I "belong" to a mainstream denomination and attend a fairly large church. "Mainstream" does not mean, however, that all of the churches within this denominition are just alike. On the contrary, some are very charismatic while others are a little more conservative while others are somewhere in the middle, and a few are basically on life-support. And with all of the variables of the church at large, you also get the same from the congregant members. Some lean left. Some lean right. Some stand in the middle. Some don't care as long as they can drop their kids off for sunday school and scoot on over to Starbucks.
Recently, and for no apparent reason, someone took the U.S. Flag out of the Sanctuary. For those of you outside of the U.S., it is fairly common for churches to display the U.S. Flag in their sanctuaries alongside the commonly accepted "christian flag" and the denominational flag, or any combination thereof.
This is in no way intended to endorse the over-reaching, all encompassing policies of the US Government. It is not intended to be the focal part of worship nor is it idolatry either. It is not a statement of belief that the United States is a Righteous Christian Nation. It is simply, in our denomination, and our church specifically, a sign of respect for the country that it symbolizes. Respect for a country that allows you to worship when and where you wish. To worship whom and in what manner you wish. To NOT WORSHIP if that is what you wish. To NOT have to display the US Flag or any other symbol if you DO NOT wish.
So back to its removal. It was done innocently enough it appears, but some folks wanted it back in the sanctuary. Some persons went to the Pastor of the church and voiced concern that they did not want it back in the sanctuary. There was, of course, a BM (Big Meeting) and a committee and a vote and now its back.
Yesterday before services, not only was the US Flag displayed - but in protest a Texas A&M Flag and a Mexican Flag were drapped over the balcony by a member. Another member quietly left their seat and removed the flags and spoke with the person who placed them there.
It is all becoming a bit silly.
To be sure, I can worship God without any flags being present. Truth be known, I can worship God without any crosses being displayed (after all, weren't crosses displayed during the crusades? not to mention all those vampires who have been harmed by them...a little humor there), candles being lit, or pews to sit upon. But out of acknowledgement and respect for God for all He has done for us through the Cross we display it prominently. To enhance our worship and acknowledge God is with us, we display an open flame to symbolize the Spirit. To accomodate long winded preachers and the disabled, we provide seating. Out of respect for a country that allows us to worship as we please without fear of arrest and execution, we display the U.S. Flag.
I really don't know why people have to complicate things so much. There being so many things that need our attention more so than this, such as hungry children, adequate health care, and to quote the evangelicals "spreading the good news", what difference does a flag in the sanctuary make?
As for the protestor: I think if he had displayed the Univ. of Texas Flag - it might have went differently for him.... ;) ~npp