In many places in the world, people think that all Americans are Christians. They think that to be a Christian is to be an American. They associate America culture with Christianity.
And today is July 4th. There is no more American day.
I like America. It’s a pretty great place to live, (especially Austin). I am oh so thankful to live in a country where I can worship my God without persecution or fear.
I think it’s important though, that we are able to understand and articulate the key differences in the Christian and American worldview. We must be careful that we don’t adopt some ‘Americanisms’ and call them ‘Christianity’.
Here are a couple of the key differences I could think of between the kingdom of America and the kingdom of God:
In the kingdom of America, my rights are uppermost. In the kingdom of God my rights are laid down.
In the kingdom of America, success is gaining power and influence from nothing In the kingdom of God, success is emptying yourself and becoming nothing.
In the kingdom of America, happiness is connected to self-esteem. In the kingdom of God, happiness is connected to denying self.
In the kingdom of America, we are entitled to a certain life. In the kingdom of God, we are entitled to death alone.
In the kingdom of America, we earn our worth. In the kingdom of God, our worth is given by grace.
In the kingdom of America, we are innocent until proven guilty. In the kingdom of God, we are guilty unless made innocent.
In the kingdom of America, we are blessed if we are rich and wealthy. In the kingdom of God, blessed are the poor in spirit and humble of heart.
In the kingdom of America, we find exaltation through hard work and climbing the corporate ladder. In the kingdom of God, we find exaltation by humbling ourselves and trusting God.
In the kingdom of America, freedom is my ability to live as I please. In the kingdom of God freedom is my ability to live as God pleases.
Let freedom ring today. But let it be true freedom. The freedom we have in Christ is not the freedom to express ourselves or speak our minds (although those are great things). The freedom we have in Christ is just so much better.
In Christ, we are free from the threat of death and the burden of guilt and shame. We are free from slavery to sin; free to finally serve God and lay our lives down for Him. We are free to count others as more significant than ourselves and free to let the insults and attacks of others fuel our love for them. We are free to lose our lives so that we might find them. We are free to love recklessly without fear of rejection or pain. We are free to pursue humility without missing out and free to prefer Holiness.
If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.