“Our Citizenship is in Heaven”
The central issue is one of loyalty. We do not fight for the kingdoms of this world because they are not our homeland. We are born in various societies and countries, and do have some of the privileges and responsibilities which rest upon citizens of those countries, but this is not our pre-eminent citizenship. It is our citizenship of another country – Christ’s Kingdom – which dictates that we cannot fight in the armed forces of the present, as well as the loyalty we have to the commandments of Christ. “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour.” (Philip. 3:20). Our stand is part of the same issue as that which dictates that we do not vote, or take part in the politics of this world. The question of whether we should take part in civil defence, trade unions and jury service also revolve around this issue of citizenship.
Some Judges who presided over Second World War tribunals understood the logic of this position. Judge Withered was reported to have had great respect for Christadelphians, and others who believed in the second coming, for “none of them claimed total right of British Citizenship.” At the same time, he and others looked for consistency in applying this principle in the lives of those who came before them for judgement. The need for this consistency is a constant theme. These comments are to remind a new generation of the stand that has been taken by the Brotherhood over the past 150 years, as an Ecclesia may need reminders in the present day.
Bro Charles Daka (Mufulira, Zambia)