The following is an except from a book entitled “Insurgence” by Frank Viola:
Death to All Other Allegiances ● ● ●
“If you were living in Century One and you were baptized, this is what you were saying through that dramatic act: I am a male. [I am a female.] I’m a citizen of [your country]. I am addicted to this or that. But here I am. I’m about to die. And the person I am now will cease to exist. It is not that I’m going to change and give up my associations. It’s that the man [the woman] that I am is going to die.
You were also saying,
I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. I believe He died for my sins and rose again from the dead. I believe He ascended into heaven, and He is now the Lord of the world. So I’m finished with the old world. Take me out to the graveyard and bury me. All of my allegiances will be buried with me, and I will rise out of the water as part of a new creation, a new nation, a new kingdom where Jesus is King.
Once you emerged out of that watery grace, you came up a new creature who didn’t belong to the old creation. Out of the water emerged a citizen of the new people of God, a new nation called ekklesia— the physical and visible headquarters of the kingdom of heaven. Those who repented, believed, and were baptized in the name of Jesus in Century One belonged to a new world with a totally different set of values from the old world. Their life as they knew it had ended, and they were as those who had risen again from the dead to live for the new King of the world. Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. . . . Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (Romans 6: 3– 4, 13 NIV) The baptized person may still be involved in the political process, but politics no longer defines him. Nor does race or social status. She may still be involved in the educational system, but she’s no longer influenced by it. The baptized person no longer pays allegiance to any political or educational flag of this world. This is how the early Christians understood baptism.
It was a total and final ending. A burial. Their past was gone, forgiven, and forgotten. And they were now part of a new civilization headed up and led by almighty God Himself.*”
* I use the term “civilization” metaphorically. The word “tribe” describes it better. I’ll discuss this more later.
Viola, Frank (2018-06-05). Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom (Kindle Locations 2091-2092). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Viola, Frank (2018-06-05). Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom (Kindle Location 2091). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.