God's Dream People: Citizens without Borders
Since Len Sweet coined the phrase terra aqua to describe the ever changing world we're in, I have been thinking about our borderless world.
With the Internet, I go to Ukraine, to Australia, to London, to St. Petersburg, to Mozambique. Borders are becoming a thing of the past at many levels of global interaction.
The sweep of biblical history and promise reveals God's dream people: citizens of a kingdom without borders. From Genesis 12:1-3 to Revelation 7:9-10 we catch the passion of God to have a people marked more by the power of the Spirit (Joel 2/Acts 2) than by the perimeters of a nation-state.
Do we feel the incredible, explosive impact of words like these from Paul the Apostle: "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all" (Colossians 3:11)? Where is the "Here" in that verse?
I'm troubled by many conservative American Christians, and I have to admit the drift in my own thinking, who paint Jesus and the kingdom of God "red, white, and blue." You've seen it: JesUSAves. In the turbulent '60's in the U.S., Francis Schaeffer was warning the church not to align with the state. To do so causes the church to forfeit her prophetic role in society.
Of course, as citizens we are to be responsible and exercise our political freedom to shape political realities. I'm not saying that is wrong. However, seeing everything through red, white and blue glasses is a dangerous vision for followers of Jesus. It is idolatrous.
In Jesus' day there was no "separation of church and state." His assault on the Temple was equivalent to an assault on the White House. The Temple was White House, Congress and Supreme Court all rolled into one. He wasn't crucified for being "a nice guy." He was no friend of Caesar's or Pilate's or Herod's and Caiaphas'. He was and is King of the in-breaking kingdom of God.
We can be active as God's dream people or his nightmare. By the way, the kingdom of God has ridiculously porous borders..."whoever wants to, may come in." Basically all you have to say is, "I want to see Jesus."