Zeal for Country or Zeal for Christ: You Pick

One of Christ’s disciples is Simon Zelotes. “Zelotes” is not his last name. It’s a designation that Simon was a Zealot.

The Zealots were a branch of Jews that were, well, zealous. They were zealous about two things:

  1. Hyper-conformity to Jewish law
  2. Hyper-hatred of Roman oppression

Zealots were sometimes referred to as The Sicarii. A sicae was a kind of sword that they hid under their cloaks to bring out and surprise attack Jews who weren’t being Jewish enough and perhaps a roaming Roman.

Zealots were greatly distressed by the Roman gymnasium and the theater. They thought these were horrible influences on Jewish culture and violations of God’s law.

They rebelled against Roman rule and hoped to overthrow the Roman government. They felt any means justified the end, as long as “the end” was Roman defeat. This didn’t work. They were the main branch of Jews who inspired Rome to destroy Jerusalem in 70ad.

Many modern American Christians have much in common with the Jewish Zealots under the Roman Empire.

Many American Christians view their country as being stolen by immoral people. Many weep and howl against the influences of Hollywood and the “liberal media.” Many are moved with anger, often demonstrated by hostility. Although most are not carrying swords, nor killing anyone yet, I can see it being justified soon. The supposed love for Christianity is expressed by hatred toward its perceived enemies. Anger has become a virtue.

Here’s the amazing thing about Simon the Zealot. While being all hot and bothered about Rome, Simon met Christ. Simon followed Christ and never returned to fighting.

Perhaps when Jesus said, “If my kingdom were of this world, then would my disciples fight,” He had Simon the Zealot in mind. Simon put down his sword and followed Christ.

However worked up you may be about your poor America being taken from you, you are in no way more moved than a Zealot. Yet Simon the Zealot left it for Christ.

I encourage you to let go of America. There is nothing on this planet worth more than Christ. Sell all you have to get the pearl of great price. America is not that pearl.

If you must be zealous, than be biblically zealous:

be zealous of good works
be zealous of spiritual gifts
be zealous to repent
be zealous of God’s house
be zealous to give money to suffering Christians


2 thoughts on “Zeal for Country or Zeal for Christ: You Pick”

  1. >Although most are not carrying swords, nor killing anyone yet,

    I seem to remember a couple of abortion doctors being killed by some Christian zealots a few years back.

  2. A very astute observation about a seemingly ever increasing problem.

    “Zeal for country” tends to stir up anger and increasing frustration.
    It tends to make us overlook the obvious, that sinful secular nations are built upon sinful secular foundations.

    It’s not our responsibility to change nations and to make nations righteous. The believer’s responsibility is to encourage individual citizens of sinful secular nations to migrate to God’s Kingdom of righteousness and justice.

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