the weblog of Alan Knox

Red, White, and Blue… and Jesus, too

Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in discipleship | 7 comments

Red, White, and Blue… and Jesus, too

Yeah, I know… everybody and their sister (in the USA) is writing a post about Independence Day. Not the movie… the patriotic holiday. The day that the USA celebrates it’s rebellion from… I mean, independence from England.

No, I’m not anti-American. Not at all. I’m very grateful to God that I was born in the country in which I have many personal freedoms. But, I’m also tired of the church in the USA confusing patriotism with following Jesus.

I haven’t traveled out of the USA much. But, I’ve traveled (and read) enough to know that God blesses many people in many different countries. Yes, sometimes the people in those countries have less personal freedoms, but, for the church, that’s not always a bad thing.

I’ve talked to too many Christians in the USA who were more concerned with the individual rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed by God in the Bible, right?), and much less concerned with giving up their rights (much less their life) for the sake of others. To be completely honest… I have been numbered among those as well.

But, spending time with believers in Nicaragua and Ethiopia has opened my eyes to a new set of rights that God truly bestows on all his children. No, I’m not talking about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’m talking about death, service, and pursuit of others to show them the love of God.

Yes, many people died to guarantee certain political, social, cultural, and even religious freedoms. Like I said, I’m grateful for those freedoms, and I pray that I take advantage of them in the service of my God.

However, those freedoms cannot (and must not) stand between me and showing the love of God to others through word and through deed. And I mean that the existence OR lack of those freedoms must never stand between me and showing the love of God to others through word and through deed.

Citizens of the United States of America definitely have more individual freedom than citizens of other countries of the world. However, these freedoms are not based on our relationship with God. Those freedoms are granted to Christian citizens and to nonChristian citizens. Yes, Christians died defending those freedoms, but so did nonChristians.

So, while I am truly grateful for the freedoms that I have as a citizen of the United States of America, I refuse to recognize myself and other citizens as honored higher by God simply because of our citizenship.

Similarly, I refuse to speak or to write about God’s view of America and Americans in a way that I could not also speak of Nicaragua, Ethiopia, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other country in the world.

The United States of America is not God’s country. Citizens of the United States who have received the good news of Jesus Christ and have been indwelled by the Spirit of God are God’s people. But, citizens of other countries who have received the good news of Jesus Christ and have been indwelled by the Spirit of God are God’s people also.


7 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-4-2011

    Amen. Freedom, true freedom, was not won at the end of the barrel of a gun. It was won by the death of One on the cross. The Christian imprisoned and tortured for his faith in China is far freer than an American living amidst the luxury of this land who doesn’t know Christ.

  2. 7-4-2011

    Arthur – well said.. that calls for an Amen!

    Alan – Sorry, I too wrote a post about flags because of the holiday :)

  3. 7-4-2011

    Excellent post, Alan. My thoughts exactly. I just wrote a blog on this exact topic last week. Think I’ll re-post!

  4. 7-4-2011

    Alan,

    Arthur is spot on.

    Have you ever notice the lesser place God takes in the Pledge of Allegiance of the USA?

  5. 7-4-2011

    Enjoyed and agreed with this post Alan. But be careful. Someone quoting David Barton might disagree with you about this country not being a Christian nation.

  6. 7-4-2011

    Arthur,

    Yes, exactly.

    Swanny,

    Thanks for your post too!

    Jake,

    Awesome! I’ll check out your post.

    Aussie John,

    I think God’s true place is even “lesser”…

    Kansas Bob,

    Yes, I know that many Americans disagree with me.

    -Alan

  7. 11-3-2011

    Freedom already exists until someone takes it away. Compared to some countries the US is free, but not as free as in others.

    The real irony is that religious conservatives scoff at liberals and liberal movement while championing liberty which itself is the the very foundation of the liberal movement. They decry what they call “permissive society” while claiming to be advocates of liberty and freedom.

    Don’t worry, the left commit much the same contradictions—advancing a highly regulating big and strong government, strict protocols of political correctness rife with social engineering—yet they too claim to endorse individual liberty and personal freedom.

    The two are in fact opposite sides of the same coin as was well understood by Adolf Hitler. In Weimar Germany during Hitler’s rise to power the Conservatives said– “we need more social controls”, and the Liberals said– “we need more economic controls”.
    Hitler said… “your both right… let’s have TOTAL control.