Today is July 4. While that doesn’t mean much to my British friends, they know that for our family and for Americans around the world, this is the day of our greatest national pride. I’ve taken the day off to celebrate with my family, in a foreign land as it were, this day of independence. I’d just like to offer a few quick thoughts and questions for you to reflect today.
Jesus came to this world in order to redeem it from its present ruling. In a very genuine way it was a divine rebellion. However, it was not God who had rebelled, but us with our action and inaction. Thus God came to start a revolution and bring us back to him. Although Christ declared that his “kingdom is not of this world,” it seems he came to make a part of this world. More correctly, he came to redeem this world in order to reclaim it for the kingdom that it was always meant to be. God took us, rebels against him that we were, and changed the focus of our rebellion. Instead of against the king of the universe, we began to rebel with the king against the rulers of this present evil age. To be a Christian is to be inherently counter cultural. To be a Christian, genuinely, is to always withhold devoting your fullest allegiance to a secular state, because your truest allegiance is as a citizen of a different kingdom, one that is invading this one. This doesn’t mean we deny our citizenry in a secular state entirely, at least not yet. It does mean, however, that we love our God more than any country or government. It does mean that we are called to keep in mind a wider perspective beyond the politics of this present age. With that in mind, let me ask a few questions for you to keep in mind today.
Do you sometimes devote more attention and energy to politics than you do to advancing the kingdom of God? What would happen if we expended the amount of energy we do on politics on advancing Christ’s kingdom on earth?
If your country (I realize I’m primarily talking to fellow Americans, but it could apply to anyone) was genuinely opposed to the kingdom of God in its policy and action, would you forsake your country to demonstrate allegiance to Christ?
Is the way someone votes of more importance to you than whether or not they are working to advance the Kingdom of God on a personal level?
Where does your primary allegiance lie?
Happy Independence Day, but recall from where your truest independence comes.