Nationalism gets in the way of evangelism

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.

3 thoughts on “Nationalism gets in the way of evangelism

  1. Jerry Starling

    Again, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. I know the temptation of too much politics and not enough focus on the new Jerusalem. And I also know that is not a formula for eternal glory with God in the presence of my Savior.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom!

  2. Bryant Evans

    I’ve noticed that while many prayers include thankfulness for our service men and women, few include pleas for our missionaries and for Christians being oppressed in foreign lands. It’s not either/or but should be both.

  3. Tim Archer Post author

    Bryant, I share the same concern. I’m reticent about praying for “our” service men and women, if we mean those of the United States. I think our view of the Kingdom needs to be broader than that. Prayer for those in military service, for the suffering can be great for those men and women. Just keep in mind that the Venezuelan soldiers (for example) are as much “ours” as are those who serve on behalf of the United States.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.