“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”
“…Did we not straightly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine…Then Peter and the other Apostle’s answered and said, We ought to obey God rather then men”
This post is in response to a suggestion by a fellow blogger Shirley Buxton’s article “Would you take down that flag?”
Allegiance is the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or sovereign Lord also loyalty to some person, group, cause or the like. Some of its synonyms are dedication, devotion, duty, faithfulness, loyalty, honor and obedience. Allegiance is powerful because it is so much more than a word. When someone is devoutly loyal allegiance then becomes more than a word to define how someone feels, it in fact becomes a heartfelt feeling a deep powerful inner emotion. Take for example this man Jim Brossert when upon seeing another flag fly on top of the American Flag could not contain himself. He became overwhelmed with a powerful emotion called allegiance. In a moment allegiance to his country, to his flag, to his fellow veterans and the men and women who died for that flag were brought to a boil in his spirit. See to Jim Brossert the flag is not just a piece of cloth with different colors and stripes, to Jim Brossert the flag means something. Its something he believes in so dearly that he is willing to fight and die for, I know he would die for it because he has been to war for it already. That piece of cloth called the flag embodies Jim Brossert’s values, worth, dignity. He like so many others believe that flag stands for him and so he chooses to risk all to stand for that flag. That is more than a word, that is an emotion, some call it the patriotic spirit, call it what you may but that emotion allegiance is so powerful that it causes men and women to risk everything for the cause, country or God that they are loyal to. Life, liberty and justice these are more than mere words for the men and the women that pledge allegiance to this country and those values.
My question is not whether it was right or wrong, my question is do you possess the same spirit, the same allegiance to God. Would you risk your life, your loved ones, your most prized possessions to stand for the God that stands for you, or better yet die for the God that died for you. It is a big question especially for Christians who live in this country, where we are rarely persecuted for what we believe. We live in a country (Praise God) where we can still openly pray, carry our bibles, have park crusades without the fear of persecution or death. It is a great question but I believe for many the answer is a resounding yes. Maybe we don’t display that kind of allegiance publicly as often because we are not often publicly challenged. Maybe Jim Brossert had not shown that kind of allegiance in a long time because it hadn’t been challenged but when the moment arose he was ready to do whatever he needed to show his allegiance to the flag. I don’t think Peter and the Apostles were going around looking to challenge authority, they simply were preaching the name, the gospel for which they stood and believed in. But they to when the moment arose had to make a choice, had to decide if they would be loyal to the one that had been so loyal to them. It’s interesting to understand that all but one of the Apostle’s (John the beloved) suffered matrydom for Jesus Christ. Their allegiance marched them directly to death.
Like Jim Brossert and the Apostle’s there will come a time in our faith where we will be challenged. The answer will not be so easy. Jim Brossert had to make a decision to violate another mans property and rights, he had to risk retaliation, criticism and his own right to stand for what he felt was right. The Apostles had come to a point in there ministry where they had to make a choice; was it worth the risk of disobeying authorities for our allegiance to God. The emphatic answer for the Apostles was “We ought to obey God rather than men”. I pray to God that we of the Household of Faith would have the courage, the anointing and the overwhelming spirit of allegiance to stand for our Faith. May we all have that same spirit that gripped the hearts of the Apostles, I’d rather stand for God then obey man.