When Our Foundations are Shaken

Christians are feeling betrayed.

Motivated by a desire to be good citizens, many of us have taken an active interest in the welfare of our country. We’ve participated in the political process. We’ve supported candidates we thought would lead this nation according to godly principles.

But no matter who you identify with—right or left, conservative or progressive, republican or democrat—it doesn’t matter. Right now, we all feel betrayed because every candidate for president is fatally flawed.

What’s a Christian to do?

Perhaps the first thing we need to do is evaluate why we’re feeling so betrayed.

foundationsWhy is the depth of our disappointment causing normally civil people to spew uncivil comments about the supposed “enemy” in public forums?

Why are we desperately trying to justify the support of equally blemished candidates?

Why are we so divided among ourselves that we bear no resemblance to Jesus’s request to the Father “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21 ESV).

Then we wonder why the world doesn’t believe that the Father sent the Son. The reason is as close as the nearest mirror.

When did we fall for the lie that the answer to our nation’s troubles is found in a politician or political party? Or that the victory of “our” political party is of utmost priority?

It’s time we—Christians—regardless of denomination or church affiliation, remember we are citizens of a heavenly country before we are citizens of this earthly country. Our U.S. citizenship transcends all other loyalties with one crucial exception:

“Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20 ESV).

Regardless of who wins in November, Christ is still the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Regardless of who wins in November, this nation will continue for as long—or as short—as the Lord wills it.

Regardless of who wins in November, our culture will grow increasingly hostile to Christianity. Christians in other countries shake their head at what we call persecution, knowing we have yet to experience the real thing.

We have been commanded to be salt and light in a corrupt and dark world. “But if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matthew 5:13 ESV).

How sad that in social media and public arguments, Christians have, indeed lost their saltiness. There is often little or no difference between comments made by Christians and those made by unbelievers in attacking the opposition. Name-calling, vulgarities, and false statements abound…by Christians! “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing….these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10 ESV).

It would be nice if we had ideal candidates to vote for in this, or any, election. But we live in a broken world that is getting worse, not better. There isn’t a candidate alive who can stop the downward spiral. Perhaps God has allowed the current pool of fatally flawed candidates to shake our faulty foundations and remind us the solution to our problems will never be found in human government.

If we forget who we are and whose we are when our foundations are shaken, then shame on us. Of course, we need to do our homework and support candidates who best reflect our values. But if we forget our identity in the political process, then even if our candidate wins, we will still lose. And no candidate can ever fix that.

Do You Have Dual Citizenship?

Are you an alien or a citizen? If you’re a citizen, do you have dual citizenship?

Before you answer these questions, they may not mean what you think they mean.

This week, the U.S. presidential election generated deep divisions throughout our country. Is President Obama a messenger of Satan or the man who can lead this nation forward? Was Mitt Romney our last hope or a tool of greedy capitalists determined to line their own pockets?

Now that the election is over, half the country is gnashing their teeth, and the other half is cheering. Even those who identify themselves as Christians are not in agreement about how to characterize the election results.

Some Christians are convinced President Obama was the only choice to implement compassionate solutions for a troubled population. Besides, he must be the right choice because the Bible tells us to “submit [ourselves] to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1).

Other Christians believe the election doesn’t matter, because as Philippians 3:20 says, “Our citizenship is in heaven.” We’re just passing through this temporary world. Where once we were “foreigners and aliens” in God’s kingdom, now we are “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19). And since we are to look to the heavenly kingdom, we are to “set [our] minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).

Still other Christians remind us we have been called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) in a corrupt and dark world. That includes getting involved in the political process to elect leaders who will reflect biblical values.

So, is President Obama established by God in his position? Or should Christians ignore the political process since our citizenship is in heaven?

Maybe the answer is all of the above. Nothing takes our sovereign God by surprise. Whether or not we believe President Obama is the right man for the job today, he may be just the man God wants in that position to fulfill His plans for our nation and for the future of the world.

Getting involved in the political process is a good thing. Looking to government to solve all our problems is not. Being a responsible earthly citizen is a good thing. Forgetting we have a dual citizenship is not. Becoming angry over values that conflict with God’s Word is a good thing. Arrogantly cursing those who hold those values is not.

How will an unbelieving world come to know the King of Creation if His subjects don’t behave differently from unbelievers? The apostle Paul wrote, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2).

Does this passage describe you? Are you gloating because your guy won? Or are your conversations anything but gentle because your guy lost? Are you committed to praying for the president – and all our elected officials – regardless of their party affiliation?

Our behavior should proclaim our dual citizenship as clearly as our passports do. There’s nothing wrong with Christians getting excited about the politics of our nation. Just don’t forget about the other kingdom…and that you are a subject of the King who rules there.

What do you think?