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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Political Neutrality in Practice: The Pledge of Allegiance

Political neutrality is a negative position (in the sense of negating, not critical) taken towards governments and politics by Christians in which we...

1. do not lobby government, 
2. vote for, endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms;  
hold government office, 
participate in any action to change governments; 
3. allow our meeting places or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes, 
direct other Christians as to which candidate or party they should votes for; 
4. or attempt to direct or dictate government leaders or elections*. 

This position has several practical applications, which will be the subject of forthcoming blog posts. 

This first post deals with the Pledge of Allegiance and eight reasons why Christians should not say it:

Firstly, the Pledge of Allegiance for Christians--called strangers and foreigners to the world and it ways, and citizens of heaven (Eph. 2:19; 1 Pet. 2:11; Philip. 3:11)--confuses the relationship of Kingdom citizens to the worldly kingdoms in which they reside. 

It's as backward as a visiting South Korean pledging allegiance to the flag of North Korea on a diplomatic trip or a traveling Israeli to the flag of Palestine during a stop in East Jerusalem. 

Our true and lasting citizenship resides in God's Kingdom which is principally opposed to the Kingdoms of the world. 

Secondly, the POA is for us a redundancy because by virtue of our allegiance to Christ and his Kingdom, we promise to act in a God-honoring way toward our nations (Romans 13:1-7).

Thirdly, the POA is nationalistic while God's Kingdom is anti-nationalist. 

Our primary loyalty is to our brothers and sisters (Eph 3:28; Gal. 6:10), who reside around the world, not to "the republic." 

Fourthly, the phrase "under God" is a lie. 

Our nation is not "under God" in any meaningful sense. 

We do not consider God in our laws, in our decision making, or in any of the essential or non-essential functions our our republic. 

Being "under God", but not acknowledging God is like saying "Lord, Lord", but not doing what the Lord says.

Fifthly, the phrase "under God" is idolatrous. 

The Supreme Court has only allowed the such phrases found in our money, pledges, anthems, etc. because it is empty of religious meaning, instead representing "ceremonial deism", much less any reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Jesus.

Sixth, the phrase "with liberty and justice for all" is a lie. 

Those words in the POA saw the worst of this nation's post-slavery treatment of blacks, as well as the oppression of other racial and sexual minorities. 

Furthermore, as long as abortion remains legal, this phrase is a trite nothing.

Seventh, pledging allegiance to the flag contradicts the biblical teaching against making oaths/swearing (Matt. 5:34-37; Jas 5;12) because a pledge is an oath of allegiance to the country.

Eighth the earliest Christians refused to swear any oaths at all until this tradition was completely reversed with the Constantine Corruption of the Church. 

Surely, more reasons exist for why we should not pledge our allegiance to the flag or to the republic for which it stands, but find other biblically appropriate ways of honoring our country,  

*(This definition is a modified form of this stance taken by the LDS and JW fellowships).