Why I Stopped Pledging Allegiance.
For most of my Christian life, I never questioned it. Even in the last 5 years, I did it without reservation. As I reflect on why I used to do it, my reasons were always social, political, and cultural. They were never theological or ethical.
So as of a year ago, I stopped doing it. I no longer pledge my allegiance to the nation that I’m living in. And, to be consistent, I no longer look down upon my African, Asian, European, and Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ who also find it hard to pledge their allegiance to the nation they are living in.
We're all citizens of another kingdom which is fundamentally at odds with other kingdoms seeking to rule the world, or part of it. We are outposts of heaven living as strangers and foreigners among the nations. And we need to be reminded of that identity every single day.
Christians too often ignore questions related to national allegiance, or they get mad when people raise them. Try blowing up your next Bible study by asking the question: Should Christians stand for the national anthem or recite the Pledge of Allegiance? You might just start a brawl.
The first Christians, however, would have gladly wrestled with these questions—and they did. The early church’s relationship to Rome was a pressing issue, and Scripture speaks to it with profound clarity. Paul says that Christians should submit to the State (Rom 13:1-4), obey its laws (Titus 3:1), and pray for its leaders (1 Tim 2:1-2). Peter says the same thing (1 Pet 2:13-14), and Jeremiah encouraged Jewish exiles to “seek the welfare of Babylon” where they were living in exile (Jer 29:7). Christians are to be good citizens.
Christians are also to be subversive citizens, political prophets who boldly live out a narrative of weakness, suffering, sacrifice, and death. And this narrative subtlety dismantles all other narratives of citizenship and allegiance.
The apostles publicly refused to submit to all other laws when they conflicted with the way of Christ (Acts 4:19; 5:29), and Israel’s wild-eyed prophets denounced the nations—including their own—for violence, oppression, and mistreating the marginalized (Amos 1-2). The fulcrum of the biblical story hinges on a revolutionary peasant-King who received the death penalty for treason.
It’s no wonder the Roman authorities felt threatened by the rise of the Christian movement, which “turned the world upside down” by “acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:6-7). The Christian proclamation that Jesus is King is an inherent political protest. It’s a declaration that all other rulers are unworthy of our allegiance.
There’s another king, a different ruler. And His name is Jesus.
No one said it as clearly as John in his political tract called “The Apocalypse of Christ,” otherwise known as the Book of Revelation. It’s unfortunate that this subversive piece of literature has been hijacked by contemporary newspaper theologians who use it to predict the end of the world in bewildering detail.
The book of Revelation is an aggressive critique of the government, written by a pastor imprisoned for his lack of patriotism. John boldly lambasts Rome for its immorality, greed, pride, excessive luxury, and an addiction to military might that stained the world with blood to secure its interests (Rev 17-18).
Rome believed it was the hope of the world, the founder of peace (the pax Romana), and the savior of those who pledge their allegiance. All of these, of course, are religious statements—an affront on God’s reign over the earth. “Come out of her, my people!” cries the angels of heaven, “lest you take part in her sins!” (Rev 18:4).
Even one of Rome’s own senators exposed their charade: “To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire: they make a desert and they call it peace” (Tacitus, AD 56 – ca. 117).
The Christian identity has always been a quiet threat to the way of Rome. Submit to the State? Yes. But submission must come with a confident grin that a better way, a superior narrative, a crucified empire is peacefully crashing in on the empires of the world.
When governments pitch themselves as the hope and savior of the world, Christians must expose the fraudulent claim, not celebrate it. Our hope is not in making America great again. It’s in making the name of Jesus great, regardless of whether we prosper or suffer, live or die.
No Christian in the first 300 years after Jesus would have pledged allegiance to Rome during a church gathering. Roman flags didn’t stand next to Christian flags in first-century house churches, and followers of Jesus viewed themselves as citizens of One: One Lord, One baptism, One kingdom of sojourners scattered across the earth as colonies of heaven. Christians in America are more like Israelite exiles living in Babylon than Jewish kings reigning in Israel.
While Christians should submit to the State, pray for its leaders, and render qualified obedience to its laws, to pledge allegiance is a profoundly religious act. No Christian should simply assume that pledging allegiance is a good Christian thing to do. Quite the opposite. Pledging allegiance to anything or one other than Jesus is a religious statement infused with divided loyalties and borders on syncretism.
I think the burden of proof rests on those followers of the crucified Lamb to show that citizens of heaven can truly pledge allegiance to anyone other than Christ.
- ESA testing detection of floating plastic litter from orbit.
Testing detection of ocean plastic from space. 19 March 2018.
The millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in the oceans every year are a global challenge. ESA is responding by looking at the detection of marine plastic litter from space, potentially charting its highest concentrations and understanding the gigantic scale of the problem.
