Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Flag and the Bible

"When there's doubt, there's more considered faith. Likewise, when citizens doubt, patriotism becomes more informed. For Christians to render everything to Caesar--their minds, their consciences--is to become evangelical nationalists. That's not a distortion of the gospel: it's desertion. 

It is wonderful to love one's country,  but faith is for God. National unity too is wonderful--but not in cruelty and folly."
           --William Sloane  Coffin, in Credo

A friend of mine told me a funny-not-so-funny- story that happened in another friend’s church. It must have been Vacation Bible School and the church always used the flags in that service. After Bible school as people were cleaning up, they put the flags in a closet. The next Sunday people looked around the Sanctuary they were furious. “Where’s the Flag?” “Where is the flag?” The poor Pastor was stumped like everyone else. This hoop-la went on for weeks. On the Communion Table in that church was a huge Open Bible. One day the Pastor took the Bible and quietly placed it in his office. People continued to moan: “Where’s the flag?” Months later he told the church that, “You have complained continually about the missing flag—which we have found and put back in the sanctuary.  Six months ago I took the Bible off the Communion Table and put it in my office and nobody here has said a single word.” Hmm...

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