I feel like I post something about the Church in the United States and her over-emphasis on patriotism, sometimes even bordering on nationalism, every year.
And here we are again.
Let’s take a brief look at Jesus’ conversation with Pilate before His crucifixion:
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Jesus is a king; even more so, He’s the King. This isn’t His kingdom. We do Him a grand disservice when we fight for political or cultural causes in His name.
Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones makes a great point about this by asking his congregation, “You’re aware of the claims of Great Britain upon you; are you aware of the claims of the other kingdom?”1 That’s a great question, so I’m going to repeat it:
You’re aware of the claims of the United States upon you; are you aware of the other kingdom?
We, as Christians, are dual-citizens: US citizens and kingdom servants. We have responsibilities to both countries, but only one lasts forever.
Furthermore, our service to the eternal kingdom will translate into better citizenship in this country. The reverse is not necessarily true. We can be good citizens here without any of that having an effect on our eternal citizenship. Service to the US, allegiance to the US, is not the same as service or allegiance to God’s eternal kingdom.
We are not Christian Americans. We are American Christians. Our base identity, our primary role, is the one that lasts forever.
From his sermon “In Heavenly Places,” based upon Ephesians 1:3, which you should listen to now ↩