I have spoken about the U.S. Oath of Allegiance in other posts, and have been accused of not understanding it. I am told it only speaks to our “physical” allegiance and that our allegiance to Jesus is “spiritual.” That sounds like sophistry to me. Almost everyone who disagrees with me says “of course when push comes to shove we will obey Jesus, but I will give the government my allegiance until then.
The U.S. Oath concludes with the words “I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” Dare you lie under such circumstances, or will you stand boldly with your Lord and king, refusing the privileges Caesar offers to those who accept his offer to be their father? (Patriot—from pater “father.”)
One of those privileges of course, is the ability to participate it the political process. I suspect that this is the primary reason Christians have been so susceptible to this deception. To consider Jesus and His kingdom as the object of our ultimate allegiance allows us to maintain the myth that worldly governments can posses our lesser allegiance. Clearly Cornwall has yielded to this temptation when he says regarding the current debt crisis, “We might even ask whether this prayer is calling us to push our government to enact legislation that would free our neighbors—whether individuals or even nations—from unwieldy burdens?”
Had our examples in the primitive church been able in good concession to distinguish between ultimate and subordinate allegiance, the way so many of us seem to, they would have avoided much suffering. A fact acknowledged by Cornwall when he says:
“This proved to be a problem for Christians, because they had only one Lord, and that was Christ… Polycarp, Ignatius of Antioch, and Perpetua stand as examples of those who understood the nature of their allegiance, and gave their lives for their faith.”
May we receive our king’s grace to also understand the nature of our allegiance to Him. May we stand, and possibly fall in this life, like our early Christian brothers and sisters. Knowing that like our father Abraham we too dwell as aliens in the land, and with him are… “looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb. 11:10)