The outcry from the Christian community over this comment really unsettled me. The "Christ" by whom we call ourselves "christians" made himself a servant to all men, who healed socially and religiously unclean people, rescued whores from death, shared a table with dishonest and greedy businessmen, and despised the pomp of the prevailing "church" of the day. These are truths we claim but really don't want to demonstrate. When we do, we tend to put ourselves in the position of the holy "God-made-man" rather than the co-sinner that we are. The "God-made-man" persona can cry out against moral decay and wave a sword majestically at the advancing Enemy of secular philosophy.
It does not sit well with me because the people we are swinging the sword at are at are either those who we are called to love in a Christ-model or our own brothers and sisters.
(This was also back when I thought that typing all in lower case made me extra pious.)
God's church grew from the ground up and this is how it continues to operate. by extension, we do not establish a christian nation by declaring it to be christian but rather by filling it with christians. the christian church grew to an unprecedented and, to date, unrepeated degree under a pagan roman rule and while experiencing intense persecution.
Jesus himself brought his message to people He encountered every day rather than powerful or influential men. He did not further his agenda by obtaining a position of power, but by becoming a servant of all men. Jesus explained this unique approach to the disciples during the last supper,
The kings of the gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' But no so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves." luke 22:25-28
even when paul gave testimony to king agrippa in acts 26 he had no political agenda though he did desire that the king himself would know the truth and be converted (vs 29). the bottom line is that we are interested in people, not politics.
The good news is that many people are recognizing the distinction between nationalism or even philosophy and faith.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.Phil 3:20
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.If our citizenship is in heaven and the battle is in heaven, why is it that the people on earth are the ones bleeding? The freedom we have in Christ comes from an act of self-sacrifice wherein we deny our flesh with its desires, imperfections, and "human rights" and put on perfection by the grace of God. Living after a manner of self-sacrifice puts the good of all people before your own rights. this is what Christ meant when He called Himself a servant. He denied His rights and privileges as God by humbling Himself and allowing Himself to be punished for crimes He did not commit.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
I learned that at Vacation Bible School.
If you can stomach my 2,000 word ramblings, check out the original post.
Also, I highly recommend reading Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness: Being Christian in a Non-Christian World by Jerry Cook. It's a wonderful book that addresses these issues and many others much better than I can. You can read my review of it here.