Madison Christian Church

Devotional – March 2nd, 2015

What about our allegiance to our country?  I admit to loving our country.  I was born and raised to do so in my home and in my home church.  I am deeply thankful to our military men and women who have given their lives and are willing to put their lives on the line for the freedoms we enjoy.  I believe this is the greatest nation on earth in which to live.

There are limits though.  While I love our country’s heritage and founding principles in many ways, there are things I’ve been watching (as have many of you) that have been going on for many years that are disturbing.  And it is not just one administration – so please don’t take it that way.

There have been many destructive economic policies in place and an increase in the way the government is controlling and intruding into our liberties.  There have been countless ways the government has made immoral practices and behaviors legal (through Supreme Court decisions).  And some things our government has done over the course of many years (again not one particular administration) that has made me shake my head and caused my head to spin!

One thought I read that helped me was to make a distinction between our nation/country (the land and its people and heritage) and our government (politicians, congress, courts etc.).  The Bible tells us to OBEY our government (Rom. 13:1-5) and to PAY TAXES (Rom. 13:6,7).  We are also to PRAY for them (as we read in 1 Tim. 2:1-2).  I can do all of those things without feeling much affection for the way my government is doing things.  I can still love my country (it’s not unbiblical to do so unless it becomes idolatrous!) or I can choose not to love it (the Bible doesn’t require that I do so).  I choose to love our heritage, our land and our people.  But I do not confuse my country with the kingdom of God which is world-wide!  As Christians, “…our citizenship is in heaven” (as Paul said in Philippians 3:20).

So these things we can do.  We can even submit to our government’s authority when we disagree with some policies.  And we can always pray for them.  HOWEVER, when we are called upon to sin, we are obligated to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29; remember Daniel’s example in Daniel 6).  Government is a legitimate authority in my life – but it is NOT an absolute authority.  Jesus said, “…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21).  GOD AND HIS WILL IS OUR ONLY ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY.