“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” – Philippians 3:20
Folks, I love America. I mean, Let’s be honest, it’s freaking awesome.
I am the proud granddaughter of a heroic Iwo Jima Marine, faithful voter, and my home decor is Americana. I am apple pie, cheeseburgers, the second amendment, country music, and football (the real American pastime). I tear up every time the National Anthem is sung, and lose it completely when the families of fallen soldiers carry their photos in our local parades. I love this place. This place where I live as an ambassador to my true homeland: the Kingdom of Christ.
Social Media is both a blessing and a curse. The benefits of being connected to my family and friends comes with the high price of having intimate knowledge of everyone’s politics. It’s like the infamous Thanksgiving-table heated political debate, but every day, all day. And if you spend a lot of time on Facebook, like I shamelessly do, it gets old fast. Even though I am a conservative-ish Christian, a lot of what I have grown weary of are posts and comments from other conservative Christians. (This is where I really stick my foot in it)
One day, while scrolling through the feed, a question hit me out of no where like a ton of bricks.
“What about the right to collect rain water on our own property or graze our cattle on federal land?”
“What about capitalism? Does Jesus care?”
It really started to bother me. I used to love watching Fox News because those were my people. But I just stopped feelin’ it when I couldn’t see the Kingdom in any of it. Maybe they weren’t my people after all. I used to read every article posted about which agency was infringing on so-and-so’s constitutional rights, and feel overcome with a passionate, “Oh no they didn’t!”, but then I slowly became disarmed when I didn’t see the Gospel in any of it. Maybe it wasn’t my fight, after all. Over time I began to notice a disinterest in politics all together, which was a huge shift from where I had come.
About a year ago I actually posted about my newfound disinterest and was met with some surprising comments. One of which was that I needed to be political because Jesus was. Was Jesus political? I was confused, so I had to go to the Word and see exactly where this was. And you know what? They were right. Jesus was political. But not in the way referenced.
When Jesus talked about government, He talked about His government. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world – John 18:36
Even though His own people were being occupied, over-taxed, and mistreated by the powerful godless Roman Empire, Jesus’ message to the people was always about His own Kingdom, and when asked specifically about an issue pertaining to local government, He replied, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
Jesus never tried to reform government. He wants to reform our hearts.
I love our great constitution. I wish our current leaders felt the same. I believe it is a beautiful document with roots stemmed deep in biblical principals that when followed, brings great success, security, and freedom to the people. But such security and assurance of a certain way of life has caused God’s people to shift our reliance off of Him, and on to the system we’ve created. Great as it may be, no government is going to last forever. Jesus’ government is going to replace them all. Even America.
So what is going to happen when that which holds our security begins to fade, is attacked, abandoned, or destroyed?
Our hope is not in the constitution, our hope is in Christ alone. If we all wake up tomorrow to the confiscation of our weapons, open borders, and the enforcement of socialism, I will not be shaken, because I am nothing more than an ambassador of the homeland.
What about my rights? “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
What about my property? “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” – Psalm 24:1
What about the American dream? “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12
So, if it’s not upholding the constitution of the United States or our conservative way of life, then what is the good fight?
If you were to read through the New Testament, some repeated themes start to stand out.
- Keep Jesus as the head.
- Love/ serve people
- Make disciples
- Hold fast to solid doctrine/ teaching
- Live by the Spirit.
- Minister to the ‘least of these’/ widows/ orphans / poor (slaves, unborn, oppressed)
This is the fight. This is Kingdom work.
But what about when the law of man in contrary to God’s law? I’m glad you asked! I love this response from GotQuestions about Acts 5:29
“From this, it is clear that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey the law of the land. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God (Acts 5:40-42).”
If our lives, our identity, and what we give ourselves to is wrapped up in who we are in Christ and in our Heavenly citizenship, then we never have to be shaken by the tumultuous changing tide of the world around us. We will, like Paul did, long for our true home, but understand that our time here is valuable, belonging to the Lord for His work and His Kingdom and use our time to advance His purpose.
I love America. But my country is Heaven.
“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. – Philippians 1:19 – 26