This essay is an original work by DanH. Please comment only on the talk page.
At least in the United States, the concept of allegiance is often recited (by schoolchildren, and others), but not closely examined. The word itself has lost meaning, and the concept even more so. This is a threat that has been proliferated by the wide acceptance of easy-believism within the church, as the concept of allegiance is integral to Christianity - throughout the gospels, Jesus demanded full allegiance to God. The heart of the Christian experience is relational in nature, and allegiance to the cause of Christianity is a necessity, and not optional as so many would like to believe.
The willingness of Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance from memory, generally without reflecting on the meaning, must be considered in this light. How many of us can truly say that our allegiance to God is unwavering at all moments? More importantly, when we claim allegiance to one, does this imply taking a side when the two come into conflict? Given that no nation comes close to collectively following biblical principles in lifestyle (this is an ambiguous statement, but in contrast to the commonly assumed meaning of "repressive" sexual mores and a focus on media in this manner, I simply mean biblical allegiance being culturally ingrained), and that governments often perform actions contrary to what might be expected of a Christian, is such a pledge that may imply loyalty regardless of actions, biblically acceptable, or rather does it make an idol of the flag? This is a manner of individual conscience (Romans 14). Regardless of the choice the individual believer makes, s/he still has the duty to live in an obedient manner, deferring to those in positions of power (Romans 13), as Christians are called to be in this world, not of it (John 15:19).