I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag?

The passing of this last week has arrived with no absence of political, religious, or social controversy. Even the casual follower of news knows of at least the two greatly controversial, but highly monumental moments in American history. In the course of just under a week the flag representing a dying subculture of the Confederates is called out for removal, while a different flag representing an emerging subculture of the homosexual community rises into the acceptance of American Judicial Law. In both instances, as a self-proclaimed Christian and casual church attendee, I see potential for a person outside of either of these subcultures to be easily convinced of the toleration for a passing judgment causing a deeper divide. This divide, while driven by the roots of our beliefs, will give reason to those that do not buy in to your chosen faith, and ultimately pushing them away from the faith that you’re teaching. The marriage equality ruling will be the needle that lays the deepest divide among this country, and I urge everyone to avoid the side of hatred. As a persevered follower of Jesus Christ, I have a difficult time listening to the featured opinions of most American Christians on this matter with a straight face.

As a disciple of Christ we are called to love one another as ourself (James 2:8), so is it appropriate to pass judgment upon those that associate themselves with a flag that we do not agree with? Whether or not the flag represents segregation and hatred, or freedom and love we should not lose focus that what matters most are the people behind the flag. Without a flag to congregate groups of people behind specific ideologies we would merely have one collective group called the human race. With that established theory, Jesus did not come to Earth just to save the Americans, or the Israelites, or Republicans; He came here to share His love with everyone.

I try to live my life each day using Jesus as an example so that my reaction and perspective toward things are as Christ-like as my broken mind can accomplish. One key component of the teachings of Jesus that I always keep in sight is that there are no predetermined entitlements to God’s Love. He has no prerequisite for His acceptance, no requirement for Grace, no rules to the Kingdom of God other than to believe in Him and to steer your life on Earth with Love. Who are we, as Christians, to judge those that we feel are falling short of the teachings of God? Aren’t there a dozen or so different versions of Christianity? How am I to be certain that what I believe is superior to what you believe? How are you sure that the way you interpret the Bible is more true than the way I interpret it? My point is that the only absolute interpretation of the Word of God is Love. Without it we have no foundation for our beliefs and the religion we claim becomes unproductive. It goes on to show that it is more of a choice to judge someone for being homosexual than it is to be homosexual, and yet we continue to judge them and not ourselves.  Jesus taught several times when He was on Earth about the cautions of passing judgment (Luke 6:41-42, John 8:7). He would suggest judgment by us to only be passed after we have removed all reason for judgment within ourselves.  Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, thus critical thinking skills suggest that no one is capable of casting that first stone. We must be mindful of our actions as a Christian community to alleviate any repercussions of the hatred and suggested segregation that come with such a quick and broad stroke of passed judgment.

A nation founded on freedom should also not be so quick to draw a line in the sand between those in which the law pertains to and to those that it does not. To deny any group certain rights that is otherwise available moves momentum towards the acceptance of segregation, and ultimately a version of a modern-day American caste system. Within the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s our government radically changed its judicial perspective toward the African-American community through the 13th and 14th amendments granting them equal protection within the law through the confines of liberty. At what point can our nation decide who is NOT eligible for liberty? A fleeting rebel group of British soldiers just a few hundred years ago fought for equality and freedom under a law that protects from this very type of persecution. In order to uphold original intent of our politics we must not continue to embrace hatred toward people that are viewed to be different.

It must be understood that without a changing heart, without a loving embrace, future generations will view the American flag in similar distaste as the Confederate flag is today. Similar theories could be said for the Christian flag. If the Christian community does not react with love, but instead with hatred, judgment, and condemnation then it too will be viewed as a symbol of separation. To be a Christ following American patriot we must keep our faith and our politics separate. We cannot dictate our politics through our religion, or vice versa. If the overlap between politics and religion continue to eclipse then the social separation between those that are in need of God’s love and those that claim to be of God’s love will continue to grow.

4 thoughts on “I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag?

