Monday, May 9, 2011

Hate America

This idea is a continuation of my previous post about this same topic, Undivided devotion to the Lord. Since it is the same argument but a different text of scripture, I will simply just copy that argument verbatim, with just a few modifications. This passage is Luke 14:26

Jesus says,
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his country, fellow-citizens, place of birth—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

This is a powerful passage. This pericope isn't about patriotism and politics, but about discipleship. It is one of those passages that the American church has done away with completely, or at least largely marginalized. It's usually explained away by saying it's an order of magnitude. The strongest wording on it comes from David Platt in his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. He says it means our devotion to Christ should be so strong, our earthly relationships should look like hate in comparison. Most people just say it means you can't love man more than God, and should it come down to it, you should give up your relationships - for example - if your family were to expel you because of your beliefs.

Family is placed even above patriotism. The duty to your family is before the nation. (There are some ultra-nationalistic people who claim duty to country comes first, but in general, the family comes first.) This is why I even went back to talking about family before I went into patriotism.

If the family is the highest priority for Christians, even above our duty to the nation, how much more does this passage apply when you put it in context of politics? Or employment? Or any lesser thing?

Yet I assume phrasing this passage in this way may be even more scandalous for many.

Christ immediately follows this saying,
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

I added emphasis here. It's usually said, "count the cost." Christ is challenging us to really consider what earthly attachments we possess, and how they affect our place in the Kingdom of Heaven. He wants us to let go of our attachments to this world.

We're very much attached to our national politics. Our government. Our money ... Isn't that why we have protests against taxation? We want to hold onto our money. Some are calling for revolution, because they're willing to fight and kill to hold onto the treasures they've built up in this world.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate America, such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not submit to government oppression while you carry out my work cannot be my disciple.

1 comment:

His Name Extoled said...

Our views are similar when it comes to Nationalism I think. We're coming at it from very different angles, but all I can say to this is Amen.

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" - Rev. 7.9-10
"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in [2] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'" - Matt 28.18-20

I'm pretty sure American centered living is pretty much against the very design of heaven and the nature of the gospel itself, yes?