Looking For A Better Country

This presidential election has most of my evangelical friends in hysterics—and I totally understand why. I refuse to join the ranks of those who use their platforms to bash the candidates, but I will say it’s a bit terrifying contemplating the type of character that might soon be leading and representing our country. What global-political wildfires might be set aflame by the offhanded comments of a hotheaded Commander in Chief? To what further degree might our culture’s conscience decay if we have yet another President who promotes the atrocity of abortion and gross sexual immorality? I mean, how lost are we already that the vast majority of our society would voluntarily support the campaigns of such people?

I totally understand the uproar among my fellow Christians. They are afraid—we are afraid. However, though it might be our natural inclination to shrivel up in anxiety when we gaze into the possible future of this nation, I don’t think that’s the right reaction. I don’t think our joy and peace is supposed to be dictated by America’s political climate. And when I open up that Book I profess to be absolute truth, I’m pretty sure its Author doesn’t think so either.

I don’t believe God wants his church to be apathetic about America’s not-so-bright trajectory or to be passively silent in the political process. I think he desires us to do all we can, within our rights, to seek the welfare of our nation (Jeremiah 29:7). However, I am pretty confident he wants us to put way more focus and energy into the building of Christ’s Kingdom than into the preservation and betterment of the United States. But this is where we run into a problem, don’t we? If we patriots were all completely honest with ourselves, many of us would probably admit that, to some level, we equate the Kingdom of God with the United States of America.

An article I read a couple of years ago stated that gray-haired evangelicals tend to view America as the Promised Land, while skinny-jean-wearing evangelicals tend to view America as Babylon. I think this observation is true. I am among those who see America—and this entire world—as Babylon (though I don’t wear skinny jeans), but I do understand the perspective of my elder brothers and sisters. There has never been a nation in the history of the world to be so largely (even if nominally) “Christian” as America. The last two and a half centuries have been an incredible era of blessing and freedom, and I can sympathize with those who have perhaps subconsciously grown to feel like this is the heavenly bliss for which Jesus died. They—we—have grown so comfortable in the ease, abundance, and freedom of this nation, and we feel like if we lose these things, we lose everything. This is why the 2016 Presidential Election is ransacking our peace and joy. This is why we are in a frenzy.

No matter how comfortable this world might be sometimes—and we’ve been real comfortable in America for a while—it is not the place of our true citizenship. I know we hear that all the time, and we say we believe it, but do we really? Do we primarily view ourselves as aliens and exiles (1 Peter 2:11)? Are we really looking forward to the heavenly country to come (Hebrews 11:16)? Or do we view ourselves primarily as Americans and put all our hope in the United States being our heaven on earth?

We shouldn’t be longing ultimately for the preservation and prosperity of our earthly country, but for the heavenly country wherein is our true citizenship (Philippians 3:20). We shouldn’t be placing our ultimate hope in a President who will maintain our present comforts and freedoms, but in the Son of God who gives us eternal comfort and freedom.

I hope every believer falls on his or her face and pleads with God to grant us a good leader who will work to preserve our present blessings and freedoms. But if God has other plans—and he just might—let’s fight to truly believe America, even in its best days, has never been anything compared to what God has planned for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9)!

“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” – Hebrews 13:14

  • Sis Adger

    Excellent. Sharing this right away.

  • Lyle Nelson

    I actually think the current presidential election, along with all of the other craziness going on in our country and world, can be a good thing. As long as the economy was percolating along nicely, we were widely recognized as the most powerful country in the world, progress was being made in technology, the media (for the most part) was in synch. with Christian values, and so on, it actually seemed that we were a Christian nation, because, well, for the most part, we were. But, beginning in about the 1960’s, our values slowly started to change and erode, and that change has continued to accelerate more and more rapidly. The Christian Church has slowly lost its influence, and in many cases, has been influenced by the culture more than the other way around, all in the name of remaining “relevant”.

    So how can this be a good thing, you ask? Well, even though we may have thought we were a Christian nation, we never really were. God has never ruled from the Oval Office. Oh certainly the majority of our citizens were Christians, at least in name. And our values tended to align with Christian values, for the most part. But that was all really just a coincidence, without any sort of “legal requirement” that forced that to continue to be true.

    But the tide is turning with ever-increasing rapidity. What would have been unthinkable 20, or 10 or even 5 years ago is accepted by many without a thought today. No one who keeps even remotely in touch with current events and is knowledgeable about the Christian faith is ever going to label our culture “Christian” today.

