Monday, October 27, 2014

Christian Friendship (How Can We Be Good Christian Friends?)

           The creational purpose for mankind is dependence. Like it or not, friends are an integral part of our lives. Even parents assume the role of a friend with their children. Many idioms articulate the value of a true friend in the secular world. Therefore, value of true friendship is universally acknowledged.

            While retaining my focus within Christianity, I find it exceedingly interesting that Christ equates us as HIS friend and commands a certain pattern of friendship between fellow Christians, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15: 12-15, NIV).

            Are we the emblematic friend patterning our friendship according to the Lord’s mandate? Am I a friend who practices the Lord’s command on friendship? Do I love another as Christ loved me?

            Our sinful human nature would presumably prompt us of our eminence in friendship. Our sinful nature would advise us that we are the best friend anyone can get. This may or may not be true.

            So I reckon it profitable to recollect a few observations on friendship with a hope and prayer that we would allow the Lord to change our friendship values, if need be, so to obey HIS command.

            Christian teaching on friendship opposes political correctness. In reality, many of us strive to be politically correct. When we meet people, we put up a smile that is not from our heart. Often times, our ‘how are you?’ is a mere façade, so much so we casually ask ‘how are you?’ and consciously walk away without waiting for a response. Therefore, the starting point of our friendship endeavor is grounded on an insincere display of love. 

            Selfishness is a devious motivation for many a friendship. With quite a few, we negate the depravity of façade and desire good friendship. Hence we pursue a meaningful friendship.

            Then again, one question begs for an answer. Are we pursuing a meaningful friendship for selfish gain? We may seek friendship with the powerful and wealthy for our ultimate gain. Is this the friendship Christ desires? Not by any stretch of imagination. Friendship for selfish gain denies and defies the notion of friendship that Christ commanded us to practice.

            Mindless friendship is another brand of friendship in vogue. Words are uttered mindlessly in this friendship. We assure people that which we do not seriously desire to pursue. A typical everyday example is an assurance “I will surely meet you,” but that meeting was never desired or seriously pursued. Ultimately that meeting never happens.

            This is mindless because the commitment to meet was mindless and not serious. Moreover, mindlessness is severely exposed when neither an apology nor a reason was offered for the absence of that proposed meeting.

            Such an arrogant display of mindlessness not only takes the other person for granted but also relegates them to insignificance. This is not even close to the friendship that Christ mandates, for HE says, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5: 37, NIV). The apostle James reaffirms Christ’s statement in his letter, “…but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment” (James 5: 12, NASB).

            Then in Christianity we have abundant demonstrations of super spirituality (self-righteousness). The Christian super-spirituals desire to blend only with fellow super-spirituals. Thereby, they discard the other so-called ordinary or sinful Christians by considering them unworthy of their friendship.

            When Christ, the holy God, was a friend of unholy sinners (Luke 7: 34, 15: 1-2), shouldn’t we, HIS disciples, consider all Christians as equals and at least not self righteously discard them? This too should be given some serious thought for this offends Christ’s notion on friendship.

            Given the constraints of space and time, it’s virtually impossible to be friends with every person we meet. However, the least we can ensure is that every smile and every word we utter comes from our heart with utmost seriousness and true love. Besides, if we claim Christlike attitude, we should ensure nothing short of respect for our friends.

            Does it make sense to discard established friendships? Are there justified circumstances during which established friendships can be discarded?

            I do not disturb anyone who chooses not to speak with me. Moreover, if friends choose not to trust me despite my honest assurances, then I prefer not to engage them (Cf. Matthew 7: 6, 10: 14). But I do keep my doors open to anyone irrespective of the damage they may have rendered unto me.

            Adversities reveal the true nature of our friends. During adversities many friends will disappear for various reasons. As common sense advises, these were never our true friends to begin with. We would be much better off without their presence.

