American Flags in a Church Worship Service?

Doug Wilson fields a question regarding the relationship of Christianity and patriotism.  He answers this particular question with his usual thoughtful candor.  I’m sure many will disagree with his assessment, but I think he is wholly right.  His response is not comprehensive of all the issues involved, but the thrust of his response is spot on.

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9 thoughts on “American Flags in a Church Worship Service?”

  1. Jesus not American?!!! Next thing you know they’ll be saying that Jesus didn’t use 17th century english!!! Good post Mark

  2. My, my, I guess I should have refused to stay in that hotel in Jerusalem. They had an Isreali flag flying out front. That is sooooooooooo oooooooooooffensive. Actually I took a picture of that flag with a rising sun behind it and didn’t realize until I got my film processed that I got what is called a “flare.” The Isreali flag had a circle of what appeared to be tongues of fire around it. That is actually one of my favorite travel pictures of all time.
    I have never found a peoples recognitions of their country through flags and banners to be offensive or intended to be an affront to me. I am thoroughly thrilled to study the blessings that God has rained down on America during its founding and ever since. Now, as America turns her back on God and ignores his coommandments, laws, and statutes I am expecting his judgement any day.

  3. Oh yes, I am certainly listening, reading, and understanding. Over the past 40 years I have frequently run into those who don’t understand what is expected of us as citizens that are currently in the world, though not of the world. I did finally, today listen to Doug Wilson’s little video clip. Be assured I would on first hint of his feelings get up and walk out of his church. I wouldn’t make a big deal of it, but, be assured, I would walk. Nor would I serve with a pastor that has similar beliefs. I believe I do have my priorities correct, but I do have a firm understanding of my obligations at all levels of authority that are in place.

  4. I think that the point of this clip, and really this discussion in general, is that we are not to act as citizens of this world at all. As Philippians 3:20 points out, “our citizenship is in heaven.” Doug Wilson made it very clear that he is not opposed to the American flag or even “a Godly, ordered patriotism.” He is opposed to putting the flag in the front of a sanctuary or outside of a church building because it blurs the line of who Christians are serving – Christ or country. Church is the one place in which that line should be made more clear than anywhere else.

    He did make an interesting statement that would be helpful for us to remember…”Jesus Christ was not American.” I also think that it is helpful to point out that although we do not think that an American flag or the pledge of allegiance is appropriate or necessary in a church, we are still very grateful for the country in which we live and grateful to have the opportunity to be ministers of the Gospel of Christ here.

  5. And, we just ignore Romans 13:1 – 7, I Tim. 2:1 – 2, and many other Scriptures, as well as the solid evidence that God had a direct hand in the new and very different government that was established in America. Should we also reject the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, even though both show recognition that the source of everything we are is from God? I believe we are to be godly citizens also of the nation where we temporarily reside here on earth. I guess there are some who would have gotten up and left my July 3, 2009 sermon, entitled, The Declaration of Independence as a Covenant Document — but none who were present left, or complained. Thankfully many do recognize the importance of taking appropriate action, even in politics. We would certainly miss the freedom to share and worship as we feel led by God.

    1. 1. No one suggested or even implied anyone ignore Romans 13 or 1 Timothy 2.
      2. No one suggested we should reject the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
      3. “Solid evidence that God had a direct hand in the new and very different government that was established in America” is a statement of opinion not of fact.
      4. Why would anyone preach a Christian sermon on anything other than the Bible?

  6. For what it’s worth, I concur with Doug’s sentiments. And I agree with Mark’s point: Why would anyone preach from a text other than Scripture? Someone who admits to elevating a political document over a Biblical one from the pulpit should be taken with quite a few grains of salt.

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