We dump around 10 million tonnes of plastic in the oceans annually. Though most conspicuous along coastlines, plastic litter is also found out in the open ocean and from the equator to the pole – even frozen in polar ice.
Gradually broken down into micro-fragments by weathering and waves, it is not only endangering marine animals but it is also entering the global food chain, with unknown long-term consequences for animal life and our own health.
“Indirect measurements from space are already used to get to grips with the marine plastic litter problem,” explains ESA’s Paolo Corradi, overseeing the project.
“For instance, satellite maps of ocean currents let us simulate accumulation of litter in vast ‘gyres’ within the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
“What we are now looking at in this new project is to assess the feasibility of direct optical measurement of seaborne plastic waste from satellites. This might sound like mission impossible, but there are reasons to believe it might be indeed doable, at least for certain concentrations.
“We’re not talking about actually spotting floating litter items but instead to identify a distinct spectral signature of plastic picked up from orbit, in the same way that processing software can today pick out concentrations of phytoplankton, suspended sediments and water-borne pollution.
Plastic litter in global oceans.
“In particular, plastic has specific infrared fingerprints that are sometimes used in the recycling industry to sort plastic items from other refuse on a conveyor belt.”
Supported by ESA’s Basic Activities, two teams are working in parallel, led by Argans Limited in France and Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK. Their work began last September with an initial assessment of requirements and technologies, along with a workshop bringing together marine litter experts with remote sensing specialists.
Remote sensing of marine plastic litter.
Satellite images from missions such the Sentinel-3 ocean-colour tracker are being checked against aerial coverage plus ground surveys where drifting plastic is collected from the sea to be assessed in close-up. Initial results were presented last week at the International Marine Debris Conference in San Diego, USA.
Paolo adds, “We hope to get an idea of what kind of concentration of marine litter is viewable from the top of the atmosphere using current technology, or if we’d have to operate from the middle of the atmosphere using aircraft or drones. Or would we have to improve the technology?”
The project will deliver a preliminary set of requirements for a satellite to detect marine plastic litter in the shortwave infrared.
The ultimate goal might be an actual global map showing litter concentrations, concludes Paolo: “Simulations are all well and good, but an image based on actual measurements would provide important insights to scientists and would hold greater power for the public and policymakers alike.
“Monitoring is not a goal in itself, but a means to show the scale of the problem, and start to try and solve it.”
How Rome became the “seat” of the Babylonian Religious Cult.
When Attalus, the Pontiff and King of Pergamos died, in B.C. 133, he bequeathed the headship of the "Babylonian Priesthood" to Rome. When the Etruscans came to Italy from Lydia, (the region of Pergamos), they brought with them the Babylonian religion and rites. They set up a Pontiff who was head of the priesthood. Later the Romans accepted this Pontiff as their civil ruler. Julius Caesar was made Pontiff of the Etruscan Order in B.C. 74. In B.C. 63, he was made "Supreme Pontiff" of the "Babylonian Order," thus becoming heir to the rights and title of Attalus, Pontiff of Pergamos, who made Rome his heir by will. Thus the first Roman Emperor became the head of the "Babylonian Priesthood," and Rome the successor of Babylon. Each successor to Emperor from that point forward held the title Pontifus Maximus literally The High Priest of the Babylonian Cult of Sol Invictus which was simply another incarnation of Mithraism stemming from the worship of Tammuz in Babylon. The Pope of Rome now carries forward that High Priesthood as Pontiff.
The Roman Empire began their official recognition of sun worship during the time of Aurelian when he instituted the cult of "Sol Invictus". There is virtually no difference between the cult of Sol Invictus and that of Mithraism or for that matter Catholicism/Christianity. All later versions of The Mystery Religion of Babylon the Great Whore. In the year 307 A.D. Emperor Diocletian, a Sun Worshipper, was involved in the dedication of a temple to Mithra, and was responsible for the burning of Holy Scripture (the Hebrew originals that is why we don’t have any today) which made it possible for later emperors to formulate Christianity, and thus began the Roman version of the "Universal the Christo-pagan Mystery Religion." After the rein of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor Constantine (the creator of modern day Christianity)maintained the title "Pontifus Maximus" the high priest of paganism, and remained a worshipper of Apollo (Apollo is Tammuz in the Greek culture). His coins were inscribed: "SOL INVICTO COMITI", which is interpreted as "Committed to the Invincible Sun". During his reign pagan Sun worship was blended with the worship of the True Creator (called syncretism), and officially titled "Christianity" by the (less than holy) Roman Empire and its' official church the (less than holy) catholic (universal) church.
