Should Christians Pledge Allegiance to the Flag?

Yes, Christians should pledge allegiance to the flag. However, we are not “pledging an allegiance to a flag.” The flag is the symbol for what the country represents. We are professing that our nation is under God’s sovereignty – “One nation under God.” [1954 (current version)] That is highly unique and worth professing any chance we get. The pledge of an allegiance to the flag is not Scripture, so it does not have to be an original thought to be worthy or true in its current form. “Under God” was important enough for Congress to add by passing a law during McCarthy’s administration. When a nation is tested, things get more seriously considered.

“One Nation Under God”

“One nation under God” is the unique identifier to what makes America different. Many would say, the fact that we include God in our vocabulary (words = heart and mind) as a nation is the main reason why God has shown such favor on America as a nation. And, I would wholeheartedly agree as that is what the Bible teaches as well. Run towards God and stay under His authority to be blessed. Run away from God, hold onto your saddle because a rough ride is coming.

By pledging an allegiance to the flag, especially with the words “One nation under God.” is NOT placing the nation over God, but UNDER God. That is what makes the pledge of allegiance worthy to say as a Christian. If the words were flipped the other way around, than that would be a problem. That would mean placing God under the authority of the nation. And, in that case, we ought not to profess such words because that would be untrue.

Our Primary Allegiance

Our first love and allegiance as a Christian is to Christ. And, we are given other responsibilities as well. When Christ was put to the test and ask to choose between God and Caesar, this was His response: 17 “Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.” (Matthew 17-22 NIV)

Jesus was communicating obey both because I run the show anyway.  We are to obey God and government. Not by having two masters, but one Master that is over the other. As long as government is not requiring us to disobey God’s Word, we ought to obey our government/leaders/authority or anyone God has placed over us in authority even if we don’t like or disagree with the rules of the road. (i.e. a 2% tax increase. Don’t like it, but still should pay it if it is feasible) We may express our dissatisfaction and concerns, but still should pay it.

Romans 13:1-7 – 1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

Edifying Oaths and Pledges

Not many pledges or oaths these days are worth making, but the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the “Hippocratic Oath” are examples of commitments worth making as a Christian.

Hippocratic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath (modern version 1964 by Louis Lasagna) that physicians hold to is not Biblically in opposition. It is actually Biblically edifying. “Above all, I must not play at God.”

If an oath is professing something that is true, is pointing us to God and not away from God, and holds the person accountable for it, we should all have no problem agreeing to that. It does not nor should not supersede or change a person’s allegiance to God.

Note: The original version of the Hippocratic Oath says, “I swear by Apollo The Healer” which would be falsehood because God is the Great Physician, not Apollo. So, in this case, we should not adhere to the original version.

Patriotism with a Global Perspective

There is nothing wrong with patriotism – love for a country. (i.e. what it represents at the core, its values, etc.) At the same time, Christ said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) So, again it is an “and” situation and not an “or” situation. Love your country, AND love others from other countries as well because all are created by God, for His glory. Who is our neighbor? Anyone God places you in contact with in need of help. (Luke 10:25-37)

Here is a good video to watch that revolves around this topic:

The Pilgrims Formula To Save America! Kirk Cameron in Monumental

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath