A pastor friend once tried to convince me to be one-dimensional.
He didn’t realize the implications of what he had said, of course. He thought it was both cool and theologically ultra-mature.
His argument was that I was “not actually a teacher”. Yeah, he said that like it was a good thing. Instead, I was an agent of the Kingdom of Heaven, “cleverly disguised as a teacher”. He was caught up in something of a James Bond-esque fantasy, and quite insistent to our Bible study that upon accepting Christ, the only thing we could ever be, eschewing all other forms of identity, was a secret agent for God.
There are a lot… a lot… of things wrong with that metaphor; after all, I am a teacher (even if only a lowly sub), and there is absolutely nothing secret about my membership and service to the Kingdom of Heaven, nor does it conflict with my oaths to secular government (I am not my wife’s husband; I am an agent of God cleverly disguised as the guy who vowed to cherish, protect, care, and encourage…?). None of this is mutually exclusive; heck, even Christ had that whole “Give unto Caesar” thing.
There are better metaphors out there, and there’s been one on my mind for a while, thanks to some serious repeat dipping into Matthew 5 through various sources.
Among other things, Jesus’s remarks in Matthew 5 make it very clear that being part of the Kingdom of Heaven does not make us secret agents.