The Fourth of July is a reminder of what a great country we live in. A country established by godly men who used the Bible for their reference in setting up our principles. One of our Sunday School teachers at church mentioned that he had found fifteen references to scripture in The Declaration of Independence.
I love all of that! I love how God was center stage in all that was done at the beginning of this great country. I am grateful for all the men and women who have fought and died for us to have this great country and especially so that we can have religious freedom.
We have a flag that represents our country.
In Bible times a banner (flag) was made for each Hebrew tribe. They gathered around these banners to know where their placement should be as they moved about. (See Numbers 2:2) They followed their tribal banner into war.
A great example of following a flag into war is in the movie The Patriot, when Mel Gibson takes an American flag from a man running away from the enemy and rallies the troops to follow him and the flag into battle. To not give up. That scene gives me chills when I watch it, and I see the power of something to rally behind.
The first American flag is thought to have been made by Betsy Ross around 1777. But, The Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t written until 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a socialist Baptist minister. It was written to help develop a sense of patriotism in young children and first published in the Youth’s Companion magazine.
The original words were:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Under President Eisenhower’s administration it was changed to say:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
For more information on the subject, follow this link. In this article the definitions of pledge and allegiance are as follows:
- Definition of Pledge: To offer or guarantee by a solemn binding promise, similar to an oath.
- Allegiance:  the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.  loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause or the like.
Matthew 5:33-37 says:
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time. Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is god’s throne; Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
James 5:12 says:
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
Mark 7:7 says:
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
Exodus 20:3-5 says:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”
After Jesus cast the moneychangers out of the temple, He said: “… It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:13
Here are my reasons for not saying the pledge:
- My loyalty and devotion belongs to Jesus Christ who died to save me.
- I believe the commandment that says we should have no other gods before us, including our nation. We should not bow down— swear allegiance to a piece of cloth ie. “I pledge allegiance to the flag”. (I think Satan has tricked many people into going against God in this.)
- I believe Matthew and James when they say we should not swear an oath. We can say yes or no, as in YES… I stand with America. And anything beyond that comes from evil— Matthew 5:37.
- I believe Mark when Jesus says we worship Him in vain when we teach for doctrine “the commandments of men”. The pledge is a commandment of men, brought into the church to take our focus of worship off of God and put it on a nation to create trouble for us by bowing down to something other than God in His own church.
- Jesus says His house is to be a house of prayer, not of moneychangers, pledge sayers, and worshipers of a nation over God.
- My husband is an ex-Marine. He says you cannot find a more patriotic and loyal group in America. And yet, the whole time he was enlisted, they never pledged to the flag.
We love our church and hold nothing against them, but on Sunday they had the congregation say The Pledge of Allegiance. My husband and I respectfully did not participate.
The Benham brothers once wrote in one of their books something to this effect—Jesus is not sitting on the right hand of God waving an American flag.
Jesus is for all of us. Not just the United States of America. But I have to wonder if He will be for us when we disobey Him, have other gods before Him, and we are not obedient to His word, instead following the traditions of men.
I am sure this will be a very controversial subject to a lot of people. If you have a kind comment and can show me from the Bible, where I may be wrong on this topic, I would welcome to hear from you:)
Interesting and thoughtful words, Jane. Thank you for being brave enough to stand, pledging your total allegiance only to Christ Jesus!
Thank you for your sweet comment, Stefanie.
Well Jane – for the first time you and I will have to differ on a topic. I believe the reading of those verses for the purposes you’ve stated are out of context and I guess the phrase that comes to mind is “blown out of proportion.” For most people, the pledge is a promise to show loyalty as good citizens of a country that defends our rights. Including the right to show disrespect and still remain a citizen. We, as people, pledge, or promise, many things, including loyalty to our spouse when we get married. You quote that the pledge of allegiance says we are a nation “under God.” There is no reading of those words that would make any reasonable reader believe the flag or our country is above God. Exodus 20 talks about placing things “before God.” The pledge does the opposite. The argument that the pledge violates the Ten Commandments is illogical. I also would disagree with your insinuation that by pledging allegiance to the flag (or my wife and family) that I have in your words, “…disobey[ed] Him, have other gods before Him, and we are not obedient to His word, instead following the traditions of men.” I submitted my marriage to God and I submit my life to Him (including my citizenship). He is above all of that. I suggest you have a look at this site that I believe is a more appropriate argument to your post topic. It has more information than needs to be written in a comment… https://www.gotquestions.org/pledge-of-allegiance.html Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for letting me share mine.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Tim. You have given others a different perspective. As adults, we don’t always have to agree.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jane. I’m so thankful we live in a country where we can express our opinions – and by the grace and ability God gives – be respectful if we disagree. I appreciate your faithfulness in posting each week.