About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
perspective, western world Evangelical Christians are becoming more
nationalistic in their world view. This
is seen in the popularization of the Christian Conservative Right, a
political movement that emerged in the United States
in the late 1970's with aspirations of restoring Biblical values that once
influenced western culture. In
recent years this has led our secular media to redefine the word
no longer a theological term, but a social, cultural, and political term.
In other words, evangelicals are considered activists.
Is this how you as an evangelical wish to be viewed?
evangelical inroads into politics have their merits, they also have their pitfalls. In explaining this I
refer you to Genesis 12:1 where God told Abram to switch his national
identity away from his cultural roots.
"Go from your country, your people and your father's household
to a land I will show you." Abram's
primary allegiance was to be to God, not to his tribal nation,
something the pagan prophet Balaam noted years later about the Jews.
"I see a people who
live apart and who do not consider themselves as one of the nations"
The author of the
book of Hebrews comments on Abraham's call to realign his national
identity. "By faith
Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his
inheritance, obeyed and went ... By faith he made his home in the promised
land, like a stranger in a foreign country ... for he was looking forward
to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God"
(Hebrews 11:8 - 10). Even
though Abraham was living where God had led him, he considered himself to
be a stranger and a foreigner. His
heart was set on another land, a city whose builder is God.
The author of
Hebrews continues by saying that Abraham, and others like him, "were
looking for a country of their own ... they were longing for a better
country - a heavenly one ... for He has prepared a city for them"
(Hebrews 11:14 - 16). The
lesson to be learned from all of this is that as Christians, we are
citizens of a heavenly kingdom whose arrival on earth in material form we eagerly anticipate.
I understand the
reason for nationalism, but when taken to an unbiblical extreme, it
distracts us from our counter-cultural calling as aliens and strangers in
a foreign land. Our first
allegiance is not to the nation in which we live but to the Kingdom