The profound piece that follows exhorts American followers of Jesus not to yield first place to our Home culture. The writer’s point is equally valid in any Other culture. Thanks Bob, we desperately need to hear this.
from Bob DeMoss on Election Day 2016– Whether or not you will be pleased with tonight’s election results, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, this letter is meant for you.
My purpose is to remind you, that, as a citizen of these United States, we are also, and primarily, citizens of God’s Kingdom. This awareness can enable you to be of greater value to both realms.
The esteemed church Father, Aurelius Augustine, lived in a time similar to our own. The mighty Roman Empire was declining and coming to an end as he wrote, in the early 5th century, his renowned City of God. His thesis was that there are two very different cities co-mingled here on earth, the City of Man and the City of God. Both cities compete for our ultimate allegiance.
The City of Man, in all its forms, has one thing in common: It is motivated by self-will and self-aggrandizement with the goal of exalting mankind. The City of Man takes on multiple manifestations. The ones we remember are those with the most expansive powers, such as the Roman Empire in Augustine’s day.
In contrast, the City of God, although existing side by side with the City of Man, has been initiated and energized by God. Unlike the City of Man, its citizens desire to live by His commands, and to love and serve others. In so doing, they bring glory to God.
America was founded by people, most of whom were God-fearing and were guided in their work by a profound respect for the Judeo-Christian tradition. God has uniquely prospered our land because of this. Indeed, this “Shining City on a Hill” has become so attractive that some believers have been seduced by its freedom and wealth to the point of overlooking their primary allegiance to the Kingdom of God. They have been co-opted by the appeal of the American Dream.
Notwithstanding its past or present greatness, America is still inherently a part of the City of Man and in need of God’s transforming grace.
As Augustine learned from Scripture, one cannot be committed to the values of both the City of Man and The City of God. As believers, who enjoy the freedom of America, it is incumbent on us to retain our Christian distinctiveness, while “rendering unto Caesar his due and to God His due”. In being good citizens of the City of God, we will thereby be salt and light to help enrich and preserve America. If we divert our primary love and energy towards securing the American Dream instead of God’s Kingdom, we will be withholding this preserving and enriching leaven which our country needs. It will also lead to personal disillusionment.
By late tonight, or early tomorrow, many believers will be disappointed because their candidate did not win. But to be inordinately disappointed, is not warranted. Surely one cannot believe that the election results will lead to a mortal blow against the Kingdom of God! If the disappointment many feel, enables them to more clearly see the distinction between the two cities, and energize them to more wholeheartedly “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33), this election may yet result in good news.
We believers must have our fundamental loyalty directed by Scripture and rooted in God’s Kingdom and values, not in the American Dream. We are cautioned about this as John writes, “Do not love the world or the things of this world, for all that is in this world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world.” Then, although being in this world, we will not be of it…..a world “which, together with its lusts, is passing away” (I John 2:16, 17).
It is ironic, but the ongoing cultural, moral, and fiscal decline of our great country, can actually be a huge wake up call for the citizens of both Cities. For the followers of Jesus Christ, such a decline can be used by God to awaken them to a renewed awareness of their primary citizenship in His Kingdom. This should result in their being more productive citizens of the City of God…which in turn will enable them to more effectively be salt and light in this world.
And for the citizens of the City of Man, their ongoing restlessness to achieve the ever elusive satisfaction of the American Dream, can awaken them to God’s invitation to become citizens of a far greater city, the City of God, “a city, which has foundations, whose builder and Maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).