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Bi-Partisan Citizenship and Communion

One of the most memorable church services I ever attended was a communion service preceded by a message on a controversial war. A young pastor began by honoring those members of the congregation who had family members or friends serving in our country’s military.

Then he paid an equal tribute to those within the church family who were opposed to the same war.

After taking enough time to show respect and concern for those on both sides of the issue, he said something like, “Let’s look at what is happening here. We’ve come together today from all walks of life and from many different neighborhoods. Some us support the war. Some of us are against it.  Some of us are Republicans, some are Democrats. Some are Independents or Libertarians. We are Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian. Some of us are wealthy, some are poor. So what brings us together?”

Then we shared communion together remembering the One who died for us. Our sense of unity was as real and as meaningful as the bread and cup we shared.

Seems to me that in the middle of a hotly contested election, with not only fellow citizens but also “family” on both sides of the political aisle, it’s a good time to remember what it was that enabled the Apostle Paul to encourage his brothers and sisters in Christ to honor a pagan head of state who persecuted Christians, required worship of himself, and oversaw a Roman empire marked by excess taxes, economic slavery, sexual promiscuity, blood sport and the abortion of unwanted children.

In spite of all that, Paul wrote at length in the 13th chapter of his letter to the Romans about how to live in honor and love, paying taxes, respecting the God-given role of government and not forgetting that real unity (and what is most important) is found not in Caesar but in Christ.

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13 Responses to “Bi-Partisan Citizenship and Communion”

  1. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Amen, Mart, amen!

    We must never forget where our real unity lies, never in a nation, never in any “kingdom of this world”, but in Jesus.

    A word that’s sorely needed. We must not judge others who disagree with us in this election, whatever side we’re on. And we must remember where our real hope for this world and the next lies- in Jesus.

  2. B Murphy says:

    Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We are called to the same life. Our Lord is not debating and arguing with us, He is patiently waiting for our humble response to His call.

    God ways are not our ways. Who knows what Gods great plan is for us?

    We must do our part in service; doing what is right, and just, and moral. God will do the rest.

  3. 2007Jerseykid says:

    I was at a Quaker meeting this past Sunday. Good meeting. We are all very partisan (left). What came out of that meeting was that in spite of how passionately we feel about the elections, we must seek the common ground with those who differ from us. To me, that is the word of God.

    Thanks for the nice post, Mart. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

    Grace and peace to you.

  4. cctouch says:

    I agree whole heartedly with that! May we remember that we serve a mighty Savior and He wants us to encourage, respect and love others around us. God Bless!

  5. SFDBWV says:

    A great many thoughts are in me concerning todays topic. I am reminded about a somewhat famous story about American and German troops during WWII spending an evening with a German woman and her son, on Christmas eve. There for a brief period, bitter enemy’s were sharing a warm fire and a meal together. Both sides respecting the wishes of their host and leaving their guns at the door. All remembering the Date on the calander and togther with their host remembering Christmas together.

    If only all political enemies could live by such a basic respect for each other. But alas that just isn’t the way of things. There were no such warm stories from the South Pacific. the Japanese soldier was neither Christian nor for the most part humane to their enemy.

    Unpopular war? Are you familiar with the story of Sgt York? If not, he was a consciencious objector during the First world War. Who went on to being one if not the most decorated hero of the war. Because he had to wrestle with duty to God and duty to country.He figured that they could be one in the same.
    I remember hearing a story about “D” day. the story went as follows; The chaplins on the beach were so active and busy running from one wounded soldier to another, that the Germans thought they were corpmen attending to their wounds. These wonderfuly brave men putting themselves in the line of fire to comfort and give peace to the wounded and dieing, figured a way they could serve both God and country.
    I, on May 5, 1965 joined the US Marines. I joined for many reasons. My countrymen were being killed, my country needed me and I was eager to go defend freedom. Whever my country ask me to go.
    I served with some of the finest men our country has ever produced. Some never came home.
    At home my country was being attacked by evil at every level. It was the turn on tune out drop out hippie revolution. God was under attack,all moral behavior was under attack. We returning Viet Nam Veterans were also under attack by the very people we had sworn an oath to serve and if needs be die for.
    I don’t think there has ever been a war that hasn’t been unpopular to some. I don’t think any future wars will either.
    I read a commentary that explained to me that the Ten Commandments never said thou shall not kill. But rather states thou shall not “murder” That makes sense to me seeing how just after giving the Ten Commandments to Israel, God sent them into the promised land to kill every living man woman and child, even the cattle and donkeys.
    For me it will always be the same, God first, family and country second.
    This election coming up disgusts me, there will be no winners only losers. As our country continues to follow the path to hell that started back there in the 60’s. The spirit of the Anti-Christ is alive and well here in America. Many good well intentioned people are being decieved by it already. How many such “good” people will you be having communion with?

