Monday, February 8, 2010

Ahh, the Golden Calf

We had Boy Scout Sunday yesterday at our church. Can I just say that I have some mixed feelings about this?

The service began the way it typically does, then after singing a song or two, the boy scouts procession took place. The scouts and scout masters and (den mothers?...I don't know the lingo) entered following the leader who carried the U.S. flag.

That bothered me...but probably not many others.

Then they led us in the Pledge of Allegiance...and that did more than bother me. I am not anti-boyscout...many of the teachings that they instill are about virtue, character, other-centeredness and I affirm these things. But worship has one aim and that is to pledge allegiance to the MOST HIGH AND SOVEREIGN GOD.

I've gone here with posts before...that there is something in me that is extremely uneasy about having the flag anywhere near the cross, unless we're crucifying it to follow Christ.

I don't pledge allegiance. I don't sing the star spangled banner. And if I had more courage than cowardice I would not stand or remove my cap for these things either.

There is only one who is deserving of my reverence, my standing in honor of, my singing to exalt, my freedom to thank for and that is Christ. God forgive me that I am not yet bold enough to decrease myself that you might increase.

And I know that some would say I'm anti-Boyscout (which I already defended...though it is a para-military organization that lends itself to future soldiers...)and others will say I am ungrateful to live in this country...which is not true at all. But just because I am fortunate to live in a land of opportunity doesn't mean I have to worship that land or forsake the world who needs blessing paid forward to them.

On the plus side, Pastor Jim brought it yesterday. Stop the theatrics...This isn't a show merely to perform outwardly for others...This is about our hearts being transformed from the inside out.

So...convince me I'm wrong...Did we try to cram the worship of more than one god into our Sunday yesterday?


Wood said...

intriguing thoughts....thats all I got, now Im not sure what I feel or think....thanks, youve upset the applecart, now I gotta figure out how and IF I should put them all back

Matt Toddy said...

I think it's time I comment on one of these...I've been reading your blog for a while an I haven't yet mustered the courage to post - but this is something I have thought about often.

I have struggled with the concept of the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem for a while now. I agree wholeheartedly with you - I also refrain from reciting the pledge or singing the national anthem. My fear is that we as the body of Christ have become too political - we want to believe that God is pro-American, pro-Republican, pro-whatever. The truth is that God is El Elyon, God Most High, and that he is far greater and far more powerful than the United States could ever be.

I have a problem with bringing the flag into the sanctuary to begin worship. I have an even bigger problem with reciting the pledge during worship. Yes, we are very fortunate to be living in such a great country. However, we shouldn't lose our eternal perspective on the matter. We are only Americans for a little while. Our true citizenship is with Christ.