A new kind of flag?
When flag day comes around in a couple of weeks, you can bet there's one flag I won't be flying. I almost feel the need to put a warning on the link: "images might be deeply disturbing to some".
Here's why the image is disturbing to me:
1. Because we have one supreme loyalty - Christ. We may or may not fight in or support the wars of our nations. We may or may not agree with our nations leaders and politics. But however we work out our devotion to Christ, seeking to embody His ethic in our political choices, devotion to Christ must transcend all national loyalties. The early church martyrs were executed because of their refusal to offer a simple phrase "Ceasar is Lord" in ceremony. Beware of blending two loyalties into one, for then the agenda of the state is easily confused with the agenda of Christ. It's happened often throughout history, and its happening now.
2. The flag implies that America is carrying Christ's mission into the world. Beware of this mixture, both of motives and goals, for it quickly mutates (and has already) into charges of imperialism. Further, when democracy and Christianity are linked, other nations perceive the message of Christ to be the message of American culture. When God, (by virtue of our declaration to be a 'Christian nation') is perceived to be materialistic, the user of the majority of world's resources, the author of a culture in which the aged are marginalized and divorce is rampant, we have a problem.
It's time for followers of Jesus to stand apart from party loyalties and nationalism (while still paying taxes, praying for leaders, and working for the well being of our neighborhoods and nation), and be about the things Jesus is about: justice, compassion, forgiving, loving one's neighbors and enemies, and practicing hospitality. Such a lifestyle needs no flag - it's compelling enough just by the living.