- The church is about unity in Christ, not unity of nations. See Tower of Babel and the reversal of that at Pentecost for an example of how God unifies the nations, not unifies us around a nation.
- The NT church had to deal with the pressure to make church culturally and nationally Jewish. Paul’s response was to fight against that (see Galatians) and whenever cultural barriers were placed between followers of Jesus and Jesus, he called for their removal (Acts 15:28-29).
- In a situation where the State is attempting to take over large sectors of society, we must be firm: Sunday is the Lord’s Day, not the state’s day. Honor the United States on July 4 and other holidays–but July 2, 2017 is the Lord’s Day.
- The message sent from a national symbol in a place of honor above other symbols (see US Flag Code). This presents serious theological problems for every believer in Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Even when placed in a place of honor above an unauthorized symbol of Jesus (like a “Christian” flag) it creates an impossible theological problem; do I display the flag and treat Jesus as less honored as our own government? Or do I break flag code and put the cross or another symbol in a superior position to the flag?
- What would be your feelings about being judged in a civil court, not based on your crime, but on your religious affiliation? That’s how Christ’s followers from other nationalities feel when they see an American flag in their God’s sanctuary–serious doubt that they will treated with equity.
- God calls Christians to respect their government, but to recognize they are identified as “strangers” and “aliens” in this world. Can we be obedient to that part of our identity while wrapping our worship of God in a flag of our nation?
The United States of America was founded on Christian principles–therefore, we should have flags in church because we are a Christian nation, or so the argument goes. But it’s a vast misunderstanding, bordering on a dangerous fantasy, to think that the USA is a special nation in God’s eyes today. If anything, we are a nation he is especially angry with due to our great institutional sins. Rather than attempting to identify USA with Christianity, we should repent and acknowledge how far our principles have drifted from anything associated with the worship of the one true God, through Jesus Christ. To visualize this reality, we should have a US flag very, very far away from the church rather than close, in sacred space. That’s the reality–not that the USA is close to the Cross and pulpit and altar of God, but that it’s very, very far away. Let’s think of a way to promote that sort of repentance both visually and in heart-felt repentant faith.