Why Americans Make Terrible Christians
Monarchy vs. Representative Democracy
Do you remember a few years back when everyone was talking about the Royal wedding? I saw grown men stop their day to watch these nuptials. I was so annoyed; I thought it was so stupid. Who are these people, and who cares? It all seemed so pompous and full of ritual, yet empty and void of any actual meaning.
Most Americans don’t really understand the whole monarchy thing. The idea of princes and princesses, kings and queens, is for children. They enjoy the fantasy in their early years, but as they get into school, the idea of American freedom and independence takes root.
Some adults like to enjoy the spectacle and the “romance” of the whole thing, but if they were put under the rule of a king or a queen, we would see that independent streak raise its head, and the “romance” would disappear faster than a toupee in a hurricane.
When we get down to the reality of monarchy (as opposed to the idea), things usually go sideways. We Americans are fiercely independent, a characteristic established by those who, in one form of rebellion or another, come to America to create a new life for themselves.
When the Brits tried to impose the immovable force of the British throne on us, we rebelled and kicked them out. Our independent nature is also encouraged by a self-inflated worldview…In reality, we hate the idea of a monarchy. The idea that someone could tell us what to do is completely counter-cultural. The thought of putting our lives and hopes in the hands of someone else is anathema to most of us.
That is precisely why Americans are usually pretty terrible Christians (at least before they undergo a considerable paradigm shift). Because the Kingdom of God is just that, His Kingdom, we don’t have a say. We don’t get to vote or give our opinions about the direction of our lives.
We don’t have veto power on certain culturally uncomfortable teachings in scripture. We can’t change His orders or teachings to fit our lifestyles more comfortably. This is because we were never intended to be devoted to any earthly culture. Instead, we are called to be fully invested in fulfilling our role in God’s Kingdom, which has its own culture and worldview.
All or Nothing
Either He is your king (master) or you are (Matthew 6:24). Both perspectives cannot exist at the same time. One will always kill the other. In my experience, very few people let Christ sit on the throne of their lives. They never truly submit to Him and order their lives according to the direction of His Kingdom.
To be a Christian, you have to die (Mark 8:34). You have to give over your rights. When He commands something, you must obey. When He reveals the direction He has chosen for your life, you are expected to abandon everything and follow that path.
But we prefer to negotiate. We want to be heard & understood. We want God to be our president. Not our King. But it doesn’t work that way.
We want our King to understand why we are planning to disobey His direct order.
We presume to lecture God on culture and what is right and acceptable. When no one knows better than Him how men are supposed to live. He created us and the world around us. He is the source of all good things, and He genuinely wants the best for us.
But He has also promised us that His path is not the easy one but a road filled with difficulties and hardships (Matt 7:14). It is, in fact, those challenges that He uses to refine us into the person He planned us to be all along.
But first, we must submit to Him and His plans for us. We must devote ourselves to the Kingdom of God and, most importantly, the King of Kings. It is only through this submission that we will find real life.
The Kingdom of God is not a democracy. Will you let Christ reign in your life?