            Then there are others who would pour out their so-called justified scorn on us in various forms and sizes during adversities. They are the true epitome of the friendship Job laments about, “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams as the streams that overflow…” (Job 6: 14-15, NIV). In these moments, we may as well echo Job and mourn our situation through his words, ““He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me…” (Job 19: 13-19, NIV)

            It’s as if adversity isn’t painful enough that these so-called friends add fuel to the fire that we are suffering from with words of scorn and ridicule. These, I reckon, are the dangerous variety, who feigned their friendship with us for some selfish motive, and who never truly considered us as either genuine or an honest friend. If we are right and if they are wrong, then the burden of repentance is upon them to repair the friendship, else we would be better off without them as well.

            However, some friends will stand by us during our adversities. They will support us in thoughts, words and deeds. These are the good Christian friends.

            Unfortunately we wouldn’t find many in this group; this is the plight of Christianity. But we are truly blessed even if we are friends with even a handful belonging to this category. 

            I have learnt one valuable lesson through my life’s experiences. When we are pursued for friendship, we would be better off thinking the possible reasons we are being pursued for. In other words, a relevant question when we are pursued for friendship would be, “what do I have that I am being pursued for friendship?” If our material possession has anything to do with wealth, power or position, then it’s more likely that people pursue us not for who we are but for what we have.

            How then are we to consider friendship within the Christian paradigm? Here are some friendly suggestions:

            First, every friendship ought to be sincere because Christ has mandated friendship in HIS mould – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15: 13, NIV).

            Second, political correctness, selfishness and mindlessness ought to be eliminated from our life, if we are to be truly Christlike in our friendship.

            Last but not the least, this principle from the Lord Jesus Christ defines our attitude to friendship, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7: 12, NASB).        

            May God bless us to be a true friend and may HE bless us with true friends. Amen. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Are Generational Curses Valid? Can Christians Suffer From Generational Curses?

            A few years ago a Christian missionary said this to me about a Christian family I was well acquainted with, “…that family is suffering from that disease for many generations since they are under curse.” This implied a presence of unrepentant sin or unbelief. Because they are Christian, unbelief in Christ could be eliminated.

            From what was observable to plain sight, at least two people from that family, one who passed away and another who is under the clutches of that deadly disease, cannot be termed blatant sinners; instead I can honestly affirm their goodness.

            The Bible does indicate generational curses in Exodus 20:5, 34:7; Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9 and Lamentations 5: 7. If we concede that generations would be adversely affected because of the sin(s) of one or a few people belonging to that family, the question lingers rather bitterly in our minds as to why God would punish an innocent person for a sin that he/she did not commit.

            It seems perfectly reasonable if the person who sins, and remains unrepentant of that sin, dies. But the death of a person (offspring / child) who hasn’t sinned, especially when the children do not practice the sins of the ancestors, seems perfectly unjust and unreasonable. If this were to be true, then God seems very unjust.

            Punishment of the innocent for the sins of the parent / ancestors is grossly unjust. Only an unjust and a heartless God would punish an innocent child for the sins that he/she didn’t commit.

            The Bible, on the contrary, teaches that God is loving and merciful, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103: 8, NIV et al.). The God of the Bible is also a God who loves both the good and evil for HE, “…causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5: 45, NIV).

            If God loves both the evil and the good, HE would not punish the innocent for the sins they did not commit. In fact, the Bible posits a just God within the context of generational curses, “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18: 20, NASB).

            The context of Ezekiel 18: 20, found in Ezekiel 18: 2, is “generational curse.” God, in this chapter, clearly states that the children will not suffer because of the sins of parents, “What do you people mean by going around the country repeating the saying, The parents ate green apples, The children got the stomachache? “As sure as I’m the living God, you’re not going to repeat this saying in Israel any longer. Every soul—man, woman, child—belongs to me, parent and child alike. You die for your own sin, not another’s”” (Ezekiel 18: 1-4, MSG). Thereby, God demolishes any notion of generational curses.

            In face of an explicit assertion that the person who sins will only die and not the child who does not practice the sins of the father, we confidently claim that generational curses does not exist in the lives of God’s people. Therefore, it is clear and concrete that if the child does not commit the sins of the parent, then the child remains unaffected by the sins of the parent.

