I remember and cringe now as I look back on my years of service in Africa. I stuck out my chest with pride. The Kenyans had noted my distinct American accent. I would be afforded the honor and privilege that came with such acknowledgement. After all, I was a citizen of the most powerful and influential nation in the history of mankind. Our history, though filled with many contradictions and cruelties, was the envy of the nations of the world, or at least, so I thought. Our nation would live on forever, or at least until Jesus returned. Oh yes, about that Jesus fellow. I failed to mention Him. Let me back up. I stuck out my chest with pride. I am an American Christian. That makes it a lot better. Or does it?
It has become more obvious to me over the past two years, that I have been trying to serve two gods. I have tried to advance the nation in which I live and claim citizenship right now and at the same time. proclaim the Kingdom of Christ to which I belongforever. The problem is I can’t serve God and mammon. I can’t advance and protect the nation and at the same time, proclaim the Kingdom of Christ with equal zeal.
My Father in heaven has never stated that America would last. He has never exclusively, blessed America above any other nation. He has never told me to advance or protect this nation with the same reverence I have to Him. Because to do so would mean to compromise my proclamation of the Kingdom of Christ.
The political, moral, social, civic and economic agenda of the nation will always be dictated by who holds the most power. These can be good, or nice or even well intentioned people. These can also be morally corrupt, selfish and evil people. That is why I must always proclaim Christ’s kingdom first, foremost and finally with greater zeal than advancing and protecting America. I must be aware that the USA can be as much an idol as a golden calf.
It is an uncomfortable situation. I will be criticized, ridiculed for being wishy-washy, non-committed and a compromiser. I must not allow myself to be identified by political party, social grouping, ideology or even denomination.
I am a time constrained, mortal pilgrim on earth, but my soul is headed for an eternal destiny in heaven. I must be aware that I cannot as Christ said, serve both God and mammon. I will eventually come to hate one of the two. I would rather be declared unpatriotic to the US than an unfaithful follower of Christ. Man judges patriotism. God judges faithfulness.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 6:24 KJV