Dual Citizenship

dual-citizenship

 All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him (Romans 8:14-17, Common English Bible).

There has been quite a lot in the news over the last decade or so about Presidential candidates citizenship status, where they were born and whether or not they could hold the office according to the Constitution.

First it was about President Obama, particularly during the election in his first term, but there have been rumblings of it over his entire time in office. Many people believed he was born in Africa and therefore couldn’t be President because he was not a natural-born citizen.

More recently it was in relationship to Ted Cruz and his run for the White House. In his case, people were arguing that he was born in Canada so he couldn’t be President either.

I knew at the time, with both, the assumptions were wrong. You can be President if you were either born in the United States or one of your parents is a United States citizen. People didn’t believe me. So, for this post I went and found some documentation. According to Harvard Law Review, “The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law  and enactments of the First Congress. Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase “natural born Citizen” includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent.”

No, this is not a political post. That isn’t my intent, not even close. Unlike the argument about the citizenship status of Presidential candidates, there is no argument about my citizenship and that of at least most of my followers.

I have a dual citizenship, and I don’t mean my status as a citizen of the United States. Because I am the child of earthly parents, I am a citizen of this world. At the same time, however, Paul informs us in Romans 8 above, that we have another parent and therefore, by the interpretations of “citizenship” by the Supreme Court, we can reach the logical assumption that we are also citizens of another land (I use that term very loosely). Paul says, “All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters.” And, “With this Spirit, we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children.”

Here, in a short passage, we see two explanations, that we are God’s children. There are other passages in Scripture that tell us the same. Most of us wouldn’t argue about our earthly parents. We might not see ourselves as a citizen of the world, but we would easily see ourselves as a citizen of a country, and there is a pretty good chance we would see it based on our parents’ citizenship.

Here, Paul is saying we have another parent, God, the Father. And, though we may have been born in this world, by God’s heavenly citizenship, we too are citizens of heaven. So yes, we hold dual citizenship. We are citizens of this world and we are citizens of the world to come.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2016, James “Keith” Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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