            But this is not it. We need to explain the verses that indicate generational curses. Christian theologians have already explained it rather reasonably. If a parent is a chronic liar it’s more likely possible that the child would resort to lying. If a parent is an alcoholic, then it’s more likely that the child could also be an alcoholic.

            But that’s not it. When children consciously repeat the sinful practices of the parent, it is imperative to note that the child who sins, sins on his/her own accord.

            However, when parents’ sins are consciously repeated by the children, do we say that generational curses are active? In other words, can we invoke generational curses when the children commit the sins of the parent?

            Before we proceed further we need to bring a certain distinction into picture. Within our context, let’s analyze the state of a Christian family and not a non-Christian family.

            Being born into a Christian home does not imply that the child is a Christian. The child does not become a Christian because the parents are Christians. The child becomes a Christian when he/she consciously repents of sins and believes only in the Lord Jesus as God and Savior.

            Therefore, when a person believes in the Lord Jesus, every curse, including the generational curse, is broken. The generational curse that every person suffers from is the curse of sin that is communicated down the generations.

            The Bible teaches us that the generational curse of sin is broken when a person believes in the Lord Jesus, “You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone….. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides? Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right…” (Romans 5: 12-19, MSG).

            Thus we are simply left with this – the person who sins shall die (from an eternal perspective) provided he/she does not believe in the Lord Jesus. If he/she believes in the Lord Jesus, then they will live, and live eternally.

            Can we appeal to generational curses when children commit the sins of the parent? While we ask this question, we also need to examine if there are children in the non-Christian households who do not commit the sins of the parent.

            Presence of children who do not commit the sins of their parents among the non-Christian households is an indication that generational curses are virtually non-existent.

            Consider this argument in a theoretical sense, if generational curses are valid, then shouldn’t it first affect the non-Christian households for the simple fact that they do not believe in the Lord Jesus? But if there are instances where non-Christians households are not affected by generational curses, then is it not utterly ridiculous that the God of the Bible would punish HIS children, the Christians, despite their belief in HIM?  

            Can we appeal to generational curses when families are plagued by genetically heritable diseases such as diabetes (type 2), certain heart diseases, Early-onset Familial Alzheimer Disease (eFAD) etc? Not at all, for verses such as Ephesians 1: 3 (Christians are blessed with every spiritual blessing), Colossians 1: 13, 1 John 5: 18 teach that those who believe in Christ have been delivered from darkness and satan cannot harm them.

            If you think about it, generational curses can be deviously used to wriggle out of many an unpleasant situation. For instance, if we want to get out of a particular relationship, and if we find a particular disease lingering in that family for generations, we could simply cite our unwillingness to be a part of that family that is plagued by generational curse (disease), and wriggle out of that relationship. Generational curses then seems to be a legitimate Christian means to abandon relationships. But this is a deceitful act even by the corrupt standards of this world, let alone the high moral standards defined by the Bible.

            So to conclude, the Bible does not provide me with reasons to believe in generational curses. Hence the notion of generational curses is utterly invalid, and those who proclaim it are merely revealing their biblical misunderstandings. Amen. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Science Confirms Life After Death; Should Christians / Theists Rejoice?

               A few days ago, on 7th October 2014, “The Telegraph” reported an intriguing study in afterlife (life after death), “… scientists at the University of Southampton have spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria. And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted. One man even recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room. Despite being unconscious and ‘dead’ for three minutes, the 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of the machines...”1 Apparently experts agree that this study concurs with the emerging thoughts in resuscitation medicine about death and its reversal.

            Also recently, a team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische Universität of Berlin claimed that they have proven existence of life after death. 2 Therefore, studies into afterlife are not a recent phenomenon; much has been discussed and debated.

