Should Christians give the pledge of allegiance?
Your question is an old one. First century Christians struggled with how much allegiance (if any) they were to give to Rome. The founders of this country struggled with it as well.
At one extreme you have the Jehovah's Witnesses (who do not pledge because they believe it is idolatry). At the other extreme you have Christians with a mindset of "my country right or wrong." A proper biblical response is somewhere in the middle.
Romans 13 tells us to obey those in authority. Other passages allow for civil disobedience (Acts 5:29, Daniel, etc.). Christians who live in a country with a godly government shouldn't have much concern about a pledge of allegiance. However, Christians who lived in, say Nazi Germany, might legitimately have reservations about a pledge of allegiance in that country.
I believe that if a Christian feels that it would be wrong for him or her to pledge allegiance, then I believe he or she should refrain. But if Christians then concludes it is wrong for every other Christian to do so, they are mandating a standard of behavior that I do not believe can be found in Scripture. Obviously Jesus Christ deserves our total allegiance, but I don't believe that a pledge of allegiance to a country undermines that.
Even though this issue doesn't necessarily involve the issue of civil disobedience, you might want to look at my transcript on the topic at the Probe web page (www.probe.org) as well as some of my other writings on Christians and government.
Thanks for writing. I hope this helps.
About the Author
Kerby Anderson is president of Probe Ministries International. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and from Georgetown University (government). He is the author of several books, including Christian Ethics in Plain Language, Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope and Making the Most of Your Money in Tough Times. His new series with Harvest House Publishers includes: A Biblical Point of View on Islam, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality, A Biblical Point of View on Intelligent Design and A Biblical Point of View on Spiritual Warfare. He is the host of "Point of View" (USA Radio Network) heard on 360 radio outlets nationwide as well as on the Internet (www.pointofview.net) and shortwave. He is also a regular guest on "Prime Time America" (Moody Broadcasting Network) and "Fire Away" (American Family Radio). He produces a daily syndicated radio commentary and writes editorials that have appeared in papers such as the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
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