Tag Archive | USA

Biblical Verses Concerning Oath Taking

Numbers 30:2 (ESV)  If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

Matthew 5:34-37 (ESV)
34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

James 5:12 (ESV) But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.


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Our Founding Fathers Would Not Have Recited the Pledge

Our Founding Fathers Would Not Have Recited the Pledge

8. Our Founding Fathers Would Not Have Recited the Pledge: Another patriotic tradition that gets a lot of attention, particularly around this time of the year, is the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge did not exist during our Founders’ lifetimes — something that is very clear when looking at its text. The Pledge was written over a century after America’s founding in 1892. It was also written by a socialist — Francis Bellamy, whose original text was: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” According to our Founders, the states are not indivisible, but very much the opposite. In fact, when ratifying the U.S. Constitution, some states, such as Virginia among others, specifically declared the right to secede from the Union should they feel it necessary just as an extra precaution to make sure that that state right was understood. Our Founders took their states rights very seriously and considered the U.S. Constitution to be a compact amongst the sovereign states so that any state could secede if it felt the federal government had become oppressive. So, if not with a pledge, how would our Founding Fathers begin meetings and celebrations? The answer: most likely with a prayer. In fact, the very first resolution brought before the First Continental Congress, and immediately passed, was the declaration that they would open every meeting with a prayer.


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Interesting Background of the Author of the Pledge of Allegiance

While looking through the background of the Pledge of Allegiance I found the author Francis Bellamy to be quite different from what I would have expected.  Although a Baptist preacher, Bellamy was also a Mason (that says alot right there) and he was notably a Socialist.  Seems a strange combination today but it wasn’t that uncommon in those days to claim to be all those.

While I was looking for more information about the beginning of the Pledge and it’s author, I was sent a link to a very helpful article. (Thanks Jennifer)

The Socialistic History of the Pledge to the Flag by Israel Wayne

The Author of the Pledge

The author of the Pledge, Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), was a Baptist minister, a Freemason and a socialist activist. (Socialism is usually defined as “government ownership and control of the means –including land, labor and capital – of production”.) If this appears incongruent, apparently Francis’ congregation thought so as well, for they put him out of his Boston, MA parish in 1891 because of his socialistic sermons.

Despite Francis’ early ties with the northern Baptists, his theological views were far from Biblical. He refused to believe in the virgin birth, the resurrection or the ascension of Christ, and somehow erroneously insisted that Jesus Christ was a socialist, like himself. In 1889, Francis co-founded, under the influence of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, the Society of Christian Socialists.

Interesting to know the source for the Pledge of Allegiance.  Although despite the source for the Pledge that still doesn’t answer whether we as Christians should pledge allegiance to the flag or even the country.

 


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What Are You Pledging To?

Several years ago I began to seriously question things that I had taken for granted or really never thought about.  While mostly that involved what the church taught and spiritual matters, it also involved much more mundane ideas.  Things I threw out included:

Doctors are always right.

If it is legal it is OK.

If the government has said it is safe it is.

Leave the important stuff up to the experts.

Who am I to question what has been an accepted belief or practice for decades or centuries?

Singing songs that essentially were a lie or made a promise I knew I couldn’t keep.

 

One of those many things I looked at is the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

“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.”

 

What does it mean to pledge?

What is allegiance?

Where should my allegiance lie?

Is it a lie to say “under God” considering our nation?

How does James 5:12 affect the Pledge of Allegiance for me as a Christian?

James 5:12 (ESV) But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Have you even considered the issue? Or was the post I Pledge Allegiance … the first time you thought about it?  So now what are your thoughts?

I have been very blessed to grow up in the United States of America.  There is still a reason people all over the world risk their lives to come here.  I don’t know of anywhere else that has the abundance of resources, the freedom, the safety or the opportunities we are blessed with in the USA.  But our freedom and opportunities have come at a heavy price.  Many, many men and women have given their lives to defend our freedom.  They and their families are due our respect and honor for the freedom they paid so dearly for.

But does respect and honor require me to Pledge of Allegiance?

First of all what does it mean to pledge?

A pledge is an oath or promise. According to Webster’s “a binding promise or agreement”.

What kind of oath are we making to the flag?  to the republic?

Should a believer be making oaths like that?

Are we promising to support the United States no matter what?

Are we pledging to give the United States wholehearted devotion?

What about the Lord?

Does He not demand wholehearted devotion?

 


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I Pledge Allegiance …

This weekend folks all over the US will be celebrating the July 4th Holiday, Independence Day.   Cooking out, patriotic music, visiting with family and friends and fireworks will encompass much of the holiday for many people.  Larger gatherings might also include flags and a repeating of the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

“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.”

 

Every public school student, Boy Scout and Girl Scout is expected to know the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Pledge is recited at ball games, many other sports events and most all patriotic events.

Now there is also large amounts of debate over whether the phrase “under God” should be in the Pledge or not.  In actuality, that phrase was not original to the Pledge and wasn’t officially added until 1954.  You can hear prominent religious leaders complain about people who omit that phrase “Taking God out of America“.  Woe to the public official who omits that portion.

But did you know holding your hand over your heart is a new addition to saying the Pledge of Allegiance?  Guess what the original method was!  An uplifted arm raised toward the flag.  Think Heil Hitler!  The salute was called the Bellamy salute.  For obvious reasons the salute was changed to a hand over the heart in 1942. Woe to the politician who doesn’t hold his hand over his heart to recite the pledge.

Should politicians and public officials be judged harshly for omitting the phrase?  Or failing to place their hand over their heart?

What about Jehovah’s Witnesses who feel the Pledge of Allegiance is idolatry?  There were riots against those who were Jehovah Witnesses because they refused to pledge.  Congress in 1940 ruled that students could be compelled to pledge even if they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.  However, that ruling was overturned in 1943.  Today students are not compelled to stand or to pledge at least according to the law.

So where do you stand?

Have you actually considered it?

What does it mean to Pledge of Allegiance?

I’ll share my thoughts later after you’ve had a chance to consider the Pledge of Allegiance.

What Are you Pledging To?


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