Saturday, October 15, 2005

No constitutional freedoms in the Kingdom of God

Here's a distinction worth remembering. Travis Stanley explains the difference between political freedom and freedom in Christ:

The freedom Christ offers is not freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, freedom of press, freedom to marry, freedom to get an education and get a job, freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Christ’s freedom is the ability to say, as Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” It’s the freedom to find life in the midst of death, joy in the midst of sorrow. It is the freedom to live life with joy and courage, even when other freedoms that we hold so dear are not available.

If the American definition of freedom was what God intended, then Jesus would have set up a democratic form of government in 1st century Palestine . . . . Instead, God, through Jesus, called us into the kingdom of heaven, a kingdom which transcends national boundaries, is not dependent on national definitions of “freedom” and the “good life”, and calls us all to place our allegiance solely in Christ and the Christ-like life.

I'm glad Travis made that point. It's distressing to see many of my fellow countrymen proclaiming a faith in Christ yet becoming more passionate about the country than the Kingdom. It's all too easy for the church and Christians to go off-message fighting political battles when our real mission is much more urgent. All Christians need to remember that, although we're called to obey the human governments placed over us, our primary citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. And that Kingdom, brothers and sisters, has nothing to do with rights.

12 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

I had a pastor once speak about this. He said freedom in Christ was also the freedom to enslave oneslelf to Christ. Kind of a neat paradox.

10:12 AM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I agree.

11:39 AM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Jonah said...

What a great reminder to know where our true allegiance should lie. I believe we can become so wrapped up in the politics of this nation that we forget what our true focus should be: Christ and the great commission.

Thanks for the apt reminder.

1:50 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Amen, Jonah. Thanks for commenting. And you're off to a fine start, btw, at Jonah's Contemplations. Peace.

3:26 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger extremist said...

"I'm glad Travis made that point. It's distressing to see many of my fellow countrymen proclaiming a faith in Christ yet becoming more passionate about the country than the Kingdom."

What yardstick do you use to measure the passion for the kingdom in the hearts of your fellow Christians? Many of us have a vocation or avocation for politics. Many full-time ministers or missionaries have an avocation for sports or other worldly matters. Are you willing to criticize them too?

Your statement looks to me like an unsupported, if not unsupportable generalization. If that's not how you meant it, please clarify.

6:18 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I didn't mean to give the impression that there's anything wrong with political or government activity per se. Certainly not. But if we put our government, party, nation, family, selves or anything else above the Kingdom of God, then we're sinning.

People can be more passionate about anything than the KoG. I've seen it too many times with University of Tennessee football. The devotion of many fans has all the trappings of idolatry.

Jesus reminded us of a similar idea with these words: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).

To cut to the heart of what I think you're asking: I firmly believe that working as a government attorney (and blogging politics) is an honorable profession for a Christian.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you keep coming back. Peace.

7:00 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Jonah said...

You're absolutely right, Mr. Stanley. I, too, fall prey to the things of this world superseding my attention and focus on the Kingdom of God.

8:10 AM, October 16, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

We all do at one time or another, Jonah. I guess that's why we need a savior. Peace.

1:28 PM, October 16, 2005  
Anonymous Travis Stanley said...

Thanks for the link and contributing to the discussion here and on my blog. This is a difficult topic to discuss, because such a topic indicts us all, in some way, but a necessary topic, nonetheless.

7:39 AM, October 17, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I agree, Travis. Thanks for stopping byy.

6:48 AM, October 18, 2005  
Anonymous Ranten N. Raven said...

What a timely reminder. I am indeed guilty. Thanks!

10:19 PM, October 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

You're quite welcome, RNR. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

1:23 PM, October 20, 2005  

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