Saturday, June 21, 2014
Flags in Church? Chad Hall in Transformed
Does nationalism belong in church? I think not. When we strike patriotic tones, we dishonor God, disobey scripture, and misunderstand the relationship between God and country.
The narrative of scripture makes no room for nationalism in the modern sense. To give glory to country is idolatry. To weave faith into nationalism is heresy.
God welcomes all who will come and follow. For those who choose to follow, national identity wanes as kingdom identity grows.
One thing I will remember forever was a slide shared by Dr. Hans Hillerbrand, whose devout Lutheran family escaped Nazi Germany when he was a boy. The slide showed a Christian communion table draped with a Nazi flag and holding a communion cross that had been reformed to bear the swastika. It’s easy for us to stand such a great distance away and see how blatantly heretical that display was. Today we feel such great repugnance to the Nazi regime. But many of the Christians who were steeped in that culture saw no problem mixing the two because their loyalties to church and country were both high and they were unable to choose the higher (and ultimate) good. Many Christians in the world today feel repugnance when they see our flag or other symbols of our national pride and belief in our exceptionalism.
America is not a Christian nation and we should not pollute the universal church with fervor, faith or devotion to our nation (or any nation).
The full article is available here