Here are three reasons why I believe Christians should not fly the Confederate flag.
I believe that racial tensions in America are not so much an issue of a flag but an issue of the heart, but the truth is the Confederate flag has come to be associated with racism. I understand the historical value of the Confederate flag to some, but is it really worth flying when for many years it was and apparently still is symbolic to those African Americans who lived under the bondage of slavery? Whether we think it’s fine or not is not the point. To others perception is reality, and if this flag is the cause of offending others, then is it really worth flying? Will you make your right to fly the Confederate flag more important than the feelings of others?
The Confederate flag sends a message to many people, like it or not, that those who fly it support the idealism of racial superiority. No Christian should fly it if it offends a brother or sister in Christ or even an unbeliever. Paul wrote, “We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry” (2 Cor. 6:3), and that might even be a flag. Paul wrote, “If what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” (1 Cor. 8:13). So we see that the Christian should not put anything before a fellow brother or sister that would cause them to take offense, whether it be food, drink, or, yes, even a flag.
We might have a right to fly the flag on our own property, but the precedence of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:9 should make us think: “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” Just because we have the right to do something doesn’t mean it is right before God and before our Christian brothers and sisters, as Paul wrote, “So by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ” (1 Cor. 8:11-12). Should we fly it just because we have the right to since to many it sends a bad message to our African Americans brothers and sisters in Christ, many of whom who had distant relatives living under the bondage of slavery and many of whom also served and gave their lives in serving in the military for our nation?
The believer in Christ must humble themselves and be willing to go beyond their own feelings or preferences if it means avoiding offending someone. This means putting the interests and preferences of others ahead of our own since we should “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3) and “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21) with the intent to “love one another with brotherly affection [and] outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10).
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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