I’ve lived in America for all of my adult life, and I certainly appreciate the freedoms that privilege has afforded me. Like many in this country, I am deeply concerned about the direction we are heading, and I miss the heady times of the past. Yet a disturbing trend I’ve noticed among believers is to elevate this concern to their chief topic of conversation. They put far more energy into political causes than they do into the mission of the Kingdom. I understand the emotion; I spent ten or fifteen years heavily wrapped up in politics as well. This is a dangerous game for Christians, and I believe it is a sinister weapon of the enemy.
As long as Satan can keep you focused on the plight of your country, he has successfully kept you from being involved in the mission of your calling. Remember, Israel is the only country in all of history to have been selected by God as His people. While America’s laws are certainly based on Biblical principles and most of our founding fathers were believers, we must never confuse those facts in a way that we see America as “God’s country”. We are the country of freedom, democracy, compassion and the defender of the innocent. But we are also the country that has condoned slavery, embraced racism, and killed millions of innocent people. The hope of humanity is found only in Jesus Christ, not in the United States.
Still, with a new political season upon us, Christians rally together to support the candidate they feel best exhibits a belief system in line with the Bible’s teachings. That’s fine as far as it goes, and I believe we should indeed work to help Godly men and women achieve positions in government where they might be able to legislate in a manner consistent with the mission of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that we become so passionate about our politics that we forget our calling. We let disagreements about political affiliation and direction drive a wedge between us and those to whom we should be demonstrating the love of Christ. It’s okay to have a point of view, but we can’t ever let our opinions of an earthly kingdom obstruct the work we do for the eternal Kingdom of God.
As followers of Christ, we are called out and separated; we are no longer citizens of any country but instead servants of Heaven (John 15:19; John 17:14-16; 2 Corinthians 6:17). Our home and loyalty now rests with the King of Kings. We must never forget where truth and hope are found; there is only one source and it is not of this world.
The next time you find yourself involved in a political conversation, use the opportunity to share why you have hope regardless of the outcome of any election. While the direction of our country may affect your day to day activities, it should have no bearing on your spiritual identity and development. You were bought for a price and now belong to Jesus; no country or people on earth have any claim on you.
As followers of Christ, we are no longer Jew or gentile, republican or democrat, slave or free. We are simply servants of the living God, the Creator of the universe and the sustainer of life. Our calling is so much higher than that of political opinion or national sovereignty. Our mission is to further the Kingdom of Jesus here on earth. Let’s not lose sight of what’s truly important and neglect the life we have been called to live.
Question: Are you an American Christian or a follower of Jesus who happens to live in America?