I’m as big a patriot as the next guy. (I know…anyone who has to say that…)
But I’ve always been a bit wary of incorporating patriotic elements or themes in the church. Do we really need to have a US flag in all of them? And what about the ‘Christian Flag’? At one time it was popular in Vacation Bible School and other settings to ‘pledge allegiance to the Bible.’ Does anyone else have concerns?
Yesterday our church began the service (it was an ordination service for a ministry candidate, by the way) with a medley of patriotic tunes which was more a call to light the fireworks than a call to worship. Right in the middle the congregation was invited to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag and to sing the National Anthem (can you send ‘Regrets’ to such an invite?).
This seemed a bit much.
Certainly Christians are to be the best citizens possible. It is definitely appropriate for Christians to be involved in government, civic matters and politics. And it would be a shame for Christians not to enjoy ‘baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.’ Watching the city’s 4th of July fireworks display, accompanied by all the familiar Sousa tunes, is a favorite of the Faircloth clan.
But left unanswered are serious questions about 1) how the Christian, honoring God, appropriately demonstrates love of country and 2) how he keeps bold the line between patriotism and worship of the God who claims our total allegiance.
Don’t look for all the answers here…supply some if you have them.