Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christians Should Not Fly This Flag


I live in the South of the U.S.A. My home (Savannah, GA) is a beautiful city with many positives. However, one negative is that some folks who live here have never gotten over the South losing the civil war to the North. Some of these people choose to voice their displeasure by flying the Confederate Battle Flag (see above) at their homes, on their cars (bumper stickers), on their T-shirts, etc. The excuse I often hear is that, for them, this flag stands for Southern heritage.

The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensures that people can fly this flag basically wherever they want to. It is considered a form of free speech. Some take full advantage of this.

The problem with this flag is that for many Americans it stands for something far different than Southern Heritage. To many American blacks it is a reminder that their ancestors were kept in slavery for all their lives. To them it is a sign of hatred and inhumanity.

I'm not surprised that secularists cannot agree on what to do and think about this flag. Satan loves to cause hardship and strife in people's lives. Since he controls the minds of those apart from Christ, the arguments and angst will continue over the Confederate Battle flag.

I'm not a politically correct guy. Anyone who knows me will testify to this. However, my view on this issue happens to fall in line with political correctness. I firmly do not believe that Christians should fly this flag in any way, shape, or form.

The reason I believe this is that the flag is so incredibly offensive to many people. Blacks compose anywhere from 12-14% of the U.S. population. That's a large number of people.

Those who fly this flag say they have the right to do so. At a political level they do. However, we Christians live by a different standard. We are called upon to surrender our rights for the sake of the gospel. The apostle Paul discusses this in detail in I Corinthians chapters 8-9. In I Cor. 9:12 Paul writes, "Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ." The context of these chapters is food sacrificed to idols and financial support for church planters. However, the general principle is clear. We should do nothing that hinders the proclamation of the gospel.

Let's return to the Confederate Battle flag. Why would any Christian fly it? Because it offends so many people, it could easily get in the way of any sort of gospel proclamation to those offended. That is enough of a reason to jettison any connection with this particular flag.

When we moved Georgia seventeen years ago my wife Alice and I were both employed in the public school system. The high school she worked at had as its mascot a confederate soldier (no joke). At football games whenever the home team would score a touchdown a canon was fired. This was quickly followed by the band playing Dixie. The sad irony was that the player scoring the touchdown was usually black. The first line of the song says, "I wish I was in the land of cotton." A black woman standing next to my wife at a game told us that she very much does not wish she was back in the land of cotton.

As followers of Christ we must be willing to surrender any and all rights for the sake of the gospel. Jesus gave up his life for the gospel. The least we Christians can do in the South is not fly a flag that offends millions of people.

3 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

Yes to this.

That is all.

CTS said...

This falls under the argument I make against the corporate church and paid pastors. Our rights end where the gospel of Christ begins.

Eric said...

CTS,

Amen!