this is a continuation of the CEO article in our newsletter, to subscribe to our newsletter, CLICK HERE.
COVID-19 has brought the tension between our dual citizenship to the forefront. As citizens of the United States, we are commanded in the Bible to submit to the civil government. This is found in both 1 Peter 2:15-17 and in Romans 13:1-7.
We are to obey the laws of the land as a positive witness for Jesus Christ. Most Christians stayed home and most churches voluntarily closed their doors for the greater good of protecting the health of our neighbors. We complied to be a positive witness for Jesus in the community.
Now, six weeks later, many governmental leaders are forcing churches to remain closed, while other businesses are allowed to be open.
In 1384, John Wycliffe wrote in the prologue to his translation of the Bible, “The Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” Four-hundred seventy-nine years later, in November of 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln wrote in his address, “…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Those immortal words, while extremely beautiful, do actually mean something. In our Constitutional Republic, “we the people” are the governing authority in our nation. We elect people to represent our interests locally and at the state and national levels.
Our Constitution limits the powers that our elected officials can exercise over those of us who elected them. In our form of government, “we the people” have the final say, not those elected to represent us.
“We the people” are the real government of our nation. So when we hear that “the government” will not allow churches to open, remember, we closed voluntarily to honor what the Bible teaches. Now, many government leaders are mandating that churches remain closed until further notice. Is that ok with you?
As citizens of the kingdom of God, do we turn the other cheek as commanded in Matthew 5:39 or is this a case where we follow the example of the disciples in Acts 5:29?
I do not presume to tell you what to do in situations like these. Because the Spirit of God lives in followers of Jesus, we can trust God to guide us. Here are two things I am doing:
Until God sets up His Kingdom on earth we will face times where the uniqueness of our dual citizenship will challenge how we practice our theology. 4Tucson offers several fellowships and opportunities to meet with other followers of Jesus to talk about some of the challenges of dual citizenship. I hope you will take advantage of all that 4Tucson offers.