To what and to whom do we pledge allegiance? It is imperative that we give consideration to this question. What is our obligation to an earthly kingdom?
You’ve heard the oft-repeated assessment of a certain ilk of Christianity who are “too heavenly minded to be of earthly good”. We know what that means, we’ve been around the “head in the clouds” sort of Christians that are so future-oriented that ”Heaven is where I’m going so I’m just biding my time here on earth” is their mantra. We see their effectiveness. Their relatability in culture and society is questionable, at best.
Perhaps, we’ve chosen to live out our faith differently by engaging the culture – being in it, yet separate in our conduct and practice. And yet the question remains.
How do we respond? How do we conduct ourselves in a place that, simultaneously, is our earthly home and yet where we are also aliens and strangers?
What do we do when political and church leadership mash it up ’till the love affair between church and state creates an illegitimate child that holds only a vague resemblance of what followers of Jesus are truly called to be and do?
How do we live as citizens of our country – loving it, participating in it, bringing influence – and yet keeping our primary allegiance aligned with the way of Jesus? These are questions well worth the wrestle. As we wrestle, let the words of Saint Peter, the Apostle, inform us and give us clarity.
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. (1 Peter 2:13-17 MSG)