Civic Duty on Earth and Citizenship in Heaven

Washington on citizenship and duty

It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it. George Washington.


Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Mark 12:17.)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … . (Philippians 3:20.)


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6 Responses to Civic Duty on Earth and Citizenship in Heaven

  1. Laura Droege says:

    Fascinating parallel between our civic duty in our dual citizenship.

    One thing occurred to me as I read the Washington quote and thought about defending America: what does it mean to owe a proportion of my “personal services” in “defense of it” when I’m not in the armed forces? Do I need to broaden my idea of defending America from actual military defense to something else (and what would that be)?

    And what does it mean to defend a country when one disagrees with the means of defense? (I’m thinking of Quakers and others who conscientiously object to war but love their country, too.)

    Forgive my fuzzy brain. I need some caffeine!

    • Tim says:

      When I think of national defense for those not in the military, I am reminded of WW2 and the rationing that went on. People gave up much in order to support the war effort. As for conscientious objectors and those who cannot engage in armed conflict or support of it, there are still ways to show love of country, such as engaging in civic efforts to make this a country worth fighting for.

      • Laura Droege says:

        Thanks for the reply, Tim. Recently, I was telling my daughters about the WW2 efforts of the women; my older daughter wants to dress up as “Rosie the Riveter” for decade day during homecoming week. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this when I read the Washington quote. Maybe one way we can support the national defense is to care for those who have returned from war and are struggling with their mental health, finances, or in their relationships with their spouse or children; supporting military families can be another way to help. Babysitting for a parent when the other parent is deployed would probably be appreciated. I’m sure there are dozens (hundreds!) of things I’ll think of now that I’m caffeinated.

  2. Jeannie says:

    I really like the ideas expressed here and in the comments; it’s something I’d certainly never given much thought to before. Tim, I appreciate your point that even if we don’t support armed conflict because of personal convictions, we can do our part to make our country worth fighting for. I also like the ideas Laura has shared about supporting those who are in the military in practical ways.

    • Tim says:

      Have you read C.S. Lewis’ sermon on education in wartime? He explains why it’s important to pursue things like higher education while the battle is raging.
      Learning in Wartime

      • Jeannie says:

        Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve read it but I do remember his point that if it’s not a good time to study literature during wartime, then it’s never a good time to study literature. Thanks for that link.

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