For God and Country Part 2
Mixing your Christianity with Nationalistic Patriotism is a recipe for disaster. But the present day churches in America are immersed in it. To them the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness may as well have been craved in Stone and brought down from the Mountain by Moses himself. Even the churches have been established in the fashion of a Democracy where the majority vote rules and the branches of authority compete with one another for more power.
The Roots of this probably go back to Rome where the Empire adopted Christianity as the national religion in the middle of the four Century and the Emperor became the head of the church. That meant that all Ecclesiastical and Governmental authority were combined in the State. Since the ruling feature of Rome was based on what we would call a Republic (with a senate and branches of government) the stage was set for all future churches to become like figures. Thus the remainder of history to now isn’t too difficult to understand if you compare this with the Early Church in the Book of Acts.
The Churches involvement in all the wars, crusades, inquisitions and butchery throughout history is the direct result of what happened by combining Nationalism with Christianity. Including the modern history of World Wars and all the horrible bloody conflicts in-between. NONE of it has anything to do with God or the Biblical Teaching of Jesus. God’s Kingdom is Not a Democracy, where the majority rules or people have a right to vote. Under His Authority there is No Guarantee of inalienable rights, only the Duty to Obey. God DID NOT Write or ordain the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights, man did. In His Kingdom Liberty consist of Freedom from the SLAVERY of SIN. Real Christians Do NOT fight to be free from tyranny, they CONTEND for the Faith. NO WHERE in the Bible do you find Saints engaged in a struggle with the State to overthrow their authority and establish a new Government. In many aspects Rome was oppressive and dictatorial, the Government was corrupt and filled with evil men. For many years they killed the Saints for Preaching Jesus. But you Cannot find one Word in the New Testament, written by the people who were under this tyranny, spoken against the State or in favor or overthrowing the Government.
So I ask you in ALL HONESTY, What gave our Framers the Right to assume God was in approval of their Revolution against England? Let’s face it, you can Believe that God is on your side and supports your cause, but there is NO WAY of Proving it by Scripture. Just because something may appear to be Just by human standards and liberty is much preferable over tyranny, DOESN'T mean the Saints can go about establishing these things by any other means than the Preaching of Repentance and Faith. England also considered itself a ‘Christian Nation, with a Christian King. Did God love them less than the American Colonies, I think not. Consequently what Justified the War other than human Greed? Casting aspersions on the Patriotic fervor of church going Americans is borderline blasphemy to the professing Christians. Many of them have sons and daughters in military service and taking part in wars around the world and they themselves have served proudly in the past. Collectively they believe that America is God’s chosen Nation and has been ordained from above to bring Freedom and liberty to the earth by any means necessary. Therefore taking up Arms in defense of these freedoms is as much ‘Christian’ as following Jesus, to them.
Anyone who objects to this is either cowardice or unpatriotic or both. The flag waves proudly over the churches and they joyfully celebrate Independence Day and host of other holidays related to war. Dying for your country in battle is paramount to being martyred for the faith. What the Bible has to say about these things however has little baring over the sentiments of the professing Christians. Because NO WHERE in the Bible or early church history can you find ANY Saint taking part in War, insurrection, revolution or any armed conflict against the ruling authorities. Granted you can point fingers at places in history where ‘Supposed’ Christians marched off to war with the blessings of their leaders and committed heinous acts butchery on their fellow man. But calling these people ‘Christians’ is a Stretch by any Standard. God’s People DO NOT get mixed up in such things and would rather Die preaching the Gospel than killing the enemy. The Apostles are PERFECT Examples of this. But are we then to lay down to tyranny and allow it to run over us, as Christians? Allow the Hitler’s of the world free reign to enslave mankind and murder who they please?
But I ask you, were the Caesars of Rome any Different? Did not GOD Himself take care of these people in His own good Time, as He promised in Scripture? Didn’t they ALL Meet up with final Judgment and reap what they sowed, just as the Bible says? What is the Proper Christian response to all this? ALLOW the Providence of God to Work these things out while you PREACH Repentance and Faith to the World, that's all! You DON'T Join the Struggle believing that God approves of you actions because one Nation is being sent to Judge the other. God Loves ALL MEN, not one Nation exclusively over another. That ENDED in the Old Testament when Israel was rejected. There is NO Chosen Nation, except those who have Come Out of the World to Serve God in Truth. (any attempt to prove otherwise is a fallacy in the highest degree) The Nations will do what they do motivated by their own greed and nationalistic interests. If one prevails over another, so be it, although 'Christians may benefit by Liberty it's not their place to participate in these conflicts. The Saint’s responsibly in all this is to Preach Repentance and Faith and Remain faithful to the Message at all Cost. No matter what the Government does to them, or how severe the persecution, they MUST Obey God not man. When the ruling authorities come for them they must not resist by force, but can flee if they are able. When they stand before the Rulers they are to respect the office and testify of Christ. The Truth can be told about Sin, Righteousness and Judgment and the consequences are to be taken with Patience and long suffering. If Death results, so be it. Your course has ended, you have Kept the faith and finished the Race. THAT’S the Life of a Saint, NOT a Political activist, a warrior in arms, or even an elected official. (a true Christian could not possibly abide in the political realm. Perhaps men of a more refined moral integrity, but NEVER a Real Christian, they would be removed from office quickly)
True Saints could Never hold a political office. HOW? With the mixed loyalties, compromises and dirty dealing of men, in WHAT Manner could it be Justified by Scripture? None of the Apostles sought public office in the Roman Empire or even notoriety. Nor did any of their disciples. WHY do you? History has proven time and again that these things only serve to Corrupt the Message of Christ not enhance it. Mixing the Gospel with politics is a sure fire way of rendering Repentance null and void in the church. Real Saints should do everything within their power to Keep themselves and their children out from under the influence of the War mentality so prevalent in our society. Not that they shouldn’t be loyal to their country, they should, but as Citizens of the Cross NOT minions of the State. Should military service become compulsive they should first try legal means to be exempt and if that fails suffer the consequences of refusal. If they were forced to take up arms against their will, then as the Roman Soldiers who converted in ancient times, they must stand firmly for Christ regardless what may come. (check the history of Roman Soldiers who died for Christ by laying down their arms and refusing to serve Rome)
The Christian in the Bible stands aloof of the things of the world. They OVERCOME the World by NOT submitting its forms and fashions. Their Kingdom is Not of this World, nor are they here to establish one. They are Sojourns passing through a hostile land seeking a heavenly Kingdom and a place where Righteousness Dwells. As a Great Cloud of Witnesses to the Truth they are in the Company of those who passed before them, of whom the world was not worthy, esteeming the reproach of Christ Greater Riches than the treasures of life. Enduring the afflictions and looking only to the reward…the End of their Faith, the Salvation of their soul.
(2Pet3:13, Heb11:10, 25-27, 38-39)
Heaven is not a Democracy and America is NOT a ‘Christian’ Nation. God surly has a hand in the affairs of man by Providence but His People Cleary have a Mission defined for them in the pages of Scripture to Preach Repentance and Faith. Evil men and imposters will always grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, as Paul said. The ONLY hope of Real reform among men is for Christ to Rule the heart. You could overthrow every form of tyranny on earth and replace it with Liberty and the Corruption would remain. As long as men Refuse to submit their lives to the Authority of Jesus Christ and OBEY Him, human Pride will be the ruling factor and aggression will result.