Fireworks, flag ceremonies, parades, and other displays of national pride mark the celebration of Independence Day, a United States holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. But none of this would have ever been if the Tories—devoutly religious British loyalists—had persisted during the American Revolution. Of course, they didn’t win the war, but the American push for independence was not without religious dispute; Christians fought on both sides. While the issue of sovereignty was resolved centuries ago, Fourth of July celebrations continue to ignite debate over how evangelicals sort out loyalties to church, nation, and God.
- Fewer Churches Put Patriotism on Display for July 4Though two-thirds are OK with flying the flag year-round, pastors have become more divided over Independence Day celebrations since 2016.
- A Patriotism of Compassion, Not Pomp and GloryRichard Mouw reflects on the moral and spiritual work of loving your country.
- Is There a Wholesome Alternative to Christian Nationalism?Paul Miller’s critique of political idolatry is persuasive. His defense of patriotic civil religion, less so.Português
- America’s True Freedom Is Getting to Sing About God, Not CountryThis Fourth of July, worship leaders work to focus devotion “In Christ Alone.”
- Juneteenth: A Truer Independence DayThe official end of slavery in America more fully embraces the self-evident truth of all people as created equal.
- A Great and Terrible NationUnderstanding our history, and how that might frame our Fourth of July prayers.
- Make Worship Patriotic Again? The Top 10 Songs for Fourth of July ServicesA look at America’s favorite God-and-country tunes, from Revolutionary War anthems to a Trump-inspired musical number.
- Preaching Liberty to the ColonistsThe American revolutionaries justified their cause with ample appeals to Scripture. But what should Christians think of the conclusions they drew?
- Should Churches Display the American Flag in Their Sanctuaries?Observers weigh in on patriotic piety.