Monday, January 28, 2008

On the Symbolism of Christian Nationalism


Oblivious to the symbolic similarity between Stars and Stripes backdrops in American churches and the Swastika draped sanctuaries of 1930's Deutsche Christians, First Baptist Church of Moore, Oklahoma hosted a political revival meeting last night.

I went to see Rick Scarborough of Vision America in action. So did more than 1500 other people. Twelve central Oklahoma churches sponsored the rally. Most of them Southern Baptist.

Pray for Rick and Southern Baptists. They obviously don't realize that their patriotism has become idolatrous. Anyone with eyes to see can observe that the flag has displaced the cross in their ministries.

4 comments:

Asinus Gravis said...

Jeremiah had a lot to say about Scarborough in chapter 23.

Jeremiah there laid out the criteria for recognizing a false prophet:
(1) he is a liar,
(2) he contributes to godlessness by helping evil doers,
(3) he speaks his own visions and not the words of YHWH,
(4) he claims his thoughts are YHWH's,
(5) he gets his material from other false prophets,
(6) he falsely promises the well-being of his fellow citizens, and
(7) he does not benefit the people who heed him.

Other than those things I'm sure he is a charming fellow--that helps in his racket.

I don't know quite enough about Scarborough to know how he measures up on one other cited criteria: being an adulterer. But, even seven out of eight is not good!

Bill Jones said...

Bruce has raised up a painful memory for me. For 17 years, I tried to educate people at my former church on what it meant to be truly Baptist. But it was a struggle, for I got mostly blank stares as I spoke out in Sunday School on behalf of authentic Baptist principles.
In our 17 years at that church, the most painful moment occurred on a Sunday morning at the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003. That morning, the pastor used his sermon to launch a political diatribe against those "Hollywood celebrities," as he called them, who had the gall to criticize President Bush and call him stupid. He recited, one after the other, the level of education reached by the celebrity critics, all of which were below the academic degrees earned by President Bush. Then came the punch line: "President Bush isn't stupid. His critics are stupid!"
That line brought down the house - more applause and "amen"s, for a political attack line, than I ever heard in that place for a spiritual point.
But I shouldn't have been surprised. Every Memorial Day weekend, Independence Day weekend, etc., a gigantic U.S. flag hung from floor to ceiling in an alcove that faced the congregation, from above and behind the podium. The flag totally obscured the beautiful stained-glass window with Christ at the center.
What a metaphor - the flag obscuring the Christ; patriotism trumping faith; nationalism taking over God's house.
What blasphemy! Bruce is right - these people need our prayers; they need God's redemption and forgiveness. They need to open their eyes and realize that they have abandoned Christ for their greater love.
Their tragedy is monumental.

Elisabeth said...

In the Baptist Faith and message, under point XVII, Religious Liberty, it says the following "Church and state should be separate." Most independant Fundamental Baptist churches have that as one of their doctrinal points also. So why, oh why, is there so much blending of church and politics by the Southern Baptist, and some Fundamental Baptist groups, also?

One of my friends said she lost several friends in her church, because she dared to mention she didn't vote for Bush in 2004! And how churches can get away with putting out those "voting guides" is beyond me!

Jim Paslay said...

Bruce,

Your comments somehow connecting the Stars and Strips with the Nazi Swastika in Germany is clearly over the top. Obviously, your analysis about the meeting being a "political revival" are your observations and not what really took place.

If you remember, you and I had a conversation on the phone a couple of years ago and you expressed your disdain for churches having the U.S. Flag in their sanctuaries. May I remind you that you are not the conscience of Baptists here in Oklahoma. Also, I find it refreshing that your views are the minority of Oklahoma Baptists.

Concerning your contention that Scarborough and Southern Baptists are idolatrous in their patriotism, let me quote the only verse that liberals know, "Judge not lest ye be judged."