As Americans, we live in a constitutional republic; we get to elect our leaders, for the most part, and if we are dissatisfied with them, we can replace them next time around. In every generation, there is political corruption. There has never been a time in our nation where there was not scandal or political posturing.
America has never been a Christian nation.
I realize that I’ve lost many of you with that statement. I am fully aware of the arguments that support the idea that America was founded upon Christianity, and even to colonize (mainly) the Protestant religion. There is truth in that statement.
The truth is that many European settlers believed that the “new world” was the New Jerusalem. Colonization was almost always done under the banner of God, because monarchs ruled with divine authority. After the nation was founded with a Constitution, many wanted Washington to become King. Thankfully, he rejected it.
Is the constitution based upon biblical principles? Yes. For the most part. Acknowledging a creator is a salient point.
Here’s the burning question for the Christian; the follower of Jesus Christ: is the U.S. Constitution congruent with the Kingdom?
Let’s look at the bill of rights; the first ten amendments, and see how they align with being a Christian. Bear in mind that the entire construction of the Constitution was based upon an adverserial relationship with Britain. I’m going to list the summary from the government’s website in italics, then comment below.
- The First Amendment provides several rights protections: to express ideas through speech and the press, to assemble or gather with a group to protest or for other reasons, and to ask the government to fix problems. It also protects the right to religious beliefs and practices. It prevents the government from creating or favoring a religion.
Think as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Does the KINGDOM of God and His Christ provide the right to free speech? Or the right to assemble as I see fit? Or not favoring a religion? Or course not! Since Jesus is my king, my Lord, and my master, He has full control over what I say.
I once had a young man get upset because I rebuked him for gossiping in the foyer. He wrote me a letter stating that he thought since I was veteran I would appreciate the right to free speech. No. There is no right to free speech in the Kingdom. Proverbs has a boat load of information on the use of the tongue, and James teaches us that the tongue needs to be tamed by the Holy Spirit.
Does the KINGDOM make room for “the right to assemble?” Here’s the principle. The early church assembled all of the time, and all of their time was devoted to the Lord. My life is in His hands. Everything that I do with my time, talent, and treasure belongs to the Lord, because He is my King. I am not stating that Christians are to live in some zombie like cult of mind control, but the principle of “I can go anywhere I want to do and do what I please” is NOT a kingdom value.
The most obvious “non kingdom” value of the first amendment is that one religion isn’t favored over another. Followers of Jesus Christ have a mandate that goes all the way back to Mount Sanai, “You will have no other gods before me.” Jesus said about himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father except by me.” John 14:6.
As stated earlier, the first ten amendments are called “The Bill of Rights.” That one word is contrary to a disciple; RIGHTS. When we come to Christ, it is not to gain rights, but to surrender them. “If anyone will follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
As Americans, we fully believe in the strength and the weight of the U.S. Constitution. As followers of Jesus Christ – our King, we learn to surrender our rights.
That’s just the first amendment. What about the second amendment? The right to bear arms. For the kingdom, it would seem that scriptures teach both; lay them down, and pick them up. Now that’s a conundrum. Jesus teaches that those who live by the sword will die by the sword, and he also teaches that if you don’t have one, to get one.
So often, Christians are looking for a loop hole verse in the Bible. Here’s the truth: Jesus is King, and He might tell one that it is ok to bear arms, and another that it is not. Think of the War Between the States; both sides claimed that God was on their side.
Jesus plainly stated, when quizzed by Pilate, that His kingdom is not of this world. Furthermore, Jesus said that if it were, he would have his servants fight.
As a citizen of the Kingdom, it would appear that taking up arms or not taking up arms is supported by the King. Each one of us must ask our King! Common sense tells us that we need law enforcement personnel that are Christians. The Centurion with great faith nor Cornelius were expected to exit military service because of their faith.
The third and fourth amendment deal with the government intrusion into private homes. In light of the Kingdom, Peter encourages believers to embrace persecution. (I Peter). This concept is foreign to Americans, for now.
The citizens of the Kingdom will be faithful to their King, no matter the consequences.
more in our next posting…