Thursday, June 28, 2007

American Idol

Slice of Laodicea asks a loaded question: Is Flag Waving Appropriate in Worship Services?

Jim Bublitz at posts about American evangelical churches doing 4th of July extravaganzas in worship services near the 4th of July. A couple of years ago, I turned on the TV station that our ministry runs and they were airing a Baptist church service from some huge southern church. My husband and I sat there agape at what we saw. They had dancers that would have done well on Broadway, they had celebrity singers, they had Abe Lincoln, they had Uncle Sam on stilts, they had red, white and blue balloons dropping from the ceiling, they had jugglers and confetti and the people screamed and waved, and a thumping good time was had by all. I’m not opposed to patriotic shows and flags, but does this belong in Christian worship of our holy God? I don’t think it does. What we were witnessing was a circus, not a worship service. Problem was, it was video from the church’s Sunday morning service. I believe that upholding our nation’s leaders in the prayer of the church is biblical. Staging a patriotic show in a “worship” service is not. What do you say?

This was my response:

I for one can’t understand what place the American flag or the teaching of the pledge of allegiance to Christian children has in Christ’s church. One question, to whom and to what alone do Christians owe their whole and singular allegiance?

It would seem that the high places are still not taken away.

After posting my initial comment I considered the matter further and fired off a second volley:

Okay, I'm probably setting myself for some lumps here, but this same question equally applies to the so-called "Christian flag". What is that abomination doing in Christ's church alongside the "stars and stripes"?

Or how about this, what if those familiar and innocuous flags were replaced with icons? What if your pastor asked you to solemnly pledge allegiance to the icons? What if the icons were paraded around the room in a procession set to a joyful chorus of praise? God forbid!

Now before your blood pressure gets out of kilter and your ears start getting hot please understand that I'm not somehow ignoring the fact that thousands of Americans (and pre-Americans) have given their lives to protect the freedoms I enjoy today. The thing to remember is this, it is GOD who gives us those freedoms. The Christian can honor the sacrifice of his countrymen, if appropriate, but in Church we ought to honor God, and not man!