            There is widespread unbelief in God and afterlife among a vast majority of scientists.  Astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross offers an intriguing insight into the reason behind scientists’ unbelief in afterlife. 3  

            He reckons that 45% of scientists believe in God and afterlife, and offers a distinction between scientists belonging to life sciences and physical sciences. While the percentage of unbelief in God and afterlife is a miserable 5-10% among life-scientists, a vast majority of physical scientists believe in God and afterlife.

            There exists a huge disparity in the numbers of life scientists (3 million) and physical scientists (e.g. 12, 000 research astronomers). A vast majority of 12,000 research astronomers (physical scientists) in this world, who believe in God and afterlife, pale in comparison to the vast majority of the 3 million research biologists (life scientists), who do not believe in God and afterlife.

            Dr. Hugh Ross also provides a fascinating reasoning to the unbelief of the life scientists. The life scientists study the day-seven of creation (the day God rested from creation, which extends to the present day) whereas the physical scientists study the first six days of creation (the data of the past).

            This is an excerpt of his reasoning, ““On the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (Gen 2:2, NIV). God’s rest on the seventh day carries great theological significance (e.g. establishing the Sabbath), but it also helps clarify the nature of the creation days. The author of Genesis closes each of the first six days with an "evening and morning" but not the seventh day. Passages such as Psalm 95 and Hebrews 4 declare that we all have an opportunity to enter God’s rest, implying that the seventh day extends to the present time. Long creation days integrate well with evidence from creation. During the first six days of creation, as Psalm 104 explains, God created animals, caused them to go extinct and then created new animals. On the seventh day God ceased His creation of new animals, and today, the day of rest, we see evidence only of variation and extinction.”4

            Why do I mention the fact of unbelief of the vast majority of scientists in afterlife? It’s because one can expect a series of rebuttals (sense or nonsense notwithstanding) to the recent affirmation of afterlife by science. 

            So the question we ask is if we, as Christians or theists, should rejoice when science affirms the biblical truth of afterlife (heaven and hell).

            Christians have often appealed to modern science to corroborate biblical truth, and in our context - the afterlife. Dinesh D’Souza, the author of Life After Death: The Evidence, posits the evidence of afterlife through String Theory.5 He says, “…revolutionary discoveries in the past 25 years suggest that there is dark matter and dark energy that make up 95 percent of all the matter in the universe. All materialist generalizations about matter are immediately rendered partial, because how can you claim to know something if you've seen only 5 percent of it?

            Scientists now posit through string theory the presence of multiple realms, multiple dimensions. One of the implications of the big bang is that space and time had a beginning, and that space and time are properties of our universe. If that's true, then outside our universe or beyond our universe, there would be different laws of space and time, or no space and no time.

            The idea that our universe may not be the only one and that there may be other universes operating according to different laws is now coming into the mainstream of modern physics. So the Christian concept of eternity, which is God outside of space and time, is rendered completely intelligible. It opens up possibilities that would have seemed far-fetched even for science fiction a century ago.”

            Most surely there is no problem whatsoever in appealing to science to corroborate biblical truths. Although we respect and appreciate science for all its developments, science does not and cannot arbitrate theological truths for the simple fact that science is not omniscient.6

            Let alone theology, science does not even offer an adequate explanation to the everyday aspects of life. Do we eat butter or not? 7 Science is yet to offer a decisive conclusion. We do not reliably know what actually happened to the 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard Malaysian airlines MH370 that virtually disappeared into thin air. All that science offered us was a speculation based on a possible satellite communication that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

            Alongside science, yet another element cannot arbitrate theological truths. When we consider contemporary Christianity, we necessarily have to include the gross heresies of Christian cults, liberals and postmoderns. Some heresies of these so-called progressive thinkers, who in actuality redefine biblical truths maliciously to suit their personal preferences, preclude the possibility of heaven and hell. Hence, when we consider contemporary Christianity, these heretics exclude themselves from the historic Christian comprehension of afterlife that most definitely includes literal, physical and eternal realms of heaven and hell.

