As I’ve meditated on the SCOTUS decision to apply the 14th amendment to same-sex unions I’ve noticed that my reaction is not one of anger or surprise at the fact that the court made this decision. It figures. The world acts like the world. I am bothered by sin and rebellion against Father’s truth. I am disappointed. I am saddened. I’m just not bothered by world systems acting like world systems.
I had hoped for a better and more accurate dealing with the law not a political statement disguised as law. It’s not so much a legalization as much as a redefinition of marriage. That disappoints and saddens me.
If I were an African-American man, I’d be fired up about the application of the 14th amendment to this issue because the intent has been to equate the civil rights movement to this issue thus equating race and sexual orientation. That is trash. Only a few black men that I know of (Voddie Baucham and Herman Cain) have brought this issue up. Maybe there are more. I just don’t know about them. This is the hidden issue we Christians should be making some noise about as well in defense of our minority brothers and sisters in Christ.
But enough has been written about the decision of SCOTUS by folks a lot smarter than me. See Albert Mohler and Russell Moore. I these respect these men and learn from them. They have written excellent pieces on the issue.
I suppose what seems to be bothering some and not bothering me is this: the perceived loss of a Christian America that was morally upright. Perhaps that’s not what is bothering some, but it seems like it from my observation. Some live under the belief that America is the last great moral hope in the world. Some believe America to have been a Christian nation that is no longer a Christian nation. That’s debatable. Were many of our founding fathers Christians? Yes. It’s clear. Did they intend America to be the church, the community of the kingdom of God? No. They intended freedom and a clear moral framework as the means to keep us free using their predominant world view, Christianity or some semblance thereof. Is that a Christian nation? I’m not sure. I really don’t care to die on that hill. Call it what you want.
For me, I’ve not viewed my nation as the shining city on a hill for a long time. There have been times when citizens of Jesus’ kingdom who were Americans led the world in right actions, but that’s not the same as the national entity itself being a bastion of the kingdom.The kingdom of Jesus Christ is my goal and my allegiance. American is part of the kingdom of this world and will one day be overcome by the kingdom of God. I can’t have two masters. Because I will love the one and hate the other. I serve Jesus’ kingdom first, not America.
First, the Kingdom of God is not geo-political nations. The kingdom is the supernatural power of God breaking into created order to reconcile all things back under the rule of Jesus Christ and bring about the rescue of those the Father has given the Son through the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom from all nations that will call them out from death to life. The church is the community of that kingdom, not America.
Second, as a Scot-Irish/Cherokee whose distant grandfather was a Cherokee Chief (John Jolly, Ahuludegi Oolooteka), I’m quite aware of my country and state shutting down the first successful Christian mission among the Cherokee by a Moravian, Anna Kleist Gambold, in order to set my people on the Trail of Tears, all in the name of expansion. John voluntarily led a group of Cherokee west to Arkansas before this time from Tennessee knowing it was coming. They would eventually be forced to leave northwest Arkansas for Oklahoma, but he fought the continual upheaval as best he could using civil methods. That act of removal was done in the breaking of treaties. It was illegal, but as long as you are in the majority, who cares? Right?
My wife and son’s just toured the Vann House with some friends on a summer excursion and learned more about how our relatives were treated by our government. Every time we talk about it I feel primal anger rise in me as I think about the injustice done in the name of what some would call a “Christian nation.” Shutting down a Christian mission house among my people to kick us off of our land and march men, women, children, the older and weak west as they bury their dead along the way in unmarked graves…is that Christian? Call me jaded.
Finally, I just can’t get past Roe v. Wade. In the name of America, we have a state sponsored genocide of minorities paid for by tax dollars. Most Christians have even given up on this one and some don’t see the problem with it. They are content to feed the hungry but let the genocide of minorities continue using God’s money taken by the state. Sounds harsh, but its a fact Jack.
I suppose the ideal of America died for me a long time ago.
Is America the best thing going today? Perhaps. Are we the freest nation in the world? Perhaps not. At least not economically. We rank out of the top ten on that list. Check how much you pay in taxes either outright or embedded. It’s a stiff chunk. Some of that is getting used to kill minority babies. Let that stew for a few minutes….feel that?
Is this information about my country good for me to know and process? Yes. The realities I’ve mentioned help sever ties to a temporary kingdom and bond me deeper with greater allegiance to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It helps me to know that I don’t have a political party to call my own. Many Christians falsely equate America or a political party to God’s vehicle for freedom and salvation. This is just not true.
Is there room for patriotism? Sure. In spite of my heritage, my family has spilled blood in the Revolution, Civil War, WWI, WWII and Vietnam to secure what we have. I’d go to war if I had to as well. I’m not advocating for the demise of the government I’ve been placed under. However, I’m not fighting for it at the Lord’s return, if I’m alive and kicking. I’m going with King Jesus. I’m just not surprised when America acts like the world. It’s not the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
In Christ we have been transferred to the kingdom of the Son from the kingdom of this world. America must necessarily fall and will do so when King Jesus returns, if not before then. But the kingdom of Jesus Christ as been and will be forever (See Daniel 7:14).
I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ and his kingdom. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.
The fact is I’m not surprised this has happened. I’m no longer taken aback when the world system acts like the world system (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride in possessions, 1 John 2:15-17). I love the King and his kingdom. I’m fascinated by and drawn to the rule of Jesus manifested in his church. I love the global church. I love how the rule of Jesus is so thick in the persecuted church, and I long for that kind of power in the western church.
Perhaps this SCOTUS ruling will put us in a place of humility and dependence on the Spirit, and that may bring about a greater manifestation of the kingdom. That will be good for us! The church, historically, has not flourished in peace and ease. The church does well when she’s under duress. Maybe this is a good grace from the Father to bring about an awakening. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28), don’t we? This is good for us as a kingdom of priests to our God.
So, Father in heaven, make your name great. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily provision so that we can have the strength to do your will and bring about your kingdom rule. Forgive us as we forgive others and love as you love us. Lead us not into temptation, but rather deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory!
Excellent word! Amen and amen!