Sunday, August 24, 2008

God and Country

Of course it's purely a hypothetical question if you live in America or most any free nation, but if you simply had to make a choice, which would you choose: God, or country?

If you're someone who is among the tiny minority of Americans who doesn't believe in God to begin with, it's an easy question. And if you're one of those who loves God completely but has little faith or confidence in any government, then it's probably an easy choice for you as well.

But the vast majority of Americans would find this a difficult question with which to wrestle. Your first inclination would be to say something like "There's no way that would ever happen here in the U.S., so I don't even have to worry about it." Perhaps true.

When the United States of America publicly issued its Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, the document began:
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..." 
The Declaration goes on to famously state:
 "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 
The document, written by Thomas Jefferson, was signed with affirment by him, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and leaders from all 13 original colonies. So the United States at its founding was a nation of believers.


Then in what is commonly known as the 'Bill of Rights', the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1791 guaranteed "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

What the authors were striving for was tolerance, not abolition of religion from society. So you would seem to have a pretty solid backing to believe that you shouldn't ever have to worry about being forced to make such a choice.

But the fact is, those words were written and spoken in the past, and we are talking about a hypothetical future. Think it can't happen in actuality? Then you simply haven't been paying attention to the history of the world.

One thing that you can most certainly count on in the future is change, and for anyone to say they know where that change is going to take us in the next few centuries, even just in the next few decades, would be extremely presumptuous and naive. So just play along. Something happens, and you are forced to make that choice: God or country.

The likely way such a choice would come is from the country end of things. Some entity coming to power and telling you that you may worship no God, or must worship some particular version of God, or else you have to leave the country (or worse.)

In the Bible, the last years of mankind on earth are filled with this type of individual, personal decision in the Book of Revelation. You will be forced to choose between God and the ruling power manifest by Satan, and the immediate price of choosing incorrectly will be your life.

In his own life, Jesus Christ spoke of the relevance of government in the Gospel of Luke: "Give to the emperor the thing's that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's". This famous 'render unto Caesar' statement shows that the Lord understood and supported that there was a need for government of men by men.

I would say that if you are ever forced into such a choice, then you only have one decision to make - choose God.

That means even if you have to die for your choice. Because no government worth living in would force such a choice on you, and none is worth the price of your immortal and eternal soul.

Now for some, the choice might come from God Himself. For reasons only he may fully appreciate, you may be called to some action or to take some position that runs counter to that of your official American government position.

And when I say 'called', I mean 'called by God' in a manner that leaves you no doubt as to the origin of the call to action. In that case, you most certainly need to choose to do or say whatever it is that God is calling you to. There is every probability that His reasons go to a message that He wants delivered through you to the rest of mankind.

The bottom line is that you should always choose God over country. The simple reason is that your country, the United States of America, was formed with the blessings of God and inspired by His Word. God came first, His will and power are greater.

You will be subject to the laws, rules, customs, and opinions of your countrymen for a few decades. You will answer to God for eternity. So while there is no choice to make, while America remains a God-fearing, God-loving nation in most hearts, continue to fight with everything that is in you and pray with everything you have that this status continues.

But if one day the situation changes, and it all falls apart, be sure that you are ready to make the right decision. The correct choice will always be the choice for God.

No comments: