We have just endured another election cycle. It seems like they never end anymore. The minute one election ends, the campaigning starts for the next one. The airwaves are filled with candidates making various promises. “I will cut spending and balance the budget!” “It’s time for a change!” “I won’t be swayed by special interest groups!” “I will not raise taxes!” “It’s time to take back America for God!"
In February of this year, John Frye took issue with the idea of “taking back America for God.” I think he provides a good reminder for us. Note the following: “If the USAmerican evangelical church would get its eyes off America and fix them on the Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we might discover some surprises. Surprises like: God really doesn’t want America. He already has it. Not that everyone is converted to Jesus, of course. The Great Commission is not targeted at and limited to America. The redemption of lives of the people of the world and the renewal of the cosmos is what the Gospel Jesus is after. We do not read anywhere in the New Testament, “Go, make America Christian.” Then he ends his post with this powerful sentence: “Getting Jesus right, not getting America right, is the great challenge we face."
From what we read in the Bible, Jesus spent a tiny fraction of his time concerned with the affairs of state. And even when he did, the sense we get is that he had more important things to think about (cf. John 18:36; Mark 12:17). But to listen to some of his followers today, you can get the impression that it is the most important thing. Fellow believers, there is a kingdom that should be our first priority and it is not America or any other earthly realm (Matthew 6:33). Nationalism, patriotism, or any other “ism” may have their place, but they should never be higher than second place in our lives.
God loves you!