GCV Blog

On the Value of Identifying with the Lamb over an Elephant or Donkey

On the Value of Identifying with the Lamb over an Elephant or Donkey
by Pastor David

It’s here. It’s that time, every four years or so, when politics and parties and choice and a better country and red and blue are headlined on every newspaper, magazine, and TV set. And it’s times like these that I feel some of the greatest tension between being an American and being a Christian. I am grateful to be an American. I count it as the grace of God that I’ve been blessed to be born and raised in such a free and prosperous nation. Praise the Lord, being a good American is not currently at odds with being a Christian.

However, my primary identity is not “American.” First and foremost, over and above any other identifier, I am a Christian. I am in Christ. Out of the three God-ordained institutions, my place in the family of God is the only one that is eternal. American government had a beginning point, and it will most certainly have an ending point. My family, treasured as it is, had a start and will one day have a finish. My place in Christ, however, has been predestined before time existed and my fellowship with Him will know no end. My life in Christ is eternal.

Because of the temporary nature of every current human institution, it would not do to be an American first and Christian second. If one must take first place, the obvious choice is to take the eternal over the temporary, the enduring over the fading, the infinite over the finite. “American” is an identity with a limited shelf life. “Christian” is an identity for eternity.

Because our first loves are our gods, it would not do to be an American first and a Christian second. It’s idolatrous to have any god before God. So if my passion for politics is greater than my mission of evangelism, I am committing the sin of idolatry. If my love of country exceeds my love of Christ, I am an idolater. If my care for my nation exceeds my care for the local church, I worship a lesser god. If my mind dwells on or obsesses over the upcoming elections more than it is set on things above, I’m miscalculating what is worthy of praise.

Because the Lamb is worthy of praise from people of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, it would not do for His church to be isolated as one nationality. Because in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, it would not do for us to be an “American” church. The kingdom of Christ is so very much bigger than one people’s history, culture, government, and politics. So as we seek to live out our faith in Christ in America, including how we vote and engage in democracy, let’s always remember who we are. We are Christ’s.

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