NFL players – e.g. the Detroit Lions & Dallas Cowboys – are required to play by certain rules that help maintain some semblance of order and fairness in the game. For instance, the only guy who can be tackled – legally – is the guy with the ball. There are “roughness” limits when it comes to crushing another player. There are legal and illegal ways a player can use his hands to dominate another player.
Christ-followers are also required to play by certain rules. These rules do not apply to the “grand-standers.” We are citizens of a Government that has an eternal perspective and purpose. Things that do not make sense to a non-citizen of heaven may understandably be called non-sense, or even “foolishness.”
For instance, Paul instructs U.S citizens who are [first of all] citizens of heaven to be subject to the authority of the leadership of the United States [Romans 13.1]. God permits the election process dog and pony show which often results in the people “substituting fools for knaves.” No worries. God has a Plan that supersedes the temporal triviality of the majority.
Without an eternal perspective, it makes perfect sense to wring our hands and spew our frustration with the craziness of our times. If all we have is what we can see, we have reason for despair. And we have reason for spewing hostility toward the government. That is, unless we’re citizens of heaven.
As citizens of heaven, we have a unique vantage point. We’ve been born into a life that makes eternal sense out of the momentary non-sense. We are subjects of a King whose authority blows past any authority that has been given to a mere mortal. And our King has instructed us to keep our eyes on him rather than becoming distracted by fleeting authorities.
We are ambassadors for Christ, living in a foreign land. We’re only passing through on our way home. As ambassadors, we are not to legislate Christian morality. That is not our purpose. Our purpose is to allow the light of Truth to shine through us – unobstructed by our flesh-stained agenda. We are not here to change the behavior of our neighbors. Our neighbor’s behavior will change when his or her heart is transformed by the grace of God.
We have not belonged to this world since the moment we became Christians. As citizens of heaven, we accept the momentary insanity of democracy, knowing we have a higher calling. Because of our eternal vantage point, we are set free from the worry of the world. We are invited to live in the freedom and joy of our forever citizenship in heaven…in Jesus’ name!
(P.S. GO LIONS!)
(Author’s note: Any disrespect, either to Mr. Trump or the Cowboys, is unintentional.
My respect for the Cowboys has grown to a point near what it was when Tom Landry was coaching “America’s team.”
And regarding the “dog and pony show” and “fools and knaves” comments, I borrowed them from Randy Yeager, author of The Renaissance New Testament [see Romans 13.1 Comment]. The election process “dog and pony show” often [emphasis added] results in the people “substituting fools for knaves.” Whether or not Mr. Trump leads with wisdom [or foolishness] remains to be seen. Time will tell.
In the meantime, those of us who “identify” [sorry, I really tried to resist] as citizens of heaven have an unprecedented opportunity to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. That’s what makes it possible for us to live in submission to “authorities,” and yet maintain our inexpressible joy, as we are receiving the goal of our faith – the salvation of our souls.)