Are you an alien or a citizen? If you’re a citizen, do you have dual citizenship?
Before you answer these questions, they may not mean what you think they mean.
This week, the U.S. presidential election generated deep divisions throughout our country. Is President Obama a messenger of Satan or the man who can lead this nation forward? Was Mitt Romney our last hope or a tool of greedy capitalists determined to line their own pockets?
Now that the election is over, half the country is gnashing their teeth, and the other half is cheering. Even those who identify themselves as Christians are not in agreement about how to characterize the election results.
Some Christians are convinced President Obama was the only choice to implement compassionate solutions for a troubled population. Besides, he must be the right choice because the Bible tells us to “submit [ourselves] to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1).
Other Christians believe the election doesn’t matter, because as Philippians 3:20 says, “Our citizenship is in heaven.” We’re just passing through this temporary world. Where once we were “foreigners and aliens” in God’s kingdom, now we are “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19). And since we are to look to the heavenly kingdom, we are to “set [our] minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
Still other Christians remind us we have been called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) in a corrupt and dark world. That includes getting involved in the political process to elect leaders who will reflect biblical values.
So, is President Obama established by God in his position? Or should Christians ignore the political process since our citizenship is in heaven?
Maybe the answer is all of the above. Nothing takes our sovereign God by surprise. Whether or not we believe President Obama is the right man for the job today, he may be just the man God wants in that position to fulfill His plans for our nation and for the future of the world.
Getting involved in the political process is a good thing. Looking to government to solve all our problems is not. Being a responsible earthly citizen is a good thing. Forgetting we have a dual citizenship is not. Becoming angry over values that conflict with God’s Word is a good thing. Arrogantly cursing those who hold those values is not.
How will an unbelieving world come to know the King of Creation if His subjects don’t behave differently from unbelievers? The apostle Paul wrote, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2).
Does this passage describe you? Are you gloating because your guy won? Or are your conversations anything but gentle because your guy lost? Are you committed to praying for the president – and all our elected officials – regardless of their party affiliation?
Our behavior should proclaim our dual citizenship as clearly as our passports do. There’s nothing wrong with Christians getting excited about the politics of our nation. Just don’t forget about the other kingdom…and that you are a subject of the King who rules there.
What do you think?