At least that is what some theologies would have us believe.
It is as if Jesus walked the road to the cross draped in an American Flag, much like Apollo Creed in Rocky 4 entering the ring to James Brown’s, “Living in America”; as if Jesus died with America on the forefront of his mind.
When my family and I lived in the Bible Belt of Texas, Jesus-America and Christianity-Patriotism were the same, they went hand in hand, they were hyphenated words. For some, there was a God-and-Country theology that could not—would not—separate the two. Whatever America did was viewed as having God’s backing and, worst yet at times, being God’s holy work. (This is not just a Texas thing, but is found in some churches throughout the Nation. I brought up Texas because this is where our story led us to see this theology taken to it’s climax).
America can do no wrong, this theology assumes; she and God are married and their wills are inseparably linked.
But what happens when the interests of America go against the interests of God?
For us to even begin to ask that question, much less answer it, we have to view America and God as separate entities whose interests sometimes (some would say, often times) collide and are anti-each-other. Some quick reminders might help us separate the two:
- Jesus was not born in America.
- Jesus was not a white Caucasian male.
- God is not an American.
- God did not found America.
- God does not love Americans more than other people.
- God does not show favoritism to America and her interests.
- God desires to bless America as much as the next country.
- America is both good and evil.
- America participates both in the the Kingdom’s interest and in the interests of the Anti-Kingdom.
- A person can be a follower of Jesus and be anti-America in as much as another person can be a follower of Jesus and be pro-America.
- If America collapses God’s kingdom will continue here on earth.
Now please hear me that I am grateful for the freedoms and “perks” that come with being born in America. I love this country, but I recognize that she has beautiful and ugly sides. But as a follower of Jesus, HE is my country, my leader, my love. Anything else, even America, can quickly become an idol—as we have seen. It can become something that pulls my heart away from God and Their kingdom. As Jesus said, I cannot serve two masters.
So what happens when the interests of America go against the interests of God?. . .
. . . Sorry America, your flag comes down and Jesus gets lifted up.
Nothing personal, ol’ glory, it’s a Kingdom thing.
May God bless America everyone—Americans included.