  1. Hey… I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you still wholeheartedly believe what you have written here when the marriage equality ruling happened two years ago. I commented earlier asking if you still believe this way (not sure if it malfunctioned. I suppose I’ll just contact you if it occurs again because this is important to at least consider). After reading through your blog on this, I’m sincerely concerned you don’t understand Christianity… the very religion you are speaking on behalf of. I have no control over how you receive my (lengthy) response, but it is my intention to not harm or condemn you, but to simply reason with you about this. I would hope it was at least received with some care as it is coming from your cousin who loves you and your family.

    So again, I am pretty confident you don’t understand Christianity, or the One who is Jesus Christ. Many of your statements are not supported by Scripture…

    ///“…causing a deeper divide. This divide…”///

    I understand you have a sensitivity to how “Christianity” is presented to the world… But do you understand that Jesus Himself said “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” He who loves father or mother more then Me is not worth of Me..” As Christians, we aren’t to be in search of division, we are to be “peacemakers”… but Christ comes with great offense.

    Why does Christ and true Christianity come with offense? Jesus tells us why “ it [the world] hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” Jesus made it clear that He was not to bear this hatred alone, that His followers would receive the same hatred “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

    John the Baptist (as well as all of the disciples) are perfect examples of this for us. Read the story of John the Baptist. Todays media would harshly and ironically point the finger at John saying that he was judging. He told Herod that “it was not lawful for you to have her”.. his brothers wife. It was adultery. Simply speaking what was not lawful got him put in prison and ultimately beheaded. John the Baptist bore the marks of the characteristics Jesus said His followers would have: hatred and persecution from the world.

    Whether we as Christians admit it or not.. there is a division. There will be a division. A great division. Proverbs says that “an unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.” Also: “those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them.” There are plenty of words from God giving us a heads up that our road is not a comfortable one when following Him.

    ///“pushing them away from the faith you are teaching..”///

    Again.. this statement, while said by many, isn’t even possible. Why? Because it’s God who calls us. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” So can a mere man truly push one away when God Himself has drawn him?

    This statement is a peripheral threat to be quiet. Bottom line is: we are all held accountable by how we heard and responded to “God’s” call.. not to the call of man (Luke 8:11-15). While the world is held accountable for their own response to God’s call.. each Christian is held accountable for how they handled the words of God. Thankfully, our words, have no bearing on whether or not a person receives or rejects Jesus Christ.

    Jesus faced much rejection during His ministry on earth as well as to this day. When Jesus was talking to the excited rich young ruler about what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus “pushed him away” by telling him the truth: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Again, Jesus proving Himself… the reason why people are pushed away is because He testifies of its work that is evil. The young man chose the love of his sin over following Jesus Christ.

    Some disciples couldn’t even stomach Jesus when they got to know Him better. “Does this offend you?… The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” So is it the Christian or is it Jesus Christ who divides? After all, He said He came with a sword… His life, His words, prove Him right.

    Furthermore.. false Christians try to do the impossible by making the Gospel more palatable for the rebellious world… Scripture already told us the truth by helping us to understand that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…” Without understanding the seriousness of their sin and their eternal state, they don’t believe they need saving. They pity a man who they think died for nothing.

    More examples that Christians and Christ’s message brings division between them and the world : ”For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” We are a putrid stench to the spiritually dead. We are a fragrance to those who love Jesus Christ.

    ///“I have a difficult time listening to the featured opinions of most American Christians on this matter with a straight face.”///

    So I gather your irritation is more towards “most Christians” than it is with the fact that Jesus is slandered and blasphemed daily by both sinners and those who falsely proclaim Christianity. As I stated earlier, I don’t believe you understand Christianity. Christian behavior towards other Christians is “loving, patient, longsuffering… able to be taught, rebuking and correcting in love, submitting to one another, reasoning with one another..”

    “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us to go to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

    “Submit to one another in the fear of God” Why fear? Read Matthew 24:45-51 on how it deeply affects Jesus when He see’s how His children treat one another.

