In 18th century France there was a philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau who believed that a man’s country was his reason for existence.  In his classic, The Social Contract, Rousseau celebrates the story of a mother in ancient Athens who had two sons fighting in a war.  One day a messenger boy came down to the city from the battlefield, and happened to pass by the house of the Athenian mother.  She called out to him,  “Boy!  Boy!  Tell me, any news from the war?”  The messenger boy looked down at his feet shyly, and then responded, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but both of your sons have been killed in battle.”  After a moment of silence, the woman turned her gaze towards the direction of the battlefield, and then scoffed.  “I did not ask about my sons, boy,” she said coldly,  “Tell me, how fares my country?” 

After reading this, how do you feel, friend?  Do you feel inspired?  Is your heart swelled with patriotism?  Mine certainly was the first time I read it!  Gosh, I love my country.  I absolutely love the United States of America.  I love the ideals on which our country was founded.  I love the struggles of our history.  I love the progress that we’ve made.  I love freedom.  I love equality.  I love checks and balances.  I love the rule of law.  I love civility.  I love the pursuit of happiness.  I love our spacious skies.  I love our amber waves of grain.  I love our purple mountain majesties.  I love our people.  I love our country.  My country.  My people.

And all this coming from someone who has spent 95% of my life living abroad.  Yes, indeed, you read that right!  In fact, I’ve only lived in America for a little over a year!  For the grand majority of my life, I’ve lived in the Dominican Republic, a little island nation smack dab in the middle of the Caribbean.  The Dominican is a culturally diverse, openly religious, warm and friendly, lazy afternoon, coffee when you walk in the door, fresh fruit everywhere, rice and beans, palm trees and mopeds, sun beating down, latin music vibes, rich and poor, black and white, absolutely stunning natural beauty kind of country.  There is so much to the Dominican Republic, that nothing I write could ever do it justice.  The heart-breaking poverty.  The vibrant colors.  The simple living.  The beautiful ironies.  From the kite surfing beaches of Cabarete, to the rural mountains of El Cibao, to the busy metropolis of Santo Domingo, the DR is truly a Caribbean wonderland full of beautiful people – people I love and would die for.  As a child, my parents were Christian missionaries in the inland town of La Vega, and there is no doubt that I consider La Vega my home.  Some of my greatest friends in the entire world live in Dominican Republic.  I grew up there, went to school there, went to church there, ate there, slept there, fought there, learned there, and loved there.  And you know the most important thing I did there?  I was born again there.  I, along with hundreds of my Dominican brothers and sisters, met Jesus in our little church building in the center of La Vega, in front of el Parque de las Palmas.  In other words, friends, I lived life and I found Life in the heart of the Caribbean, far away from the abundance of America.  I love America, truly.  But I also love the Dominican Republic.  It’s my home.  My country.  My people.

So, why is all of this important?  Well, although admittedly I am far from the sharpest tool in the shed, I do believe in the power of perspective.  God has blessed me with a rather fascinating perspective on the world.  I’m an island boy from the Caribbean who loves American history and frequents the Wall Street Journal.  I’m a young man who loves his countries.  Albeit, I love those countries in very different ways and for very different reasons, but at the end of the day, those countries are not just governments, GDP’s, or natural habitats.  The country is the people.  Nothing more, nothing less.  And I’m a dude who loves his peoples.  Because of this, I have the privilege of not seeing the world from the First World worldview or the Third World worldview, and I claim this as an advantage.  Many people will tell you that you have to pick sides.  And if they don’t say it, they’ll insinuate it.  I choose not to.  So how do I marry the two?  How does the world around me not seem fuzzy, hazy, confusing, and flat out strange to me??  How am I not having an existential crisis about the nature of the world right now???  Friends, I submit to you a brand new enlightenment that has been given to me.  It’s quite amazing, really.  Never considered before by mankind.  I present to you:

*cue sarcastic, dramatic music*

The Christian (and therefore missions-minded) Worldview.

At risk of sounding obnoxious, I submit to you that when you see the world through the eyes of Jesus, it just makes sense.  I’ve declared war on both the First World worldview and the Third World worldview because I truly believe that all men were created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.  And as a Christian, one of those rights is the right for all people to hear about the love of Jesus.  To hear about the Godman, who put on flesh and bone, kept the full extent of God’s law, and then died the substitutionary death of a lawbreaker – all out of love for them.  People have the right to know that if they simply bow before their Maker, He will give them citizenship to a country where “moths do not corrupt, and thieves do not break through, and steal.”  And when you believe that this country is your reason for existence, you’ll find that the eyeglass through which you see the world is suddenly crystal clear.  Do I love the United States of America?  Of course!  I’m an American, and I’d die for my people.  At the same time, do I love the Dominican Republic?  Absolutely.  Although I’m not a Dominican, I’d give my life for the Dominican people without hesitation.  Why?  Because Jesus died for them.  God loved them.  God loves them.  It’s really that simple.  Now, are you ready for this?  The Truth is:

The God of the Universe does not love America more than any other country.  

Jesus Christ does not love Americans more than He loves the people of any other country.

America, check your Gospel.  Check the Gospel in your heart.  Jesus Christ died for all who will believe, and as His disciples, we are called to love the world, not our world.  This is the heart of missions.  This is why everyone who calls themselves a Christian must also call themselves a missionary.  God is passionately in love with the United States of America, and He calls all Americans to repentance, but our God is not a respecter of persons.  He picks no favorites.  And when you grab hold of this missions perspective, you realize that you are called to much greater things than showing up to your small group on Tuesday nights.  You realize that you are called to much more than voting every four years.  You realize that you have been called to citizenship – true citizenship.  You realize that you are a citizen of a country that far surpasses any social experiment that mankind has ever conjured up.  You are a citizen of the King’s Country.  Now, should you love your Earthly country?  Yes, please do!  Please, love your country, and defend it with your life.  But don’t forget that if you are a Christian, your first allegiance is to the King’s Country, and that, as His citizen, you are commanded to love your Jerusalem, your Judea, your Samaria, and even the uttermost parts of your world.  We are commanded to love our neighbor countries and our enemy countries. We don’t have to agree with their politics, speak the same language, or share their taste in music, but we must love them.

– Alec Brockell, part-time American, full time disciple

Martin Luther King Jr. – Paul’s Letter to American Christians, November 4, 1956

“But American Christians, I must say to you as I said to the Roman Christians years ago, “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Or, as I said to the Phillipian Christians, “Ye are a colony of heaven.” This means that although you live in the colony of time, your ultimate allegiance is to the empire of eternity. You have a dual citizenry. You live both in time and eternity; both in heaven and earth. Therefore, your ultimate allegiance is not to the government, not to the state, not to nation, not to any man-made institution. The Christian owes his ultimate allegiance to God, and if any earthly institution conflicts with God’s will it is your Christian duty to take a stand against it. You must never allow the transitory evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.”

Alec-Guest-Author About the Guest Author: Alec Brockell is a student, intern, blogger, entrepreneur, and disciple based out of Washington DC. He comes from a missions background, and has lived most of his life overseas in Central America and the Caribbean. He speaks three languages, Spanish, French, and English. He is currently completing his studies online, and is zealous about reaching the world with the Gospel. You can check out his blog, Seven XXIII, by clicking here.

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