Friday, August 7, 2009

Jesus for President: Section @, Part 3

What is this this picture saying? How can this be justified? One could possibly say, "We are to be subordinate to the state, Romans 13 says so." Ok, for the sake of not arguing, why even fly the Christian flag? Let me clarify my own opinion a bit. I think Christian flags are uber-cheesy and not appropriate, but that aside, let me see it from your point of view. You have a flag, that you give value and power to represent, symbolically, the Kingdom of Christ for you, as a believer. You then choose to fly it under a secular authority that does not represent Christ. I looked up the rules, there is no law, only etiquette. At the very least, "When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace" (Flag Rules and Regulation, Rule 11). We can fly a Christian flag at equal size and height on a separate flag pole. This is just etiquette. We can actually fly it above the American Flag. Maybe a better question is: why do we even fly American flags? Our Kingdom and patriots are not of this land. Some would say that we need to be thankful to such a beneficent empire for giving freedom of worship. I assure you, no secular government can hinder or grant me any more or less freedom than I received through faith. True worship is in spirit in truth (John 4). There is no way any human could deprive either of these things from me.

Here is another excerpt from Jesus for President:

"...we find that Paul offered a biting critique of power and a creative path of revolutionary love. We might remember Paul urging his friend Philemon to illegally welcome back home a fugitive slave, Onesimus, as a brother, instead of killing him for running away. This is a scandalous subversion of Roman hierarchy. Paul was just as radical as Jesus. Remember that the Paul who "be subject to the authorities" is the same Paul who was stoned, exiled, jailed, and beaten for subverting the authorities... Is it possible to submit and to subvert? Paul's life gives a clear yes, as does Jesus' crucifixion" (Jesus For President, 161).

"And years later, as the love affair between church and empire grew more intimate, the emperor Theodosius proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of the empire, making it a crime not to be a Christian. That's when things got even messier. The first recorded instance of Christians killing pagans occured shortly after, and before long, the militant church conquered lands and people throughout Europe, compelling them to be baptized or die. Under Theodosius' decrees, temples from other religions were ordered to be destroyed, if not just declared abandoned, to be renovated and reused later as Christian temples. And those who had formerly renounced the sword now filled the Roman army; every Roman soldier would be required to be a Christian... Moving from persecuted to persecutor, the church had become the church militant and triumphant. The kingdom of God that been known through a king who rules with a towel, a donkey, and a cross had become the empire of Christendom. In the name of the one who taught us to love our enemies, the church burned its enemies alive" (JfP, 163).

Let us see our problem, repent and change. A healthcare program is awesome, but not our main focus. We need to remember our first love and the Answer of our hope. Protesting for wordly power in a way Jesus would have dreamed about is just crazy and hurting the church. You who are fighting for America, have pledged allegiance to the wrong kingdom. More on this kingdom next time. Just a hint though, it is one of the most explicit (sexual and revolutionary) scripture passages I have ever heard.

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P.S.
Just got back from Spirit West Coast. David Crowder was so good!
Just got back from camping with the youth. Great foundation laying!
Was greeted by:
  • My iTouch and Macbook pro (this coupled with my iMac act work means I have officially become that guy and am expecting my Prius, Black-rimmed glasses, and Starbucks frequent visitor card to come soon.)
  • Erik and Amanda Scofield had their baby boy. Ari is doing well and we expect them home very soon!

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