Jesus And His Kingdom First

I’m 100% sure someone will read this, and project onto me things untrue and put word in my mouth I didn’t say. It comes with the territory. Its part of leadership, being part of a community in the public square, and trying to make a difference. Leading means being misunderstood by people who don’t know you, and we just have to be ok with that. We seek to please Jesus, and shun the fear of man. People see me at lunch with my Muslim friend, and assume. They don’t hear the gospel conversation. They just assume. You knw what happens when you ASSUME? Right? Take that word apart. Great lesson about assuming anything. Just sayin’.

Sooooo, here we go…

Patriotism is not a bad thing. It has its place for the Christian. Here is a good reminder of its place by John Piper.

John Piper on Patriotism

However, my first priority as a follower of Jesus Christ and student of his word is to be distinctly and profoundly and deeply and thoroughly Christian. My King and his kingdom are my only allegiance at the end of the day. I truly question if I can have more than one allegiance. If I can only have one, then I must take Jesus and his kingdom.

Why? If Scripture alone (which we’ll study Sunday) is a value and true, then the bible is our final authority. And the bible teaches Jesus will return to finally and fully subject all nations under his rule. Our constitution will be overruled one day.

There is this false dichotomy going around social media that one stands for the flag and kneels at the cross as if these are two equal gestures of honor. May I suggest that kneeling at the cross may require one to turn their back on their particular flag at some point? Standing for the flag must NEVER be equated to kneeling at the cross. Can I just be allowed to say that equating these two bother me at a level its hard to articulate? That’s an idolatry that is cleverly clothed, and potent. Be careful.

Does Jesus approve of the theft of Native American lands 150 + years ago? Sure would love to have Chief John’s land back, because it would be mine now.

Does Jesus approve of the unborn killed for convenience on a daily basis under the protection of our government and via our tax dollars?

Does Jesus approve of the tax revenue spent to prop up convenient dictators around the world that we then have to go and dispose of later when they stop being convenient?

Does Jesus approve of the possibility that little Hispanic boys and girls would be denied certain things because someone else broke the law?

Does Jesus approve of keeping black children out of stores because they are black? (I’ve had this happen to me because my youngest son is black) It happens, so don’t tell me it doesn’t? Does Jesus approve of the “right” of that person to keep us out solely because Daniel is black? Think hard on how you answer that.

So, please don’t equate kneeling at the cross to standing for the flag. Just don’t.

Anyone protesting any injustice is not automatically disparaging those who have served and died or those who have served and still bear the marks mentally or physically of their service. Protests use multiple vehicles to make aware social injustices. There are a few things Christians need to be exercising their right to protest about. That could be another post. Since we are free, we ought to get after a few things, make them known, reject our country’s participation, and work for change. We’ve been marginalized due to uselessness for too long. Time to “Rise Up”.

So, it takes a little inquiry to know reasons and strategies. Ask some questions, don’t just blanket and generalize all things. As Christians, we can’t afford do damage the name of Jesus with trite statements on social media because someone hacked us off and we failed to think, ask and obey Proverbs about speaking when we should be silent.

I’d suggest all Christians who are part of the majority become a true friend of someone not your color, learn their hopes, fears, joys and sorrows and you may become more empathetic to their plight. Do you recognize some folks have a plight? Do you care? Jesus did. As his people, we must as well. Just because it works for me does not mean it works for everyone. That’s a fact. This side of the fall, nothing but God’s kingdom is perfect.

The fact is that before I had a black son, I was blind to so much, but I had my blinders pulled off painfully, and it was good for me. I’ve traveled the world as an ambassador of Jesus’ kingdom, and had other blinders pulled off. We need to be “woke” to the kingdom of God, his Word and the value of Jesus first, dear Christian.

So, if you’re angry at this post, it may be for your good. If you’re intrigued, then think on it. Read your bible cover to cover year after year and see if God’s values conflict with those we have ingrained from the world, flesh and the Enemy’s little kingdom, and replace those values with kingdom values. If you “see” this, then don’t allow people to equate Jesus and any political stance that is not expressly his thing.

Speak prophetically to people (as the prophets spoke to soical issues in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daneil, Hosea, Amos, etc.). If we don’t know what the prophets said and how to imitate their example, shame on us if we call ourselves “Christian”. We should be students of the Word and know these things. We know our favorite sports stats, and political information in volumes stored away in our brains. So don’t tell me we can’t know God’s word and obey it.

We need to call some entities, people and institutions to repentance. Don’t do that on social media. Other than information and a little fun, social media is almost worthless for meaningful dialogue. This stuff is best done in community and in person. Blogs may be a catalyst too. I’m wondering as I write this if anyone will actually listen.

TRC, and others who may read this,  please be above the petty stuff, be of biblical substance, represent King Jesus well, and don’t make this about football or athletes, or flags, or anything that the Enemy will use to blind us from the real issue of the idolatry of values that conflict with the kingdom of God. It’s Jesus and Jesus alone we must value.

EDIT: Here is a great article I just read on Christianity Today: There’s No Dishonor in Kneeling…

Soli Deo Gloria!

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