Advice For American Christians

Advice For American Christians July 18, 2019

In these turbulent times, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to be proud of America.

The President is a racist. The Congress is powerless to accomplish anything other than vote for their own pay increase.

Children are being held in cages, separated from their parents.

The government turns a blind eye to the horrific murder – and dismemberment – of a journalist because to speak out might endanger billions of dollars in weapons sales to the nation responsible.

As hard as it is to be patriotic these days, it’s even harder to follow the teachings of Jesus and maintain anything like an allegiance to such a nation as the United States of America.

In fact, one might say that we cannot do both with any real integrity.

Either we pledge allegiance to Christ and His Kingdom, or we align ourselves with the Red, White and Blue. But, we cannot do both at the same time.

“You cannot serve two masters,” a wise man once said. [Does anyone remember who that was anymore?]

The followers of the Prince of Peace cannot salute the flag that stands for warfare, military conquest and collateral damage.

The follower of Christ cannot wrap themselves in the colors that symbolize blood [lots of it], and open white nationalism, and unchecked police brutality against black people.

As one friend of ours recently said:

“Until stripes no longer represent bars, walls, systemic barriers to equality, and ‘us versus them’ mentalities rooted in stripes of toxic ethnocentrism- the flag cannot proclaim nor aspire to be a symbol of freedom. We must continue to ask ourselves, freedom for who?” – Marla Lipscomb

Yes, indeed. Freedom for who? For us, of course. That goes without question. [Doesn’t it?] But what about those who have no freedom? What about those whose oppression feeds our bottom line and under girds the wealth of corporations posting billions in profits each fiscal year?

Can the follower of Christ sit idly by while this oppression continues? Can we continue to enjoy the fruits of such a system that feeds the rich and starves the poor? Can we turn our heads so far that we honestly no longer see the poverty our quest for wealth creates in other nations?

This nation is as anti-Christ as it can be at the moment. What is truly frightening is that it’s possible this decline into Anti-Christ-likeness isn’t quite at an end yet. Perhaps there is still a few more feet of darkness beneath us? Perhaps we will continue this descent into hatefulness, racism, violence, oppression, war, greed and cruelty?

If so, it is long past due for those who name the name of Christ to opt-out of this toxic nationalism.

We can pray for this nation, but we cannot afford to align ourselves with it.

We can work to transform this nation from within, but we cannot wear those colors with integrity.

We can love our neighbors, but we cannot stand and salute a flag that waves while humans suffer beneath it.

So, let us chose this day whom we shall serve:

If Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the anti-Christ is the Prince of War.

If Jesus heals, the anti-Christ sheds blood.

If Jesus says we should love our enemy, the anti-Christ says we should torture them.

If Jesus commands us to bless those who curse us, the anti-Christ urges us to make war against them.

If Jesus says we should pray for those who persecute us, the anti-Christ says we ought to oppress and imprison them.

If Jesus tells us to care for the poor, the anti-Christ says we should just ignore them.

If Jesus says his disciples will not fight, the anti-Christ encourages us to glorify violence.

If Jesus says we should turn the other cheek, the anti-Christ says we should destroy the aggressor.

Who do we pledge our allegiance to? Are we of Christ, or are we of the anti-Christ?

Chose wisely, my friends.

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

Keith’s newest book, “Jesus Unveiled: Forsaking Church As We Know It For Ekklesia As God Intended” released on June 9, 2019 on Amazon, and features a Foreword by author Richard Jacobson.
Keith’s Podcast: Heretic Happy Hour Podcast is on iTunes and Podbean. 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Brianna LaPoint

    matt ten verse thrity four says do not think ive come for peace. but i always get the context response. thats fine use the cop outs.

  • Herm

    Matthew10:32-42
    “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. [33] But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. [34] “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. [35] For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— [36] a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ [37] “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [39] Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. [40] “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. [41] Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. [42] And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

    The only sword Jesus ever wields is from his mouth. The only sword Jesus teaches his students to wield is to speak up according to our Father’s will, even when those words fracture to separate familial, national and religious relationships. Brianna, is this a cop out to you?

  • Herm

    Okay, Keith, you just had to go and tell us where the rubber meets the road for Jesus’ disciples, didn’t you?

    I might add that Jesus expressly teaches not to support anti-Christ authoritarian leaders, especially if to load the civil courts in Jesus’ name. Jesus never teaches his disciples that it is his church’s duty to legislate against civil gay marriage or what a woman chooses to do with her carnal body. To be a sibling student of Jesus the Christ we must pick up to carry each our own cross in loving sacrifice for all our carnal family of Man, no matter whether merciful neighbor or narcissistic enemy. It is our Father’s will that we love all of carnal Man and all of spirit God. It is our Father’s will that we share bountifully with all according to His perfect example. We have nothing on earth that was not already on earth before us. We are children provided for fully by the loving grace of our Father in heaven.

  • Nimblewill

    If Jesus says we should love our enemy, the anti-Christ says we should torture them.

    If Jesus commands us to bless those who curse us, the anti-Christ urges us to make war against them.

    If Jesus says we should pray for those who persecute us, the anti-Christ says we ought to oppress and imprison them.

    Who would you put in these categories? It seems like you’ve written an article about them. Of course there are powers and principalities that we need to fight but people………………….?

