Serve the King of Kings
& Let the Empire Go to Hell
For the Christian, especially, the choice should be clear; Jesus told us very succinctly, 'seek first the Kingdom of Heaven................... and all these things will be added to you'-these things, of course, being all that is necessary for the sustenance of body & soul! In this day & age, though, of entitlement & empire-building, even many Christians have been so caught up in nationalistic fervor ( AKA, 'patriotism' ) that well-nigh anything is conscionable for the welfare of this nation, or 'the greater good', as most call it. Endless wars, even bombing the hell out of our neighbors is not out of the question when it comes to waving our national idol, the good ole 'stars & stripes'!
One should understand, listening to the news today, especially that having to do with the Foreign Policy of the U.S. Inc., that America has built an empire, the likes of which Rome & Britain might have dreamed of! With numerous military bases across the world ( 800 that 'we' know of ), the presence of American service-men & women has caused a stench to come up before many peoples, most notably ( especially recently ), the Islamic State. Because of this, as well as other atrocities, Jihad has been declared as well as carried out by certain of the more radical & fanatical Muslim factions!
For these & many other reasons, the American Empire is following in the fabled footsteps of both the British & Roman Empires, even all the way back to the Assyrian & beyond! Empires have a history of lasting a few hundred years & burning out! Not being a historian by any stretch of the imagination, I can only point you to the earliest histories that we have available in order to ascertain the veracity of this statement. For the most part, this is true because humans are corruptible: when men & women try to rule over each other, usually several things happen, one of which is that those ruled over rebel against the established order, or those who claim authority over them!
The Order that was Established by our Creator, our Heavenly Father is the Only True & Lasting One, so to try to set up any kingdom besides that, especially in opposition to the Heavenly Vision, is to rebel against Him: any way you look at it, it most certainly is not seeking first His Kingdom, but rather the kingdom of man, which is always poised to fail! The corruptibility of mere human beings has ensured, since the dawn of history, that when men & women try to rule each other, trouble always ensues, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but it is inevitable; no matter how good the intentions, things always end up on a downhill slope, or worse! ( Ever hear that 'the road to Hell is paved with good intentions'? )
Pride has been the downfall of every empire that has ever disgraced the face of the earth ( 'under Heaven' ); all one has to do is pick up any history book, particularly ancient history, to see that this is so! The American Experiment was begun with the best of intentions & with a good foundation; to some extent, part of that foundation & some might argue, many of those good intentions remain, but for all intents & purposes, this latest empire to appear on the world stage is doomed to follow in the footsteps of all those before her, Death & Hell, or Sheol!
Patriotism is infectious & in fact, one might say it is insidious! Patriotism has caused many Christians, both in this country & elsewhere, to commit acts of treason against the Heavenly Vision. A misunderstanding of what the Heavenly Vision, or the Kingdom of Heaven ( God ) actually entails is very likely the prime culprit in their failure to seek first His Kingdom, but the fact remains that many Christians, especially those who back America & Israel, are guilty of idolatry & empire-building!
This is not to say that all those who exhibit a nationalistic fervor, to whatever extent, are intentionally & purposefully NOT seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven & disobeying the Heavenly Vision-God forbid! As the case may be, though, this empire is on a very slippery slope & is headed for certain demise. It may be arguable as to whether this crazy train can be stopped or even turned around before she comes to the end of her track, but one thing is sure, the best we can do is 'Seek First The Kingdom Of Heaven And Let The Empire Go To Hell'!
Charles Haddon Shank