Thursday, September 27, 2007

Proud to be an American-Christian! (If you don't like it, you can go to @#%*!)

Did the title of the post wake you up? It is just a little bit provocative, I will admit. But, I hoped to wake up your reasoning ability, because the problem with carnality is, that it is never farther away than your heart, i.e. the physical pump beating in your chest at this very moment.

This post is based on something that has occurred to me over time, since I taught a Wednesday Evening bible class just over a year ago. The title of the lesson was "When Faith & Politics Meet". I have posted the lesson in most of my blogs and have posted most of it here on Scott’s blog as well.

I see this bumper sticker quite often that says “I am Proud to be an American”, the magnet version is in the picture posted above right. (Whoops! How did that get in here?)

It is a point that Scott has encouraged me to contemplate, because the attitude that is revealed will necessarily divide humanity between America and others.

However, the goal of the Lord is, and always has been, to have all barriers removed from between individual men and women as well as from between humanity and God.
St. Paul certainly recognized this, look at the following passage and think about the pride within the bumper stickers.
"Power of Pride" indeed.

Galatians 3:26-29, 26 So you are all children* of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,* slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus.(emphasis added by the Holy Spirit. If you don't believe it, just ask Him!) 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.
Galatians 3:26
Greek sons.
Galatians 3:28
Greek Jew or Greek.
Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 . Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.

To the above passage we might add 'there is no American or European'.

Nevertheless, we have jumped headlong into the very trap, about which Paul warned the Galatian Church.

And furthermore, we do it gladly with pride. We boast arrogantly about our nationality and our state of birth. We stick red, white and blue magnetic slogans on our cars, such as; "The Power of Pride". All the while we forget that the the power of pride is death..., always & without exception. Pride is a dead end street.

It is only by humility that we become like our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not see Jesus walking around Palestine, for the three years of his ministry, carrying a placard that said "Proud to be a Jew". Consider this final section from St. Paul's letter the the Galatians.

Galatians 6:14-16, 14 As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross,* my interest in this world died long ago, and the world’s interest in me is also long dead. 15 It doesn’t make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people. 16 May God’s mercy and peace be upon all those who live by this principle. They are the new people of God.*
Galatians 6:14
Or Because of him.
Galatians 6:16
Greek the Israel of God.
Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 . Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.

Does the passage above have anything in common with with a philosophy of division or superiority?
As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What if we did our "identity-pride" based on our galaxy, the Milky Way, instead of all of the other ways, e.g. by nationalism, sports teams, automobile manufacturers, etc.?

We would be far more unified with this approach to division?

Instead of seeing bumper stickers that read "Texas Native" or "Proud to be an American", we could just have "Proud to be a Milky Wayan" or "Proud to be a Milky Wayfarer".

God bless,


Scott Starr said...

Scott Starr said...

Note this from Proverbs 6:16-19. Take special notice of the item at the top of the list and also the one that closes out the list:

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


The people who stir the toxic political stew everyday via the American airwaves and/or coin the phrases that become bumper stickers would be wise to heed these words.

Some may even accuse me of stirring discord. However, I dare anyone to find a place in this voluminous blog where I am engaging in deciet, encouraging violence, stirring hatred, advocating other than adherence to the edicts and/or principles of the Bible, promoting ANY political candidate or steering anyone away from Christ alone as the Way the Truth and the Light.

My message is simple really. To Cristians: Use discernment. Be the Church. Be at Peace. Recognize the World for what it is and realize the distinction between the World and the Church. Stand up for the Jesus Christ of the Gospels and the Beatitudes. Think eternally. Act spiritually. Speak the truth, Expose untruth even if it make people uncomfortable. Be slow to anger. Love. Do not hate. Trust God.

Scott Starr said...

I believe we are in full agreement on this.

As for me personally, as you know I still grapple with how to talk to people that are not in agreement with what we have sid here. I have been attacked and insulted many times for the stand I take on these things. I have been sucked into vehement arguments more than once. Still, even with my own carnal weaknesses, I believe that I am standing on truth via the scriptures. I have recently posted some older writings on topics that are still at the forefront of public discourse. I have personally grown since those times. No longer do I stand on my own reasoning alone. I rely on scripture and spiritual, Spirit led conscience and discernment. I alone am not capable of convincing anyone of anything.

Scott Starr said...

How do we learn to love our enemy? By seeing him as a brother who is tempted as we are, and attacked by the same real enemy which is the spirit of hatred and of "Antichrist." This same enemy seeks to destroy us both by pitting us against one another.
- Thomas Merton
from Passion For Peace