  6. drkennyg says:

    I suspect that even in my small Christian Church there are many secular differences such as pointed out so well in Mart’s post. Many diverse backgrounds and races as well. In California we face a Proposition 8 which asks us once again to state that our citizens want biblical marriage and are opposed to same-sex marriage. The issue is very clear from God’s Word, but we must vote on it again because our Supreme Court overturned our previous 63% rejection of the idea.

    I live in the San Fernando Valley which is also the pornography production leader in the world. We are not proud of that and for the most part it is hidden from view. So … my point is that there are so many of God’s people that remain lost – some lost forever yet we strive for their salvation and pray that they awaken to the errors of their ways. We are all terrible sinners but those of us who are Christian are called to spread the Gospel; our work is never over.

  7. poohpity says:


    Vietnam caused a lot of scars for everyone especially our military. I know that some still have open wounds but I have the utmost respect for those who serve whether drafted or volunteer. There have always been wars for our freedoms and I believe we will always be at war some how hence the full armor of God.

    I feel sometimes that even in my own family I am at war sometimes and I sure would like to draw back my bow and let the arrows flow but some how the Lord uses something to get my attention like this post. When we share the Lord’s supper we are all at the feet of the cross naked and looked on as if we have never sinned because we are covered by He that had no sin. I have to remember that I have so much that Jesus is still working on and need to give others the same Grace that I have been given so much of. It is so easy to want to hurt back when offended, I am so amazed at the Lord and how He never returned evil for evil. That takes more strength than anything I can imagine. If we could only learn from Him.

  8. DocNBear says:

    While I am supportive of Loving your enemies; I think that IS a bit much to allow the Far-Left leaning Liberals to so dramatically alter our ONCE strongly held principals, a place among The RIGHT thinking folks as we ALL know where this upcoming Presidential Election is taking US!

    I remember Robert Bork’s book aptly named “Slouching Towards Gomorrah” and to me this recent ‘Mart De Haan’ ‘blog’ on “Bi-Partisan Citizenship and Communion” is insofar as I can ascertain a very well written albeit wrongly accepted piece.

    And I must agree with “SFDBWV” in his comment on Mart’s blog, for like him I too joined the U.S.ARMY (Not the Marines who were so well versed in taking it to the enemy) somewhat earlier in 1960, serving for 6 years, before the real Viet Nam conflict actually “Kicked OFF” in 1964.

    While stationed in Okinawa I was a Training NCO for Medical Evacuation Medics, “Dust-Offs as they came to be named.

    Then I volunteered, to accompany my last class of Combat Medics, into the fight in SE Asia, Pleiku, RSVN in 1965. I am proud that I did as I saw young 1/2 men 1/2 boys rise to the calling, and give their ALL to save fallen comrades. God Bless them all!

    I welcome anyone who has a differing political take on this and every war, however I refuse to let them negotiate the Terms of This Country’s surrender to the enemies of Freedom and Liberty.

    I have been a ‘Born Again Believer’ in Jesus Christ for over 36 years, and I do not see anywhere in Scripture where we are commanded to lay down our Arms because a certain faction of socialist reformers wish it so.

    In my world It is always: GOD, Family Country in that order………Nuff said!
    In Freedom and Liberty,

  9. daisymarygoldr says:

    The only thing, which the Lord wanted His followers to remember, was His death, burial and resurrection ….not His Birthday! In partaking of the elements of The Lord’s Table, we are actually celebrating the bond that binds us all together in Christ. It is indeed a beautiful reflection of the unique unity that we “share” in Christ.

    Did not grow up with the word “Communion” and still wonder if the Bible ever mentioned this. However, we did observe the Lord’s Supper every Sunday at Church, which was the highlight of our corporate Sunday worship times. Prior to taking part in the elements of the Lord’s Table, we were required to examine ourselves in our vertical relationship to God by evaluating our horizontal relationships with each other. The Spirit-led messages used to move people in amazing ways to let go of their “selves”. It was overwhelmingly awesome to witness the breaking down of barriers as family feuds, marital conflicts, bitter enmity, prolonged fights and all kinds of differences of opinions and attitudes were resolved at “The Table” for restoration of unity within the Body of Christ. Must admit that it leaned towards a legalistic approach but overall, the “bonking” produced good fruits in the end. And Mart, (just for jest) you would have surely gotten into trouble at that church for “withholding forgiveness”.

