Well, it's that time of the year when I feel like skipping church. Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends, and later Veterans' Day, are usually extremely uncomfortable times to attend Sunday morning worship services. There will usually be a bit of flag-waving and we'll sing patriotic hymns; perhaps we'll see a slide show praising our Founding Fathers or veterans or something like that. Many in the congregation will seem more enthusiastic than usual. And I - and I suppose a few others - will feel very uncomfortable - that is if we attend at all. (I will also! Uni)
Perhaps some of my readers will agree with me; some on the other hand, on reading the above paragraph may question my patriotism, even my devotion to Jesus. My contention, however, is that my commitment to the Lordship of Christ precludes the above behavior. As I understand it, Jesus does not wish to share the platform with others.
This has nothing to do with my "patriotism"! I love my country; I pray for it; I thank God for America every day. I try to perform my duties as a citizen: I pay my taxes; I vote; I fly my flag on appointed days; I even served as a Marine Reserve. But this has every-thing to do with my commitment to Christ!
Those of the early church in the Roman Empire confessed "Jesus is Lord" in spite of the demands that they confess "Caesar is Lord." And many died for that distinction. The Roman Empire was not too concerned about the religious beliefs of its subjects, as long as they could make the required confession. But the followers of Jesus could not do so. For them there was only one Lord. Should it not be the same for us?
America is not a theocracy; it is not a "Christian nation"; it is a secular democracy and as such, it is part of "the kingdom of the world," which will one day "become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ" (Revelation 11:15). But we're not there yet.
I may attend some Fourth of July celebration, but I'll probably stay home and watch the celebrations on TV. I'll grow teary eyed as patriotic hymns are sung and as I sing along. I may even post Ray Charles singing "America the Beautiful" on my facebook page. But I pray that I may always recognize that my allegiance to my country, as all my other allegiances will be under the Lordship of Christ.