the people along the sand all turn and look one way;
they turn their back on the land, they look at the sea all day.

as long as it takes to pass a ship keeps raising its hull;
the wetter ground like glass reflects a standing gull.

the land may vary more, but wherever the truth may be -
the water comes ashore and people look at the sea.

they cannot look out far, they cannot see in deep -
but when was that ever a bar for any watch they keep.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Welcome the Home Invader

The conflict of Kingdoms has always been a central one to Christianity.  Who is our King?  Jesus...or Caesar?  We know Paul (or whoever) said that we are to be subject to the ruling authorities, because they represent God or some such nonsense.  But, let us remember that Paul (or whoever) did NOT obey ruling authorities when it came to his preaching the gospel and declaring the Lordship of Jesus.

Let's make a foundational statement, and assume we all agree.  If Jesus is our King, then we place the priorities of his kingdom above our identity as citizens of a particular nation-state.  That means that if Jesus says "blue" and our Senate says "red"...we go with blue (if we identify ourselves as Christians)...and we willingly face the consequences (all the while, at least in our governmental system, trying to get the Senate to say "blue").

Recently, a Facebook friend, Mark Van Steenwyck, brought this issue into keen relief for me when he said "when enforcement of borders trumps show hospitiality to strangers  then it is clear that one's religion is Americanism, not Christianity." "Enforcement of borders" is a nation-state issue.  "Show hospitality to strangers" is a Kingdom of God issue.  He is right in pointing out that if "enforcement of borders" gets the highest priority...then the loyalty being shown is not loyalty to the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said "if your ENEMY takes your coat, give him your cloak as well."  And...yeh, turn the other cheek.  And...yeh, walk the extra mile.

If we are going to identify ourselves as Christians, with Jesus as our King and the Kingdom of God our homeland...then we have to welcome the home invader.

Ouch.  That hurts.  I don't mean it, do I?  I certainly don't like it.  I cannot imagine what I would do if at this very moment I heard the front door explode open, the voices of strangers yelling at my wife and daughter and me to get on the floor, hands behind our heads or we die...and begin to ransack our house, making veiled threats about tapping some female ass before they head out.

If I had a rocket launcher...some son-of-a-bitch would die.  (Bruce Cockburn said it, not me).

At that point, I would be thankful for grace and forgiveness.  But even that sword cuts both ways.  God will forgive me for protecting  my family, right?  Only if I forgive my home invaders...according to the Lord's Prayer, which says...(you know, don't you) "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us."

I am beginning to like the Nation-State better and better.  The way of the Kingdom...?

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