On Dual Citizenship – The Election Process and the Church

jesusdemFor the past 24 days and hours I have been in a bit of shock. Not from any one particular piece of news or information but more from the sheer volume and intensity of it all. For those of you that are familiar with Facebook.com you know that it revolves around “status updates” which are constantly updated to keep all of your “friends” abreast of your experiences and opinions. Here are a few of the statuses that I have cut and pasted word for word from the last 24 hours. I have taken all of the names out. (My explanations are in parenthesis)

(name) O BA MA.

(name) is thrilled.

(name) is elated.

(name) is still overjoyed and will wait for another day to engage in politcal banter with those who do not see the light.

Last night I was so thrilled and overwhelmed by Obama’s huge victory and as tears streamed down my cheeks

Nothing like socialism as far as change goes.

I am trying not to let them ruin my moment. If you could see what some of them are posting as their statuses…it makes me wanna cry.

(name) is singing, oh happy day!

(name) is proud to be an American today.

ME TOO!

it’s feels surreal still…it’s just too amazing!

(name) is like, OMG! OMFG! OMG! OMG! She fell to the ground and cried in a room full of people she didn’t know. OMG!

(name) feels like this is a wonderful, amazing dream!

(name) knows God’s still in control – we’ll just live in another country.

(name) just finished dancing on the streets with his fellow (city residents). bon voyage dubya.

welcome to the longest and most painful 4 years in American History.

(name) is so freaking excited for OBAMA.

Amen! How can you not like brilliance and humility, as opposed to the arrogance & cockiness we’ve had? It was like the outlaw regime…

(name) is happy America choose the right man!

(name) is happy for his liberal friends, hoping Obama makes wise decisions, and praying for the unborn lives our taxpayer dollars will snuff out.

geez (name) ! a little ridiculous, dont you think? (In response)

uh, no. I’m guessing you’re talking about the last part? but why are you worrying about what I think. go enjoy this historical night. truly it is amazing. (in response to the response)

(name) feels like I’ve just watched a movie where the ending seems too good to be true.

(name) going to sleep well tonight!!

(name) is so glad to not have a president she’s embarrassed about anymore.

(name) Welcome to the longest 4 years in American History!

My hope and my prayer is that we can now let healing begin in our communities, our country and the world.

(name) is really really really celebrating.

(name) has nothing to say.

As I was reading all of these updates that floated in throughout the day I have become fairly troubled. It wasn’t so much with what was being written, but more who was writing it. As far as I know, every person that wrote the above comments would consider themselves a Christian. While there is nothing “un-chrisitian” about what they are saying I feel like what we (Edit)  are doing is. What I see, is an all out battle. A battle that involves winners, and losers. A battle that involves victory for some and tears for others. A battle in which people see themselves as soldiers for a king. The problem is that it is the wrong battle and the wrong king.

can-we-talkSo much of Jesus time was spent reminding us of our true citizenship. Our True King. The True Kingdom. And the True War, which is not against flesh and blood. The most frightening thing about this secondary battle is not that it is not good or important. The most frightening thing about it is that it is distracting us from our true battle, our true mission. Our mission is not to create systems of economic or governmental strength. These things will pass away. Our Mission is to serve our King and expand his Kingdom on this earth.

There are many who will think that these two missions are one and the same. We are citizens of America and Heaven.  This is true and the intentions of individuals are not mine to judge. I am concerned, though, when the shouts for joy and the tears of sorrow of the citizens of heaven look and reflect the same things that the citizens of this earth rejoice and mourn over. When you read the various comments posted by Christians above do you get a feel that they have become more or less unified as a result of engaging in this political process? Has this political process strengthened or unified the Bride of Christ or is it chopping her to pieces? In a politically tumultuous time as this, Christians should be bonding together under their King and moving outward to heal the broken and bring strength to the weary. Is it possible that we have gotten far to wrapped up in becoming the soldiers whom we were called to heal? Do we respond to our citizenship of the Kingdom with one tenth of the fervor that is represented above in the fervor to our national government?diversion

My final thoughts are this. I think it is a great thing to be a Mariners Fan. To be an American. To be half Korean. To live in Seattle and to enjoy Apple Computers. I consider these great things. They are a freedom and can be a privelage. BUT if they ever start to invade into the mission that I have been given to serve and love My King. If they ever cause disunity between those that I am called to serve  with. If they distract instead of propel me to expand the Kingdom of God. Than it would be nothing short of a complete travesty to pursue or support them any further.

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21 thoughts

  1. Great observation..

    Yes, I was surprised too that so many used their facebook “status” as a tool for political banter. Obviously this election erupted strong emotions.

  2. Great post. You have some excellent thoughts and I fully agree with you.

    Perhaps it could be argued that in investing so much of our happiness, joy and energy into the political process or a political party or even in our citizenship in this country, we are setting up our these things as idols in our lives.

    When it distracts us from our calling in Christ, how could it be anything less than idolatry?

    Again, good post.

  3. In defence of myself whose comment is present on that list, it was more of a relief that it’s over and that we can move on from letting this election divide us as families and communities. It would have been made if the outcome of the election was the exact opposite.

    I was surprised to see it translated as “unchristian”.

  4. Enjoyed this; lots to think about. I’ve been writing along related lines in my blog lately, both about the relationship between medium and message and about Kingdom and country citizenship. It makes me glad to know others are thinking and praying about this (and not just as a byproduct of getting or not getting their way).

  5. Beau, Wow 2 Collins responding to one 1 blog post. That’s exciting. The way that I intended this, I think your status update is kind of saying the same thing that I am. I’ve heard the same kind of sentiment from numerous people and it goes like this: “Thank God this whole thing is over. Now we can get back to normal and stop stressing out. ” My only point is that for someone who lives and purposes in the spiritual realm life has not changed and will not change. If the election was dividing families or the church(which is the historic norm) than maybe it should not be the focus that it is?
    Just to be clear: I didn’t mean to translate your specific comment (or anyone’s) for that matter as “unchristian.” I just think that the collaboration of the updates presents a picture that is not one the Christian Church should be characterized for. If I misrepresented your intention of the comment or don’t want it up here I’ll take it off.

    Grooms, you have a blog? I want to check it out.

    EVERYONE: To everyone who helped by contributing your facebook status updates. Thank you or sorry (whichever applies to you). As I stated to Beau I do not have a personal problem with any of them or anyone who wrote them. I think that the problem lies with the church and the solution lies with everyone who is interested in loving Her health more than any man made structure or system. Anyone can let me know if they would like their anonymous status removed.

  6. I don’t think that we should be heavy-handed and self-important about this.

    I think that Christians should pray for Obama just like we would pray for any leader.

    I feel hope, like I do when then bankroll closes. Having some money makes you feel better, but God is still just as in charge as he was when you don’t have money.

    We don’t know if someone will turn out to be good or bad, we don’t know how they will lead, so we should pray for Obama and all the world leaders.

  7. Hey, I also am curious, how much do you think your response to the rabid Obama joy is influenced by your instinct to quell extreme emotional displays? Just curious.

  8. Uh oh!!!!! Therapy question!!!!

    I think something that Christians get hung up on in elections is that while they say they don’t think that they say they don’t think that the government can bring the Kingdom, they then also vote that way.

    Any office you vote for should be thought of thru the lens of your beliefs, but you should also think of it in terms of hiring someone for a job. If you’re a business owner or a manager at a company, you should conduct yourself in a moral and upright way, but manage in a way that is also good for the company. I mean, would it make sense to hire the secretary who as super-ultra Christian, but wasn’t as qualified or dynamic as the Atheist?

    Government is there not to create the Kingdom, but to save us from living in Anarchy.

