I think you would find disagreement from Americans that there are no Americans. Probably as you might from Chinese that there are no Chinese, etc.
However, this isn't a political forum, so it's great you glory in the cross.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Cor. 1:18
"This isn't a political forum"---What do you think of this:
The second word I want to address in this section is the word church. Christians suppose that this original Greek word meant some sort of assembly that is devoted to Christian worship, preaching, praying and prophesying. Some think it means an assembly, ekklesia, to have a warm Christian fellowship, singing and praising God, and so forth. If you will look up the word assembly in Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, you will again find the national intent of that word translated church. According to Vine's, a church is "a body of citizens gathered to discuss the affairs of state." When Jesus said, "I will build my church," He was saying that He would build an assembly that would be informed as to the affairs of state, that is, the proper use of government. During one of His church meetings, one of the disciples asked. "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" [Acts 1:61 Christ's answer was no in a round about way. I contend that the question would never have been asked if the preaching and teaching in the assembly, ekklesia, had not been about the affairs of state. So, can there really be a separation between the church and state? Of course not, for the very idea of "the affairs of state" is built right into the word church. In early New England, and throughout the American 17th Century colonies, they did not improperly call their buildings with the steeple and the bell, often used for worship services, churches. They were called "meeting houses" and it was there that the "affairs of state" were openly discussed. Patrick Henry gave his stirring speech, "Give me liberty or give me death!" in such an assembly meeting in Richmond, Virginia. It was quite properly a church. Thus, a New Testament Church can only mean "an assembly of Jacob-Israel gathered to discuss the affairs of state." One of the Gifts of the Spirit, that all Christians are to have is the Gift of governments as set forth in I Corinthians 12:28. The proper word for the so-called churches today, where the "affairs of state" are never discussed, would be an assembly as set forth in James 2:2. There the word is sunogoge, or synagogue in English. I never attend synagogues. Please do not invite me to go to one.
--Nord William Davis, Jr
Don't worry, you and I are much less apart on this than many others might be. That said, I'm not saying "the affairs of the state" aren't important, but my own view is; 1) the earthly kingdoms are going to fall, and in the meantime, they won't be changed by my struggling with them (and others) with "just" my human effort - and righteousness can't be legislated - it comes about as we seek God's face and HE brings it about according to His will, 2) they're not to be my primary focus, and 3) my focus is to be on God and trusting in Him more, yielding to relationship and obedience to Him - wherever and whatever He leads and empowers that to be. 4) I'm NOT saying do nothing, I'm just saying 1,2 and 3 apply to my understanding of it, and e) although as with most topics, much is allowed to a point, it's truly, factually not a political forum (the context being, "let's not haggle and argue about politics to the extreme point of primary focus and distraction").
I'm also open to the distinct possibility that some are called to be more involved in certain areas (including "state matters") than others. As my dear old blind aunt used to say, "as the Bible says, every tub will sit on its own bottom". (She had others.:) Personally, I speak up, have opinions, express them as I feel led. By His blessings, I have some measure of "earthly" protection for myself and my family. Yet I realize the only true safety is looking to Him and abiding in the shelter of His wings - no matter what else happens around us.
As far as "church" and its purpose, and at least moderately responding to Mr. Davis' view, I guess one of the places I'd begin to indicate my own POV, is here; http://www.tentmaker.org/Dew/Dew2/D2-CirceDaughterOfTheSun.html
. I believe that in America, believers should struggle for righteousness. I believe righteousness can be legislated, if we vote righteously. I don't believe it can be a "purely political" struggle- but as the salt of the earth, if we want to enjoy the freedom our national foundation stones have provided......We should struggle to maintain them> even when it appears to be a hopeless fight. Where else will hope be found, if not among us.
The problem is, how do we define righteousness? It is never easy, but it is worth the discussion, because we often find that people who disagree intensely about many things will often agree about certain core values if they are presented without sectarian leverage(political or religious).
Do you want to be free to speak your mind, even if that means others with whom you intensely disagree will also have that freedom?
Do you want your children to have the right to pursue life liberty and happiness, even if that means they must struggle with people who are doing the same thing, but oppose some of your basic principles of living?
Do you want your children, or your neighbors children, to be slaves of the state or some oligarchy?
These are all things we struggle for, in different ways, as citizens of the kingdom that is coming and will embody all of those good principles. Freedom, at this stage in time, is still very messy- but DEFINITELY to be preferred to totalitarianism, or fascism etc, etc. So even as I pray for the kingdom to come in me, to come in my community, to come in the Bride and to come on earth, I will work in all of those arenas, and encourage others to do the same.
If we, who have the mind of Christ, are unwilling to cry out for justice and equity and freedom, Who else will?
Speaking just for myself, as a personal conviction
, we can be salt and light in the world around us in many ways- most of them not
cloistered within the walls of mute church buildings. As a Christian, I serve my community in supporting a non-profit, non sectarian food distribution effort. I am supporting the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren in Congress.....she is just one voice against the corruption that is destroying our nation. I stood on the corner at Occupy Wall Street beside a baptist minister and people of a dozen other persuasions who all simply agreed that something ought to be done to stem the tide of corrupt corporate greed.
I am not saying ANYONE ELSE should do any of these particular things, but IMO this nation was raised up by God as a Cyrus to Israel and the Gospel.... and although God has disciplined, and may even judge this country for her sins, I consider it a PART OF my Christianity to speak out against inequity as well as speak FOR CHRIST, even as the prophets who were before me did. I do that in HOPE, not fatalism, and I will hope against hope until the ramparts have fallen and I am buried under them :o)
I only post this because I would prefer to see more Christians on the front-lines for the things that preserve us all and allow us to "live in peace with all men while freely declaring our faith". I for one will miss it when its gone, and for my children, and for my children's children, I will fight for it.