    Sadly, here I have not been able to take part in this for the past seven months or so. At the previous church, it was “Once in a Blue moon” thing and in the present church, they do not even offer it during daytime Church services but choose to have it separately in the chapel or during the evening worship services, which is practically inconvenient for me…

    In response to our Lord’s desire, if only churches faithfully keep and observe the Lord’s Supper that signifies fellowshipping in Unity, then we would “know” the true meaning of this sacred memorial. Then, we will quit saying “Me and Mine”- my life, my family, my rights, my riches, my poverty, my property, my service, my ministry, my troubles, my sickness, my church, my country, my flag, my nation, my world, my planet…(now I am getting sick and tired of all the mewing…I mean “my-ing”). How good and pleasant it would be when we would all realize that it is not about us but it is really all about Him…maybe we’d have to wait for all of us to die and get to heaven to enjoy “that real unity”!

  10. plumbape says:

    DMG >I was intrigued by what you did at service. How were you required to examine your relationship with others? I guess what I’m asking is, was it like a open confession to clear the air so to speak? It sounds like something I might like to suggest doing at our church.
    I agree with you so much about the “me and mine” that gets in the way of the Lord working in ones life. It is my claim to my right to myself that is where we get into trouble. Oswald Chambers said it’s what leads us to think I am my own God. Then regardless if we do good deeds or not it has the wrong motives which leads to damnation.

  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    No, it was not done as open public confessions. People who were convicted of their wrongs would usually wait to confess their faults to the wronged before partaking in the table. Usually, it was done after service or in the privacy of their homes…sometimes it took weeks for some of us to take the initial bold step to extend our hands towards our “enemies”…in serious situations when there was fear of our apologies being rebuffed, an Elder mediated the truce-making process….involved lots of tears and lots of joys…it really fostered a lot of healing as we confronted and confessed gossips, slander and backbiting. My parents shared some great stories about the early days of the church before I was born…people brought their “Bad” magazine/book collections, cigar packs, alcohol bottles to burn or break before the whole church family as an act of accountability. Most of us lived “an open book” life …though, truth hurts, the Church never skirted around the absolute Truth to avoid offending its members. The “Communion” as we call it here was a blessed opportunity for the body of Christ to examine our hearts and lives and make it sin (leaven)-free!

    Now, I’m not sure if this is plausible in the churches here but I hope this gives you some idea. Ok, see you at the next blog where it is about a football!

  12. DocNBear says:

    KT has hit the proverbial NAIL upon the HEAD!

    That said and thus getting to the real crux of the matter this has a LOT to do with personal grievances, i.e. you hurt me by this and thus I am angry!

    No; the gist of the blog by Mart has more to do with Political ideolgues being accepted as a brother/sister in the Lord when just the opposite is true. KT said it very plainly and succicinctly,Me? Where I found myself wondering all about the issue, “MY BAD”; as the youngsters are fond of saying.

    So whatever you believe either about abortion (‘ROE v WADE’) or the RTKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms), all eventually comes down to the overly used Mantra of the Liberal media and the Left leaning followers and supporters of Bed-wetting Liberals.
    The 1st Amendment Rights vs. God’s plan of salvation that “ALL have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God, and are in need of a Savior” Jesus Christ! We all know how little respect the same people have for Our Lord and Savior.

    Now the darkness is easily recognizable, as they want to destroy our right to worship and so far have done a pretty darn good job of it!

    This blog and it’s comments are a perfect example of just how far PC the Church has drifted!

    The real BODY of Christ will NEVER ever give way to people of perverse ideals such as Socialism, (aka) Communism. Letting an avowed Socialist gain enough ground with these same wrong headed Liberals being taught in High School that there are no absolutes, and on to College/University campuses where ultra-Liberal Socialists repeat the Mantra over and over; “America is NO GOOD!” and “America starts all the Wars for all the wrong reasons!” Eventually the young misguided youth who are the selfish generation of “Me first me always!” Yet are just as confused as they were when they entered into these so-called institutions of higher learning!

    Lets at least admit that.For to do other wise, like just ignore it; will be at Our peril. God may have sent this evil down upon us for all the right reasons, however He does NOT say, “GO ALONG TO GET ALONG!” Does HE?
    Nuff said………..
    In Freedom and Liberty,

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