with lethal vigor (World War II era US General George Patton was right when he said that wars aren't won by dying for your country, they are won by arranging for as many of your enemies as you possibly can to die for their country). But the Christian perspective is also much wider, in the sense that we all, regardless of where we now live (see The Border That Matters To God), look forward to a new country that is yet to come, a "patriotism" based upon loyalty to another Founding Father - God. That country is known in the Bible as The Kingdom of God.

The example of Abraham and Sarah in their journey to a new country, a physical promised land (in modern-day geographical terms, they left their birthplace in Iraq and moved to Israel) is a prophetic analogy of the journey of God's people to a spiritual promised land, the Kingdom of God:

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."

"By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city [see The City To Come] which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

"Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child [i.e. Isaac, see also Isaac's Faith And Obedience] when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable."

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:8-16 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "gospel" mean?
See The Gospel of The Kingdom of God

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