From: The Christian Science Monitor
…American Christians seem as devoted to their government as Ruth was to Naomi. But should they be? Do either the flag or the Pledge have any place in the Lord’s house? …
The trouble doesn’t lie with Christianity but with power. The two have always been at odds. Political power is a synonym for “physical force,” for bending people to government’s will regardless of their inclinations, interests, or welfare. But Christianity is love – power’s antidote. Anyone who sincerely follows Jesus Christ will never try to compel others – because he didn’t. Jesus sought to persuade by word and example, loving men so much that he let them judge for themselves the truth of his teachings. …
And many support a war in Iraq that has killed tens of thousands and put civilians – including Iraq’s brave but tiny Christian community – in great tribulation. Sadly, I have yet to hear any American church pray for Iraqis as they endure the persecution, poverty, and pain this war has inflicted. But congregants who are Americans first and Christians second often ask God to bless our troops on Sundays.
If they think about it at all, most believers probably see the flag and Pledge as tokens of affection for their country. In reality, both symbolize an infatuation with government. Churches hope to change circumstances through political force when Jesus called us to change hearts and minds with his message. We cheat ourselves, trusting the state’s inferior and transitory power instead of the Almighty.
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