Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When Church and State Collide

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I really don’t go looking for controversial things to say, or ways to make people feel uncomfortable; it just sorta shows-up sometimes.
This may hurt a little.
Etiquette for the placing of the US flag requires that no flag be placed in a more prominent (higher) or respectful position.  There are some exceptions for religious reasons, such as religious services at sea.  
I snapped the picture of three flags on the front lawn of a church near where I live.  Clearly the US flag is highest, the North Carolina flag second, and the Christian flag bows to both of them. 
At the risk of offending those who are the most patriotic of saints among us – what does this say about allegiance?  I believe that no disrespect towards Christ was meant by those who placed these particular flags.  However, the question is begged:

To what or to whom is our greatest allegiance?

For a Christian believer/follower of Jesus Christ can there be any doubt that we have become doulos or “slave” to Jesus Christ?  How can you claim two masters?
That being said, let me be quick to affirm that I do not believe it is wrong to pay due respect and honor, even pledge firm support to the flag of my country.  I was born-in, bred and blessed by being a citizen of this great nation.
But, let there be no equivocation; my citizenship of Heaven far outstrips any earthly ties.  I am an alien in this world and in this nation. 
As much as I love this country, have served in its military in Vietnam, have prayed constantly for God to bless this land, and shed tears when this nation has been attacked or vilified – if ever forced to make a choice between Christ or this continent, let this statement seal my future:
·        I chose Christ long ago when He chose me
·        I choose Him now
·        I would choose Him if tied to the stake. 
·        I choose Christ first and always.
What’s the big deal, Russell; it’s only a flag, isn’t it?
No…it’s much more than a piece of cloth waving in the wind; it’s an idea, a symbol; it speaks what is in the heart.  And what takes up the entire building of my heart is Jesus. 
I will serve my country, but I will worship only my King.  I want no other allegiance.

For You Today

There comes a time when all of us are called upon to declare allegiance.

To what do you pledge?

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