God + country
“God’s country.” “For God and country!” We’ve all heard these phrases. Until recently, I’ve have really thought about what it means. They sound Christian but anyone following this “Stuff we Say” series knows anything can sound Christian and not be.
“God’s country,” as defined here means this: “1. an area or region supposed to be favored by God, especially a naturally beautiful rural area. 2. an isolated rural area. 3. one’s native region.” None of these are really scriptural. Yes there are extremely beautiful places in this earth, but God created all the earth – even the parts deemed ugly by us. All the earth is beautiful and brings glory to Him. I will admit, after seeing New Zealand as shown in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, some regions appear more glorifying than others.
God and country
I couldn’t find a definition for “God and country.” I did find here that “God and country” originated from the Army phrase “Pro Deo et patria.” If you consider the conjunction “and” between “God” and “country” this phrase essentially puts country on equal standing with God. Some are motivated to serve “God and country.” Sometimes we have ceremonies to celebrate “God and country.” There are even “God and Country” church services around the 4th of July. The problem with this thinking is that country is held at an equal (or sometimes higher) place with God the Creator, the Most High, who Was and Is and Is to Come. (See the blog series on Idolatry in America to read more about this).
Using the Lord’s name in vain (Ten Commandment #3) means to use his name flippantly, emptying it of it’s real meaning, in ways that make God to be an object. That being the case perhaps we need to look very closely at what we mean when we say these. I’d say God comes before country…. way before.