Sadly, many U.S. churches are confused about this issue. As a result, this Sunday will be another confusing day when many American church-goers will be hit with a message that is unbiblical in every way.
When I was growing up, I accepted this odd mixture of Christian religion and civic religion without paying much attention to it. I was a patriotic little kid, so I was happy to see various patriotic songs in the Baptist Hymnal on the backs of the pews where I sat every week. I was happy to see a U.S. flag on stage areas much of the time (sometimes flanked by the weird notion of a “Christian flag“).
As I’ve thought about the implications of this odd mixture of patriotism and Christianity, it makes me sick. The U.S. flag has no place as part of a church, just as the flags of various other civic nations have no place in churches, either. If you have loyalties to a government or a state of some kind, that’s your business, but it has no place being given a place of honor in God’s house.