    My response to Christians who have little tolerance in dealing with a fellow believer is … maybe that’s because you aren’t a brother and sister in Christ? If the irritation is so deep that you are more quick to side with the world than with those who have been redeemed, maybe there is a terrifying reason for it?

    ///“As a disciple of Christ…” “Is it appropriate to pass judgement…?”///

    Where do you receive instruction on how to be a disciple of Christ? Is it not by His Word that we understand the characteristics and requirements of a disciple? Jesus Christ Himself is a Christians definition of love. The true and eternal definition of love. You are believing the worlds definition. If you believe the worlds definition of love and who Jesus is … and you are not believing what Jesus says about Himself… this is idolatry (making a god to suit yourself).

    What did His love reveal to us on the Cross? False Christians really like the part where He died for us… but what is the cross further showing us? “God gave His only begotten Son…” The Father did not send His Son on earth as a graceful feather to rest upon humanity… He was given as a sacrifice. His purpose was to be delivered into the hands of wicked men to become brutally murdered. That wasn’t even the worst part. The sacrifice was the worst part. He was rejected by His own… He was rejected by His Father, while He suffered the full and absolute wrath of God upon His innocent and pure body and soul. His love is no doubt saying, “look, I did this for you!” His love is also warning that what He suffered, those without Christ will suffer, not for three days, but for eternity. “…and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

    What are some things that mark a disciple of Christ? We are “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us.” When a Christian says they are not trying to convert you, then they may truly not be Christian… “we implore you on Christs behalf, be reconciled to God.” As a disciple of Christ, we have been entrusted with “the ministry of reconciliation.” Why? “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad…”

    We are told we are to “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..” And just as it comes with the role of an ambassador… If we preach God’s Word and it goes unheeded… it is not our words that judge them, but the Lord’s. “If they kept My word, they will keep yours also…” “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”

    Jesus has given us a role, and He takes it personally and seriously.

    ///“to share His love with everyone…”///

    Yes, He sure did. And there’s the sorrowful problem. He shares His love, He opens His arms to a world that hates Him. Very very few return His love. “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Jesus asked “…when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on earth?”

    What does it mean to love God in return? “And he who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” So you really believe there are “no prerequisites for His acceptance”?

    His love compels people to repent of their sin. “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” “Be holy, for I am holy.” Judgement day reveals and makes evident what we truly believed when we heard God spoke, “God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

    ///“I try to live my life each day using Jesus as an example..”///

    Do you call out heretical teachings that intend to prevent others from knowing the truth of God’s Word? Do you see God being profaned and mocked and blasphemed and drive out the synagogue with a whip? Do you faithfully speak the truth to those who both want and don’t want to hear His Words and joyfully accept the persecution that comes with the message? Do you lay your life down for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you draw the outcasts close to you, having compassion on them while you reveal to them their broken relationship with God? This is the example of Jesus Christ. More examples: “If you walk in the Spirit, you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh…” “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” These are biblical examples of what is an acceptable example of living like Jesus.

    ///“One key component of the teachings of Jesus that I always keep in sight…”///

    My fear is that you have spliced and taken away from Jesus what you desire from Him, and have not submitted to what He desires of you. There are many facets of the nature and character of God. He is more than love. He is also justice. Not like any government we have ever known. He is absolutely Just. He even tells us who to fear… “fear Him… who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” There is only one component you keep in sight, really? Does the story in Matthew 7 not concern you? “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven… Many will say to Me in that day… ‘have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Do you think it’s possible they themselves focused on only one component of the God they were convinced they knew and loved?

    ///“there are no predetermined entitlements to God’s love.”///

    While this is truth… there is however, predetermined entitlements to wrath and hell for every person because we were “brought forth in iniquity, and in sin [our mothers conceived us].” While you focus on the love of God, which is for every person, you ignore His warning of eternal death for every unrepentant sinner. God loved every soul that is now tormented eternally (by His doing. He sent them there)… the love of God is overwhelming and greater than we know, but only profitable for those who take Him seriously when He says that those who take up their cross and follow after Him are worthy of Him and will have everlasting life with Him.

