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 Post subject: Pathfinder Sabbath
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:34 am
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Hi Everyone,

I am a new director and am working on organizing our first Pathfinder Sabbath. I have looked over the manuals and watched some videos on youtube, to get ideas of what others do for Pathfinder Sabbath. One thing that my staff and I are having struggles with is the Pledge of Allegiance to the National Flag. Initially I feel a little awkward towards pledging to a nation, or any other non-christian thing, in church, but all the manuals seem to advocate it. In addition, I don't believe our local church is used to it, and we are a very international church, where some are not US Citizens. Do any of you have any advice on this? Is it disrespectful to have the colors come in and not pledge to them? There are also the Territory, Christian, and Pathfinder Flags, and the Bible... that is a lot of pledging for one morning. Do usually pic some and leave some out? What about the order, I have read that you pledge the US flag first because it supersedes the others, but as Christians, shouldn't we have it in the order from God to man, i.e. Bible, Christian, Pathfinder, US, then Territory/State?

Thanks for any help.


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 Post subject: Re: Pathfinder Sabbath
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:19 pm
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Location: Carolina Conference, Southern Union Conference, NAD
Our club has pledged to the Pathfinder codes before the US flag. There is nothing wrong with placing Christianity before any earthly power. The US flag code does state that it should hold the place of honor. To ignore the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the USA is disrespectful. It is also disrespectful to have any other flag before the US flag.

I would approach this question with the following bible text:
"Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s." Mark 12:17; more fully Mark 12:13-17 (see also Matthew 22:15-22 & Luke 20:20-26). The bible notes that this was a trap. While no person can serve two masters, it is possible to obey the laws of God and man much of the time. God gives us everything. Certainly we should respectfully return unto him what is his. The church cannot work without our support. However, it isn't God himself. It isn't the ultimate authority on our spiritual lives (the bible is). We are asked to give 1/10th back to the church (in the service of the Lord). Just like the Roman Empire, the US Government provides services and liberties to us as citizens. In exchange for those, it asks us for a part of what we make in return (so that those liberties and services can be continued). "Render unto Caesar what is his, and unto God what is his," demonstrates Christ's understanding of our imperfect system of order. They could pay tithe to the Lord, and still pay taxes to Caesar without violating either's laws. The same can be said of our loyalty to God and to the USA. It doesn't mean that we are abandoning God to agree to the sovereignty of the USA on earth (in my opinion). We are giving unto the US what is theirs and unto God what is his.

Now to answer the issue of multiple citizenship/non-US citizens. While in US territory, the Pledge of Allegiance is a sign of our support to the US Government. It is a honor do the flag that represents this country. US citizens should acknowledge the flag and pledge their allegiance to the country that it represents. Citizens of other countries are not required to pledge their allegiance to the US flag. They are guests to our country and are extended every courtesy. Their allegiance is to the country of their citizenship. However, they are asked to respect the US citizen's allegiance. Their country's allegiance is not pledged while on US soil, out of respect for US sovereignty over its own lands.

I hope that this helps you in your decisions in planning Pathfinder Sabbath. God bless!

_________________
"Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' " John 13:8b


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 Post subject: Re: Pathfinder Sabbath
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:34 am
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Thanks. I really appreciate the advice. God bless :)


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 Post subject: Re: Pathfinder Sabbath
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Well said veteranpathfinder. Your explanation is very similar to the one I have been giving for some time. I appreciate your Biblical take without incorrectly referencing James 5:12 OR Matt. 5:33-37.

In teaching classes on ceremonies, I have come across one other problem. And that is a translation one. If English is a second language, certain words in English may carry a different meaning in the first language and skew its meaning. Not by much, but possibly enough for some to misunderstand intent or meaning. One example is "pledge" and "swear." They can be synonyms in English but could have exclusive definitions in other languages. On top of that, other cultures take different views of oaths and pledges than in the United States. Some of these things must be taken into consideration when working with a group that represents a variety of cultural groups in order to make sure your message is not lost.

_________________
Rule 1:Lead by example.
Rule 2: Never forget Rule 1.

"Adapt and Overcome"


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