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I pledge allegiance... or do I?

I recall citing the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school at the beginning of the day. I can't recall exactly when we stopped doing it, though. I am certain that I was in elementary school when the cease took place but the exact time alludes me.

Over the years since, I have heard many discussions concerning the Pledge and many opinions stated about how we were better off as a nation when we did it. Many people talk about how different our youth are today and speculate that the lack of citing the Pledge has much to do with these changes.  I don't know how many times I've seen something on Facebook about it, but certainly enough.

I saw a meme shared on Facebook today that asked the viewer whether school children should be made to cite the pledge.  It then instructs to 'Like' it for a 'yes' or comment on the photo for a 'no'.  At the time I viewed it, there was more than 600,000 'Like's and just over 20,000 comments.  I skimmed some of the comments quickly and saw that many of those were in fact affirmations from people who clearly don't follow instructions very well.

So, with the majority of people vocalizing their agreement that children should be made to cite the Pledge of Allegiance, the following may not be too popular.  But, that's alright.  Popularity is highly over-rated, I assure you.

I've never been against pledging my allegiance to the flag before.  However, I also grew up doing it and never gave much thought to what it was that I was being directed to do.  When I did give thought to what the Pledge is and what it means, I actually objected to it.  Do let me explain.

My allegiance is to my Lord and when asked about taxes and thus allegiance, Jesus responded with the answer to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's (Matthew 22:21).  He was referencing to give the money to Caesar since Caesar's image was on the coins.  Without spelling it all out for them, Jesus was also implying that we, as the image bearers of God, are to give ourselves to Him (Genesis 1:27).

Jesus spoke tirelessly of the Kingdom of God.  That is where my allegiance lies.  I cannot give my allegiance to any single earthly nation as this would be in direct conflict with and forsaking my allegiance with the Kingdom of God.  Suppose the U.S. went to war with another country, a country in which Christians lived and were threatened by such war.  How could I pledge allegiance to the U.S. without forsaking the principles of the Kingdom of God?  Now, we can stop supposing.  Because the U.S. has already provided weapons to be used against Christians in many places and continues to do so.

Now, I love my neighbors.  And, I am blessed to have been born here in the United States.  I pay my taxes.  I obey the laws.  I am thankful for all the brave people throughout the centuries who have fought for the life and freedom that I enjoy.  But, they didn't do these things so that I would give my allegiance to them or any other group of people.  They did these things so that I could choose to give my allegiance to God and thus be used and empowered by Him to help my fellow man.

We were never promised by either God or our government that the laws of our land would line up with the laws of God.  Quite the opposite, the early church found themselves imprisoned much of the time for breaking the law of the land in order to spread the good news of the Gospel.  I will give to the U.S.A. what is the U.S.A.'s but it didn't create me and therefore has no ultimate authority over me to require my allegiance.


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