I’m convinced that one of the greatest hindrances to evangelism is the rampant nationalism within our churches. That’s one of the reasons why I comment a lot on that subject, even though it angers some. (Their anger seems to confirm my fears about what nationalism does to us)
I’ll put it bluntly: I think too many Christians value the Stars and Stripes over the cross. Not every patriotic Christian falls into that category. But enough do that our churches get distracted from their true purpose.
This distraction makes us obsess over politics. It makes us glorify the military. It makes us view foreigners as dangerous people. It makes us value personal freedoms and individual liberty over the proclamation of freedom in Christ to the whole world.
We need to recover our citizenship as members of God’s holy nation. Our earthly citizenship should be like Paul’s, where no one knew he had it except when he told them. Even then, he only did so when absolutely necessary. Earthly citizenship is a bureaucratic technicality; heavenly citizenship defines us.
We need to discover the Kingship of the ascended Christ. Let the people of this world wrangle over partisan power and legislative liaisons. May we speak truth, seek justice, and commit ourselves to serve, not govern. May we worry about serving the King, not lording over the nations.
We need to learn to love God’s nation first. All peoples. All races. All languages. All tribes. We need to remember that the Christian immigrant or Christian foreigner is a citizen of my country, while my non-Christian U.S. citizen neighbor is not.
We need to pledge allegiance to God and God alone.