I have a cousin who was born in Japan to American parents. As a result, he has dual citizenship. Christians share a similar designation. We are citizens of the particular country where we were born or where we now reside. But we are also citizens of God’s kingdom. On this 4th of July weekend filled with excitement and national pride, let’s consider the implications of our dual citizenship.
First, government has been appointed by God to carry out his authority in the world (Rom. 13). Because of this, serving in the military or in politics is a noble calling. We should respect and pray for national leaders. While we might disagree with their policies, demeaning jokes or disrespectful comments are never appropriate. We cannot pit human authority against divine authority. If I choose to rebel against my governmental leaders, I am rebelling against God himself.
Second, our citizenship in God’s kingdom is primary (Acts 4:19). Sometimes we encounter competing commands and we are forced to choose. Will we obey God or man? In these situations, our primary allegiance must be to God.
Third, the church is called upon to exert authority in the spiritual realm (Matt. 16:19; 18:15-20). National government is not given absolute authority in every arena.
Fourth, we ought to function in an orderly way within the guidelines of our national government. On several occasions, the apostle Paul made appropriate appeals in accordance with the provisions of Roman law (Acts 22:25; 25:11). Those of us with American citizenship live in a democracy. We have many ways in which we can exercise our citizenship for the glory of God and the good of others. We can vote, run for office, write letters to the editor about important issues, and correspond with our representatives.
Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/american-flag-patriotism-372879/