Our country–His Kingdom? Separating the transparencies…

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that morally, culturally, and politically, what’s taking place in the U.S.A. is change at the foundational level.

And as with all change, a segment of people rejoice at what’s “finally” happening while others are absolutely disgusted with the way things are “these days”.

Although division certainly does exist in regards to people’s opinions of the changes and the short-term and long-term impact of those changes, an interesting unity exists among people on both sides by their recognition that fundamental change IS taking place.

Over the past few years, I’ve used a number of different analogies to try and describe to others what I believe is taking place. In this post, I’m going to use the analogy that many people have told me has helped them to see and understand these changes a little better.

Not too long ago, businesses, churches, and many other types of organizations used what now seems like an ancient piece of visual media equipment to communicate in a group setting.

That visual media tool was called an overhead projector, (a revolutionary invention which is actually still in use in many parts of the world). The actual information that this wonder of modern technology projected on to a screen or a blank wall was placed on a transparent sheet of glass or a sheet of clear plastic-type material, (which we referred to as “overheads” or “overhead transparencies”.

One of the best benefits of overhead projectors and transparencies was the capacity to “layer” information that was on one transparency, on top of the information on a different transparency that was already being projected.

When you had done this layering, the combined information that was now being projected on the screen looked like it was from one unified source, even though it wasn’t.

Now, I’d like to consider the documents that form the foundation of the United States of America.

We know for a fact that many of the founding fathers were real followers of Jesus and absolutely believed that the Bible was God’s word and that it contained truths and principles that if followed, would be beneficial to all people.

We also know that although some of the founders were not followers of Jesus and therefore didn’t believe that the Bible was God’s word, they did recognize that the Bible had contributed to their own “worldview” as well as the vast majority of the people they lived among.

And they also recognized that a large segment of the truths and principles contained within the Bible were probably the best foundation for a truly representative type government to be formed upon.

Now imagine that overhead projectors and transparencies existed when the founding fathers were wrestling with constructing the framework that our government was built upon.

On one transparency, those that were truly followers of Jesus might have listed the truths and principles that govern the Kingdom of God that are contained in the bible.  This list would have contained certain words and phrases that were taken directly from the scripture, including the specific biblical references they were drawn from.

When the list was finished it would have been clear to everyone present that what was described on the transparency was actually an attempt at expressing what the Kingdom of God as described in the Bible would look like in an earthly government form

Yet, both the Jesus followers that made the list, and the other members of the founding fathers who were not Jesus followers would have recognized something important.

They would have acknowledged that only those who truly know, love, and serve the King of Kings, whose Kingdom is not of this world, would truly desire and attempt to live as much possible in accordance with what was written on that transparency.

At the same time, all of them would have recognized that many of the principles and truths that had been listed were capable of standing alone, even if they weren’t openly propagated as coming directly from the bible.  In other words, they would have understood that many of these principles and truths are also a description of what basic goodness is and therefore are universally true.

In a sense, they all would have recognized that there are “generic” principles and truths that anyone from almost any back round could and should be willing to embrace and derive a benefit from doing so.

At that point, they may have grabbed another transparency and then created a new list of selected portions from the first transparency.   But on this one, none of the principles or truths summarized were written in a way that clearly shows their origin is actually found in the bible.  And they probably added a few other “common sense” principles too.

This second transparency was then fine-tuned, agreed upon by all, and the foundational documents the country was built upon was projected for all to see, marvel at, and implement.

But here’s how I like to describe what I believe happened:

  • Those American citizens that were also citizens of His Kingdom because of their relationship with, love for, and obedience to the King of Kings, recognized that the principles and truths written on the transparency that the U.S. government is built upon, have a biblical foundation even though the documents themselves don’t indicate that.
  • So they picked up the first transparency, the one that contains principles and truths from the Kingdom of God–the one that wasn’t really useable to base an earthly government on, and then laid this transparency on the one that the founding fathers created for the formation of this government.
  • Because the information in both is so similar, so seemingly compatible, so apparently non-contradictory–they began believing, thinking, and acting as if what is written on the two transparencies actually describes the same entity.  In their minds, based on what they were seeing projected on the wall….. the Kingdom of God and the United States of America….are really one and the same!!!
  • They honestly came to believe that the Unites States of America is the Kingdom of God expressed in a political/governmental form.
  • This belief, as time passed, logically caused them to believe and act as if the Kingdom of God was dependent at some level on the laws, decisions, and actions of the U.S. government and its citizens.
  • That because the two are one and the same, if the government and the majority of the people in the U.S.A. move away from navigating according to Biblical principles and the country begins to spiral downward toward cultural or economic collapse, that the Kingdom of God will also suffer great harm or possibly even collapse.

With all of this as a the back drop, here’s what I believe is happening right now:

–God is intentionally permitting the incredibly painful but completely necessary process of separating the transparencies.

–It’s going to become more and more evident to His people, and even those that are not His people, that the U.S.A. is not, and never has been an expression of His Kingdom.

–For the first time ever, followers of Jesus will be viewed by the government and the vast majority of the citizens of this country as radical, counter-cultural minority that constantly disrupts and distracts the country from moving towards the next stage of its destiny as the “greatest” country in the history of the world.

–The portions of the New Testament that speak of persecution as something His followers will experience and should respond to like Jesus, will actually become relevant to American Christians.

–And finally, that it’s going to become very obvious that the constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, actually produces division rather than unity if that right is exercised by a majority of people who for all intents and purposes serve themselves and their own self-fulfilment as god.

 

 

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