Today is Sunday. When this is published it will probably be around 9 or 10 PM EST, Sunday night, July 2nd, 2017.
All across the United States today, Christian churches (not all, but many. Too many) took a day off from teaching Christ and made patriotic declarations about God & Country. The church I was raised in sang a song about how “The Cross is my Statue of Liberty” (gag). Pulpits were pounded, veterans and military were praised, and people were berated for having questions about the direction the country is headed (or for not having questions, depending on your political team). The Battle Hymn of the Republic was sang next to worship songs about Christ’s death on the Cross. Red white and blue buntings hung from pulpits and tiny hands waved flags.
It’s weird, you guys. Growing up, I didn’t realize exactly how weird, or wrong, or heretical it was, but it is in fact all of those things. I have no problems with any of those patriotic activities, except when you tie them to church, or make them equal with and a part of your faith.
Your faith should be in Jesus Christ, not the United States. Therefore, you should not worship the United States alongside Jesus Christ.
So here are some crazy ideas of churches on Memorial day weekend, 4th of July weekend, etc:
-Jesus did not specifically endorse the United States
-Worshiping the United States is idolatry. Christ is greater than Country.
-Christians who are not patriotic are no less Christ-like than those who are patriotic.
-Consider what exactly you’re doing when you drape the cross with the American Flag, or the pulpit, or replace some of the worship music with patriotic songs.
-Jesus is not personally in favor of your political party. Every side and independent philosophy does things that would make Jesus facepalm so hard.
-It is very easy to be more excited about your nation, where you live right now, than it is to be about your Savior, who walked here 2,000 years ago. Be honest with yourself & God.
Don’t misunderstand or me. I friggin’ LOVE this country. I am “Don’t Tread On Me” (or “no step on snek”, however you roll) for life. The United States – Under Obama or Under Trump – is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. I won the genetic lottery to be born here, and that’s true for everyone born here, regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender or religion. ‘MERICA.
But this crap? This has to stop:
Jesus didn’t say anything specific about the US. While the bible and Christ do speak about Government, I’m preeeety damn sure that wrapping a Flag (any flag) around a cross counts as Idolatry.
This is kind of a crappy subject for me. I’m way more excited, in general, about being an American than I am about being a Christian. Christians kind of make me twitch in the bad way, and Americans are….everything. From amazing to horrible and back again. We’re all kinds of crazy, a nation built on the idea of “GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR SHOOT ME RIGHT THE HELL NOW, CAUSE I AM PUTTING UP WITH YOUR TAXATION BULLSHIT NO MORE!” (paraphrasing).
Christianity, to me, comes with baggage, and being an American, to me, comes with hope. (I am, by the way, 100% aware that this is backwards. My hope *should* be in Christ. I am working on it. I won’t lie and say I’m all fixed up and have my faith screwed on right, though. )
But even *me*, broken, bitter, jacked up me, who’s crawling her way back to the Body of Christ, I’m saying “Uh, let’s not worship the country, let’s worship Christ”.
So maybe, pastors, fellow moms, people in charge of guiding the next generation – let’s focus on Christ in church, and other things outside of Church. Just a crazy little idea I had.
Happy 4th of July!