by David Roberts
Ours is a unique position in history. As Christians, we are citizens of God’s kingdom, members of Christ’s family, his brethren. We were called out of darkness into his marvelous light. We are benefactors of the blood of the one who gave his life so that we could be free from the guilt and eternal consequence of sin.
As Americans, we are citizens of a free country. We are members of a common group of people, by birth or by choice who have come to make this their home.
We stand poised with one foot firmly planted in Christendom and the other on the soil of the greatest country in the world, America.
A Biblical Foundation
The king of England had taken one step too many in the oppression of a people who wanted to be free from tyranny and monarchial rule.
Our Fathers, the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, were for the most part Christians, not Deists. They were preachers, hymn writers, and seminarians.
Christians are bound to a Constitution—the Bible. We cannot add doctrines that contradict the clear teaching within. We cannot ignore clear teaching we do not like.
Americans are bound to a Constitution as well. We cannot take from it the right to free speech, the right to practice our faith, or the right to keep and bear arms. We cannot add to it the right to murder unborn children in the name of privacy, or the right to nationalized programs that take from some to give to others. We cannot ignore the Constitution, a document that limits the role of government in the lives of the people. Our Founding Fathers knew what would happen to the freedom they fought and died for should their fledgling government ever gain as much power as the one they fought against.
Respecting the Intent
As Christians in the kingdom and Americans in our country, ours is a dual citizenship. Our duty as Christians is to follow God’s Word as closely as possible, respecting the original intent of the writers. Our duty as Americans is to adhere to the original intent of the Founding Fathers of our country.
A wise man once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
American citizens have the duty to keep and preserve the freedoms our forefathers have handed down to us. We have the duty to fight and perhaps even to die to keep our nation free. America can be a “shining city on a hill,” an example to the world of how freedom can change and save a nation.
American Christians have a duty to keep and preserve the doctrines of our Lord without fear of offending someone, without concern for political correctness, and without worry over the consequences.
As millions of unborn children are murdered each year, one every 22 seconds, are we worried about offending members in our church who are pro-choice? Do we stay silent in the wake of this national holocaust on the unborn because of the consequences of offending someone we know?
Teaching the Truth
As millions slip into Hell, are we concerned about what clear teachings on salvation will do to our visitors who might be sitting on the fence?
We’re in danger of loosing the freedom to speak out against homosexuality, indecency, and corruption. Will we find that expressions of faith outside a Sunday service are no longer protected? Should we remain silent?
Will we wake up one morning to the news that gathering in the name of Jesus will be permissible only when our names are included in a national database? Will we be told that that in order to avoid offending unbelievers in our country, nativity scenes, religious Christmas slogans, and church services will be banned? Will it take a loss of our rights as Christians and Americans to wake us up and help us realize our duty to protect and defend our faith and our nation?
As the gospel is misapplied in some churches to focus exclusively on social justice and as believers become caught up in the class envy that drives a wedge between the successful and the unsuccessful, will we stand up against it, or will we acquiesce?
C.S. Lewis warned of this in his book, The Screwtape Letters (HarperCollins, 2001): “The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing [God] demands, and then work him on to the state at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice.”
The complacent Christian, willing to bend in any direction the wind blows, may soon find himself without the freedom of religion or the freedom to practice his faith outside his church. “It’s only politics,” some may argue—until they come after us personally. And then it’s persecution.
David Roberts is a freelance writer in Saint Cloud, Florida.
God’s Word on Authority
As you think about living out your dual citizenship in your daily life, spend some time considering what God’s Word has to say about earthly authorities:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (Romans 13:1-7).