Cybele, the Phrygian goddess, known to her followers as "the mother of god", was closely related to the worship of Mithra. Just as Mithraism was a man's religion, the worship of Cybele was practiced by women. The priests of Mithra were known as "Fathers" and the Priestesses of Cybele as "Mothers". After baptism into the Mysteries of Mithra, the initiate was marked on the forehead with an X. The sign of the cross formed by the elliptic and the celestial equator was one of the signs of Mithra. Sunday (Deis Solis), the day of the Sun, was considered by Mithraist a sacred day of rest. December 25th (the birthday of Mithra) was celebrated as the birth of the Sun, given birth by the "Queen of Heaven" - "Mother of god." The Mithraists celebrated a mithraic love feast. This feast consisted of loaves of bread decorated with crosses with wine, over which the priest pronounced a mystic formula. Mithra was considered mediator between god and man (does this sound like Jesus?).
We know Constantine created Hesus Horus Krishna as the god of the Roman Empire and that over time that name evolved into Jesus H. Christ. We know Constantine created a totally new religion around Jesus Christ that abolished The Law of Yahuah, changed The Festival of Yahuah, changed The Sabbath of Yahuah, changed The Passover of Yahuah, and changed the name of The Messiah to give glory to Zeus. Christianity then, as the second beast, caused through brute force (the inquisition) then through forced ignorance (the Dark Ages) the world, as it is the largest religion on Earth, to worship Hesus Horus Krishna (Jesus H. Christ) the first beast.
We see Sha’ul (Paul) warn us of this very thing in a letter written to the church in Rome (no less) where Sun Worship (The Cult of Sol Invictus) was the religion of pagan Rome (and remains so today in the form of Christianity world-wide).
Sha’ul begins the discourse with the fact that again… the heavens (stars) have a clear message to all humanity and YHUH’s wrath is “revealed from heaven” as the stars tell the story of the fall of man and man’s redemption through a messiah.
Sha’ul says this “wrath” is going to be poured out on all those who “suppress The Truth by their wickedness”. This “truth that is suppressed” is that The Zodiac (Original Revelation) is a prophetic witness of the coming Messiah and has been “suppressed in wickedness” to promote the worship of the creature above The Creator. This is the point of the message from Sha’ul to the Romans.
We see Sha’ul clearly explain that Yahuah’s eternal power and divine nature has been clearly “seen” by what Yahuah “made” as The Zodiac contains a message “seen” in the stars! Fallen angels led mankind to pervert the message and begin idolizing the Sun, planets, and make idols of the signs of the Zodiac to worship. Paul addresses all of this very directly in Romans 1. Sha’ul says the wrath of Yahuah is revealed from heaven as the message found in the stars literally condemns those who have perverted it!
Yahuah’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them (all mankind), because God has made it plain to them (writing it in the heavens). 20 For since the creation of the world (God designed this message within His creation) God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen (in The Zodiac), being understood from what has been made (literally seen in the stars), so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles (man began worshipping the signs of the Zodiac and the planets).
This will probably be the most difficult piece of reading you will ever read because I demonstrate with overwhelming proof that Christianity is the great lie foretold in The Bible. You will be tempted to shut down, stop reading, to turn away from it in total denial. The god behind this false religion, The Dragon, has a firm hold on the mind of humanity and this lie is so powerful that if possible could even deceive the elect of YAHUAH… if possible.
If you give in to this temptation to stop reading and simply shut down… it will be the mistake of your lifetime. Everything I say I prove if you only read on and persevere through it. It will test your faith, rock your foundations, and literally divide the soul and spirit because every word of it is true. And that… is exactly what real “Truth” does.
YAHUAH warned us over and over not to learn the way of the pagans and worship Him in their way, doing such things are considered an abomination to YAHUAH. He told us very clearly how He demands to be served and worshipped in His Torah, the very example set by Yahusha who lived it by being obedient to His Feasts, His Torah, and His Sabbaths... We are to follow Yahusha’s example not the Pope of Rome’s edicts.
1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in (covenant with) YAHUAH must live as Yahusha did.
Yahusha never kept Sunday worship, never kept Christmas or Easter. Yahusha kept the Law of YAHUAH and all the Sabbaths and Festivals defined within it. That is our example and we must live it or we simply are not in covenant with YAHUAH through Yahusha.
YAHUAH warmed us about trading in the example set forth in His Instructions in Righteousness (Torah/Law) for pagan practices:
3 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. 4 You must not worship YAHUAH your God in their way... 8 You are not to do as you do here today, everyone doing as they see fit!... 28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of YAHUAH your God... be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31 You must not worship YAHUAH your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things YAHUAH hates.
But wait! It is EXACTLY what we have done! We do nothing YAHUAH said to do, instead we "say" we are worshipping YAHUAH while worshipping in the exact same way as they did in Babylon, then Egypt, then Rome, now the USA, SA... We just “say” we are worshipping “god” (we do not even address Him by His Holy Name YAHUAH) without even identifying exactly “which one” we serve.