I pledge allegiance to Christ. I am also an American. But a Christian first. I have never really pledged my allegiance to America, that might sound like I am a communist or un-American or something, but I haven't. When you are young, they make you say the pledge, at least I had to, but never really meant what it is supposed to mean. Before I go on, let me say, I love this country and appreciate my freedom to be writing this or anything else. I was born here, I was raised here and have enjoyed these freedoms my entire life. I would die for my country if the cause were worth the death. However, I am a Christian first. Jesus said in his teaching to give to Caesar, what is Caesars. The point was that we owe God everything and the rest gets what they require. Right now, I am not very proud of the actions of my country. The fact that so many special interest groups are keeping us from getting anywhere. The money holds all of the power. The babes die at alarming rates. Corruption ruins our economy and regular guys suffer the blow and get tossed out of work, just so the government to turn around and bail out the guys that did it in the first place. You sell bad mortgages, the housing market collapses, then we bail you out. That's the story here, that's why other countries are laughing, because America has lost it's luster. This very idea is offensive to a lot of people, including those that I love, so I am trying to tread carefully with what I say, trying not to offend anyone, but I am sick of not having a voice.
The decisions I make will be based on my faith, not based on the fact that I was fortunate enough to be born here. And I WAS fortunate to be born here. I think too many Christians like to make Jesus a Republican, or a Democrat, when He was neither. I am not too sure He would have even voted. He was not concerned with politics or politicians, He was concerned with reaching His hand out to those who were desperate and destitute. He realized that His Father puts governments together, as He did ours. Sometimes He puts people in power to be His hands in the country and sometimes, He has put rulers in to show the people that they need God instead of man. But the point was for all rulers to point the people to God. I think that is the job of Christians too, to point others to God, not ourselves with pomp and arrogance.
I think that over time, the patriotic attitude has led people to not care about those living elsewhere. We drop a bomb and kill thousands and it makes the news here, then people argue over it like it was a football game. What if that happens here? Well, look at 9-11-2001. 9-11 happens all over the world, yet we care for ourselves. A tsunami kills so many and it is in the news for a few weeks, then forgotten about as if those lives meant nothing. Just as easily as I can argue that we bomb too quick and shed so much blood, it can also be argued that Saddam Hussein was called the "Butcher of Baghdad" for a reason. Those lives He took for no reason meant something to God and should have meant something to us. He was a monster and needed to be removed. But a monster also loved by God. And should be loved by us, not so much approved of, but loved.
Love is the very thing that sets us apart from the world. God says you can do all kinds of things, but without love, it will be pointless. We preach without love sometimes and that does not further the Kingdom. We deal with everyday people without love, and they never see God in us. We need to show love in our daily affairs and have integrity in all situations. This points others to God. Especially in a culture that rejects Him and puts Him behind things like money, patriotism, and special interests.
Be in the world, but not of the world. Live as Aliens and strangers here. Be a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. In everything you do, do it for the Glory of God.
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