Allegiance

by Tina Olesen

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“Whose right is it to rule? Is Christ the object of primary allegiance, or is man enlarged (the state) to be assigned a role that supersedes that of God the Son?”

– Joe Boot, The Mission of God

 

Christian teachers are facing a question of allegiance. Will we be loyal to our Lord, or will the state and its politically correct views claim our fidelity? We are at a time in education where this has become an either/or question.

Recently, a Christian early childhood educator in the United Kingdom was fired from her job because she expressed the biblical viewpoint on marriage, and a colleague took offense (read the article here). She was fired for “gross misconduct”.

Why is expressing the biblical viewpoint considered to be “gross misconduct”? This Christian knew that she had a choice when faced with the question: tell the truth and be loyal to Christ, or tow the politically correct line and not ruffle any feathers. She chose loyalty to Christ.

We are told that we have freedom of religion and that we live in a tolerant society, but how tolerant do you think a Canadian employer would be of a teacher who openly expressed her Christian views, as this woman in the UK did?

When our loyalty to our Lord conflicts with loyalty to our employer, who are we to obey? This dilemma has been faced by many of God’s people in the past. Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image even though it meant facing the fiery furnace. What was their reply?

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”[1]

Daniel refused to stop praying to God, even though the state forbid it and he would be thrown to the lions. What happened to Daniel in the lion’s den?

“My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”[2]

Peter and the apostles had been locked up by the religious authorities and told not to teach in Jesus’ name, but an angel of the Lord released them from prison and charged them to

“Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”[3]

They did, and when the authorities questioned them, they replied,

“We must obey God rather than men.”[4]

How did the authorities respond?

“…when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.”[5]

Did this stop Peter and the apostles?

“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”[6]

We teachers are merely facing some sort of discipline or the loss of our jobs, not a fiery furnace or lions. Not beatings, not jail. Not yet.

Christians in other professions who haven’t already faced this question will have to face it in coming days. All Christians must be prepared to face it, without flinching.

Jesus warned us that if our loyalty to Him did not come first, then we would not be worthy of Him.

Notice what Peter and the others did: they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus’ name. It is our privilege to be counted worthy.

Let’s rejoice that we have an opportunity to demonstrate allegiance to Him, that Jesus may be glorified as the King of Kings.

 “Be absolutely His.”[7]

 

[1] Daniel 3:17-18

[2] Daniel 6:22

[3] Acts 5:20

[4] Acts 5:29

[5] Acts 5:40

[6] Acts 5:41-42

[7] Oswald Chambers

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3 thoughts on “Allegiance

    • Thanks for your comment, Michael. I’m speaking here of a conscience issue: when the claims of Christ conflict with the claims of the state. Loyalty to Christ could mean that a man goes off to war; there’s not necessarily a conflict there.

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