Saturday, May 18, 2013

QUESTION RECEIVED> USA Flags in Church? Is this OK?

Is it biblical to display the American flag, a symbol of a worldly nation, in
 I doubt Paul would put Caesar's insignia in the Temple or churches, so
what biblical basis do we have for American flags in our churches?


Is it biblical to have an American flag in church?
This is a loaded question.
There was no USA when the Bible was written.

Is it wrong to have a flag in church?
it is if the state forces you to have one.
Let’s look at separation of church and state from our American heritage.
The answer lies in why would you have a flag in worship and where and why is it displayed and for what reason?
We Americans believe in the separation of church from the state or any state.
Christians should support this value to protect our church and gospel proclamation so it will be untainted and unrestricted by the government.
Where did the term separation of the church and state come from?
It was in a letter from our 3rd president Thomas Jefferson to protect Baptists from the state.
Why did Jefferson write this letter?
He wrote the letter to support the Danbury Baptist Association so the state government would protect these Baptists and not allow them to be forced into a state supported church system.  In their worship tradition they would be law breakers if they were not protected to be separated from the government.
The Baptist wanted government to leave this independent church system alone and not have the state government regulate what Christian denominations would be allowed to operate in their state.
If you cannot run a post office profitably you cannot run a church.

Thomas Jefferson wrote this to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association 
Baptist Association on January 1st 1861 - “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, ……"make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. “ 
Jefferson was pro expression of religion and in this letter in particular he supported these Baptist and their religious freedom.  He signed off  “I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.”  
Here is a link from the Library of Congress if you want to read the whole letter.
To sum up this civics lesson this preacher and teacher will give an interpretation of Jefferson.

Is it wrong to have a flag in church?
Let’s look at this from a Christian perspective.
The answer lies in why would you have a flag in worship and where is it displayed and for what reason?
We do not court favor of endorsement of our Christian beliefs from the government.
We say God gave them to us.
We do not worship the state.
We know we are citizens of Heaven.
We are a nation like all “Under God” whether we or anyone likes it or not.
Am I going to pitch a fit if a flag is in a church sanctuary?
My job is to promote Jesus.
The flag is a symbol and it might be there for a non-offensive reason like for specail prayer for our nation or our warriors or a national tragedy.
Am I going to pitch a fit if God almighty is not the center of worship because of His gift of gracious salvation through His Son Jesus Christ at a church?
If I could impose my will on all churches I would say leave the flag on the flag pole or in the lobby. (Narthex for you high church folks.)
If a flag is displayed it should be clear that this nation represented is under God. 
I am for the liberty of church bodies to decide this for themselves.
If Christ is honored above all then your church can what you want in your worship area.
You do what you feel led to do in your sanctuary.

The church is to worship, make disciples and evangelize.
Every nation one nation or another and under God if they like it or not.

Why does every nation need to know they are “Under God”?”
The nations will be judged.
Psalm 9:19
Arise, O Lord, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight.

Many nations will not like the result of judgment.
The church promotes Jesus.  The state is not to prevent this expression.  
Revelation 11:18
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Do not get legalistic on where a flag rests.
Make sure Jesus Christ is lifted up.
That is the God given –and for now- state given right you have.
The Holy Spirit will clear up confusion on worship practices.
Let’s devote our time to the salvation of the nations.

1 comment:

  1. I think it depends on your perspective about it. If you are religious and doubtful about patriotism then don't put it in the church, but you are religious and patriotic at the same time then so be it.
    Ed of