Citizenship and Consciencious Objection
Why are you a Consciencious Objector? Isn't it your obligation to serve your country?
It's all about citizenship and allegiance. When I was baptised into the name of Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-29) my citizenship changed from being Canadian to being a citizen of the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:12-13). This made me a "stranger and pilgrim" (Hebrews 11:13) in the country in which I reside (and now living in the USA it emphasizes it even more, being a landed immigrant, holding a "green card"). As a citizen of the Kingdom of God I am on a journey, looking for a permanent country to live in (Hebrews 11:14-15; 2 Peter 3:13), and a city to live in (Hebrews 13:14), "whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10). As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I also am a soldier for Christ (Ephesians 6:10-18) and being a soldier I do not involve myself in the politics of this world (2 Timothy 2:4). My battle is not a battle against "flesh and blood", a physical fight, but it is against thoughts, ideas and teachings that are contrary to God and the gospel of Christ (Ephesians 6:12-17).
Not only am I a soldier for Christ, I am also his ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). Like an ambassador (of say, Canada), I reside in a nation not my own and am a representative of my ruler, and therefore what I say should reflect those things consistent with the thoughts and intents of my ruler (1 Peter 2:11-12). As an ambassador, I am bound by the laws of the land in which I reside to obey them and I should also give respect and honour where it is due (1 Peter 2:13-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Whomever is in the office of president/prime minister/king, God put him/her there for a reason (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; Romans 13:1-2), so we are required to be subject to that person (including paying taxes! - Romans 13:6-7) unless their rules directly contradict God's requirements on us (Acts 5:29). While as an ambassador I am required to obey the laws of the land in which I reside, like the ambassadors of this world (ideally), I do not involve myself in the politics of the land, in its court systems, or in its military.
Written by Matthew Smith
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