The Sin of Patriotism? Really?

The United States of America is not the church. We understand that, right? But is it wrong to love and honor America as our nation?

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore, it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax, custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
- Romans 13:1-7

Six times in this brief text, it is written that God establishes governments and that they are his servants. While none of them perfect, is it okay to celebrate the good?

Are you disloyal to Jesus if you pay $300.00 to go to a ball game and watch your favorite team while wearing a team shirt, sporting a team hat & waving a team flag?

If you gather with fellow school alums and sing your alma mater, have you transgressed in your loyalty to God? Who believes that?

Jesus gave thanks to his Father for a few loaves of bread and some fish. Should we not thank God profusely for our nation?

Should we not thank God for our constitution, that recognizes our God-given rights?

Should we not thank God that the constitution protects us from government oppression?

Should we not thank God for our military, who have kept us free?

Should we not thank God for our policemen & women who serve and protect us?

Should we not thank God for fire departments who stand ready to risk their lives for us?

Should we thank God for our national & collective prosperity, lifting us out of poverty?

Should we not thank God that we live in a nation to which oppressed and downtrodden people have longed to flee for countless decades?

No nation will ever be the church, but that was never God’s intention. My understanding of God's design for governments, however, compels me to see my country for what it is: a huge blessing from Him. If you are an American, hope you share this sentiment also.