loyalty

I need to keep things vague with this one, OK?

This week I was filling in a reference of a kind for a friend. He is a committed follower of Jesus. I was asked to respond to the following question:

"Has the applicant ever belonged to or been associated with any ethnic, religious, or political group to which the applicant gives a greater loyalty than to ... (and then the name of a country is mentioned)."

What would you write in response?

nice chatting

Paul

Comments

Alex said…
If it was me, and you knew me well enough, I hope you'd say, "Yes."
Richard said…
man thats a tricky question to get asked.

i'd say "yes", and then explain the grounds on which as a christian, the person you were writing a reference for might possibly have to put jesus and the kingdom above loyalty to the state.

in the end, in many countries its very difficult to be good christians and good citizens!
Andy said…
I think I'd write something like:

X is a Christian, this means his first and truest loyalty is not to any nation, people, or person but to the God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. As a Christian X has never engaged in any activity which undermines "Nation Y's" national security, liberty or international reputation. X is fullly committed to the rule of law, the liberty of speech and the freedom of peoples: X takes the Biblical call (Romans 13) to good citizenship seriously and thus, takes the duties and responsibilities of life as a citizen of "Nation Y" with due seriousness.
Paul said…
It would seem a shame to remove the possibility of followers of Jesus working in this particular area (Security) on the basis of this question. But I was not prepared to ignore the fact that the claims of Christ are higher than those for any nation...

I was not quite as eloquent as Andy (mind you they gave me three lines, not a page :) ) - but did end up in a similar place to you and to Richard. A "Yes, but..."

We know we'd have trouble with this question in repressive, oppressive regimes where basic freedoms are not met. But is it always that straightforward in Western democracies like New Zealand? USA? England?

For example, take the inalienable right enshrined in the American Constitution about the 'pursuit of happiness' ... that one can easily morph over into some sort of equivalency with gospel truth, if we are not careful. Should we be loyal to this one as strongly as we are loyal to 'life' and 'liberty'?
Paul said…
It would seem a shame to remove the possibility of followers of Jesus working in this particular area (Security) on the basis of this question. But I was not prepared to ignore the fact that the claims of Christ are higher than those for any nation...

I was not quite as eloquent as Andy (mind you they gave me three lines, not a page :) ) - but did end up in a similar place to you and to Richard. A "Yes, but..."

We know we'd have trouble with this question in repressive, oppressive regimes where basic freedoms are not met. But is it always that straightforward in Western democracies like New Zealand? USA? England?

For example, take the inalienable right enshrined in the American Constitution about the 'pursuit of happiness' ... that one can easily morph over into some sort of equivalency with gospel truth, if we are not careful. Should we be loyal to this one as strongly as we are loyal to 'life' and 'liberty'?
Richard said…
as someone who as at the very least a conciencious objector, and after reading guys like Stanley Hauerwas i personally think christians don't realise how compromised they are within liberal democracies and the nation state system. the classic question/example is how many American christians would be willing to be martyred for their faith verses how many would be prepared to die for their country...Or take the way that the American state takes theological language and eschatology and then applies it to their role on the world stage (eg George W Bush using John 1 to describe America as a nation of light in the darkness of evil and terrorism)...surely as Christians we should be standing with the saints in revelation condemning that sort of crap as idolatry.

in new zealand and all round the world the problem tends to be that Christians assume that they can be christians yet still hold liberal democratic values and presuppositions. yet i think things like freedom of the individual, any form of human rights that lacks a biblical understanding of humanity and God, and even the eschatology that tends to be formed around democratic capitalism ("history has come to its climax in the coming of democracy, therefore we need to spread democracy to all those poor islamic, disfunctional third world countries") is problematic.
BJ said…
And what if your friend was a Muslim?
fruitfulfaith said…
oohhh, that's a GREAT example of 'colliding worlds' (state v. kingdom)

the right course of action might be determined by one's interpretation (there are more than a couple!) of what it means to 'render to caesar, and render to God'...

:)

-d-

Popular Posts