            The historic Christian doctrine of afterlife is aptly summarized by Dr. William Lane Craig, “When a person dies, his body lies in the grave until the return of Christ. The souls of those who belong to Christ are drawn into a closer, more intimate fellowship with Him in this disembodied state. We really don’t know what this disembodied existence is like. It’s possible that souls in this disembodied condition project mental images of each other and themselves as bodily, so that they can relate to one another. The souls of unbelievers, by contrast, enter into a state of conscious torment and separation from God which is called Hades. When Christ returns, He will bring with Him the souls of the departed believers, and their remains will then be raised from the dead and transformed into glorious, powerful, resurrection bodies, and their souls will be reunited with their bodies. After appearing before the judgment seat of Christ for rewards, they will then be ushered into the new heavens and the new earth. Unbelievers will also be raised from the dead and reunited with their bodies, and then after being judged by God, they will be cast into hell.” 8

            Simple aided reasoning reasonably establishes the existence of afterlife:

            1. God should be and is an uncaused maximally great being.

            2. So God should live transcendentally outside space-time coordinates and immanently [within us]. In other words, God is an eternal being.

            3. Because God is a maximally great eternal being, by sheer entailment, HE should create human beings, know us before our birth, and sustain our existence.

            4. God then should not only sustain our existence in this temporal world, but should provide a means of a continued or an eternal existence post our temporal existence in this world. Provision of an eternal existence is the most logical sequence to a temporal existence, which perfectly completes the purpose of creation. (The doctrine of Annihilationism posits a horrendous blemish in divine creation.)

            5. Therefore afterlife - an eternal life with God in heaven or without God in hell - is indeed reasonable.  

            Christians subscribing to and assimilating the doctrinal comprehensions of Historic Christianity celebrate God’s revelation through HIS eternal Word – The Bible. Affirmation or denial of biblical truths by science and the liberal and postmodern cults, which maybe heartwarming or heartrending, should not play a definitive role in a Christian’s life.

            It does not matter if a vast majority of the scientists do not believe in afterlife. It really does not matter when cultic, liberal and postmodern Christians maliciously redefine the Bible to deny the presence of heaven or hell or even posit universalism. All that should matter to us is God’s revelation to us through the Bible, and God’s establishment of his revelation through the promptings of HIS precious Holy Spirit. 

            Having said this, a Christian lives by faith while [divinely] aided-reason and science merely complements his faith. The Bible univocally calls for faith in a Christian, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith (Romans 1: 16-17, NASB, Emphasis Mine).

            Let nothing come between God and us – neither science nor anything. While we praise God for science and scientists, we do not allow science to dictate our faith in God. There is life after death. Amen.


1 &



4 &





Monday, October 6, 2014

Christian Or Indian? (Is My Religion More Important Than My Nationality?)

             Which is of a greater importance – a person’s nationality or his religious identity? Some may wonder if this is even a topic worth discussing, because superficially, a tension between nationality and religious identity seems ludicrous. But situations could arise where a choice would have to be made between the two, or when the one would suffer more than the other.

            The nationality-religious identity tension from the perspective of religious oppression is a good case in point for a situation where religious identity suffers more than nationality. In some countries there is a quantitative asymmetry between religions. When a particular religion commands an 80%++ majority the other religions are relegated to a measly minority status.

            In such religious asymmetry, the majority religious group stands poised to extract maximum mileage of this dynamic, at times, at the cost of minority religious group(s). Non-existence of Christian church in some countries is a good example of religious oppression.  

            In these situations, the nationality-religious identity tension raises its ugly hood, where a citizen remains utterly impoverished to exercise his freedom of religious identity. In other words, when a nation subjugates its citizen’s religious freedom, the nationality-religious identity tension reveals itself to be alive and unmistakably real.  

            The much acclaimed movie, Chariots of Fire, divulged another facet of this nationality-religious identity tension. In this instance, the individual should choose either his sense of nationality or his religious identity. In Chariots of Fire, the devout Christian, Eric Liddell, refuses to represent his country at the 1924 Olympics on a Sunday. His Christian convictions motivated his decision to not run on Sunday. Eric Liddell chose to be a Christian than being Scottish. Variations of this facet are found in real life, so it is not limited to movies.

