I wrote this some time ago and my thoughts have changed some, but ultimately have the same sentiments. I hope you do not hear what I am not saying. I am very grateful to live in America. In my opinion, It is the best country to live in as of right now, but I think that we need to have the right mindset about God and Country. We need to evaluate if we are serving God or if we have selfish intentions. We also need to recognize if we are serving God, our political parties, or just our country in general.
The Back Story
Growing up I remember hearing things like, “America is a Godly nation.” or “God has his hand of protection over America.” I was also brought up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal church where questions were frowned upon. I grew up believing that America was God’s kingdom as long as America was on Israel’s side. Once I began to read the Bible, I found that this is not at all true. Greg Boyd wrote a book called “The Myth of a Christian Nation”, which helped shape and mold some of my theories on why the Bible and my church were saying two very different things.
A Comparison Between two Kingdoms
Human beings have a tribalism quality due to the fall. There can be tribalism due to sin as well. There is only one tribe that matters and that is God’s tribe and those not in his kingdom. Tribalism has a mixed history. It has the belief that our team is better than your team, or my tribe is good and your tribe is bad. This is one way in which violence can become so prevalent in our world. This is very apparent in our culture today. John 8:44 talks about how Satan is the ruler of the world and he is “a murderer from the beginning.” If we believe this, then it is even more apparent why violence runs amuck today and throughout history. This election between Trump and Biden is a prime example. “Trump’s Tribe” is Better than “Biden’s Tribe” or the opposite. This caused violence on both sides. We saw extremists on the political left and right using violence to promote their agendas. I use the word extremist very intentionally here. We are shown that Democrats or Republicans are the worst. (The hasty generalization fallacy is sometimes called the over-generalization fallacy. It is basically making a claim based on evidence that it just too small. Essentially, you can’t make a claim and say that something is true if you have only an example or two as evidence.) When in reality, people on the left and right are closer in some ideologies than you think. A great book on this subject is “The Righteous Mind” by Johnathan Haidt. Both sides try and flex their muscles over their subjects by force and the sword. We saw this with Black Lives Matter protests and the capital storming.
God’s kingdom is radically different. Matthew 26:52 says that, “those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” Greg Boyd also states, “Any peace achieved by violence is a peace forever threatened by violence, thus ensuring that the bloody game will be perpetuated.” God does not flex his power over his servants to ensure his power will remain. Instead you see him washing the feet of his people and dying on a cross for his enemies, by the way, we are the enemy to God. Jesus used what Greg Boyd calls “serving under power.” Jesus never operated in terms of the worldly kingdom. Jesus even rebuked Peter for cutting of the ear of someone who was by worldly standards an enemy. Jesus then brought about a revolution. He picked the ear up and healed the person who hours later is going to kill him.
That is God’s Kingdom.
The world is under Satan’s authority. I know that this may sound hyper spiritual, but that is what the bible says. We learn this from Jesus in John 12.31, 14.30, 16.11. We must be careful when using God to promote some political agenda. I think that there are things that we see in the Bible as morally wrong and we vote for people with those same principles. We should look at our intentions behind our ideas, so that we can rid ourselves or impure motives and make sure that we are honoring God in our decisions. The world uses power over people which only modifies behavior. God’s kingdom uses power under people and by serving people changes their hearts. We need to take a step back and be careful before we use God for our political views or to justify why worldly kingdoms should do this or that, because we are then close to falling into the sin of nationalistic idolatry.
We try to evoke the name of God to often to make our lives easier. Instead of using God to make our worldly kingdom better, we should pray for God to use us and make his kingdom greater.