What it Means When You Pledge Alliance to the American Flag

Psalm 33:22 “Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.”

On February 24, 2021, the entrance of Navy Destroyer DDG-112, named the USS Michael Murphy, into San Diego Bay caught the attention of people around the world. At 1:00 PM local time, DDG-112 flew the largest American Flag ever displayed. Twitter user @CJR1321 captured the event (which went unnoticed by our media). The post read, “Sometimes, just sometimes, you have to let them know who’s arriving! Most lethal, best destroyer of the fleet! #LeadtheFight.” That was Mike Murphy’s motto as a Navy Seal.  

The sailors are clearly not shy to show their pride in serving on DDG-112, and their devotion to Old Glory.

If you’ve seen the movie ‘Lone Survivor’, you know who Michael Patrick Murphy was. He was the first member of the United States Navy to receive the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Lieutenant Murphy led his team of four Navy SEALs on Operation Red Wings on June 27, 2005. Two years later, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his “selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty” during the gunfight with the enemy.

What makes all of us as Americans stand in awe of our heroes like Lt. Murphy? It is what he stood for as that resonates with Americans – we are a united nation under the God that above all cherishes freedom and justice for all mankind. As our very currency tells us every day (if we just look): ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’.

America was founded on the belief that human rights do not come from men, but from God. And the USS Michael Murphy’s display of the gargantuan American Flag is the reminder of what our pledge to that flag means to each of us: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

It was February 7, 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower sat in church services at former President Abraham Lincoln’s church, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Pastor George MacPherson Docherty delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address titled “A New Birth of Freedom.”

Pastor Docherty explained that Lincoln’s words “UNDER GOD” were the foundation that set the United States apart from other nations. He challenged the congregation that “there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.”

Within four months, Eisenhower signed the law to add “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance: “From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.”

There are four truths in our pledge of allegiance to our flag that most Americans today never consider, and which are summarized in our verse this week, as America’s hope has always been in the God of the Bible.

First, the phrase “under God” eliminates atheism. The pledge separates America from secular humanism or Buddhism, which believe there is no God, so man on his own must make his world better.

Secondly, the phrase “indivisible” eliminates Hinduism and Eastern philosophies, where the Caste system divides people into predetermined classes, taking away the God-ordained dignity of individuals.

Thirdly, the phrase “with liberty and justice for all” eliminates Islam, which is not centered on liberty and justice for all citizens but rather ‘Sharia’ law.

Lastly, the phrase “under God” aligns American values only to the Bible, centered on the justice and mercy of God as revealed in the greatest events in world history: The Cross of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection.

The Cross is God’s justice, where Christ achieves for us what no person can – the payment for the penalty of sin, a payment that must be made if justice is to be satisfied. The Resurrection is God’s mercy, where Jesus Christ has won the victory over death and is fully qualified to be everyone’s Savior from their sins. As the USS Michael Murphy boldly proclaimed this past week, we are a nation under the God of the Bible. And as our verse this week reminds us, being “under God” means to hope in His mercy toward us.

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #438

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