Serving God Above All Else

With the Fourth of July celebration just behind us, I’ve taken the time to reflect on what that holiday means for Americans and how many of those same Americans seem to love their country more than they love God and His perfect law of liberty.  Let me begin by speaking a moment about patriotism and allegiance to one’s country.  I grew up in a military family.  My father proudly served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force.  His father served during World War II.  I served a short stint in the Air Force myself.  I completely understand what it means to love your country and appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy here.  To look around the world and see turmoil and anarchy and know that we have some semblance of order here is comforting.

But I believe that same allegiance to one’s country can blind us to the rampant demoralization and endangering of a Christian way of life.  It seems that we Americans so easily jump to defend our rights and freedoms afforded us by our nation’s Constitution, but we are sometimes timid and afraid when it’s necessary to defend what God would have us do.  Our government has recently, and will into the future, pass laws that go completely against what God and His word teaches (legalization of addicting drugs and homosexual marriage to name just two examples).  The bible teaches that when a society degrades to such a despicable point that they will be given over to their own depravity.

Because this is so important and so perfectly describes our country today, I will quote this passage in full.  Paul, speaking to the Romans in Romans 1:18-32 says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.   For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped the created things rather than the Creator- who is forever praised. Amen.  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.  They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

So does this mean that, as a Christian, we should not show allegiance to our country?  By no means should we purposefully disobey the laws of our land.  But when a law or piece of legislation goes against what the bible teaches, we should speak out against it as well as defend our right as Christians and Americans to practice our belief in God.  To be sure, Christians are beginning to face persecution for this very thing.  We are ostracized and accused of spreading hatred and discord.  Our fight to love God and obey His commands will only get more difficult as our country falls deeper into sin.  Our job is show allegiance….allegiance to God above all else.

-Joe

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