With the media ablaze with news about the primaries, I find myself wondering again how Christians should view this political process in America. Pat Abendroth has some great messages on the sovereignty of God, and it would do us good as Christians to meditate on this subject. Indeed, as Daniel prayed, God sets up and removes kings (e.g. Daniel 2), even in a “democratic republic,” regardless of our interpretation of “every vote counts.”
There is no doubt that America has been blessed by God. There is no doubt that she was founded by godly men. And there is no doubt that she has strayed far from her roots. But we tread a dangerous path if we begin to think that our purpose as Christians is to restore her to those roots, or make her a godly nation again. We have been given the supremely more important task of preaching the Gospel and discipling people from all nations.
This is a sensitive topic, I know. “Christian” and “patriotic” are synonymous in many circles. If you don’t bleed red, white, and blue, you’re probably not a Christian, or at least not a very good one. If you don’t froth at the mouth when someone burns a flag, you’ve cast off the faith. If you don’t shout “amen!” when someone quotes a Founding Father, you must be an infidel.
It would be easy to cling to the other extreme, too, and suggest that Christians should separate themselves from politics completely. This would also be dangerous and incorrect. My biggest struggle in this area is finding the proper balance between these two extremes. I love America. I love the concepts of bravery, freedom (and liberty), and honor. Few things excite me as much as seeing a pair of F15s screaming across the sky. Tears well up in my eyes when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. But my time here is so short in light of eternity, I would expect that the love and excitement I have for my eternal home should be greater than my love of America by the same degree as eternity is greater than this life and Christ’s righteousness is greater than my sin.
The blood of countless men and women has been poured out in our history for the protection of the freedoms we enjoy. But what arrogance we would display before a sovereign God to suggest that we created this country, that we protect this land, that we maintain our rights and freedoms.
God in his infinite mercy and grace has given us the greatest country in history. We would do well to remember that he is in control, not us. He put Bush in office, not us. He put Clinton in office, not the Left. And he will install the next president, not the Christian Right. Yes, pray and vote, but remember our ultimate and primary allegiance is to our homeland and its King.