Can redesigning a flag spark Christian activism and help our nation?
This seems to the thought of a group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A group of Christians in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has taken the American flag and replaced the stars with crosses in an effort to do that very thing. The flag’s founder has stated that it’s a “universal symbol of God’s virtue.” My first question is; where is that in the Bible? Here I always thought Jesus and His dying on the cross was “universal symbol of God’s virtue.”, not the redesigning of a flag to fit Christianity. While this may seem good on the surface if we take a deeper look at what is being promoted is here is national activism over Christianity which not taught in the Bible. We has Christians could replace all the flags with these new Christian cross flags and make a better society that looks more Christian but all we would be doing is making it more comfortable for people to die and go to hell in. I'm not advocating as Christians that we should not be active in our lives and our surroundings but we must be careful not to put national pride and our feelings over our Christianity and what the Bible says about our Christianity.
This type of Christian activism in which we place the status of America as a "Christian" nation over the word of God can be seen creeping into almost every denomination and church today and is very dangerous. It takes our eyes off of the Lord Jesus Christ and puts it on our nation, in many ways this national pride and activism is paralleled to the activism and nationalism found in pre-World War II Hitler Germany. I have found several disturbing things that the founder of this flag has stated in an article appearing in the Christian Post on Monday, November 7 of this year. First of all the founding group of this flags states that their idea came from 2 Chronicles 7:14 which states,
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
The very context of this verse out of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is meant as a prayer for Israel not a prayer for every nation of the world. While the biblical principle is there of prayer and repentance in this passage this particular passage is not a formulated passage which states that if you do this thing God will do this. What this group is doing is taking 2 Chronicles 7:14 out of context trying apply to America while this prayer was not intended for America but for God's chosen nation Israel. There is go guarantee that God will grant us a favor because we repent. He could offer us judgment for our sins instead. So to promote this Scripture as a formula to get God to help the United States is un-biblical and not in the context of the Scripture.
Further in the interview with the Christian Post the founder of this group stated; “When the cross is provided in context of the good work of the United States of America and what we once used to stand for, we’re reminded ourselves of what to do and how to do right, by the Lord.” So now it seems that it is our good work that buys us favor with the Lord, at least according to this founder of this group. How about we put the context of the cross in its proper place with our Lord Jesus Christ instead of putting it in the context of the "good work" of our nation? We as a nation can do all the good work we want to do but if we are not doing what we are called to do in the Bible which is to proclaim the good news of the gospel and instead of worrying about the good work we are doing we have nothing more than a works-based religion, not a faith-based religion. Another question I have is why do we need a flag to remind us what we should stand for? Instead why don't we use the Bible and preaching of God's word to remind us as Christians what we stand for? In many ways the making of this flag as a reminder of what we should be standing for as Christians is making a pagan idol. The flag of the United States is neither holy or unholy it is a flag but when we attach Christian sentiment and activism to it we are replacing just a flag and making it out to be more than what it is and we have the potential of making it an idol.
Also as I read further along in the article I found a touch of Dominion theology and New Age references. The Christian Post stated; “The cross symbol, to them, has the ability to bypass the consciousness and communicate with one’s deeper self, where the soul dwells and God listens.” If we look at the wording here of this sentence we can see the new age vernacular "bypass the conscience" and "communicate with one's deeper self.” The phraseology of these words are found in much of the new age type of teaching is coming from people such as Robert Schuler, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickel, and Lou Engle. Also they stated; "where the soul dwells and God listens", why is God going to listen to our nation because we have replaced our flags with the supposedly "Christian flags"? There is nothing biblical in this quote from the Christian Post.
Right after the Christian posts statement the creator of flag stated “The Cross Spangled Banner combines two of the world's most powerful symbols knowing that it will strike that divine spark in each of us.” Here again we see the use of New Age terminology being highlighted when the creator uses the wording, "divine spark". Even though these terminologies and words both from the Christian Post and the creator seem relatively harmless at first glance this is just a example of the slippage towards New Age wording and practices that are happening right before our eyes in the church. Sadly many Christians including the creator of this flag may not even recognize and realize that this is happening before the rice because it happened so subtly.
Another point of discussion I will bring up is when the creator of this flag stated, “As Christians, America is our responsibility second only to the Lord,” he continued. “We have adapted a Christian flag of the United States, designed to do away with an arbitrary element: the star, which is proudly used, too, on the flags of China, North Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Somalia, Bosnia and sadly, more like these.” My question to the creator of this flag is where in the Bible does it state that America is our second responsibility after the Lord? The Bible clearly states that our first responsibility is our relationship with Christ and honoring God. Our second responsibility is not our nation but if we look in the book of Ephesians Chapter 4 we will see that our responsibility is to love our wives and our families as the bride of Christ not our nation. America or no other nation is privatized as second in relationship status in the Bible.
Finally the creator of this flag was quoted saying, “The flag is a symbolic act that contributes to the course of history and can help bring salvation to millions – every Christian’s responsibility.” Really, so according to the creator of this flag Jesus Christ is not going to bring salvation nor the work of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel but instead this flag is what's going to bring salvation to millions. I guess I must be reading the wrong Bible and the creator of this flag must be reading the version of the Bible where it states go out and preach to all nations and make sure you give them a cross spangled flag so that they may be saved. Here we see a perfect example of Christian Reconstructionism. This can be seen by the mere fact that the creator of this flag believes that the saving power for Christians to save this nation is held within this flag not the power of the preaching of the gospel or Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, this type of Reconstructionism and replacement theology where Christians take and put more emphasis on America's place in the Bible is commonplace in many circles today. The truth of the matter is regardless of your eschatology views on where America fits in the Bible we must always look at what the Bible says not what we wanted to say. The Bible never states that America was founded in Christianity or that it wasn't founded in Christianity. When we try to reconstruct our past and make our past out to be something that it may have or may not have been this is a dangerous path and leads to nationalism and Christian activism that is dangerous and un-biblical in its practice. As biblical Christians we are called to preach the word of God and to go out and preach the gospel not to go out and preach that America is a Christian nation. America could fall today and it would not change the fact that God is still on his throne and in control. The only thing that would change would be the shaking up and stopping of Christian Reconstruction that is placing America in the Bible in a place where it is not. I truly believe that this reconstruction that we are seeing within the Christian arena is a judgment by God for putting America over Him. So if you really want to change America for better don't put your faith or your time in a silly flag. Instead put your efforts and your time into knowing the word of God and your relationship with Christ and following what the Bible says not what you wanted to say. In the simplest terms go out and preach the gospel to all nations not nationalism or Americanism.
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