No Man Can Serve Two Masters
Many Christians are aware of our Lord’s words in Matthew 6:24, “no man can serve two masters…” Unfortunately, few seem aware of how our modern Caesars view the topic. Consider the basis of U.S. citizenship—the U.S. Oath of Allegiance:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;…”
The issue here is clearly not akin to whether your “allegiance” to your family or your job should take precedence. Allegiance here is about sovereignty—there can be no ultimate or subordinate when used in this sense. To think otherwise is to deceive ourselves. (Other nations have their own equivalent oath.)
To accept that our ultimate allegiance is to our king and His kingdom, deceives us into accepting that we can also give a lesser allegiance to the Caesars of this world. If we do not mean to recognize a worldly government as our sovereign we must be careful to recognize what they mean by the word and not to give them the allegiance they covet.
Black’ Law Dictionary states:
The citizen or subject owes an absolute and permanent allegiance to his government or sovereign, or at least until, by some open and distinct act, he renounces it and becomes a citizen or subject of another government or another sovereign. The alien, while domiciled in the country, owes a local and temporary allegiance, which continues during the period of his residence. Carlisle v. U. S
It should be noted that for the primitive church of the first three centuries, baptism was considered just such an “open and distinct act” of renouncement. They equated it not only with their identification with their king in His justifying death burial and resurrection, but with Israel’s release from the sovereignty of pharaoh (1 Cor. 10:2). It was also because of the fact that at infant baptism, people were conferred their citizenship that re-baptism was considered a treasonous act by both Protestants and Catholics.