I know I usually post about the Bible, and I will continue to do so, but I’m going to get a bit political in this post.
Really my aim is to emphasise that being a member of God’s kingdom is better than being a member of the European Union, British, American, or anything else.
Let’s compare God’s kingdom and mankind’s kingdoms for a moment. Augustine wrote an epic book on this called Civitas Dei (The City of God). I’m going to try and be a bit more succinct.
Let’s look at America first, where a political holy cow is the right to “bear arms” or carry a gun.
What about the kingdom of God?
He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore;
Micah 4:3 ESV
When the kingdoms of this earth become the kingdom of our God, there’s going to be a gun amnesty. There won’t be any wars any more. There won’t be any police brutality. There won’t be any mass shootings. There will be peace and harmony at last.
Having said that, Jesus did sanction His followers to arm themselves for their own security in this fallen world until His kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.
Secondly, the European Union, whose Parliament building is modelled on a Renaissance painting of the tower of Babel. Why would they model a key institution on a failed human project to reach up to God?
The kingdom of God isn’t some manmade project doomed to failure like the EU. It’s about God coming down to earth to reconcile mankind to Himself. We can’t work our way up to God’s level, but He’s come down to our level in order to bring us into His everlasting kingdom.
Having said that, the free movement within the EU affords a great opportunity for gospel workers to travel freely to share the good news of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, much like the Roman citizen Paul could freely travel throughout the Roman Empire to help add people- citizens and barbarians alike, into the kingdom of God.
Having dared to criticise the polities of America and the EU, I now zoom in on my own country of the UK, currently up a creek without a paddle in this “Brexit crisis”.
After what I’ve said about the EU and the tower of Babel, you’d think I would say Brexit is a good thing. Well let me nuance that by acknowledging that most people voted for Brexit because they’re xenophobic. Theresa May has actually succeeded where Donald Trump has thus far failed, by building a wall in Calais to keep those pesky immigrants out.
But in the kingdom of God, everyone’s welcome.
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Colossians 3:11 ESV
To give a contemporary paraphrase- in God’s kingdom it’s not about being cultured or uncultured, religious, christened or otherwise, pacifist or gun-toter, rich or poor. It’s all about Christ. He is everything.
Christ is everything to the gun toting American Christian (forgive the stereotypes here). He’s everything to the jet setting European Christian. And He’s even everything to the country bumpkin Englishman.
So if we’re part of God’s kingdom, we’re to especially love each other whatever our politics, ethnicity, nationality or language may be.