Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Jesus said this in the context of being accused of driving out demons by the power of Satan. In 1858, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate (a contest that he lost), in the context of the issue of slavery, Abraham Lincoln quoted this verse and said, “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided.” It was divided for a while. It came perilously close to being dissolved.
This week many took issue when “under God” was omitted from the pledge of allegiance in certain venues at the Democratic National Convention. While I am both proud and glad that “under God” remains part of the pledge, merely reciting that this is so, does not make it so. While historically this has been our overwhelming heritage, that heritage has been in decline for quite some time now. As a nation, we are rapidly becoming a house divided on the place of God and Jesus in our country. Soon, we may find that the plurality of this nation’s inhabitants do not consider themselves to be “under God” or that this remains a Christian nation. When this happens, one more word will fall from the pledge — “indivisible.”
So, where am I going with this blog? Simply this. How should the Church respond? Do we become combative, belligerent or hateful? While I would hope not, I am afraid many within the Church may be responding just like this. But should we? In my opinion — certainly not! While I am saddened (a legitimate response) by the decline in this nation’s belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ, we should not expect that those in rebellion against God to pledge that they are under God. We cannot expect those who reject God to say that they trust in God. As Christ’s ambassadors we cannot shame, guilt or coerce anyone into God’s Kingdom. The sad reality is that for decades the Church in America has been sending missionary’s overseas to reach the nations for Christ, while our own “Jerusalem and Judaea” has become increasingly unreached.
My Advice – Let’s not allow ourselves to become so distracted when those who are perishing omit certain words from the pledge that we lose sight of their need for THE WORD. Satan wants the Church distracted. Satan wants the Church divided. We may stand for the pledge of allegiance, but we must stand on the Word of God.