Monday, July 7, 2014

I pledge allegiance to...

Well yesterday's church service was a new experience for me. I am attending, on a temporary basis, a Baptist church in Panama City Beach, Florida and the service began with
several pledges and associated songs. First the Pledge of Allegiance, then the Pledge of
Allegiance to Jesus followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible. Of the three, I
had the most difficulty with the one I learned as a young guy... the Pledge to the Flag
of the USA.

Obviously, I feel most thankful for the many fallen men and women, over the course of
time, who have given their lives that I might enjoy the freedoms of living in America. Yet,
the direction that this country, especially the more secular elements, seems to be
heading is troublesome for those who believe in the Law of God as written in the Holy Book.
I said the pledge with hand over heart and sang the song, "Proud to be an American," but
it was a bit difficult in some ways.

Having said that, I want to suggest that what I feel we, as believers in Jesus Christ, do not
want to do is isolate ourselves from others, hunker down and avoid interaction with those
whose actions seem to be at odds with where we would like to see society's direction.
To become non-associated with those who are lost would be diametrically opposed to
the very actions and words of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus did the exact opposite of isolating himself. He came, by His own words, to heal
the sick, to walk among those who were in Spiritual need and to interact with those
some members of society would not even speak to. He ate with the tax collectors, spoke
to the Samarian woman at the well, befriended the woman caught in adultery... the
list goes on. Unlike the Pharisees who looked down on the downtrodden, He walked
among those in need, those at the low end of society, those who needed to be saved.

The message of the gospel is one that all people on this planet need to hear. It is the
message of salvation that provides the only possible means to a life with meaning
and purpose. It isn't, as far as we know, our place to limit who hears it. We do not
know whether all are to be saved or some who have been chosen. We are to heed the
Great Commission and walk among our fellow men with the purpose of glorifying
God. We do not have to agree with what we see, we do not judge what we see,
we do not condone what we see,  we simply need to spread the blessed gospel
message of deliverance from sin and acceptance through Jesus Christ.

That's what I pledge to do!