Display of Flags in Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by J.D., Aug 16, 2010.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
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    This thread plays off the other thread about "Politics in Corporate Worship".

    For those churches that display flags, where do you place the flags? I mean, what order do you place them in?

    The order of honor is to the right on on top. In other words, the flag representing the greatest entity should be placed to the right of other flags or to the top of the flag pole if on a pole.

    Where is your Christian flag in relation to the U.S. Flag?

    I was in a church one time that decided to start displaying flags, so we bought some nice flags and put the displays together. Knowing from my military training that the place of honor is to the right, I placed the Christian flag on the right (the speaker's right, on the left as you look at the podium) and the U.S. flag on the left.

    Right in the middle of the announcements a lady got up from her pew and walked up to the podium, picked up flags and swapped them around, looked at me (she knew I had placed them) and said, "The American flag should always be on the right!" I had never thought about it that much before that day, but when she said that, I realized that we were already flying flags on the flagpole with the Christian flag under the American flag.

    I didn't make an argument out of it and we went on without a debate. But as a follow up to the issue I was watching a DVD about WWII, a filmstrip made in 1945 in which I saw a formal military flag display that had THE CHRISTIAN FLAG ON TOP of the U.S. flag.

    Ever since then I've wondered just where and when and how we lost the proper perspective on displaying flags.

    Again, how do you disply your flags?

    My own position is that flags should not be displayed in or around a Church, neither should there be any "politics" (patriotic) services in the Church. But if flags are going to be displayed, the Christian flag should have the place of honor. And if you're going to display the flags with the Christian flag on top, you're going to have to admit to holding some dominionist views, aren't you?
     
    #1 J.D., Aug 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010
  2. Salty

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    I do know that when religious services are being held at sea, than the Chrisitan Flag would be above the US flag.

    For the entire scoop on Flag Etiquette, click here

    and a minature flag should always be worn on the left lapel - ie close to your heart
     
  3. J.D.

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    Now that you mention it, I believe it was on a ship where the Christian flag was over the US flag.

    I got this from your link:

    7.When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's of speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker of the right of the audience.

    So I guess the lady was right according to whoever writes the flag etiquette rules. But I don't understand the rationale and I don't see why I should do such a thing. Christ is my God, not my country.
     
    #3 J.D., Aug 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010
  4. StefanM

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    Insisting that the American flag take prominence over the Christian flag is tantamount to blind nationalism, IMO.
     
  5. jaigner

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    I think it's horrific. My church does not display the American flag.
     
  6. go2church

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    No flags in church, different kingdom we are trying to focus on
     
  7. Jerome

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    Wow. Missions conferences must really put you all in a snit.
    All those flags...everywhere. Shudder. :eek:
     
  8. Jim1999

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    In the church I grew up in we not only displayed he flags, Christian flag dominant, we also sang God Save the King.....all three stanzas!

    There is nothing wrong in recognizing your country in church, but remembering always the absolute kingdom of God.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. abcgrad94

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    Flags in church don't bother me. Once when we had a missions conference, we had flags from all over the world hanging in the sanctuary. They represented the countries where our missionaries labor.

    We've had Christmas trees, Nativity figurines, wooden crosses, film projectors and screens, puppet stages, and musical instruments in the sanctuary as well. No big deal. None of them dishonor the Lord, and neither do our Christian and American flags at the front of the sanctuary.
     
  10. Robert Snow

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    Not the same as having a flag predominately on display. The church I attend does not have any flags in the Sanctuary. We did have a special program that dealt with the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts marched down the aisle and the congregation said the pledges, but this is not something we do regularly. I would think a mission conference would be along the same order.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    In my opinion, we must never forget the Kingdom of God and our relationship to God in Jesus Christ. At the same token, we should also never forget where we live presently. In plain words we should never be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good. Our mission is right here and now.

    The flag is the most prominent display of what we stand for wether it be the USA flag, the Union Jack or any other free nation. Americans say they are "one nation..............under God.......God is put first along with the flag as that symbol. So, in displaying the flag in church is not dishonouring God nor displacing Him.

    If we forget where we are, we are not long forgetting who He is.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Salty

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    Excellent Post, Jim

    In fact if I was pastor of a border church, I would have no problem displaying the USA and Canadian Flags.

    Salty
     
  13. J.D.

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    Jim, that's a well-stated argument for your case, but I still seems inappropriate to honor one's country or anything else for that matter during the worship of God.
     
  14. abcgrad94

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    It seems like the argument here is assuming one is dishonoring God or taking away from him if one is patriotic during church time. I do not believe this to be the case at all.

    "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." I can glorify God while singing the national anthem. I can glorify him while honoring moms, dads, missionaries, or my country. I can honor God and edify fellow believers for having a thankful heart for my country's blessings and sacrifice. I can honor God while having a ladies' fellowship to make scrapbooks or sew quilts. We can have a Christmas cantata that honors God. None of this takes the focus off God and it doesn't steal from his worship.

    We should ALWAYS have a heart of worship for God, not just while sitting in the church sanctuary.
     
  15. Bob Alkire

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    There are only a couple songs that gets me to see how great I've been blessed by God and they work on my emotions.

    Amazing Grace, makes me see that grace for me a sinner, it sure is amazing.

    The Star Spangled Banner, again all I can see is His grace upon me. After my travels in many parts of this world He put me here. I don't know if I'm strong enough Christian to make it in other parts of the world in which I've been.

    Those are the two biggest songs of faith to me and maybe nine or ten others that as they say put me in a worship mood, all I want to do is hit the floor and pray.
     
  16. J.D.

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    What is a "worship mood"? Can you worship if you're not in the "mood"?
     
  17. J.D.

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    I can glorify God as I salute the flag, but is that the way the Bible tells the Church to worship? I can glorify God as I go to the lake to catch the big one, but is that the way the Bible tells the Church to worship? See what I mean?
     
  18. J.D.

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    Let's throw this into the mix:

    Should Christians that live in socialist countries, or dictatorships, or communist regimes - should those Christians honor the flag of their country in Church?

    How about Indians (native Americans). Should they honor the U.S. flag in Church?
     
  19. Bob Alkire

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    To me, it is prayer. All I can do is see God's grace, how blessed I am. When I'm like that I end up laying down on the floor praying and thanking God for his blessing to me. No, I do not lay prostrate and pray while service is going on, but have gone home after service and been there a while.

    I was talking about music, most music in church is filler to me, fills time. Good preaching does the same as those two songs. It cause me to inspect my actions, attitude and what I have my eyes on.

    There are many known and not so well known preachers' sermons that have done the same. R.G. Lee has quite a few, Payday some day is one of them, sermons of that type and the two song I listed cause a lot of reflection on how I'm living.

    Good preaching does much for me, not so much into song and dance. It is hard to worship when your eyes are on the world and not God. I hope this answers your question.
     
    #19 Bob Alkire, Aug 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2010
  20. sag38

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    One day I will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. As a pastor I will be held accountable for my stewardship over God's people (the church). And, personally I get the feeling that Jesus really isn't going to give a rip as to which side the flag was displayed in the sancturary or which flag was on top of the other on the flag pole. In fact, I don't think He will even care whehter we had a flag in or outside of the church. Nor do I think He cares whether or not I led the people in the Pledge of Allegience to the US or not. I don't plan too but I really don't think in the final accounting that will matter.
     

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