Having a theology night with some friends we decided to bring up the idea of pledging allegiance to the flag. At the end even the most "God and country" attender decided that he could not see a time where Jesus would stand up to say the pledge of allegiance. One of the things I've had hammered into me lately is that no matter how nice the system looks it will always be fundamentally flawed.
Part of believing in Jesus is believing that his system is the best way to live, and if that's true then I can pledge no allegiance, trust in no other hope and believe in no other solution but that declared by Jesus. So while I think the soldier is out there doing something they believe is honorable as a Christian its not something I believe will ultimately be the source of peace. Another friend said its true that Christ is the best way to live but we live in a fallen world, at that moment I was reminded of the warning that serving two masters will only leave my souly divided. And its true, we see time and time again the church allowing itself to be manipulated by the powers of politicians to lead them into false teachings that support the bombing of children and people now turned into "targets" and "casualties". Either you love your enemy and forgive people, or you go and fight a war of revenge and protect something that was never meant to last. The truth is you can't be a "God and country" believer and stand on steady ground.
I know that this rejection of patriotism is an offense to the sensibilities to the "God and country" spirit that has overtaken the evangelicals of the West but wrong is wrong, just look at 1 Samuel 8:7-20. When Israel asked for a king it was a rejection of God as their king, and the Lord warned them that they would have a system that in many ways looks like ours today. Sure things look nice, and yes we should pray for our troops who are put in an impossible situation everyday, but I will not support a hope that is faulty and lies in the supremacy of man's reason over God's call to love. We are people living in the year of the Lord's favor, when the church is at its best, when its really changing hearts and as a result the world, its when it is ardently opposed to anything but the absolute truth espoused in the Gospel.
Just a small note on the church culture in America right now, maybe we don't have an image problem, maybe the problem is that we have an imagine.