To Whom Do We Owe Allegiance?

Every duty is a religious duty, and our obligation to perform every duty is therefore absolute. Thus we may have a duty to rescue a drowning man and, perhaps, if we live on a dangerous coast, to learn lifesaving so as to be ready for any drowning man when he turns up. It may be our duty to lose our own lives in saving him. But if anyone devoted himself to lifesaving in the sense of giving it his total attention- so that he thought and spoke of nothing else and demanded the cessation of all other human activities until everyone had learned to swim- he would be a monomaniac. The rescue of drowning men is, then, a duty worth dying for, but not worth living for. It seems to me that all political duties (among which I include military duties) are of this kind. A man may have to die for our country, but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country. He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a nation, or party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself.

C. S. Lewis

As of late I have become increasingly disheartened over the behavior of people in and observing the presidential race. Most disheartening to me are the comments and actions of those proclaiming Christ. I in no way believe all those who proclaim Him to be His (Matt 7:22-23), but the world does not understand this and sees all who make that proclamation to be genuine. Christians have an obligation to Christ to behave in such a way that brings honor unto Him. I have seen many proclaim their First Amendment rights to free speech in an attempt to justify their unkind words and accusations. We all need to realize that as Christians our allegiance isn’t to the Constitution, the United States, or our political party. I have but one that I pledge my complete allegiance to and that is Christ, and Him alone.

I have also seen a great deal of bearing false witness, and the telling of partial truths. Many people just repeat what they have heard, without checking sources and verifying for themselves what the truth is. If candidate A says candidate B said or did something, it doesn’t matter how honorable you think candidate A is; you are responsible to verify the facts. I have seen this happen many times within this race. Someone will say that something was said, but upon checking out the facts I have seen that only part of the story is given and the situation was often taken out of context. This may be considered typical politics; but for a Christian it is breaking the 9th Commandment, and is sin. I have seen this on many Christian blogs and it greatly saddens me.

Since I registered to vote all of those many years ago, I have been a registered Republican. Many of my core views and my moral beliefs have lined up with this party. Over the last few years I have seen many people switch to the Constitution party, and I have considered doing so as well. Then this race began in earnest, as did God’s working on my heart. Over the last year I have seen many of my core beliefs become more refined. Many of these beliefs would cause me to be labeled as a moderate or even a liberal (words that I really don’t like being called). As I saw these views changing, I began to question myself. Many people whom I respect would differ greatly with me, often citing the Constitution as their source for what is right. As my views changed more and more, I began to have an internal conflict. Many of the things I started to see, were diametrically opposed to what I have been believing all of these years. For a while I battled with these thoughts. Lindsay and I had many discussions about them, as did Gene and I, and I couldn’t quite feel settled. One day I realized that I wasn’t looking to a document or a party to determine how I believed: I was looking at things with the eyes of Christ. For an example, one of the comments that was made about Huckabee was that he opposed the INS when they wanted to deport 130 illegal aliens. On the surface, that sounds like he’s soft on illegal immigration, but when you delve into the facts of the matter, there’s more to it than that. In this situation he did oppose the INS, because they deported 130 illegal immigrants who were working hard on a farm, not hurting anyone, and left their 30 children here without parents. I know many who would have a real problem with his policy. Some may have the luxury of looking at things from a strictly legal and constitutional standpoint, but I don’t have that luxury. I am called to look at everything I do, say, and believe through the eyes of Christ, and Him alone. What would His response be to these families being ripped apart? What would be the emotional damage done to my children if they were to have me ripped from them and sent to another country? It reminds me of children of the Holocaust seeing their families ripped to shreds, never to see one another again. No, the scale of this isn’t the same scale as the Holocaust, but to the children in both situations, their hearts are forever damaged.

I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t believe in securing our borders, because I do. The issue for me isn’t about preventing others from coming in, but about what to do with those that are here already. I am all for the border fences and more checkpoints. I think security is good, but for a Christian, it also has to be balanced with the realization that our true security is only in Christ. If our country were to fall, my life would not be destroyed, because I would have Christ. In America and other Western countries, we place our security in our nation. We see ourselves as blessed by God, and some even see us as God’s chosen people. What does that say about our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Sudan, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China?

Trying to see things with the heart of Christ has become difficult. He doesn’t see borders, race, political parties, nationalities, or sex… He only sees souls. I don’t have all the answers. In fact, the more I look at things this way, the fewer answers I seem to have. I’m o.k. with this. I can’t dictate how this country is run; that is in the hands of others. What I can and must do is be responsible with my words, my actions, and my vote.

As the body of Christ, we all need to examine our motives, actions, and words. We need to choose our leaders based on the criteria set before us by Scripture, not by a document that was written by men. This also brings to mind a comment that I have seen on more than one occasion. It was said, “If Ron Paul doesn’t get elected as president, this country is doomed.” I would challenge that person’s faith. Are you putting your faith and the security of our country on the shoulders of a mere man? In whom are you trusting? My faith for myself, my nation, and my world rests firmly in the hands of God. In this political climate, it is easy to get caught up in rhetoric and divisions, but as Christians, we are to be united in Christ. When Scripture warns against factiousness and stirring up strife, it isn’t excluding politics.

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