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Sojourners & Exiles

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Timothy 2:4

We Christians are sojourners and exiles.  This is not where our ultimate allegiance lies!  

David Van Drunen, Politics After Christendom

We certainly aren’t lacking in opportunities to engage in political discourse these days.  From mask wearing to vaccine mandates and budget crises to abortion laws the world around us is in quite a turmoil.  But when, as Christians, are we to engage?  When are we called to join the fight and stand resolutely in our faith?  These next two posts will look at our life as Christians and the political realm.  First, starting with what role the church, and therefore Christians, play in our common citizenry.

But let’s back up a bit.  For those of us living in the United States we’ve seen a serious deterioration from our Christian-held values over the last 70 years or so.  Not long ago almost all businesses were closed on Sundays and you certainly couldn’t by alcohol on that day.  Now, a business that makes the decision to not be open on Sundays because of their beliefs is vilified.  I’ve heard different arguments about whether or not the United States was a special project by God.  Whatever stance you may take on that we can be certain that every single nation was formed by God.  Every single head of state has been placed in their position by God and therefore is subject to His expectations and final judgment.

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

That the United States was founded with God and the idea of His sovereignty at the forefront should not, however, be in dispute.  Besides the federal founding documents, all state constitutions, except one, reference God and His oversight of said government in the beginning of those documents.  It was then left to the citizens, as it has throughout the history of the world, to maintain that stance.

When you get deep in to C.S. Lewis’ great Christian apologetic book, Mere Christianity, you’ll find the concept of a Moral Law.  Through every empire, every phase of human existence we turn to this moral law for guidance.  We know what basically is wrong (ie: killing another human for gain or pleasure) and what is right (ie: helping a widow or orphaned child).  And, as Mr. Lewis argues, no matter your faith or lack thereof those concepts have been placed in our hearts and minds by someone.

But as a society drifts further away from a common faith, as in the case of much of Europe, North America and South America, we create new ways of working around what we know to be right and wrong.  We bend the moral law to fit the desires of our flesh and we seek to be accepted by the world.

You cannot make men good by (man-made)law; and without good men you cannot have a good society.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

And so, as Christians we watch as one of the last bastions of religious freedom, the United States, which also built upon that with many other freedoms, begin to crumble.  And we can so easily misplace our fears on our elected officials and the laws they create. 

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. 2 Timothy 1:8-9

At the time Paul wrote this letter to Timothy the Romans ruled with an iron fist.  Anyone that did not submit to their laws was imprisoned, tortured, killed, or pushed out of everyday society.  And Paul reminds not just Timothy but all of us who read this message that we have one commander to whom we must be most concerned – God and His son Jesus Christ.  We are set apart to be holy and live a holy life.

We are reminded that our role in this world is a sort of dual citizenship – to the country we call home and the home that waits for us.  It’s a balancing act that the disciples knew all too well.  We are to obey the laws of our government as good guests yet remembering we have limits based on God’s expectation of our adherence to His moral laws and knowledge of the final judgment.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:11-12

It may come as a surprise to many Christians in the United States but it isn’t our role to create a “just society.”  It is our role to seek justice for those in need in our communities but we can’t right every wrong.  We need to be comforted that God is in charge and we can, as individuals and corporately do His good works.  But Jesus, time and again, never sought regime change.  He sought heart change. He sought obedience by His followers to God’s expectations.

Being a sojourner did not require isolation from surrounding societies.  Abraham seems to have understood the need to exercise prudential judgment about how, when and with whom to share common activity.  One approach did not fit all cases.

David Van Drunen, Politics After Christendom

So does this mean we shouldn’t try and affect our government’s choices or laws?  No, it’s just remembering who we serve first, resolutely.  It’s remembering the difference between violently protesting a wrong and speaking out within the framework of how God wants us to act.  It’s figuring out where God and the church stands on an issue (ie: abortion) and where something may not be biblical at all (ie: the federal budget).  It’s making sure our heart and mind set firmly with God, not the world.

