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Switch to Forum Live View Is America the Kingdom of God?
4 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2010 - 1:39PM #1
Theo
Posts: 4,687

Why are so many Evangelicals convinced that the United States of  America is the Kingdom of God?  A provocative title to be sure. But as an Evangelical myself, I am  constantly amazed at what I see as a glaring inconsistency in how modern  Evangelicals in the USA “behave” as opposed to how they “believe” about  America.


I am confident that if most “born again” Christians  were to answer the question – “Is America the Kingdom of God on Earth?”  that well over 90% would answer – “no, it is not.” I would say “no”  myself, with no hesitation whatsoever. Indeed, most Evangelicals would  say that they are looking forward to the Rapture and the soon return of  Jesus Christ, and most of them, being “premillennial” would agree that  when Jesus returns to Earth, that He will establish His literal kingdom  over the world – and will rule over the nations of Earth for 1000 years.

 So, why do so many Evangelical Christians behave as if America was the Kingdom of God?  This is what I am getting at > in John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom  is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants  would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My  kingdom is not from here.”


Historically, the first Christians  were persecuted by the Jews, by the Greeks and by the Romans. There are  no examples in the Bible of Jesus, the apostles or any Christian taking  up arms to defend themselves, or to serve in the military… Jesus’  disciples carried a sword to fulfill a prophecy – not to use them,  because Jesus said so, and because He also said that he who lives by the  sword will die by the sword. Moreover, the early Church was persecuted  for three hundred years… and guess what? They remained non-violent, they  remained peacemakers, they did not love their lives when facing harsh  unfair persecution and did not claim the right to defend themselves. Even so, in my church the pastor’s son and son in law are serving in the military, they are away in Iraq, away from their church and family… they are sworn to defend the constitution of the USA from enemies foreign and domestic… and they carry lethal weapons and  are trained to use them on the enemies of this nation. Indeed, there are  many people who attend my church who are either officers or enlisted  men and women… moreover they apparently have no problems with serving  God and serving their Country in the military. How they obey the Lord  Jesus beats me.

Did not Jesus say to love our enemies? To pray  for those who spitefully use, abuse and persecute us. Did Jesus not  command us to “turn the other cheek?” To not resist evil? Did he not  teach us to love our fellow man? Did He not tell us to not fight in His  name?


Indeed He did, moreover, there is not one verse in the  New Testament where Jesus commanded us to fight and overcome evil with  violence. Rather, whenever He or His disciples were unjustly treated,  they submitted to it, they did not resist it. About the worst they did  was break jail, albeit not on their own, the angel of God freed them.   And in the case of Paul and Silas – they remained inside the jail cell  so the guard would not be killed because of their escape.

I  have been a Christian for about 35 years, since I was 19 years old. I  have never been a Jehovah’s Witness, indeed, I spend a lot of free time  on the JW debate forum trying to talk sense to them. Moreover I am a  citizen of the USA, born and raised in America, born to a military family, with a brother and father who served with honor in the US armed forces of this nation. However, I never served in the military. I  have not pledged my allegiance to the flag of this Republic in decades.  Indeed, I declined to join the Boy Scouts of America with my son,  because they required that we pledge our allegiance to America – which, as a Christian is something I can not do. After all, America is not the kingdom of God, Jesus Christ is my King, and my citizenship is in heaven… if Christ was to come today – America would not welcome Him, it would be destroyed. Seeing then that all  these things will be destroyed, how should we then live in a nation that  values money and power over the Kingdom of God? Remember, Jesus said, “You can not serve God and Mammon,” – and Mammon is more than just – money.


~ Theophilus
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2010 - 2:33PM #2
Want to know
Posts: 1,671

Theo, This is the first time I have posted on this board ( I usually hang around the C to C debate board) but I want to thank you for posting this. I entirely agree with you and it also amazes me how easily Christians will go to war. I have made many post that sounds like your post but you expressed it far better than I ever have. Keep it up, and again, I thank you!

"Now we see as through a glass, darkly but then face to face:  now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known."  I Corinthians 13:12
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2010 - 10:29PM #3
Anesis
Posts: 1,542

Hi Theo. For the record, I am not American, and really know nothing about military or war or anything like that. I do know a little about loyalty to God. God is my first loyalty - loyalty being allegiance. But being loyal to God does not mean I am not loyal to my friends, to my family, to my career, or to my country. Allegiance does not mean I feel obligated to go off to war to serve my country. There are many ways to serve God, just as there are many ways to serve a country. Politicians [supposedly] serve the country. Community developers serve the country. Some churches serve the country.


For me, it's about prioritizing allegiance. My first allegiance is to God, which means living by the Word. The Bible tells me to submit to the laws of the land, for authority was established by God. However, if the country requires disobedience to the Word (I suppose that could mean abstaining from war because that would require what I refer to as legalized murder), then I am not to obey the law of the land. God's law is above man's law.