    The good in all of this is that, because our nation was once thought of as Christian, it had in effect become an idol for many, We were bowing down to the flag as we should have bowed down to God. We got our gods confused, as it were.

    But when that happens, and things get shaky with the government or any other idol, we begin to realize the error of our ways, and start to look for “the real God”. Remember how full the churches were the Sundays following 9/11? Sadly, that didn’t last, because we were quite forceful about fighting the enemy back, and many people bought the lie that “we were going to be OK” and that was a one-time occurrence.

    This time around, we’re no longer so sure of that. Things at least seem to be getting worse and not better. And, at least anecdotally we are seeing a return to Christ, more mention of revivals and conversions, more people beginning to fight back and stand up for Christian values, more people who are open about their faith, more reports of mass conversions of people of other faiths, etc. We can no longer trust our government to “make things right”. We are ever more realizing that only God can protect us and we have been worshipping a fake god that sort of resembled the real thing, but we’re now seeing it’s just another idol, and no more capable of protecting us than any other idol is.

    We are, of course, mid-story, with several chapters still to be written. Pray that more and more of us will continue to turn to the one true God and realize the foolishness of trusting in man-made idols.

  • Brandon Burrell

    This is an awesome time that we are living in. I praise God for it. It’s been a weird year. It’s been a weird few years. Let’s go into this crazy world, and tell the lost about Jesus Christ. Let’s find our own hope in Him. He’s the only way. Amen!

  • Brenna Christine Siver

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! And most of all thank God. After a hard few months and some fraught political discussions with family, I really needed to hear this right now. His timing is perfect.

  • Andrea E. S.

    Preaching to the choir, bro! LOL!! I get ya!! Our families thought we got rewarded for being the “good guys” of the earth. Maybe at one time we might have had a blessing, but our country is not God’s country. Too many people think like this. Home is in Heaven. Babylon…I honestly think, yeah…we stink pretty bad.

  • Paul Moore

    I have decided and feel led not to have anything to do with our political agenda, its a currupt system and nothing godly about it. I am a christian b4 i am an american, and. You will find no 2 nd amendment or 1 st amendment or any amendment rights in the bible, i dont believe we are called to touch the ungodly worldly things, i dont think jesus would b standing in line on voting day either, too many christians want to claim thier ” rights” and they fail to realize they dont have any as a believer, jesus paid for our lives with his life. We choose to give up our rights, and do things the way god tells us to in.his word, jesus never defended himself and suggested to peter to put down the weapon, jesus in fact gave up ALL his rights and trusted in his father, which is what we are called to do when confronted with the enemy, i think we should just leave all this political bs stuff to those who are worldly and lost, this is not our home. The disciples were beaten for preaching the gospel, they told the religious leaders, we must do wht god tells us not man. We are most def called to be in this world, but not of this world. We should not be following the thinking of the worldy people. Not saying we dont have to obey thier laws. We should do the right thing, but as for voting for ungodly bs and supporting a fallen system, ill pass

  • Dorothy in Oz

    It is so sad to see the feminization of male perspective created in the Evangelical arena when folks currently don’t understand that a leader that yells at times..fathers day 40 years ago raised their voices and could make decisions at the same time. Also due to so many intellectuals never doing manual labor or military service, the understanding of life and death decisions require intense response at times…a finger about to be lost in a machine does not require debate in modulated tones…

    • Jeff

      Amen, what a good reminder we need to keep our priorities in the correct order. Jesus prayed “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
      ‭‭John‬ ‭17:15-16‬. We need to be aware of what is going on around us that we are not caught off guard, and miss the warning signs He gives us through the Holy Spirit, of the Antichrist deceiving influence on things around us. Keep up the work that God has given you. May God Bless you and your efforts.

  • William Okc

    I think you hit on the key – to keep in mind that it’s two separate things, and that the earthly state is only our temporary home. This helps me root for my candidate, while also not taking it too seriously. It is serious, but we have to keep perspective and not let it get to us.

  • mike

    But what “better country” is there than the only one on this planet whose motto is: “In God we trust”. Like it’s all over your money. I agree we are pilgrims here but we are still here and the USA still has many people who do trust God. I live next door in a country gone mad. I still envy yours and am grateful to God for America and that we have such a good neighbor filled with Christians. I’m thankful brother.

  • Sur

    Thank you for this article. This world is not my home. Shame on my getting comfortable here!

  • Mark Buzard

    Great post Matt