Believe me, I’ve struggled with these issues a lot.   I’ve stood on street corners waving my country’s flag and promoting a candidate.  I’ve stood up to politicians who have demonstrated a lack of moral character. Neither of which are wrong for a Christian.  I vote in every single election. Which is, in a way, expected as a Christian. But as my faith progresses, I’m taking a new view of my place on this big blue planet.  When I firmly set King Jesus as my authority, as my hope, as the Lord and Savior not just of my world but of every single human that has existed and will exist, my perspectives change.

As Christians we cannot continue to say we trust God, we know God will judge in the final conflict and still scream in outrage at people who disagree with our political opinion.  That message speaks loud and clear to non-believers that we don’t trust God.  That we haven’t set Him as our authority. That we have no concern for eternity. 

It’s time, fellow sojourners, to pull out our passports and remind ourselves of our future travel plans.  To stand resolutely with the one King that will judge everyone for all ungodly acts.  He has not appointed us commissioners of that judgment.  Yet, we are also not called to be passive in our worldly citizenry — sitting back and watching the world fall around us. He has appointed us as soldiers to exhort others to follow Him before it is too late.

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Army of Love


I look at the current news and wonder what part we Christians have played in allowing the destruction and violence that has permeated our society. There’s the climate change activists who burn down car dealerships. Antifa groups who want to destroy basic societal norms. Abortion rights, LGBTQ, and BLM protestors who scream in other people’s faces. And on and on. The amount of hate that exudes from our tvs and cell phones is almost unbearable. But how do Christians play a part in any of this?

James reminds us of Jesus’ second most important commandment He gave to the disciples before His death.

Love your neighbor as yourself, and you are doing right

James 2:8

You notice it doesn’t say that whatever your neighbor does is ok and we should agree that it is good and right? And yet so many of us think we either need to agree or deny the truths of our faith in order to love our neighbors. Our fear of man, rather than God can lead us to stand on the wrong side of the room. Just as Peter did when the disciples all were called back to Jerusalem to discuss the issue of circumcision and whether Gentiles must first become Jews before accepting Christ. After having lived as a Gentile and bringing Gentiles to Christ without the requirement of circumcision, Peter took one look at the disapproving traditional Jews at the meeting and caved. He separated himself from the Gentiles. Paul had to admonish him for his hypocrisy.

When I saw that they (Peter and Barnabas) were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said, to Cephas (Peter) in front of them all, “You are a Jew yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it then that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

Galatians 2:14

Peter is many of us. We fear discord. We fear disagreement. We fear being judged. And at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion Peter feared physical harm. So instead of standing firm knowing God is by our side when interacting with our neighbors, loved ones or strangers, we sometimes, if not frequently, cave.


It’s almost as though our church leaders have failed to teach us one of the most important lessons that Jesus lived out — how to sit and dine with sinners while remaining faithful to God.  In a recent Bible study session, we asked the question, “What does it mean to allow Christ to live through you and is there anything specific that you should be doing?”  One person said we should guard our hearts and avoid situations where there is temptation to sin.  I had to laugh and say that would mean I would never go to the grocery store.  They knew what I meant – I struggle with being annoyed by all manner of behavior by other people.  If I could just not be around other people I don’t think I would sin at all!  I’ve come to realize that God puts these tests in front of me each day, waiting for me to finally “get it” – love my neighbors, show grace and give mercy.  And yes, even when I disagree with them.

Jesus himself sat among the sinners as the Ambassador to Heaven.  Instead of the dread of facing people who disagreed with him he seemed to enter those situations with hopeful anticipation.  So, when my Bible study group discussed the idea of avoiding people or places that give us open avenues to sin we looked at each and pointed out the areas we individually would need to always avoid.  In other words, raise the white flag and retreat from the full life for which we are called.  But we are called to be Ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20.)


