Pledge of Allegiance

I saw where some have said we should not pledge allegiance to this nation, or its flag, or stand for the national anthem. The idea is that somehow there is no way this country could be under God, but instead is of the devil.  I thought I would address this.

1) No where in the Bible is a country equated to the devil.

2) Every country is established by God, so the idea of this nation being under God is just saying God is in control – even if the leaders deny Christ
Romans 13:1
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Acts 17:26-27
26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

3) If God provides government, should Christians not be loyal to it? Peter commended us to submit to the government:
1 Peter 2:13-14
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

4) When asked whether to pay a tax to the government, Jesus said to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s.

Mark 12:13-17

13 Then they *sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They *came and *said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

Paul said essentially the same thing  – this means to meet your responsibility to the government.

Romans 13:1-7

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

5) Part of our responsibility is to be loyal to this country (although not to the exclusion of our loyalty to our family or Christ). This is exemplified through a promise of allegiance, the showing of respect for the country by standing at attention and singing the national anthem.

6) Some have asked about pledges. A pledge is not quite the same thing as an oath, as we see in Numbers 30:2
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

In context, we are not to make to an oath by God or by ourselves. This does not mean to promise something, such as swearing allegiance to the country, but to make your yes mean yes – ALWAYS. Not to have to have to say “yes, I promise” when it should be good enough to say “yes”. Or instead of having to say something like “No, I swear on my mother’s grave”, we should say, “no”.

Matthew 5:33-37
33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

7) Of course, this does not say this country is perfect. It is not, And neither does this say we are not to fight against injustice. We are to not be friends of the world (James 4:1-5). This does not mean to not be involved in the world, but to not covet and not be focused on our own pleasures. We are to escape the corruption of the world (2 Peter 2:20). This means we are to be pure in our hearts, holy, not that we are to avoid the world. We are not to love the world or anything in it (1 John 2:15), but this does not mean we are to not stop injustice or not help people in need. We are to be aliens and strangers in the world and abstain from evil desires (1 Peter 2:10-12), as if we are strangers to the world and dont know about the allures to be enticed. This does not mean to ignore injustice or hurting people – in fact we are to be ready to do what ever is good (Titus 3:1). We are to not be conformed to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). This does not mean we are to ignore injustice and not work to stop institutionalized injustice; it means we are to become more Christ-like in our inner selves and this should be reflected in our outter selves.

So we should feel free to say a promise of allegiance to this nation, as the nation was created by God, and its leaders are there because of God, and we should give to the government what it is due – this includes a pledge of allegiance or the respect of standing at attention and singing the national anthem.


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