    I agree with everything you wrote. I wrote the following about the Confederate flag. I think it fits with any flag.

    “You can have your flag. It ain’t mine. You could take every one of them down and I’d be fine. Those stars and bars never set men free and a battle flag is all it’ll ever be.”

  • Keith, you seem to be implying that the current occupant of the White House is representing ALL of Americans. That this is America. I assure you, it is not. Nor do I believe we should equate patriotism, gratitude for the blessings America bestows, with nationalism, the belief that our nation is better than any other. They are different.
    I think we view political responsibilities differently, you and I. The political realm is an extension of “love your neighbor,” the danger of nationalism is that it tries to limit “who that neighbor is.” So my duty is, as first a Christian, and second as a US citizen, is to vote for policies and candidates who enlarge, rather than shrink the pool of who qualifies as “my neighbor.”
    Rather than limit myself to Christian good works, I feel it is also necessary to come alongside politicians and parties that further the “love my neighbor” ethic. This is the fallacy of John MacArthur: that social justice plays no part in the gospel. While I know you and I agree that this is not true—that social justice is a HUGE part of the gospel message, I feel political engagement is a huge responsibility as well, even if part of that engagement is to ensure separation of Church and State.
    I would also suggest that our two party system is failing us at the moment. It does not give enough options for voters. The Republican Party has now swung so far right of center that it only represents a small subset of Americans: mostly White middle-class Americans with 2 years of less of a college education. In contrast, our Democratic Party represents a much larger and diverse “centrist” group of Americans.
    So while I would agree we cannot serve to masters, we can be responsible American citizens if we keep our eyes on Jesus, and love others with our ballot cards. Peace.

  • Matthew

    “The Republican Party has now swung so far right of center that it only
    represents a small subset of Americans: mostly White middle-class
    Americans with 2 years of less of a college education. In contrast, our
    Democratic Party represents a much larger and diverse “centrist” group
    of Americans.”

    If this is true, then how did Trump get elected? Why if the Democrats represent a larger and diverse group, do not more registered Democrats get out and vote on election day? I´m no fan of Trump, but I think he will probably get reelected 🙁

  • The problem for Democrats, is that they are centrist. You can’t please all the people all the time. In other words, their diversity is laudable but also a liability. The Republicans, on the other hand, by appealing to a smaller core group, have a much greater chance of appeasing that smaller group than trying to be all things to all people. It’s actually very simple. And I sadly agree with you, the current occupant of the Oval Office Chair (when he’s not golfing), stands a good chance of being re-elected, as the Democrats are a bit of a mess right now. Don’t forget, tho, tRump did not win the popular election, Clinton did by almost 3 million more votes. We have a broken voting system. As for the Republican Party swinging far right of center see:
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/26/opinion/sunday/republican-platform-far-right.html

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Kirk. I hope you are well.

  • Bob Peacock

    This is one of the best Articles we in our household has read to date., we have discussed this over and over and came to the same conclusion. We still cannot wrap our heads around, how the American people can be so duped. We believed, that (even though we are Canadian), that America was that “Beacon on the Hill, that Lighthouse of Hope” for all people’s who cared about Liberty and love and all it encompasses, even with their past transgressions. But, we thought they had got over them. Instead they were waiting in the wings for “THIS POOR EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING” in the White House, we pray for him and for him to have an Epiphany as Saul had on the Road to Damascus, We pray that the American Electorate will decide to follow Christ and not the hypocrites who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. Well done Keith. Keep us the good work.

  • Waverly

    Most American Christians, both conservative and progressive and in particular those who are white are decidedly ethnocentric. Jesus was not. Somebody said the greatest example of segregation in this country is Sunday morning in Church. Others are always welcome but leave your culture in the parking lot.

  • KontraDiction

    Exactly. And let’s not forget gerrymandering, voter suppression, and foreign interference, all of which will be stronger than ever this election. In addition, Republicans have been trained over decades to support their party no matter what, to ignore “fake news” from any other source, and to mistrust and even hate anyone not like them. It’s very hard to overcome cult behavior like this.

  • Ivan Beggs

    The Republicans keep winning. They have 60% of the state legislatures, they dominate in the local, federal, and Supreme Court, radio, TV, the military, and have vigorous religious support from 40% of the US. Further, they have the Electoral College map on their side. This was all the strategy Pat Buchanan outlined forty years ago.

    Still the Democrats don’t get it.

    For Democrats to win, they have to take back that all back. As Buchanan said, “It will take fifty years for the Democrats to get back to the 1970’s.”

    Meanwhile the well organized Republicans are fund raising for the 2020 election, while the 20 Democratic presidential nominees are fundraising and fighting among themselves. The Republican are on message. The Democrats are scattered and allow the Republicans to define who they are. What religious support do the Democrats have? A few feeble squeaks from dis-empowered liberal ministers?

    Meanwhile, Democrats and liberal Christians and their ministers are lazily dreaming quoting Jesus.

  • James Elliott

    There’s a tension between encouraging Christian people to take their faith and apply it to their politics, but to remember that we don’t freely use God to justify our political beliefs. I think that was covered in the third Commandment: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” And, as Herm pointed out, to align ourselves with Caesar is to turn our backs on the One who was crucified in Caesar’s name.