How does this relate to strife in our society? As Christians, so many of us have flown the white flag high in hopes we won’t be hated. In hopes we wouldn’t have to face disagreement. We accept the sin of “almost right” laws and the non-Christian definition of what loving our neighbors mean. Loving and accepting others is not the same as agreeing and going along with them. Satan is always looking for ways to drip like water on a stone onto our commitment to the Almighty God. Phrases such as “Love is Love,” “All Science is Real,” and “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” hide the true meaning behind each. We get lost in arguments about “why shouldn’t everyone be allowed to marry whom they want” or “well, if you don’t adopt a baby yourself then you shouldn’t decide about abortion.” So, we vote for laws that go directly against our core Christian beliefs. We agree that there shouldn’t be time for prayer in school, much less allow a student to read the Bible as their reading assignment. We agree that marriage doesn’t need a man and a woman and children can do without a parent. And we watch our moral society slowly chip away. We miss opportunities to share God’s messages of love, grace and forgiveness by being afraid of the disagreement. But Jesus’ behavior throughout His time on Earth was not one of retreat or agreement with sinners.

Pro-abortionist don’t realize every child is wanted and loved by God

It’s interesting to realize that Jesus didn’t preach to “fellow” Christians.  They didn’t exist.  He preached to people who didn’t know what being saved by grace meant.  He preached to people who may have been living as Jews but in name only.  He preached to High Priests who broke Mosaic Law on a regular basis.  He spoke to us — sinners. And when He commissioned the disciples, He sent them knowing full well the people they encountered may not even believe in a monotheistic God.  So, the argument made that we, as Christians, shouldn’t “impose” our ways on non-Christians falls flat.  If what we believe and the life we are called to live out is so amazing, so marvelous, then why wouldn’t we want to see everyone live in that same grace? God didn’t give us the gift of justification to hoard it. He gave it to share with the rest of His people.

I recently found an article by a pastor who was raised by two lesbian women.  He defines them as activists in the LGBTQ community.  He came to Christ one night when he attended a Christian meeting, fully loaded to disagree and fight against everything being preached.  Instead he walked away saved.

“I lived in the tension of accepting my parents that I dearly loved, but not theologically agreeing with their choice to be in same-sex relationships.”

Caleb Kaltenbach, Pastor, City on A Hill Church

He calls this “living in the tension” when we find ourselves in disagreement with our non-Christian neighbors and loved ones.  His family kicked him out for a short while.  But his work as a Christian brought them back into a loving relationship.  One that requires work to maintain.  He goes on to say, 

“Don’t settle for cheap love based merely on agreement. Pursue priceless love that accepts the person (no matter who or where they are) with the understanding that while you can’t “fix” them— God can.”

He acknowledges this is a two-way street for a successful relationship.  But when the other party doesn’t do their part it doesn’t give us license to then act non-Christian.  We are always called to love and accept people for who they are at that moment.  Love of others that is based on acceptance instead of agreement can reunite relationships, heal families, save lives, and even change eternal destinations.  And that’s the message we so infrequently hear at church.  There’s a fear of discussing the big issues facing us as we live in the new Babylon.  But we need to practice and be reminded how to show love and while “living in the tension.”  And remembering our job as Ambassadors is to ACT like Christians, as defined by Jesus, not Pharisees.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31

The next time you hear condemnation coming from a group or a person of which you disagree with their morals and values stop for a moment and pray.  Listen to God’s voice.  Rest in the fact that as Christians we don’t need to fear man.  Jesus saw everyone as a potential person to bring to eternal life and so should we.  And the life God wants for all His people is good.  It’s time to stop retreating, stop waving the white flag.  It’s time to step up in confidence with the love from God leading the way.  Our neighbors, our communities, our children, need us to spread His message.  We are his soldiers in His Army of Love. 

Is there someone that lives a life against Christian morals that you need to give up to God?  Let Him solve that problem.  Your job is to just love them.  

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God Is Our Founding Father

Did you know that God is mentioned in every single US State constitution? All total, God is mentioned 200 times in these documents. It doesn’t matter which decade the state entered the Union. Yes, even California.


So when someone tries to “tell you their truth” that the United States was not founded by and with God, tighten up your belt of truth, be bold, and with grace give them the gift of education they missed along the way. 🇺🇸🇺🇸

#truth #history #historymatters #god #godblessamerica🇺🇸 #christian #educate #educateyourself #independenceday #constitution #declarationofindependence #bold #faith #faithoverfear #founders #foundingdocuments #california