Flags in the church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, Jun 16, 2011.

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  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    I was not sure where to put this thread. Since I am a Baptist I placed in the General Baptist Discussion.

    The thread on the pledge of allegiance made me begin thinking about the topic of national flags in churches.

    Frankly I do not believe the national flag should be placed in a church be it in America, England, the Czech Republic ... in any country.

    Why?

    1. The national flag stands for Caesar and not God. Thus, IMHO, national flags should not be placed anywhere in a Baptist Church. They may exist, but I have never seen a national flag in a European Baptist church.

    2. Too many Christians confuse their patriotism for their country with Christianity. One lesson of history is that very bad things happen when country and Christ become mixed, that is where the church and state become too close with each other or when one has too much influence over the other.

    What is your opinion?
    Why do you believe thus?
     
  2. Arbo

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    I have no problem with it, personally. I cannot say I've ever noticed the confusion between patriotism and christianity you describe in the churches I've attended.

    Do you think the absence of national flags may be more of a cultural practice, european history being what it is?
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    I believe it is partly cultural, especially in the US. Having said that the words, "God is no our side" on the belt buckle in of SS folk and other Nazis during WW II. The exact words were, “Gott Mit Uns”.

    I do believe many Americans confuse culture with their Christianity. For instance I have talked with some who absolutely believe there can be no real [whatever that means] Christianity without democracy. I am sure others can speak more intelligently on this than I. It is probably true that many cultures to one extent or another confuse their culture with their understanding of Christ. An extreme instance was the terrible killings between the Russian Orthodox and the Old Believers on the proper way to cross oneself.

    Back during the civil rights protest days there were many sermons in the South on the rightness of segregation. To me this was a confusion of culture with the teachings of Christ. I'd say the same about sermons supporting slavery back in the 19th century.

    Also the blind support of any military action by the US is, again to me, confusing culture and/or patriotism with Christianity.

    I will think on this more.
     
  4. Arbo

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    Agree with all your points save the last one. I have neither heard nor observed any motivation for support of U.S. military action that was religiously based.
     
  5. TCassidy

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    Your knowledge of history is somewhat lacking. "God With Us" (Latin: Nobiscum deus) was the battle cry of the Roman Empire post 325AD and of the Byzantine Empire (but in Greek, of course). In the 17th century, the phrase "Gott mit uns" was used by the army of Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, in the Thirty Years' War (the war of Protestantism against Catholicism that divided Europe north and south). It was continued by the German Empire up to, and unfortunately including, the time of Hitler's Chancellery.
    What makes you think that the support of "any military action" by Christians is due to "blind support?" Isn't it possible that at least some of us are quite well informed regarding international relations and the reasons for military intervention?
     
  6. Jerome

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  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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  8. Alcott

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    Alright, but is your stand the same on the "Union" and their song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" ["...as He died to make men holy let us live to make men free....our God is marching on...."]? And of the civil rights movement with churches serving as bases, pastors as leaders, prayers on steps of public buildings before being arrested, calls for "all God's children" to have freedom and dignity, and many biblical connotations ["white pharoahs," "the promised land," crossing over Jordan, the beautitudes...]?
     
  9. go2church

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    When coming to a church as pastor, I remove the flags from the auditorium. I don't want any confusion about which kingdom we are focused on when we are worshipping together.

    There is a long history of folks confusing being a Christian with being an American, but it isn't unique to American. The Romans started the whole thing by "baptizing" everyone into Christianity, then the crusades, the reformation, etc. Nationalism is dangerous whomever is the guilty party. I'm not going to say a church shouldn't or can't have flags in their service, but I won't be attending that church anytime soon.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Much ado about nothing. Why not just do away with all the fancy buildings we call a church and worship in the caves and upper rooms? Silly, silly, silly.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. TCassidy

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    Jim, I wholeheartedly agree. Some people seem to have way too much time on their hands to nit pick and find fault with others. :(
     
  12. Arbo

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    He didn't claim WWII Germany originated the motto, "Gott mit uns".
     
  13. Jim1999

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    When I see the flag, I tend to remember my time at war, and the 550 Canadians who gave their lives in Korea serving under that flag. I think of the freedom it represents. The flag has never done any harm, and if it prepares other minds as it does mine, it helps prepare one for true worship of God by its very presence.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. SBCPreacher

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    I have no issue with flags in the church. We worship God, not a flag or a country - God. And we than God for our country and those who serve our country (living next to a Marine Corps Air Base helps us to continue to be a thankful people).
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    Darn all those Vacation Bible Schools. Year after year, we pledged allegiance to the America flag, the Christian Flag and the Bible. I think what happened was that after VBS was over, we simply forgot to remove the flags from the auditorium. Thus, a tradition was established.

    Or not.
     
  16. annsni

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    We not only have the American flag and the "Christian" flag but the flag of every country where we have a missionary influence....and England's. We had a family come from England feel we needed the Union Jack so we got it. LOL
     
  17. Salty

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    When considering the call to that church, did you mention to the members that you would take the flags down?

    This might be a good subject for a new thread?
     
  18. mandym

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    Why is it those on the left want to remove flags. What is it about their world view that drives this? I do not believe it is simply about some fear of confusing which kingdom to focus on. So what drives this?
     
  19. carpro

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    I've been thinking about it for several minutes and I honestly can't remember whether or not there is a flag in the sanctuary of the church that I have attended for so long.

    So, I'd have to say that the presence or absence of a flag has absolutely no effect on the worship experience.

    If the presence or absence of a flag in the service bothers anyone, perhaps they are focused on the wrong things at the wrong time.

    :godisgood:
     
  20. TCassidy

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    I didn't say he did.
     
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