Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Americhrist

This morning I found it sad that I can recite the Pledge of Allegiance but not the Apostles Creed (at least not all of it).

I was thinking a bit more about this. I think it's a difficult challenge for children to distinguish between devotion to the nation and devotion to God. This is especially hard when Christians say it is a "good Christian duty" to vote or "protect" the country. When churches display the flag and sing patriotic songs. We teach our children to be devoted to the country and to God, and I don't know if they can separate the two - and our nation is a real thing we deal with every day in the physical as adults when we complain about the government, talk about the President, vote, etc. It seems devotion for country has overwhelmed devotion to God and the two are inseparable.

And then these kids grow up and they are Americans, not Christians. Christianity is just a part of the American identity, it is a secondary title, a lower allegiance.

I cannot kill for this country, and I won't die for it. As a Christian I am a citizen of the Heavenly Kingdom which is not of this world. It has no borders to protect, it has to economy of goods, no voting booths, no military. My first identity is found in Jesus, the Christ, Savior of the world. He said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight" (John 18:36). If I will not fight to defend this Kingdom of eternal importance - if I will not invade to expand the borders of this Kingdom of Peace - how can I fight for an empire that is worth nothing to God?

Isaiah 40:17
Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.

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