With Pastor Todd Pruitt This Weekend
or Online HERE Anytime
“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” (Jesus: Mt. 22:21)
“(Government) is ordained of God to promote the good and punish the evil.”
(Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:14)
“Do not walk like those who are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose god is their belly and whose end is destruction, for our citizenship is in heaven.” (Phil. 3:18-20)
“Be not conformed to this world but rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind … to the perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:2)
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. … Therefore, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts and glorify God by your good works.” (I Peter 2:9-14)
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Kingdoms in Conflict
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible makes clear that we are to be separate from the world, and God has given us guidelines for what that means. Furthermore, He promised that He will bless us if we obey His commandments but also that He will curse us if we do not. We are citizens of heaven.
At the same time, we are citizens of an earthly “kingdom” or government that also has certain laws and guidelines for how we should live. It too rewards us if we follow those rules and punishes us if we violate them.
And there’s the rub. What do we do when those laws and guidelines come into conflict? What about the baker, the florist, the printer, and the photographer who refused to support or to participate in same-sex “weddings” that violate their Christian beliefs when the “state” orders them to do so?
And what about Kim Davis, the clerk of the court in Kentucky, who refused to sign same-sex “marriage” certificates that violate her Christian beliefs even though it meant she would be thrown into jail?
Or companies like Hobby Lobby or groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor who refused to pay for insurance policies that included provisions which violated their pro-life beliefs?
Are we willing to take the heat, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when the “King” orders us to bow down to edicts that violate our allegiance to God?
Pilgrims in Progress
Clearly, these conflicts go back to the beginning of time, even to the Garden of Eden. They are not new to our generation, nor will we be the last. And like John Bunyan’s depiction of Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, we too are faced daily with distractions, diversions, and seductions that draw us away from reaching our goal to the Celestial City.
The “enemies of the cross of Christ” are all around us as false gods that demand our attention and our worship. They tempt us with desires for power, prestige, property, popularity, pleasure, and passion.
And we are tempted to yield, even though we know that to fall down before them will lead only to destruction and ultimately to death.
Our Dual Citizenship: Immigration and Refugees
Although less dramatic, the current debate about our immigration and refugee policies also illustrates the conflicting demands of our dual citizenship.
We are torn on the one hand by our Christian desire to welcome strangers to our land and to care for the oppressed and the needy. However, we also recognize the need to ensure that our families are safe and that our borders are secure.
So what should our official policy be toward illegal immigrants and toward refugees who are forced to flee from their home countries where they are being tortured and even killed?
And what about cities and churches who insist on providing “sanctuary” to those who have broken our immigration laws even to the point of refusing to obey the law and to cooperate with law enforcement officers?
To whom do we, as followers of Christ and as citizens of America, pledge our allegiance?
Crossroads: Where Faith and Culture Meet
Those are some of the questions we will be addressing on Crossroads this weekend with our special guest, Todd Pruitt, lead pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg.
Therefore, please join Rita Dunaway and me on one of the following Valley stations: WBTX at 4:00 p.m. Saturday and repeated on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., followed by WSVA (550) and WSVA/FM (92.1) at 8:30; and on WNLR (1150) at 11:30. You can also listen online HERE anytime.
We deeply appreciate your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support of these programs. All gifts are tax-deductible and can be sent by check to Crossroads at PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, 22803.
For God and Country,