There is an intense debate over at Preacher Mike about the Pledge of Allegiance. Here was my final comment. I'd love to hear some comments.
When Jesus said, “give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s” he was addressing this very issue. Yes, the context was paying taxes, but the meaning of the statement runs deeper than taxes. I don’t think anyone here is saying not to love America. I think the question is how to love America.
Maybe allegiance needs a little “a” in reference to America (or whichever counrty) and a capital “A” in reference to God. Or maybe the pledge of allegiance is due for an overhaul.
“I pledge my support to the United States of America in the good she does for her people and those around the world. I support her ideals of liberty and justice for all people. I pledge to support her when she is right and confront her when she is wrong. I promise my support to the extent that she is a blessing to her own people and to the world.”
OK, that was off the top of my head and it is actually pretty lame, but what a statement like this does is build in some limits and eliminate blind faith in a government. I think we all agree that we want to support what is good about America and diminish what is bad about America. I know that we will not ever all agree on what is good or bad, but maybe it is more honest assessment of allegiance.
God loves America and Christians should follow God’s lead. God also loves Iran, and Christians should follow that lead. In fact, I would wager to say that God has pledged His allegiance to loving America - and Iran and whatever other country. “For God so loved the world…” With that kind of love, with that kind of allegiance to love, God’ is boundless and transcendent. God’s allegiance is to loving the world, nations, and people, but His allegiacne is not to obey them.
God is in the world, but not of the world. God is America, but not of America. God is in me, but not of me. The difference is huge. God only submits to the world in ways that satisfy his incarnational mission to redeem the world, which means he never loses his transcendence. He is not contained within anything. We must strive to be incarnational Christians on a mission to redeem this world we love, this nations we love, and people we love.