We are in the thick of a presidential election, or as I call it: open season for pointing fingers.
- The Democrats hate the Republicans and their self-serving interests. They see Republicans as those who just want to maintain the status quo as defined by the year 1955 and also be the biggest, baddest country ever.
- The Republicans hate the Democrats and their total lack of financial responsibility. They see Democrats as tree-hugging, do-whatever-you-feel-like bleeding hearts who just want everyone possible to have everything possible—and without anyone’s feelings getting hurt.
The only thing both sides share is a common chant. They shake a finger at the other side and yell, “Unlike them, we care about America.”
What shows you’re truly an American, a citizen who loves this country?
This same issue came up right after World War II. In the late 40s into the early 50s, accusations rang out about Communists in both Hollywood and the federal government. Admittedly, I am not really bothered that a Communist may or may not have written movies for W.C. Fields and Charlie Chan.
But communists working inside the federal government could cause major problems.
And it bothered President Truman. On March 22, 1947 Truman signed an executive order that came to be known as “The Loyalty Order.” The FBI was given reign to investigate all civilians in the government regarding their associations and any “derogatory information” about their loyalty to the United States. Are you an American—really? (Only about 300 government workers were dismissed as security risks by the time President Eisenhower revoked the order in 1953.)
Regardless of how you feel about the government’s queries into our lives, I still raise the question: what does an American—someone who truly loves this country—look like?
That’s important, but I have a more important question. What does a Christian—someone who truly loves Jesus Christ—look like?
You can talk all day about what you believe—and many of us do—but the proof is in the pudding. My commitment to—and love for Christ—will be evident in my life.
- “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
- “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:17).
I could add the need for faith, a correct understanding of who Jesus is, repentance, and … well, I invite you to add in the comments below a verse or two that you see as marks of a Christian. But all my orthodoxy and faith keep bringing me back to one central trait: love. A love for Christ expressed in my love for others. That’s the mark of a follower of Christ.
Let love be your loyalty check.