Where is my allegiance? I've been thinking about this lately. As the news is saturated with images of beheadings, bombings, and xenophobic propaganda, I've been thinking a lot about kingdom. I can't help but notice the parallels between Jesus' day and today. When he spoke of the "Kingdom of God," everybody assumed it was a political kingdom. A defeat of Rome. Freedom from oppression and tyranny. This was going to be a kingdom that finally overthrew the brutal, heavy fist of Empire.
He was a king, but not the kind of king they were expecting.
I heard someone at our church say recently, "whatever kingdom you are intimate with, that is where you find your salvation." At first, I wrote it off as just a quotable moment. But the more I've dwelled on it, I think he was right on.
It's no secret that the American Evangelical church has grown incredibly nationalistic. There are 4th of July services, churches that say the pledge as part of their gathering, and the Patriot's Bible (whatever the heck that is.)
I wonder if the folks who cling to that kind of patriotic nationalism are missing the point. I'm not about to make a blanket statement about wether or not someone loves Jesus. That's not my place.
My question is simply this: What happens when drape the flag of the USA across the beam of the cross of Christ. Can the two coexist? Can we place our hope in both? Can you follow the Christ of the bible, and the Christ of Evangelical American nationalism?
Just something to think about.