For whatever reason, and I run across this a lot, so many of my fellow evangelical Christians are vastly more concerned with American politics than they are of Jesus Christ. Why have Christians relegated the preeminence of Jesus to the back-seat behind America? Have we forgotten what redemption is: being slaves and prisoners to sin, Christ paid our price of freedom on the cross in order to live as slaves of Christ and righteousness! We were bought with a price! We are so vastly indebted to Christ for that. So I pose the question – which are you more of, a freedom-fighter or a freedom-debtor? Which battle are you most concerned about?
Example 1: the tea party is holding a rally in D.C. tomorrow (Sunday, September 12, 2010). Knowing the constituents of the many tea-party-goers, I’m sure that there are Christians attending. Some people in the church to which I attend think it fitting to skip out on corporate worship and be present at this protest rally. Whether such a thing is right or wrong is not the question. I simply ask, are we freedom-fighters first or freedom-debtors? Which takes priority in your life?
I can already hear the comments now – “You are being so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.” While there is some truth to that, this is still a matter of priorities. I’m not saying that liberal politics is the way to go. I am as conservative as they come. But I am not about to put that in front of corporate worship. Why? Because Jesus is worth it! His Gospel is precious! My redemption was costly! He paid it all; all to Him I owe!
Example 2: Islam is at the forefront of discussion again. This time, there are two issues – the mosque at ground zero and the wacky church in FL that wants to burn Korans. First, do I think it is a bit insensitive to build a mosque at ground zero? Perhaps, but does it change my task at hand – namely to glorify God, magnify the name of Christ, and submit to the Spirit? Absolutely not! Again this is a matter of priorities. And not being a New Yorker, I really could care less.
Of course this whole Koran burning business is extremely unChristlike. Talk about slamming the door on yourself for a chance to share the Gospel of grace. But if a church is out fighting for their earthly freedom versus appreciating the debt that Christ paid for their freedom from sin, then I can see how such a form of protest might be deemed important. Yet again, this is a matter of priorities. Should we care about the multiple issues about Islam and politics? Maybe, but Jesus is more important!
Paul couldn’t be more clear when He wrote, “In all things [Jesus Christ] might be first place” (Col. 1:18). You see, it is a matter of priorities. Some of the reasons why Jesus deserves the preeminent position in our lives is because He secured redemption (1:14a), He enabled forgiveness (1:14b), He is God (1:15a & 19), and He is the Creator (1:16) to name 4 of the 9 reasons listed in this paragraph of Scripture.
I propose that Christians reprioritize their patriotism. Stop being freedom-fighters for their earthly country first and live as freedom-debtors to their heavenly country (to which we are now citizens, Phil. 3:20). How radically different things would be.