Civil Religion Has No Place in God’s House

Joe Carter | July 4, 2017

This weekend, churches across the United States set aside their usual time devoted to worshiping Jesus in order to celebrate our nation.

On most Sundays Jesus is the center of the worship service. But on Sunday before Independence Day, Jesus often take a backseat to the flag. In one prominent megachurch, members of the congregation waved small U.S. flags, while the choir sang about pledging allegiance to the flag. A few minutes later, the flag was brought by an honor guard (complete with rifles) to stand before the pulpit so the people in the pews could genuflect before their nation’s symbol.

I understand the motive behind such “Freedom Sunday” services. I consider myself to be as patriotic (rightly understood) as anyone else. I spent one-third of my life serving my country, and would still lay down my life in her defense. I love my country. I love the American flag. I love the Fourth of July. I even still love that cheesy Lee Greenwood song “God Bless the USA.”

I just don’t think the symbols of the American nation have a place in the embassy of the kingdom of God.

My main objection is that such veneration for our country within our…

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