Time to take a step back… away from all the rhetoric and accusations… to pause and take it all in… to see all that is truly transpiring… to gain perspective on all that has occurred in just the six months of 2020.
No matter what’s your party or opinion… or where you get your news… it is a good time for Christ-followers to maintain a lifetime, Kingdom perspective, and assess our allegiance to Christ and His Kingdom.
Because followers of Jesus must be careful not to confuse “patriotism” (pride in country) with “nationalism” (our country is better other countries), and …. because history teaches us that the rise of “nationalism” can lead to idolatry (placing love of country before love of God), subverting the message of the Gospel… “exceptionalism.”
I have a good friend named Jon Huckins who is an exceptional writer and an even better passionate Christ-follower. Because Jon is much more articulate than I… I have borrowed some of his words and terms, added a few of my own thots to offer a call back to independence… and dependence on Christ alone. (Link to Jon’s complete post is listed below)“
As Christians… our primary allegiance is not to any nation-state but to Christ and the Kingdom of God. It is a Kingdom marked by sacrificial love, servanthood and suffering sacrifice. The economy of Christ’s Kingdom runs in direct contrast to the economy of any nation-state, including these United States. When these lines have gotten blurred in the past… bad stuff happens in the name of a “god” that looks nothing like Jesus, and utterly confuses those who seek to know Christ.
This has been the case for the years since Jesus life, death and resurrection 2000 years ago. If you look closely, nearly every President who has come before us (both Republican and Democrat) has confiscated the mission of God as a convenient endorsement of their own vision for our country, even claiming their causes are God’s. Down through the years, Christian’s have fallen prey to associating a defense of our country with God’s blessing and blindness to our sins; “exceptionalism.””
I am thankful for freedoms we enjoy in the USA and for those from the beginning that have sacrificed on our behalf to preserve them.
I continue to believe that these United States CAN BE exceptional when/if we leverage our muscle andinfluence to embody equity, equality and justice. But that is NOT the same as saying the United States should look past wrong or that it is divinely elected as “exceptional” such that we can no longer critique our behavior in light of actions, past or present, and that we cannot challenge our practices and lifestyle in light of the values of the Kingdom of God (Sermon on the Mt. – Matt. 5-7). That is nothing short of idolatry.
There is a better way.
A way that liberates those of us who follow Christ from sticking our heads in the sand, ignoring reality and the people who are sick and dying, and from disengaging from the systems we have a responsibility to change and refocus. We do not have to pander to the power-grabbers and look past their selfish-ambitions or lack of character just to insure we have the last word.“We can be Christ-followers without falling victim to the defending the myth of “American Exceptionalism.”
We aren’t the first nation-state to wrestle with a compromised allegiance and we won’t be the last. But this is now our moment to decide to which Kingdom in which we pledge our allegiance.” We who follow Christ align with Christ. Seeking first to live at peace with all men (Rom.12:18), rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that our God’s (Mt.22:21), and seeking first and foremost … Christ’s Kingdom (Matt 6:33).
What can we do? We can chose to align with Christ… to love our neighbors and our enemies… to live like he lived… to say what he said… to proclaim with our lives (as opposed to just our words) actions the ways of His Kingdom. To follow Him and care for the poor and oppressed as opposed to protecting our wealth. My guess is that just this would both give much to do and a greater voice that many desire by helping others SEE Jesus vs. shouting a truth they have never seen, and not lived out.
As Christians, our faith is NOT in government but in Christ alone, and our allegiance is to the Lamb that was slain for EACH and EVERY one of us. There is not a person on earth He does not love and did not come for. We are called “to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
What’s the alternative to living behind the false facade and narrative of “exceptionalism?
”Living in surrendered “dependence” on Christ and our alignment with His Kingdom. Its about not aligning with country or offering allegiance” to an “elephant” or a “donkey” that seeks (in the end) to control the agenda of how life is to be lived and resulting in lives that look nothing like Jesus.
“All other ground is sinking sand.”
Check out Jon Huckins full articlehttps://www.facebook.com/1553823563/posts/10221814472301694/?d=n