For most of my life I have been a patriot. A flag waving, Star Spangled Banner singing patriot. I have loved our nation – and I still do. However, this election season – this toxic contest for the highest office in the land – has caused me to re-evaluate my patriotism. Don’t get me wrong. I still love the good ole U.S.A. It is my home of origin. I will forever look at her in awe as I reflect upon her greatness as a nation.
Nevertheless, my patriotism has been tempered as of late. I could say that it started with this election season. However, when I think about it, I have been on this road for a while, and the election season has just served as confirmation that I have grown beyond the flag, and beyond the notion of American Exceptionalism as a present reality.
As a born again Christian, I neglected to live out the reality of my “new birth” from the “new place.” I have another citizenship. It is a heavenly one. Confession: I have acted too “of this world” as it pertains to my politics and my patriotism. I have to see my country for what it is: a country influenced and animated by the fallen powers and principalities from heavenly places. This means that it no longer needs me waving the Stars and Stripes. It needs me praying for her deliverance. It needs me speaking biblical truth to it’s power structures and serving as an ambassador to her – an ambassador representing the true Kingdom.
I bought into the dream that has been America. It is an intriguing and tempting dream to say the least. However, this dream clouded my perspective in that it caused me to measure her in comparison to other nations. Well it goes without saying that my country beats all others. As a Christian, I should be judging my country through the lens of the standards as outlined in Scripture. I should be seeing our society, it’s values, and its priorities through the filter of values that are at the core of the Kingdom that I represent.
With that said, I know that no nation can fully live up to those standards. Yet, I have a responsibility to lead people to Christ; to inspire those who are already in Christ to live for Him completely, and to do my part in filling the atmosphere of this nation with the fragrance of Christ’s love, grace, and standard of righteousness.
As we go deeper into this political season, and as the dividing line of candidate and party loyalty become clearer, I implore you to remember whose Kingdom you belong to and what values you represent as a believer in Jesus Christ. Navigate this political season using the compass of scripture and not the rallying cry of a party, or the beautiful notes of the National Anthem. Our cry is “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.” Our Anthem is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” or for the more contemporary: “In Christ Alone.”