Resources | Citizens of Heaven

In a time when our country finds itself facing many difficult issues, we as Christians must be reminded that we are first and foremost citizens not of this world, but of heaven. Despite the Bible’s repeated claims that we are strangers and foreigners here on earth (1 Pet. 2:11-12), we tend to quickly forget that this is not our true home. Some of us have mistakenly put our hope and trust in the American dream, over-identifying with the culture and feeling tension when it doesn’t fall in line with the biblical values we believe and uphold. Ultimately, we must remind ourselves, based on the word of God, that our trust and allegiance should not be in this country but in the Kingdom of God and God Himself, who alone is sovereign over everything.

We want to continue learning what it means to respond in a compelling way from a biblical perspective, and growing and maturing in that regard. How are we to respond to the apparent dissolution of America’s long-held link with Christianity? Thomas S. Kidd offers the following words for consideration:

“For American Christians, the connection between God and country has been deep and understandable, even if it put us at risk of a corrupt civil religion. Christians have been linking their faith to America since the time of the founding. Protestant ideals were inextricable from the establishment of the North American colonies. Christian principles such as equality by creation, and the flawed nature of all people, undergirded the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

But even in 1776, there was no Christian consensus on the great questions of the founding. Was the Revolution justifiable in light of Romans 13 warning against resisting the established powers? Could Christians support independence, when so much of America’s wealth depended on slave labor? Could Protestant dissenters like the Baptists support Patriot authorities who often persecuted them for their faith? What should African American and Native American believers do, when they had suffered enslavement and discrimination at the hands of many Patriot leaders?

There was never any unified Christian answer to these questions. An uneasy relationship with America is nothing new for Christians. Christian support for the American nation was always contingent, and always secondary to the kingdom of God.

Or it was supposed to be.”

For more of Kidd’s thoughts on this matter and one perspective on a potential Christian response, read the rest of his recent article on The Gospel Coalition here.