Archive for November 3rd, 2009

It’s easy to see the ills of the sin of partiality when we think of differentiating between fellow believers based on race or wealth or appearance in the context of our own communities, those we actually see or with whom we interact.

But how should the command to show no partiality as we hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. James 2) affect our view of those we never see… of believers who are commies or wear towels on their heads?

The title of this post is a chant I heard in a movie. In the context, men were training for the military. The implied question was “How long will we need to fight?” And the answer – “…until all the commies and towel-heads are all dead!”

The obvious offensiveness of the reference aside, it’s easy to understand how this attitude is spun in the context of a Cold-War or War on Terror. And certainly nations such as ours have the need to defend themselves.

Yet, as we study the application of our faith and the command to treat all believers with equal respect and dignity – it makes me wonder how the church, how American Christians, should think and react when our nation undertakes policies that a) benefit us as believers in THIS country while b) adversely effecting believers in THAT country. And do I even think of the ramifications to them? Where is the balancing point between being citizen of a country and a member of a body?

This need for balance is aptly illustrated by the monumental work One Nation Under God, by Jon McNaughton. The work is truly monumental, and the thought McNaughton put into his work impressive… if not thoroughly unbiblical and misguided. I would offer a rebuttal, but Greg Boyd offers what I think is a fine rebuttal in his post “Painted Idolatry.” Boyd has other views that render him controversial, that said, his rebuttal to the idolatry and quite possibly the blasphemy of McNaughton stands on it’s own merit.

While supporting my country and its right to exist without threat… while celebrating the good that my country has done and even God’s involvement in that – I am challenged to remind myself that I am not so much an American Christian as I am a member of the Body of Christ who happens to live in America. The difference may be nuanced in semantics, but the ramifications should be far reaching.

UPDATE: If you follow the link that says you can ask the artist a question he has a rebuttal to Boyd. And while McNaughton makes some good points about people defending their freedoms – he fails to address Boyd’s (and my) objection to his tying the Savior to nationalistic endeavors.

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