As a political science and sociology student I have found it fairly difficult to accept all that my country continues to do domestically and abroad to those less fortunate. I could make this very long, but the information is out there for any who seek it, so I will keep details to a minimum. Our country the US continues to further its hegemony at the expense of the poor and defenseless of our world. We as citizens of the empire are able to participate in our policy development and execution in many more ways than the rest of the world. Voting, petitioning, protesting, volunteering etc. are ways in which we are free to participate. Media has a near iron grasp on how we receive information and with the concentration of media outlet ownership growing there is much money to be made. Our doctrine as Christians has always been highly critical of those close to the "money bags." Further down we see that as the profit status of an entity changes, the story begins to drift from hopeful to damning. Non-profit and independent news sources have the current administration in their crosshairs while for-profits are at best a little critical. To make a long question short, ought we as Christians to recognize this and accept that we may be being indoctrinated with distorted information that could cause us to participate in our government in harmful fashion, in turn harming innocent people around the world? -- Nathan Cox

Great question! Short answer: Yes, all of us are being indoctrinated. That means Christians need to listen critically to what the media says, and think theologically about what their governments demand. Our highest allegiance is to the Lord; it can never be to the nation, or to emblems of that nation. This of course is exactly what got the early Christians in so much hot water. Forced to choose between the way of God and the way of the state, they chose the former.

Longer answer: America is not a "Christian" nation. Though one can argue that the Europeans came to the New World for religious freedom, the founding fathers of the United States were hardly Christians. Most were deists, secular high-church members, or atheists.

That the U.S. is not a Christian nation is also apparent when you look close up. Consider the crime statistics, marriage stats, defense spending in comparison with education and other worthy causes, etc. Look at the liberal judiciary and the current blatant attack on the family itself. Though some 15% of Americans attend church weekly, there is little difference (if any) between the lives of churchgoers and the unchurched. Biblically speaking, we are a nation of illiterates. Our sharing of our wealth is at an all-time low. Sports and fashion are considered to be far more important than matters of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Most Americans are unaware how they are perceived abroad. And amazingly, most Christians blithely equate the US with the righteous nation. Tragic (and comical)! It's time to wake up!

My words are strong and may offend those try to blend politics and religion, or who have not carefully compared God's requirements in the Bible with governments' requirements in political and practical life. But then your email was pretty strong, too! And your question is a good one. No follower of Christ will want to harm innocent people. On the other hand, the only way to distance oneself from inadvertent injustices is to leave the world. I say this because everyone is the citizen of some nation, and to some extent supports that nation's policies, through taxation at the very least. Since all nations hurt some groups or individuals--perhaps because forced to choose between priorities--and citizens support that nation, this means that all citizens indirectly hurt others. Not directly, but indirectly. This is a sad but unavoidable consequence of living on this planet.

One day all will be changed. Justice will reign. In the meantime, we must wait. And watch, eyes open.

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