Loyalty

Last week the President brought the virtue of loyalty into the public discourse.  Loyalty is a common virtue that most of us hold in high esteem. However, loyalty always has an antecedent. There is always something to which we pledge our loyalty. As Christians we have an ultimate loyalty to God following in the way of Christ. Of course we have other appropriate loyalties too: to our church, families, spouses, and friends. But Luke reminds us that families divided against each other and in the midst of division were to remember their ultimate loyalties. This informs how I see issues in the political arena as well. When the President asks for loyalty from a civil servant who has a higher loyalty (to the Constitution) it puts public servants between a rock and a hard place. The same is true in the church. In the Presbyterian Church our constitution requires that members remain free of any obstacles to faithfulness to God. It is one of the reasons we have checks and balances in church government too. We govern without affording any one person the right to be a final authority. Our loyalty being to Christ, in prayer and conversation we seek the will of God together by consensus or majority. Even in the minority we do not ask people to violate their loyalties to Christ. The church only works when all members seek together to be representative of the Will of God. That is the nature of being Christ’s body in the world.  All parts working together, equally valued and equally humble.

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