Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

by Todd Gehrmann, Founder and Director of Ministry

John F. Kennedy once said “the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” As a person who loves reading, especially reading material that will stretch my thinking and challenge my belief systems I’ve come across a very interesting read written by Gregory Boyd, entitled the Myth of the Christian Religion. This book has definitely been a great mind exercise that enabled me to begin to look at the bigger Kingdom perspective. It enabled me to relook at my beliefs politically, reliously and most importantly, missionally.

At this moment the United States is gearing up for the presidential elections. Rhetoric is being spewd from all sides. Sound bites are being used, taken out of context, manipulated and then marketed as truth as all sides try to discount the validity and character of their opponents. Rally cries have been given by political parties encouraging voters to fight the good fight against the opposition all in order to uphold our rights and make this world’s kingdom great. But it is at this very time more than ever that we as believers must remember that this world is not our kingdom any longer (John 15:19; John 17:14-16; John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

If you live in and are a citizen of the United States, then you are lucky enough to live in a country that is known for pursuing the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights given to its citizens are nothing short of amazing, and politically speaking, I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to live in such an amazing country and couldn’t even imagine living in a country where these rights were not cherished and pursued. However, in my reading within Scripture I’ve come to realize more and more that as a person becomes a believer, that person becomes a Child of God, born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:12). This means this place we call home here in the United States is but a temporary dwelling place. We are now, if fact, royalty, children of the Most High, King’s kids (1 Peter 2:9). Our true citizenship is now in God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom that at times will in fact conflict with the kingdom of this world regardless of how noble and great its political rights and ideals are. To understand this more fully let’s look a little closer at these rights.

Politically the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are beautiful things, and I wouldn’t want to live in a country that didn’t foster these rights; however, as Believers there may be times that we are called to revolt against these very noble rights. Look no further than the person of Jesus Christ as an example.

Jesus came into our world in the flesh, lived among us and gave up his right to life by surrendering his life on the cross for all (John 3:16). When praying in the Garden of Gethsemane to his Father, Jesus freely surrendered his liberties to the will to the Father (Luke 22:42). Finally when Jesus was in anguish during prayer and his sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44), or he was being taunted, flogged and then hung upon the cross, it’s pretty safe to say he wasn’t all that happy, yet he still gave up his personal pursuit of happiness in favor of the greater good of the Kingdom of God.

As Believers we may be called upon to lay down our right to life, liberty and our pursuit of happiness for the sake of our true Kingdom citizenship. Throughout this election period, we should all take a deep breath and remember that regardless of how the elections turn out, our first and foremost allegiance is to our true Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ. His Kingdom never changes, nor does His perfect loving leadership over us. So this election season as you have opportunities to discuss politics with one another and grapple with who will best lead our country, let’s remember that our true allegiance is to Christ and our mission never changes, that is, to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

Next Step Ministries