Politics in Corporate Worship: What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by jaigner, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. jaigner

    jaigner
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    Greetings, friends.

    Here's the deal. In a recent thread, last month, I mentioned in passing that, as a matter of conscience, I had abstained from saying the pledge of allegiance in the middle of a corporate "worship" service at the church where I served as an interim music director.

    I didn't cause a scene, didn't intentionally bring any attention to myself. I just briefly went behind the platform for a moment and then came back to the piano.

    A fellow poster dissented with my opinion, saying the following:

    I bet they are all so proud to have you serving as their minister of music being on such a higher spiritual plane than the rest of the congregation. I'm surprised that you would stoop so low as to serve people who would dare to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a church service. If they were on the same level as you they would know better. Shame on them for being so spiritually ignorant. Hopefully you taught them a lesson by your excellent example.

    Honestly, if I served with a music minister who refused to participate based on arrogant misguided principals I would move for his dismissal.

    Another poster who is no longer among us, in response, said:

    As would I......

    Here is my reasoning, which I stated at the time.

    Did I say I was on a higher plane? No, I just disagree.

    I don't think country worship has any place in the life of the believer, and it certainly doesn't need to be in church. If someone pledges allegiance outside of corporate worship, that is their choice and is an issue of conscience.

    And I didn't do anything to stand out or prove a point. My actions were not to draw attention toward myself or done with an air of condescension.

    I just am of the conviction that it is not appropriate to say the pledge, as my allegiance is elsewhere.

    And doing it in corporate worship, I believe, is horrific.

    Again, this in no way makes me arrogant. In fact, I did my best to not stick out. There is nothing misguided or arrogant about this belief, and if my conviction ever changes, I will change. This is just how I believe now.


    Which one of us do you most agree with and why?
     
  2. gb93433

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    By your action who or what were you pledging your allegiance to? What would a vet say about your action? Who were you honoring by your action?
     
  3. jaigner

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    Frankly, though I respect differing beliefs and the military service of veterans, a number of whom are in my own family, what anyone thought of my action is beside the point. I believe that, 1) my allegiance lies with a higher throne and, 2) corporate worship that places anyone or anything in the place of Christ cannot, by definition, be Christian.

    So, therefore, this is not something I am comfortable in doing, and I believe it has no place in a corporate worship service.
     
  4. abcgrad94

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    Honestly, where DO Christians say the pledge of allegiance anymore? Nowadays, it seems like only the churches have enough respect for America and her vets to set aside a few minutes once in a while to even bother with it. Certainly the schools don't bother with it. Spectators at ballgames can't even lift their hands to their hearts while the national anthem is being sung, much less say the pledge of allegiance.

    God is the one who made America great. I have no problem whatsoever saying the pledge in church. To me, it's the one place where saying the pledge IS an act of worship to God, because it causes me to thank God for all the freedoms we enjoy today. If it weren't for God's grace, I wouldn't even have the luxury to live in a free country or meet to worship God without fear of persecution.

    I would be EXTREMELY offended if a member of the church's staff refused to say the pledge, especially in front of the congregation. I have two brothers, a brother-in-law, and several other relatives currently serving in the US military. You'd better BELIEVE I say the pledge every chance I get, ESPECIALLY in church as an act of thankfulness to God. Saying the pledge IS NOT worshiping the country or taking away from the corporate worship. It is a PART of that worship, just as singing songs about the cross is not idol worship of the cross, it's lifting adoration unto the Lord. When I say the pledge, I thank God for my freedom, I pray for the safety of my brothers and others who are sacrificing their lives and homes so other people have the freedom to sit on their hind end and criticize!
     
  5. abcgrad94

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    I just wanted to add that my last post on this thread is not aimed specifically at you, jaigner--it's a generalization of those who criticize any public display of patriotism, not just while at church.
     
  6. gb93433

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    You might have convictions about freedom and I cannot imagine anyone not believing in freedom. However there are some very excellent pastors in this country who are from other countries such as Canada, England, Wales, and Scotland. Would you expect them to say the pledge to an American flag? We have many missionaries in other countries would you expect them to say the pledge of another country while they are not a citizen of that country?
     
