Repenting of political salvation

There are mental breakdowns, and then there are political breakdowns.  I’m still in the midst of a serious political breakdown.  It’s become a clear crisis of faith in the American system that grows deeper by the day.  Or maybe it’s simply God leading me into repentance and a rethinking of my closeted and idolatrous hope of political salvation.

I feel like I’m awakening to the fact that American is NOT “the last best hope on earth.” (Barak Obama, 2007)  Nor is the American ideal “the hope of all mankind” (George Bush, 2002)  Nor is she “a shining city on a hill” (Ronald Reagan, 1989, quoting founding father John Winthrop.)  Those would decribe the Kingdom of God, and the sooner we clarify that, the better off we will all be.  Then perhaps we’ll be able to cast off the idolatry, look realistically at the United States government, and begin to pick up the pieces.

But even more importantly, we’ll be in a position to identify the True Kingdom that really IS the world’s best hope.  It’s time. No, it’s past time we become serious students of the Kingdom of God, the only kingdom that can truly deliver good news to the poor, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the captives, and the year of jubilee.

It’s all so new to me, this transfer of loyalty from a teetering human government to a kingdom that cannot be shaken. (Hebrews 12:27)

Tomorrow I leave for Budapest to teach in the Discipleship Training School.  Don’t know yet how this will translate into the classroom, but it must.  It’s time to raise a new flag over our hearts.

8 thoughts on “Repenting of political salvation”

  1. Wow! What a breakthrough, Don. Kinda like the disciples had when they realized Jesus would not usher in a political deliverance. Thanks for the post. You always help me think differently.

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  2. Amen to your post, Don! The future reign of Jesus Christ over the whole cosmos has broken forth in human history when He was raised from the dead. We are called to announce the reality of that kingdom with our lives and with our words (in that order!). God bless you as you continue to teach the Truth about Jesus and His kingdom. May the seeds of Truth you plant grow to transform not only the lives of those who hear, but the culture in which they are lived. With you in spirit (hopefully someday in person!).

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  3. Hi Don,
    My computer crashed about 2 weeks ago. We got a Mac & I’m finally back on line. I hope you see this and send me a personal email as I have lost my address book w/your email in it. I remember the first part, but can’t remember which server you are with.
    As to this post….I understand what you are saying and agree with you. However, as someone who had such a distaste for America in my youth (as you may remember) I feel like God showed me over the years how He has had his hand on this country from the beginning despite our failures (which are many). Of course, of utmost importance is that ALL come to Christ, but I don’t think seeing America as “a shining city on a hill” means that one does not care about the rest of the world. I know that I saw in the Cuban believers an admiration for the freedom in America. That did not negate their personal freedom in Christ. Does that make any sense? Anyway, on another note, thought you might like this article:National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTUwY2QyNjA0NjcwMjExMzI2ZmJiZTEzN2U1YjYyZjE=

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  4. Hey Marilyn,

    Looks like I’ve miscommunicated again. I have no distaste for America. On the contrary I love my country and wouldn’t choose any other. But what I’m experiencing is a profound reorientation of my loyalties. It’s a rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. I’m repenting of the expectation for America to be a source of hope, security, justice, or any other thing that can only truly be found in the Kingdom.

    It’s relieved the anxiety and freed me to honestly pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” without the safety net of American security. The painful truth is that neither Barak Obama nor John McCain can deliver on the dreams God has placed in our hearts. So I’ve resolved that WHATEVER happens on election day (after I vote), will NOT shake me because my hope is in another kingdom altogether.

    PS: My Email is hawaiidon@aol.com

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  5. Here’s the point for those needing sound bites: The U.S. Government can’t save you. Only Jesus can save. That’s why a Christian’s priority must be the Kingdom.

    That said. It is important and good to be involved with the political process (not everyone can in most countries). It is BEST to be immersed in the Kingdom of God.

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  6. The “kingdom” doesn’t save, believing the Gospel saves. It is belief in the Gospel that allows entrance into the kingdom of God. Jesus said “Repent and believe the gospel, the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). Believing that the “kingdom” saves can lead to you being deceived by charlatans and wolves who fool you with eloquent speeches, to follow the blind into the ditch.

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