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Some Christians are excited that, this year, Independence Day is on a Sunday. They will have flags prominently displayed in their sanctuary. They will sing “God Bless America.” Their choirs and orchestras may do a special patriotic presentation. Their pastor will speak of Christian freedom and American freedom and the faith of the Founding Fathers and tie it all together with a red, white, and blue bow. This Sunday, some congregations may even say the pledge of Allegiance.
Other Christians will cringe at this. They get squeamish when the American flag is elevated to an icon on the level of the cross, the bread, and the wine in a church service. They worry that we are confusing our allegiance to the Kingdom of God — and the international Church — with our allegiance to the United States. That, perhaps unintentionally, we are insinuating that America has a special place in the eyes of God. They insist that patriotism is fine, but it has no place in the Church, not even on Independence Day.
I’m curious where you land on this issue. Will your church have a patriotic service this Sunday? Will there be a flag on display? If so, does this bother you or not?