The Home of the Brave

The day Saul of Tarsus became a Christian he became a homeless man. Up till then he had enjoyed a privileged cultural status. A “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5) whose star was rising in the Pharisee party, Saul lived at the center of Jewish religious and political life in the holiest city on earth. His future looked bright.

Then Jesus blinded him with a brighter light and all that privilege got dumped on the side of the Damascus road.

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." (Philippians 3:7–8)

Saul knew immediately what gaining Christ would cost him in Jewish Palestine. He had exacted that price from other Christians. He also knew that pagan Rome, which had recently killed his new Lord, would certainly not be more accommodating. The day Saul became a citizen in heaven (Philippians 3:20) he became homeless on earth. And Saul’s homelessness has proven to be one of the greatest gifts the world has received.

Becoming Homeless in America

Every true Christian is homeless on earth. All the New Testament writers make this clear. But many Christians living in America have found this reality hard to comprehend. America has essentially considered itself Christian, so Christians have felt at home here.

Of course, America was never officially Christian. What’s made America Christian is that Christian assumptions and values have dominated the culture simply due to broad religious consensus.

With most Americans calling themselves Christian for most of American history, the Christian worldview naturally shaped American culture. Americans have vigorously, and sometimes violently, disputed over politics, ethics, and, yes, religion. But they’ve done so largely within a Christian worldview.

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