US Christian flag?

Found this at another blog and thought it could use a bit more airtime. Blogger Phil Wilson comments as follows:

It’s at and the flag itself is very interesting.I won’t bother explaining every aspect of the flag, but you can find that here. The thing that always interests me is simply the phenomenon of why people have this need to place America firmly in the place of God’s new chosen. I won’t bother to point out the sins committed to make America what it is today (Native American resettlement, dropping nuclear bombs, etc.); someone else would point out the ideology of people settling in America for religious freedom, as well as to proselytize the Native Americans. And I don’t think it’s wrong to want the best for the place where you live.I do think the problem is that we become so focused on being Americans, that the Christianity takes a back seat. And even the ugly co-mingling of the two still tries to place them as equals, which is just as idolatrous.Being an American is not a bad thing, just as for Paul being a Roman was not a bad thing, but something to be used for the advantage of spreading the Gospel of Jesus. In the same way, we can use our influence (waning as it might be) as Americans to do the same, whether that’s using our economic power to spread fair trade, or even refusing to buy materials made in sweatshops.The United States of America is NOT a Christian nation. It might have been founded by men with some Christian principles. It might even be populated by Christians in the majority. But nation’s by their very nature are not Christian. Nations cannot sacrifice themselves for the good of others; nations generally seek their own preservation, but that preservation is not eternal. All of the great empires have fallen: Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, British, even the American Empire will fall.

My comment: It was perhaps an unfortunate naivety that was at work when fourth-century Christians looked to a secular emperor as the savior of the church, just because he was so kind as to officially end a policy of persecution, thus placing the churches under his personal imperial protection. We find, perhaps, a comparable naivety at work here. Ever since that time, from the Roman Empire under Constantine forward, the governments of Western civilization have been patrons and protectors of, or sought the patronage and protection of, Christianity: a state of affairs that, I would argue, has consistently compromised and weakened the effectiveness of the gospel message. The United States of America is perhaps a bit unique in that it suffers a collective amnesia in that regard, and many people in this country seem somehow persuaded (quite falsely) that America is the first, and perhaps only, specifically Christian nation in history; that Christianity and Democracy are one and the same (just as the nations of Christian Europe used to persuade themselves that Christianity and Monarchy went hand in glove; remember the Divine Right of kings?).All that said, there seems in this particular effort an attempt at moderation, in that the emphasis on this flag does focus on the gospel being for all nations. But the question is one of method, and of what we think is meant by “this gospel of the Kingdom.” I am not encouraged by the association with Mr. Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, whose educational effort is called “Regent”: an indication of an idea that until the King comes, someone ought to be ruling in his stead. Who do you suppose they have in mind, and how does that square with what Jesus actually taught?Technorati Tags: , ,


One thought on “US Christian flag?

  1. The key contrast between flag and comment lies in J. Phil Wilson’s observation that “Nations cannot sacrifice themselves for the good of others”, and the assertion on the flag site that the cross in the eagle’s talon’s is meant to signify America “taking up the cross.”

    At first that bit of symbolism struck me as kind of sweetly naive. This country, spiritually awakened, could do an awful lot for the world without carrying its cross very far compared to, say, the widow giving her mite.

    But since the site offers no suggestion as to what national policies might constitute “taking up the cross”, I’m left wondering whether the site’s designers may have confused the Gospel’s “take up the cross” with Kipling’s “take up the white man’s burden.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s