One of the questions people might consider when deciding to join an army would be the justification of God's OT commands to armies to leave no one alive or take any plunder, or why he would be with mighty, conquering armies responsible for numerous deaths.


I guess for me, whether someone joins an army or not is between them and God. Personally, I do not think I could shoot a gun with an intent to kill another human being, whether at war or not. But that does not absolve me of guilt. I am guilty because I have been angry with people, even to the point of feeling better after admitting to God that I was at the point of "hate." God has given me much grace, and has taught me much about humility - that I am absolutely no better than those who deliberately join the army to kill the enemy, or than those guilty of the worst sin mankind has known. I was guilty, but my righteousness is now in Christ.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2010 - 12:38AM #4
Theo
Posts: 4,687

 Nice posts folks - thanks for your comments.


I just get ruffled up sometimes when I hear and see Christian men and women joining the Army as if they have a Christian duty to defend the Constitution of the United States from its enemies. I have known good young men, Christian young men, who got talked into joining the military by army recruiters who fed them some headtrip about serving God and Country in the army.


The reality at least for me is that I am a citizen of God's kingdom first, and thus I am governed by His laws, not those put upon me by those who believe loyalty to God is the same thing as loyalty to the USA. As one who listens to "Conservative talk-radio" I hear a lot of that kind of thing, and sometimes I just want to shake those kinds of Christians until they wake up. Jesus did not sign the Declaration of Independence. Some Christians may indeed reap the benefits of living in America, but those benefits do not require 4 years of military service, or getting shipped overseas to kill the enemies of richmen in the Oval Office.


I am convinced that the vital national interests of this nation, as defined by the Government of the USA are not necessarily in line with those of the Lord Jesus. When I pray the Lord’s prayer, I do not say, “our kingdom come, our will be done, all over the world like it is here in the USA.”


So even though I am a Conservative Bible believing Christian – I do not believe in the USA right or wrong. I do not believe in serving God and Mammon, and I do not believe being a good citizen in heaven means that I have a duty to fight earthly wars in the name of the Commander and Chief.


~ Theophilus

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2010 - 11:48AM #5
Bezant
Posts: 1,338

To answer the thread title: If America is the KOG, then there's no more going "up," is there? ;)


I'm very sceptical of marrying my faith and nationalism, even in more innocent terms (e.g., "I defend/am proud of my country because that's how God wills it.").

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2010 - 10:49PM #6
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hello Theo,


I'm with you, brother.  It actually gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when fellowships spend the entire worship time on the 4th of July and other national pride type holidays with a bunch of flag waving and patriotic songs.  We parade the military men and women, active and retired around and make a big show of honoring them and quite frankly I'm just not real sure that God is as well pleased.


Don't misunderstand.  I enjoy the freedoms of my country and as a nation of people upon the face of the earth I find the United States to be a pretty decent place to live.  I am grateful to the thousands upon thousands who have served and are serving in the military, but quite frankly I'm much more grateful for the missionaries that share the gospel around the world and are compelled to preach Christ and him crucified.  As a nation we have many faults and the biggest is that we don't honor God.  We have great power and might as a world leader but sadly that has led us to the same sin of tolerance and idol worship that Israel suffered in the days of Isaiah and Ezekiel.  Still, as I look at all of the nations of the world I find the United States a tolerable place to live and I am thankful that we do have the freedom to practice our faith, for now.  There are other nations that are also reasonably good nations with fairly good governments, at least as good as any government by men can be.


However, for me the issue settles around whether or not national patriotism has any place in God's house.  It reeks somewhat of Daniel refusing to bow down to King Nebbudchednezzer.  Fourth of July celebrations are fine in the city parks and thorofares and honoring our military is wonderful standing on the sidewalk as a parade goes by, but is it really honoring God to hold such services in our worship gatherings? 


My feeling is to honor God and He alone as our strength and power in our fellowships.  My question is this:  Is our pledge of allegiance to the flag contrary to God's desires for us?  It starts off:  I pledge allegiance to the flag...  A symbol of a nation.  Is that really any different in God's eyes as to bow down before the statue of gold pledging allegience to a king?  If, as a nation we would give half as much allegience to God as we claim to do to our flag and nation, we'd probably be a lot better off as a nation.


Just my rambling thoughts on the subject.  Glad you asked.


God bless. Ted

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 18, 2010 - 3:44PM #7
Want to know
Posts: 1,671

Aug 17, 2010 -- 10:49PM, miami-ted wrote:


Hello Theo,


I'm with you, brother.  It actually gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when fellowships spend the entire worship time on the 4th of July and other national pride type holidays with a bunch of flag waving and patriotic songs.  We parade the military men and women, active and retired around and make a big show of honoring them and quite frankly I'm just not real sure that God is as well pleased.


