Unless we completely cut off all communication with the world, it is impossible not to be bombarded by an avalanche of daily news and updates on how the present public health situation is impacting our lives. Some of the news is a bit scary while some is heartwarming. Some reports leave us flustered, while others provide hope. Some reports focus on the darkness in humanity while others focus on stories of caring for each other.
One subject that is heard more and more each day is the argument that some current policies are in violation of our constitutional rights. The argument has taken on a bit of a: "if you don't agree with me, you are not a true patriot" flavor. By this I mean that for some, the only "right American stand" is to go against our current governor's directives because "if you truly believe in the constitution, that is what you will do". One side argues, "To stay safe, and for the good of the majority, we must surrender some rights for a time". The other counters with "not at the cost of my individual rights under the constitution as I understand it".
Because of my academic training, I can formulate an argument for both sides. I think that it behooves us to try to understand views that are in opposition to our beliefs. Not necessarily to change our mind but seek to understand the perspective of another. In understanding each other, we have a better chance of finding common ground.
That is my academic training; my training as a missionary calls on me to look at what is going on around me through eyes focused on the cultural dynamics that may be at play in what I see. Cultural observation brings to the forefront the passion for the individual rights of citizens of our great nation. Part of the treasured heritage of our history as a nation is the sacrifices made to ensure those rights. One of the greatest cultural statements in our country is: "I may not agree with what they say, but I will defend their right to say it".
The problem with that cultural value is that sometimes we bring it into our relationship with Christ. We view Christianity through lenses that are focused on our individual needs, wants, and points of view. When speaking on our baptism, Paul writes in Romans 6:6 [We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.] Crucified with Him means our old self was nailed on the cross and died.
While we may continue to disagree as citizens on a number of things, as is our right as part of this nation; let us not confuse the reality of our citizenship in this earthly nation with our citizenship in our heavenly home. Being citizens of HIs kingdom calls for a perspective that is not focused on ourselves but on Him and each other.
Have a blessed day