For a few years now my thoughts and convictions on certain subjects has changed drastically. Two and a half years ago, I was planning on going into the military as a chaplain. That seemed like a great career path and even a great way to minister. I was planning on going in to the Navy, so if I would have been stationed on a ship, I would be around the same people for an extended period of time. I would be able to build relationships with people because I would be living with them constantly. Then things changed for me. I started to question many American ideals which had been almost indoctrinated in me. I started to ask myself what it is like being an American and trying to live according to what the Bible says. This is much tougher than it seems. Almost every Christian I had met at this point seems to be very pro-American lifestyle and that to question that lifestyle is as if you are securing yourself a spot in eternal damnation.
Then I also started to realize that some views I held on certain topics within theology may not be correct, so they started to change. Once when explaining my beliefs to a high schooler at a D-Now I was sentenced to damnation again over that fact that I don't believe that there will be a rapture as he sees it.
More recently I have been trying to learn about the kingdom of God. What is looks like and how we are to live as citizens. So once again the American lifestyle becomes a stumbling point. My views have become so that if I were to mention them to most Christians they try to make me feel as if I am a horrible American and Christian as if those two must be grouped together. I believe that they are very separate. To be a Christian, which would make us members of the kingdom Jesus inaugurated, would mean that I will not be a good American. America, even though it has many Christians, is still founded on the way of the world. I feel that to live as Jesus did is to turn that way on its head and act as if that is the norm.
Even tonight, I have read comments to a blog I read regularly that bash a Christian's thoughts on a moral subject. I would agree with the writer of that blog. But while reading the reaction to it I began to see how that person was basing things on the ways in which the world works instead of how the kingdom works. I know that I am not perfect and that my way of life is not always of the kingdom, but I hope that every day my life is based less on the ways of this world and more on the way Jesus would have me act as a kingdom citizen.