            Of course, there are other dynamics to the nationality-religious identity theme. For instance, Judaism is considered to be a religion, nationality and a culture. Even within this context, it is Judaism the religion that binds the Jews as a nation and forms the crux of Jewish culture. Therefore, religion assumes preeminence in this context.  

            Therefore the question ‘is my religion more important than my nationality?’ remains pertinent and worthy of discussion.

            Some claim that nationality is always of a greater importance than one’s religion. To refute this line of reasoning, we need to exhibit valid instances where nationality assumes lower priority to anything other than religion. If such a valid instance is showcased, then the claim that nationality should always gain preeminence over religion cannot be absolutely sustained.

            Take sports for example; at the recently concluded FIBA basketball world cup or the Asian Games, some superstars were missing. The superstars were missing [not because of injures] but because they obviously had something better to do than represent their country at these games. So the pride and joy of playing for their nation was a mere second to that which motivated them to miss out on representing their country at these games.

            Then there are the NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) - those who pursue their vocation outside their nation’s shores. Within the NRI community, there are those who [mostly] invest and spend their money in their motherland and there are those who have nothing to do with their motherland. The latter group, by virtue of their total disconnect with their motherland, abandon their nationality to a greener pasture.

            So there are unmistakable precedents where people abandon their national pride to that which is either more lucrative or critical. More importantly, we should never lose cognizance of the fact that these people groups (elite-athletes and NRI’s), who abandon their nationality to something else are those that are normatively glorified.

            So we infer that people do abandon their nationality to a more competitive, or vital aspect of life, other than religion. Therefore, the line of reasoning that nationality should always gain preeminence over one’s religion is futile and unsustainable.

            Theists believe that God created them and that their nationality, by virtue of their creation, is not a random occurrence, but ordained by God. If the omniscient God has ordained each of us to our respective nations, then our nationality, by default, remains subordinate to divine providence. Therefore, religion should dominate one’s nationality, and not the other way around.

            But the buck does not stop here. The nature of religious dominance should at least be superficially scrutinized.

            The sovereign God determines nations (Genesis 35: 11; 2 Chronicles 7: 14; Psalm 33: 12; Isaiah 60: 12; Amos 6: 14; Zephaniah 3: 8). Because the sovereign God determines nations, HIS people should be rightfully aligned with their respective nations and not, in any way, be detrimental to their nation.

            A person who claims to be rightfully aligned with God should be a constructive agent in his nation. This then is the most appropriate application of an individual’s worship of the sovereign God.

            There could be situations where nations may rebel against God. Once again let me invoke religious oppression into this context.

            An individual should never be constrained to not worship his maker. But if the nation plays this unholy card of preventing its citizens from worshipping their maker, then man does posses an innate and a divine right to pursue his worship. If and when the nation rebels against God, man’s utmost loyalty should be with God.

            Daniel is a classic case in point in this context. Please read Daniel 6: 6-13, “Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: “King Darius, live forever! All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, “Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?” The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Then they answered and spoke before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day…”” (NASB, Emphasis Mine).

            In such situations, when man chooses to be loyal to God, there could be adverse repercussions. But these adversities cannot deter man from his loyalty to God.

            God would deliver HIS people from adversities but in other situations God would allow HIS people to be martyred. Whatever be the case, man should speak the same words as that was spoken by three young worshippers of the living God thousands of years ago when they chose to be loyal to their God than the ruler of the nation, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up…” (Daniel 3: 16-18, NASB, Emphasis Mine).

            Therefore the answer to the question ‘is my religion more important than my nationality?’ is a very simple YES. It is God who creates man and places him in a particular nation.  It is the sovereign God who determines and rules over all nations. Therefore, God is over and above man and nations.

            Hence, it is only mandatory that man professes his allegiance to God than the nation. But a man who worships God would not act in a manner detrimental towards his nation, unless the nation rebels against God, forcing the man to choose God over his nation. Amen.