For the most part, I want this blog to be a chance for me to encourage people to fix their eyes on Jesus. For that reason, most of my posts will be exclusively biblical or theological in nature. But for this post, I am going to say something political. Here it is:
The Christian church and the United States of America are two different things.
I know that may sound obvious, but I have noticed a general tendency for people to blur the distinction. I am both a Christian and an American; as such, my duties as both a Christian and an American are distinct. What I briefly offer below are a few reminders and admonitions to both groups with whom I share an affinity. You may notice that each of the following sets are contrasting in some way; that is intentional. (If this sounds influenced by Augustine’s writing on the “Two Cities,” I confess up front that I have not read his works on this matter.)
Fellow Americans, we participate in a representative democracy.
Fellow Christians, we are subjects of a spiritual theocracy.
Fellow Americans, our government must protect the natural rights of every citizen and execute justice on law-breakers.
Fellow Christians, we must recognize that we are all sinners before God, yet His mercy is open to any who repent and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the atoning sacrifice who took our sins upon Himself.
Fellow Americans, it is for our good that we tolerate those among us who believe differently than ourselves.
Fellow Christians, it is for our good that we love those among us who vote differently than ourselves.
Fellow Americans, let us be slow to believe whatever latest news story merely because it confirms our worst fears about “the other.”
Fellow Christians, let us be quick to believe all that God has proclaimed in His holy, true, clear, authoritative, and sufficient Word.
Fellow Americans, let us be open to investigating which (if any!) of the available political options would be most beneficial for our nation.
Fellow Christians, let us always trust that the Spirit of Truth promised by Jesus will guide us to know the truth for ourselves, to obey our Heavenly Master, and to love our fellow believers.
Fellow Americans, it is for our good that our nation elects different leaders—mayors and governors, congresspersons and presidents—on a regular basis.
Fellow Christians, it is for our good that our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah, will never, ever, EVER be dethroned.
Fellow Americans, it may behoove us to realize humbly that not all of our problems are political.
Fellow Christians, it befits us to proclaim boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ as the healing balm to every painful situation and every broken heart.
Fellow Americans, let us never try to remake our country into a theocracy; when we try to do so, trouble always follows.
Fellow Christians, let us never try to remake the church into a democracy; when we try to do so, trouble always follows.
Lastly, the church and the USA should be contrasted in one more important way: only one of them is eternal.
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:13b, NASB