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BODY OF CHRIST The Mystery of Duality

The Mystery of Duality

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11/30/2016


 

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“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.” [John 18:36; HCSB]

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. [Mat 6:10 HCSB]

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What is a Christian’s responsibility with regard to citizenship? I believe it’s essential to know what our responsibilities are, and to whom, and in what measure. You won’t find any light for this question in most churches today because frankly, most pastors are fearful to broach this topic. This is a big change from the pastoral environment in 1776, where many mainline pastors in the American colonies considered it critical to put this question into practical perspective. Sadly, it seems to be the religious norm in our churches today to be fearful and timid; is it any wonder why the heathen find no relevance in our Christianity? With that said I have to ask, “Do we?” Ingrained in most of our minds is a practical, day-by-day assumption that “church” and “state” don’t, and shouldn’t mix, but is this how Jesus felt during his earthly life in 30 AD?

This is a very complex question, and it’s easier to ignore it, which is what we do most of the time. We so readily segregate our thoughts and actions as if there is not now, and never will be, any cohesion between the religious and secular parts of our lives, but is this what Jesus wants of us?

Right up front let me say that as the only rightful Ruler of the world, and all of heaven, God and His Kingdom trump any other structure, but within this structure, we find earthly politics, and it’s important to know that God ordained government, both in heaven and on earth. He is always a God of order, not anarchy.

From the beginning of time and before (it can be assumed) God brought order to any magnitude of chaos, and earthly government is supposed to display God’s order. So, as servants of God and ordained priests of His Kingdom, as well as citizens of earth, just what is required of us by God with respect to our dual citizenship?

As God has seen fit to carefully place each of us on earth and within earthly families, by His choice, He also caused us to live within certain geographic boundaries. And while our heavenly citizenship is firm and as unmovable as God Himself, our earthly allegiances can vary with location. For instance, today I am a citizen of the United States of America, but I could move to another country, renounce my U.S. citizenship, and take up citizenship there. My citizenship responsibilities before God and man would be altered due to my location.

When I became a citizen of God’s Kingdom, He in fact raised the bar on my responsibilities. Whereas I represented myself before coming to Him, I now represent Him, like it or not, for better or for worse. Before having kids we were an example to the world around us, but being a good example then was not nearly as critical as it became with our kids watching, and learning from our lives. After kids, and in God’s eyes, our adult responsibilities increased. In no way did they remain unchanged. It is the same when we swear love and allegiance to God.

God saw fit to place some of us geographically in the United States, and as such, holds us responsible for how we conduct ourselves with respect to our earthly government, but in no case does this abrogate or eclipse our responsibilities to represent His Kingdom. Sadly, many of my Christian contemporaries have become so entangled in the “Trumpian” politics of our day, that their Kingdom responsibilities have apparently been confused or set aside. I wish they were better balanced, but we humans come with a bent to be naturally polarized, sometimes to the risk or forfeiture of what is most important.

No earthly being will ever be the savior of America or the world. You can take that to the bank. Donald Trump is not Jesus, and the Republican Party is not composed of the angels around His throne. We should not confuse Patriotism with Godliness. Only God is the rightful King, and He elevates and lowers men and governments as He chooses. We have a responsibility to represent our King to the world around us to the best of our abilities, hopefully as He inspires and guides, but there it ends.

If Donald Trump ever sees one day in office, it won’t be because his elevation to that office rested on our shoulders. We had a responsibility before God to vote, but God placed His choice on the throne. That’s just the way it is. Jesus prayed that God’s will be done on the earth, not instead of in heaven, and either upon our deaths or when He returns, which He will do, all of us will bend our knees to His Lordship – like it or not. We will not get to vote on it.

John


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