Monday, October 27, 2008

On Dual Citizenship

I appreciate all of your comments, Dear Readers, and I have gleaned insight from all of your points. Believe me, my delays in responding to all of you merely indicate how deep in thought, deep in discussion with my husband, AND deep in research I have been. (Thank God for Wikipedia!)

Many things y'all said really started me thinking about some things, in particular Denise's point that "[habeas corpus is] not a right God tells us to protect in the Bible, so Christians are not bound to necessarily hold that particular right in high regard." 

My most recent Quandary is over what I previously called, "Dual Citizenship." That is, I am a citizen of Heaven (Phil. 3:20) while I am also a citizen of the United States of America. From my current perspective, I see the Bible as the guidebook or "system of government" for me as a Christian, and I would like to equate the Constitution of the United States as holding that same position of authority over the government of this Nation. So, The Bible guides me (and the Church) as a citizen of Heaven while the Constitution guides me (and the nation), as an American. 

Upon that premise, I have pondered how much I should allow the former to creep into the latter. In a nation where Church is separated from State, should I vote as a Christian, or should I vote as an American? How should my religion affect my politics? Should I be holding the country and its leaders accountable to the Bible? Should issues like abortion and homosexuality hold any weight other than the weight the Constitution gives them? I understand why Single-Issue Christian voters would throw themselves into a vote for McCain, hoping against hope that he would reverse the evil laws allowing legal abortions in this country. I understand the sentiment there, and I want to label it: "Dedication to their citizenship in Heaven." It rises up in me, as well. But once again, something stops me.

Strictly as Americans, should  abortion matter to us any more than "because legalizing abortions contradict the Constitution"? 

If I assume the position that it should not, I would halt and say, "So, how can I vote for a man who upholds one of the Bills of Rights while blatantly throwing down another?" When I vote strictly as an American (just "State, " not "Church") the 6th Amendment becomes as important to uphold as the 5th. Here, my friends, is where my agony lies. 

When I am voting in "State" mode, if you will, I see that one candidate promotes the legalization of abortions, which is anti-constitutional while the other, though he wants to return the 5th amendment right to the unborn, he plans to remove the 6th amendment right from the un-tried (still considered "innocent") person accused of terrorism. 
When I am voting in "Church" mode, I see abortion as just a nation of ungodly people who have always wanted to kill their unborn children for convenience, anyway, and are now able to do so publicly because it is legal. Though it is an injustice, truly, and hurts to think of it, I just want to wash my hands of what the evil nation does with its own children, and fight to preserve my own children, instead, and the future of their religious rights by voting against the candidate who wants to infringe upon those rights (Is it too far a stretch to say that a Christian might be accused of terrorism or religious fanaticism in the next 20 years? But at least it will be difficult to convict them thanks to the Bill of Rights). My children over theirs, is what I say in Church mode. 


Folks, thanks from the bottom of my heart for giving this matter your consideration. I am still in a place of great indecision........though thankfully, I will not be voting in a swing state, so that takes the pressure off in one sense. However, I consider it high time that I put some serious thought into these issues, and it is good---very good to hear your voices on the matter. 


Sherry said...

Hi Susi, It's Sherry - an old friend of Rachel's. I've been silently following these discussions and contemplating if I should say anything in regards to this indecision you feel. So after reading this post of yours, I feel like now is a good time to say what came up in my spirit while reading it. I really don't like getting so deeply involved in politics and really haven't been before this election. But for some reason, this time I have felt more inclined to read more, watch more, listen more, and ultimately PRAY more. I know you are doing all that and probably more than I am it sounds, but anyway, if you will allow me, I just want to say a couple of things. Please don't take any of these things personally, but prayerfully consider what I'm about to say.
In regards to the dual citizenship issue, I believe the Bible is very clear on where that citizenship lies. John 17:16 says that "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." This is Jesus praying about all of us as he takes his last breaths on earth. And also it is clear in Phil. 3:20 that says "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..."
Based on those scriptures I have to vote where my loyalty and citizenship lie - in heaven. And because of that I know that the issues of this election are not economics, foreign policy, healthcare, etc. rather it is about Righteousness. Matthew 6:33 says to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and then all these things (healthcare, tax rates, jobs, etc..) will be added. Therefore voting to me is not about what is best for our pockets, but our obedience to God's word. By faith we can be assured that if we act accordingly we will be taken care of personally and corporately (as a church and nation). "Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34].
Thanks for listening to what I had to say. I admire your desire to make an informed decision and vote the best way you know how, and I appreciate all the research and prayer that you have put into this important matter. I know that God will direct you to make the right decision.
Take care and God bless,

~Susannah Forshey~ said...

Thank you, Sherry. Very thought-provoking. Very thought-provoking, indeed. I guess if we lived in a country who's "constitution" or system of government was Socialist or Communist, we would feel so much less inclined to hold that country's leaders to their socialist or communist constitution, eh? It would be an easier choice to vote solely according to one's Heavenly citizenship, regardless of the law of the country. In fact, we might feel inclined to completely overhaul the system of government were it *evil enough*. Hmmmm. Interesting.

Herb of Grace said...

Sherry, I really appreciate your comments here. Thanks for presenting your thoughts in such a kind and gentle manner. Although I may disagree with your ultimate actions, I do agree with your sentiments expressed here.