Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A bit of Patriotic Angst

With as much as we Christians talk about being "in the world and not of the world" (misinterpreted many times) you would think that we would believe that saying the Pledge of Allegiance would be, essentially, pledging our allegiance to an earthly kingdom ... The Kingdom of This World.

This is something that has been going through my mind recently. We live in, to borrow Andrew Peterson's words, a "far country" that is "not our home." In fact, this "far country" is going down the tubes very fast and many Christians are content to watch it burn while complaining about the sorry state of affairs. The world, to them, is nothing but a mounting threat to purity that should be dealt with by putting ourselves in the Christian bubble where everything is safe and discernment is not needed.

In conclusion: is it hypocritical to Pledge the American Flag and then go and pledge the Christian Flag (or vice versa)? The word "treason" comes to my mind. So does Matthew 5:33-37. What do you think?

I'll leave you with Andrew Peterson's song "The Far Country." He's one of the few Christian artists that can actually be called an artist anymore. I encourage you to listen to him for his words, even if his voice isn't all that appealing. I've put my favorite parts in bold.
"The Far Country"
by Andrew Peterson

Father Abraham
Do you remember when
You were called to a land
And didn’t know the way

‘Cause we are wandering
In a foreign land
We are children of the
Promise of the faith

And I long to find it
Can you feel it, too?
That the sun that’s shining
Is a shadow of the truth

This is a far country, a far country
Not my home

In the dark of the night
I can feel the shadows all around me
Cold shadows in the corners of my heart

But the heart of the fight
Is not in the flesh but in the spirit
And the spirit’s got me shaking in the dark

And I long to go there
I can feel the truth
I can hear the promise
Of the angels of the moon

This is a far country, a far country
Not my home

I can see in the strip malls and the phone calls
The flaming swords of Eden
In the fast cash and the news flash
And the horn blast of war

In the sin-fraught cities of the dying and the dead
Like steel-wrought graveyards where the wicked never rest
To the high and lonely mountain in the groaning wilderness
We ache for what is lost
As we wait for the holy God
Of Father Abraham

I was made to go there
Out of this far country
To my home, to my home

1 comment:

raymond said...

Nice questions. Ultimately, as Christians, I think our pledge should always be first and foremost to God no matter what. We just happen to be lucky enough to live in a country that gives us the freedom to choose our own paths (just as God has given us each of us the freedom to choose our own paths).

Whatever people may believe or argue, this is a country founded on the principles of good and justice, which is derived directly from God.

Certainly we have faltered many times, and our biggest threat right now is the lack of responsibility being instilled in our generation to do the right (or good) thing as opposed to worrying about exercising our "rights".

But even though this philosophy has wrought much devastation (abortion, murder, divorce, scandals, etc.) I think that by pledging the flag of the US we are pledging not to the decisions of many of its inhabitants or leaders, but for what it stands for: life, liberty, and the pursuit. All three of which God heartily condones.