  9. Stephanie, Good question. I don’t suppose I’ll really know how much my response to the “rapid Obama joy” was an “instinct to quell extreme emotional” display because I don’t know how or why I emotionally react or don’t react to most things at this point. I ‘ll let you know in 6 months or 6 years.

    In one way, I feel like I am at a point where I really value strong emotional displays or reactions. I guess the thing that I have been wrestling with in regards to the whole Obama thing is that just from my observation I have seen people reacting with stronger emotions than I have seen them react to anything….ever. Obviously I don’t have the full picture, but I do wonder how we as people who cognitively claim that God’s Kingdom is the most important thing in our lives, explain the lack of a comparing emotional intensity for that movement.

    I am struggling with the tone that this post was written. I do not want to be or sound “self-important” and I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “heavy-handed” but I am assuming that it is not good and that you are referring to me. I know when I write I can be and come across as judgmental but one of the most interesting things about this post is that I wrote it as a reaction. It was a reaction that was based upon emotion and that emotion was sorrow. As I was observing this *hype* (that I was a part of as much as anyone) I felt like a part of my heart was breaking. Anyways, maybe that addresses your inquiry into my emotion, or lack of it. My hope with this post is that it makes us all think about the Church, Her Mission, and what it may look like to get there. I do not elevate myself at all and in fact I feel like I wrote this post mostly for myself. Unfortunately, this is what having an overly aggressive and confident personality produces when combined with a 9th grade writing level (that was my last year of english.)
    I hope everyone is as honest about their thoughts as you.

  10. Good words, Ben. The first thing I saw when I got on facebook was (name)SCREW OBAMA! There was sooo much emotion that night. I completely admit to getting teary eyed and excited. Not only because of my passion for the hope for change that Obama’s presidency brings, but also because of the ability of Americans to tear down racial barriers. I see racial unity as a triumph Christians can celebrate with a clean conscience. Don’t worry though…the flood of insanity that all this has created will eventually subside. As elated as I am, I know that Obama is still only a man and our true hope is in Jesus Christ.

    Now that’s three Collins’ 🙂

  11. Charles, Great points.

    Bridget, That’s awesome. I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying the life of MLK. The context and character are insane. One of the first things that come to my mind is that if our nation told it’s testimony around the lbc campfire than this event would definitely be one of the most memorable.

    Where the heck are Bob, Nicole, and Jon in all this?

  12. Last night my counselor mentioned in passing that people get so riled about politics because they speak to our own personal values. So it’s really easy to deify or demonize candidates whom we see as embodying or opposing our values.

    And like we who are commenting seem to agree, ultimately God is bigger. (Did you see my blog post/facebook note where Judah and I talked about that when the electoral votes were being counted?)

    When I said we shouldn’t be heavy-handed or self-important, I think we all have the tendency to go there and if it seems Christians are getting too excited about something other than God, then that’s idolatry, and it’s frustrating. Case in point: that’s why I started my Christian culture blog. (NOT to say I don’t idolize things.)

    And I am self-important, a big sanctimonious bag of wind, and I want to be aware of that and not be condescending and just be aware that I don’t have all the answers and we’re all on a journey.

    Thanks for talking about your journey. I love it when people are open, it’s my favorite thing.

  13. great thoughts ben. i’ve been able to appreciate many of your posts from afar and it’s been a blessing to me. so i’ve wanted to say thanks for a while. hope you guys are well.

  14. my facebook status was, “(name) is wishing he had run for president.” In all humility, I think it would have been the best for the country and christianity.

  15. Hi Ben,

    I don’t know you but I am a friend of Heather. This post is both amazing and convicting for me and I love it! I myself have been feeling much grief since the election and I also must confess that I have felt much judgment towards my fellow brothers and sisters who are celebrating the victory I mourn. (which I know is wrong) Satan can and will use this divide in the body if we let him. Thank you so much for bringing us back to TRUTH Ben.

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