Sin of Pride

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Sin of Pride

Postby Chris » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:06 pm

Those of us who teach from the Smith & Helwys Formations Bible study will be completing a series of lessons on "The Seven Deadly Sins" this weekend. It's just a coincidence that the lesson on PRIDE falls on Independence Day -- a day on which so many United States citizens exaggerate the good things our nation has accomplished, (or maybe it's the things they think we have accomplished), while completely ignoring its corporate sins.

This holiday is about our Independence from Great Britain; Thomas Jefferson; James Madison, Ben Franklin; starting a new nation; a new Constitution.

It's NOT about *veterans, or "support our troops", or about celebrating the wars we won, or celebrating the wars we lost, or the heads of state we have deposed, or, worst of all, hanging a US flag in our Sanctuary at church.

The next radio station that plays Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" will be forever banned from the buttons on my car radio. The line "Proud to be an American" is lost on me (starting with Kent State, and continuing through Watergate, and Granada, Panama, the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the indifference to Israel's atrocities....) It makes me want to regurgitate.

We have become a nation that is guilty of the sin of Pride. And it will be no more evident than on Sunday and Monday.


In honor of Jefferson, and the Founding Fathers, I will raise the flag on my flagpole tomorrow. (Perhaps, I should fly it upside down).


*Chris (a vet) (1960-66)
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:07 pm

Chris wrote:Those of us who teach from the Smith & Helwys Formations Bible study will be completing a series of lessons on "The Seven Deadly Sins" this weekend. It's just a coincidence that the lesson on PRIDE falls on Independence Day -- a day on which so many United States citizens exaggerate the good things our nation has accomplished, (or maybe it's the things they think we have accomplished), while completely ignoring its corporate sins.

This holiday is about our Independence from Great Britain; Thomas Jefferson; James Madison, Ben Franklin; starting a new nation; a new Constitution.

It's NOT about *veterans, or "support our troops", or about celebrating the wars we won, or celebrating the wars we lost, or the heads of state we have deposed, or, worst of all, hanging a US flag in our Sanctuary at church.

The next radio station that plays Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" will be forever banned from the buttons on my car radio. The line "Proud to be an American" is lost on me (starting with Kent State, and continuing through Watergate, and Granada, Panama, the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the indifference to Israel's atrocities....) It makes me want to regurgitate.

We have become a nation that is guilty of the sin of Pride. And it will be no more evident than on Sunday and Monday.


In honor of Jefferson, and the Founding Fathers, I will raise the flag on my flagpole tomorrow. (Perhaps, I should fly it upside down).


*Chris (a vet) (1960-66)


Ed: Why don't you find a better place to live?
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:06 pm

I think I understand where Chris is coming from here as another of the children of the 1960's and the disilluionment that era brought to many of us. I don't wish to disown the country of live anywhere else, but our greatness as well as our failures are all part of the fabric of being an American. There is reason for just pride in our country's accomplishments, but there are certainly faults that are part of our national heritage as well. My favorite lyrics are the stanza in America the Beautiful that says:

America, America, God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
"God will never be less than He is and does not need to be more" (John Koessler)

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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Chris » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:53 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Why don't you find a better place to live?


I will spend my time working for, and voting for, candidates who will make it a better place for all of us (including Lee Greenwood).
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Chris » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:56 pm

Dave Roberts wrote: My favorite lyrics are the stanza in America the Beautiful that says:

America, America, God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.



Perfect!! !
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Lamar Wadsworth » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:32 am

Since 9/11/01 church lawns here in northwest GA/northeast AL have been sprouting flagpoles like toadstools after a summer rain. Over the 4th of July weekend, I saw many churches that had the sidewalks lined with hundreds of little American flags, and many church signs advertizing patriotic-themed services. It is disturbing to me to see the conflation of patriotism/nationalism with fundamentalist Christianity. It is not the mission of the church to promote patriotism. One need not be a Christian in order to be a good citizen--an atheist can be as good a citizen and love his country as well as the most orthodox Christian. The notion that our country is (or ever was) a Christian nation is a distortion of history. The notion that the United States enjoys (or ever enjoyed) most favored nation status with God is heresy. There is much in our country's heritage to celebrate (such as religious liberty for people of all faiths and no faith), and there is much to be repented of (no one ever brought to justice for the Kent State massacre, unsolved murders of civil rights advocates, failure to prosecute war crimes). I'm thankful to be in a church that doesn't do the "God and Country" stuff on the 4th of July--in many places, I'd just have to stay home that Sunday.
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Chris » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:26 am

Thank you, Lamar.
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Jim » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:10 am

LW: It is disturbing to me to see the conflation of patriotism/nationalism with fundamentalist Christianity. I'm thankful to be in a church that doesn't do the "God and Country" stuff on the 4th of July--in many places, I'd just have to stay home that Sunday.

J: Give that man a cigar (preferably Cuban) for the most sterling example vis-à-vis the title of this thread. And if he is forced to stay at home, give him a Cadillac, too, for being so…so…sensitive and perceptive.

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a virtuous man, and the other a fundamentalist. The virtuous man stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this fundamentalist. I fast twice in a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the fundamentalist, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinful fundamentalist who prays here because he lives in a country blessed by God, especially with souls who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Lk. 18:9-14).
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Hal Eaton » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:47 pm

Jim, could your post a.(possibly), b.(questionably), c.(easily), d(none of the above) be re-written so that the fundamentalist was the first seeker after God's favor, and that the second character was the educated, truth-telling confessor of sin (maybe even, by the process of contrast, a "liberal")?

Or did I not rightly evaluate the scorn, and/or sarcasm, and/or satire in your post?
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. -- Thomas Paine
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Chris » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:27 pm

Jim wrote:... because he lives in a country blessed by God, especially with souls who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Surely, you don't think that God cares any more about the USA than the other nations. And, haven't you observed that there are soldiers and sailors from other nations who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice? Japan, Germany, and North Vietnam come to mind.
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Jim » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:34 pm

Hal Eaton wrote:Jim, could your post a.(possibly), b.(questionably), c.(easily), d(none of the above) be re-written so that the fundamentalist was the first seeker after God's favor, and that the second character was the educated, truth-telling confessor of sin (maybe even, by the process of contrast, a "liberal")?

Or did I not rightly evaluate the scorn, and/or sarcasm, and/or satire in your post?

Be my guest and re-write it any way you like since I’ve already taken my turn. For instance, try it with the virtuous man and Moonies – in either order – and see how it comes out. Or, leave out the prideful virtuous man and just go straight through with flat-out sinners, Moonies in or out – your choice. I hope you don’t have to give up attending a service, though, on the chance that somebody might forget and sing “America” or some other flag-waving tripe and cause trauma.

And surely you don’t think I would resort to scorn, and/or sarcasm, and/or satire. I’m wounded at such a charge…but I’ll get over it.
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Re: Sin of Pride

Postby Jim » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:37 pm

Chris wrote:
Jim wrote:... because he lives in a country blessed by God, especially with souls who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Surely, you don't think that God cares any more about the USA than the other nations. And, haven't you observed that there are soldiers and sailors from other nations who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice? Japan, Germany, and North Vietnam come to mind.

Why don’t you just read what I said and answer your own question?
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