Don't misunderstand.  I enjoy the freedoms of my country and as a nation of people upon the face of the earth I find the United States to be a pretty decent place to live.  I am grateful to the thousands upon thousands who have served and are serving in the military, but quite frankly I'm much more grateful for the missionaries that share the gospel around the world and are compelled to preach Christ and him crucified.  As a nation we have many faults and the biggest is that we don't honor God.  We have great power and might as a world leader but sadly that has led us to the same sin of tolerance and idol worship that Israel suffered in the days of Isaiah and Ezekiel.  Still, as I look at all of the nations of the world I find the United States a tolerable place to live and I am thankful that we do have the freedom to practice our faith, for now.  There are other nations that are also reasonably good nations with fairly good governments, at least as good as any government by men can be.


However, for me the issue settles around whether or not national patriotism has any place in God's house.  It reeks somewhat of Daniel refusing to bow down to King Nebbudchednezzer.  Fourth of July celebrations are fine in the city parks and thorofares and honoring our military is wonderful standing on the sidewalk as a parade goes by, but is it really honoring God to hold such services in our worship gatherings? 


My feeling is to honor God and He alone as our strength and power in our fellowships.  My question is this:  Is our pledge of allegiance to the flag contrary to God's desires for us?  It starts off:  I pledge allegiance to the flag...  A symbol of a nation.  Is that really any different in God's eyes as to bow down before the statue of gold pledging allegience to a king?  If, as a nation we would give half as much allegience to God as we claim to do to our flag and nation, we'd probably be a lot better off as a nation.


Just my rambling thoughts on the subject.  Glad you asked.


God bless. Ted





Mighty good rambling thoughts, Ted.Smile Ted, I have long been against having the flag in church or even on a flagpole outside the church. Wouldn't it be great if all these were removed and replaced with the flag of peace. After all, Christ did talk alot about loving our enemies, didn't He? I think it would make a big difference if children were brought up  seeing the Peace Flag in church every Sunday in place of Old Glory. I do love Old Glory as much as anyone but Christ's Church is no place for it. I sometimes wonder if He came back today He might do something similiar to the way he did the money changers in the Temple and yank down all the Red White and Blue flags..

"Now we see as through a glass, darkly but then face to face:  now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known."  I Corinthians 13:12
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 22, 2010 - 4:51PM #8
sincerly
Posts: 4,049

Aug 14, 2010 -- 1:39PM, Theo wrote:

  Why are so many Evangelicals convinced that the United States of  America is the Kingdom of God? A provocative title to be sure. But as an Evangelical myself, I am constantly amazed at what I see as a glaring inconsistency in how modern Evangelicals in the USA “behave” as opposed to how they “believe” about America.



May I add a few comments to this discussion? The USofA is NOTthe "kingdom of GOD". However, it was set up by GOD as a means of preserving HIS TRUTHS.  Remember Daniel(2:37-45; 4:25) told Nebuchadnezzar that there was a GOD who sets up governments and also HIS everlasting KINGDOM. In Rev.12:14-17, we see GOD has prepared a place for the Church(Believers with the Truths of HIS Teachings) to be safe from the severe persecution. Religious Tolerance was the foundation of the USA.(Freedom of Religion). However, While GOD does work "in the affairs of men" to bring about HIS PURPOSES, men still make laws to Govern them-selves. That is why Paul writes in Rom.13:1-7 be subject to the "powers" and "do that which is Right". Of course, like king Saul, some do not do the Will of the Father. That is why Jesus said, Matt.24:6-14, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these [are] the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."


 Jesus said, there was to be an "end to this world".  Paul to 2Tim.3:1,12-13 says of these last days, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come......Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." 

And What would be the conditions of the world at the time of the end? Jesus described them as: Matt.24:37, "But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

What was GOD'S evaluation of those days?:"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually".

No, Neither the USofA nor the world in general is the Kingdom oF GOD. That will be with GOD'S "New heavens and New Earth". Another subject. 








 


Peace,   Sincerly.      As long as sin is practiced, one will search for a means to validate the continuing therein. ANON

The greatest want of the world is the want of men--men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.---- ANON  (Ellen G. White. 1882)
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2010 - 11:33PM #9
TheSoldier
Posts: 11

Good Posts!


 


No, America is NOT the Kingdom of God. IMO, God has abandoned America. Read Romans 1:18-32. His wrath of abandonment is clearly defined and we are there.  


However, God's kingdom, according Jesus is within you and all around you. The entire Universe is His Kingdom. The question is will you spend eternity abolished in Hell or in His glory in Heaven?


 


God Bless

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