  7. Salty

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    If I were in a foreign country - and I have been, and I attended a worship service with a patriotic theme, I would stand at military attention during the singing/playing of their national anthem and / or other appropriate activities - OUT OF RESPECT

    Salty

    caps intended
     
  8. sag38

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    I was the one quoted and I stand by my statement. I would ask for you resignation. By the way, reciting the pledge of allegiance is not politics in corporate worship.
     
    #8 sag38, Aug 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2010
  9. exscentric

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    "I don't think country worship has any place in the life of the believe"

    Can you name a believer that WORSHIPS their country? I have thought for a long time and in the years I've said the pledge (about 65) I can't think of one person indicating they were worshipping their country.

    What do you base this idea on? - that believers that say the pledge are worshipping their country.
     
  10. jaigner

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    That's cool. Thank you for your opinion.

    BTW - I am a teacher, and kids MUST say the pledge in my district unless parents give written notice that the child is to be exempt for religious reasons.
     
  11. Zenas

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    I think jaigner has a point. I have no problem saying the pledge of allegiance. There is an American flag on the platform at our church and on a few rare occasions we will say the pledge of allegiance. However, if someone doesn't want to say it, for whatever reason, that should be his privilege. I don't thing jaigner is saying the church ought to do away with this practice, but only that he shouldn't be forced to go along with it. After all, it is not a practice that God requires of us.
     
  12. jaigner

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    I don't believe that would be your prerogative.

    But why would you jump straight for that step? It seems kind of extreme.

    You could talk to me individually. You could listen to my concerns and express disagreement. But I haven't done anything malicious or inflammatory. I merely abstained as inconspicuously as possible.

    I think it is kind of alarmist and excessive to as for resignation over this. I'm not going against the message of the Bible.
     
  13. Robert Snow

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    I would not say the pledge of allegiance to the United States in a worship service. It is not the place.

    Of course, you would never have to worry about asking for my resignation as I would never attend a church who had a pastor like you to begin with!
     
  14. KenH

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    I passed by a Baptist church in another part of the state yesterday that flies a U.S. flag and a state of Arkansas flag, along with a "Christian flag" quite prominently in front of the building. I was sickened by such. It made me wonder if this church owes its allegiance to the state or to God.
     
  15. TomVols

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    I love this country. My family members fought for it and some died. That said, my Savior is more important. People who pledge allegiance to a flag and to a country (so long as the president agrees with them) need to place more allegiance in a Savior who bled and died. Worship is about God, not man, not government, not any fluff.

    Is it the worst thing in the world? No. But it's on a list of things that shouldn't be done (like honoring moms, honoring any human, really) but are done because it gives us all a good warm fuzzy. Sad state of affairs now....that's all worship is deemed fit for. Just make us all feel good until we come back and feel good some more. No Word, no worship, just fluff. Worse state of affairs? We don't look to the Bible to dictate our worship....just our feel-good nature that's sin polluted.

    Forgive our sins, Lord.
     
  16. Ruiz

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    I agree, I would not attend a worship service where we pledged allegiance to any other than God. I served in the military, and I love my country. I, however, do not want to waste time pledging allegiance to the US when I should be worshiping God. In worship, no one should be given allegiance to any except God.

    On the same note, I love economics. I would not wish to hear about economic theory when I am at church and pledge my allegiance to a certain economic theory... even if I were to agree with that theory. The purpose of church is God, not America or Friedman or Hayek or Keynes... but God.

    Yet, I have been asked to speak at 4th of July festivities and gladly did so as a lover of my country. However, my allegiance to the US is temporal... my allegiance to God is eternal. I want to spend my time on the eternal when I worship.
     
  17. Zenas

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    Every vacation bible school I have ever seen opens the day with a pledge to the American flag, a pledge to the Christian flag and a pledge to the Bible. Are you anti-pledge folks also opposed to this?
     
  18. gb93433

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    Have you ever been to a funeral of a veteran and part of the service was conducted by the military?
     
  19. KenH

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    No.

    A funeral is not a worship service.
     
  20. KenH

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    I am. I find no Biblical warrant during a church service to pledge allegiance to the American flag, or a "Christian flag". Loyalty to God's Word is shown by reading it and living it, not by some rote pledge.

    Where in the Bible do we see the first century Christians pledging allegiance to the Roman Empire during worship or to a "Christian flag" during worship? Where?
     
    #20 KenH, Aug 15, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010

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