Friday, March 14, 2008

Pledge of Allegiance

Today, I received an e-mail from someone who I will leave nameless about the importance of the pledge of allegiance. It had a story by John McCain from when he was a prisoner of war. It was a nice story.

I wrestle with the idea of "pledging allegiance" to a country. I try to be patriotic. I am thankful that I live in the USA. In many ways, our nation has been blessed by God.

We are not a Christian nation.
We have never been a Christian nation.

As a follower of Jesus, I pledge my allegiance to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I will be committed to my country except when that commitment is in opposition to the higher authority of Jesus Christ. My allegiance is first and foremost to Jesus.

I think that to often in American Christianity, we have confused allegiance to country with allegiance to the KING. As a result, we often follow the empire of freedom, democracy, individualism, hedonism, and materialism. We need to follow the path that leads to suffering, self denial, loving your neighbor as yourself, and taking up your cross daily.

I relate to those in chapter 11 of Hebrews. In verses 13-16 they are described as:
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive
the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And
they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on
. People who say such things show that they are looking for a
country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left,
they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they
were longing for a better country
—a heavenly one. Therefore God is
not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

As a Christian, do you ever feel this kingdoms in conflict tension? How do you feel about pledging allegiance to America?


Westy said...

We are not a Christian nation.
We have never been a Christian nation.

Expand on this bit my good sir. You don't think the founders when asked would have said they were starting a 'Christian' nation?

Would it be wrong to have a 'Christian' nation?

KG said...

I will start with your second question. I don't think that it would be wrong to have a Christian nation, in fact I plan on living in one someday when Jesus comes back. Before then, it will be very hard to have a Christian nation.
I also think that the church is meant to be a Christian "nation" without borders. Our nation is based on being citizens of God's kingdom and our fellow citizens are from every race, tribe, and tongue.

The first question is much more difficult to me. Some of the founders may have believed they were starting a "Christian" nation. I would definately think that not all did since not all of the founders even claimed Christianity. I feel that the founders wanted "religious freedom" and the seperation of church and state. My understanding of this is that the state would not dictate religion on the people as many of them were getting away from in England.
So I guess that my answer would be no. I don't think that the founders believed that they were starting a Christian nation.

What do you think Westy?

Ryan said...

Greg Boyd, Shane Claiborne, and Chuck Colson had a great discussion on this very topic. Check it out at

I believe that our sole allegiance is to God and God alone. We are certainly commanded to respect those in authority over us, just as Jesus did. But we are not commanded to give them allegiance.

Ask yourself...Who do you call Lord?

thowald said...

Great blog Kevin. I have many times debated the same sentiment with Believers who have equated American Christianity with true Christianity.I believe that many Americans who are believers in Jesus Christ often are sucked into the belief that American patriotism goes hand in hand with Christianity. As a result I believe that patriotism is becoming an idol. Don't Get me wrong I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy here in America but when all is said and done I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.