    ///“believe in Him…”///

    Belief is more than an intellectual nod to God. If He says “go and sin no more” … belief is the action of obeying what He just told you. Jesus said of the Pharisees “you search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life..” A believer “does the will of His Father” Belief is obedience “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    ///“steer your life on earth with love.”///

    Paul became very frustrated with the early Christian believers because after he told them the truth of God’s word and to not depart from it, they were bewitched into believing any teaching that came their way… Christians are still being deceived this day. While God speaks for Himself in His Word about who He is… the world is introducing their Jesus, who truly has been around already. The false Jesus is Gandhi, Oprah, Bono, Mother Teresa… they all preach love. None of them preach the call of Jesus, to die to yourself and to obey and glorify the Son.

    The difference between Jesus and all other false gods and leaders… His followers “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” and “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” The difference is we exalt the one true God, living according to His will, not our own… All other religions will have you serving yourself.

    ///“Who are we, as Christians, to judge..”///

    Christians are to “contend for the faith.” The world, not God, perceives this as “judgement.” Jesus Christ says that we will be ruling and reigning with Him, judging the nations. He told us to judge the body of Christ. Why for? Because “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” In order to keep the body of Christ as a pure and spotless bride for Christ, we are to remove anything creeping in that is defiling His body. [[[Please read all of 1 Corinthians 5 about this very thing]]]

    The world and false Christians misuse “judge not.” That is not what Jesus said… He actually tells us to “judge with righteous judgement.” The judgement He dislikes and will avenge Himself is judgment that is done with hypocrisy.

    Judgment is necessary, for the health of the Church, for the freeing of slaves held captive by the power of sin and the grave… it is therefore godly and God-given.

    ///“Aren’t there a dozen or so different versions of Christianity?”///

    No, not at all… There is One Christ. One Spirit. He has one body, that being the Church.. The wickedness of man, by refusing to obey God in submitting to one another and loving one another, have created these divisions. They are not from God. Again, what does Scripture say about what identifies Christians…?: we are to be “like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” How does this justify the mass of denominations, thoughts, opinions…? It simply doesn’t. The body of Christ cannot be divided. “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

    ///“… the way you interpret the Bible..”///

    “Love God, your neighbor as yourself, your enemy. Do not lust, murder, covet. Do not lie, cheat, steal. Pray without ceasing. Flee from the devil. Submit to God. Submit to your husband and honor him. Love your wife. Give thanks and honor to Jesus. Defend the faith. Persevere to the end. Be of good cheer. Honor your parents. Train up your children. Sin no more.” What is there to interpret?

    This kind of statement or idea causes doubt and confusion and is a deception itself. Jesus said the Holy Spirit “will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things I said to you.” “Those who seek the Lord understands all things.” No one “interprets” the Bible. For the one who desires to know Jesus, they seek His face and ask Him for understanding: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” “…how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” When the ungodly draw their own conclusions and their own philosophy from the Word of God, they are digging their own grave. For those who misuse the words of the prophesies in Revelation, their warning is strict and the punishment is severe: “if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part in the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

    ///“’all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’…’suggests no one is capable of casting that first stone.”///

    But what is the context surrounding Romans 3:23.? It doesn’t mention judgment but rather boasting. The purpose of that verse is to drive the point home that no one, not a single person, can obtain eternal life by their good works. And if all have fallen short, who then stands in our place? Jesus Christ and only Jesus… we do not boast in ourselves, we boast in Jesus and His work. It also further explains it is only those who approach Christ in faith that will be saved. All other religions (except for Christianity) preach that humans are good enough on their own… Jesus says that our “righteousness is as filthy rags.”

    Again, the judgment Christ hates is that of hypocrisy… with a desire to see the condemned person have their justice served on their terms. They were literally picking up a stone to throw at Mary… When Christians are plainly telling others what Jesus says is wrong (in His eyes)… that is not a stone. As a matter of fact, it is not a stone but a sword (which He has given us, His Word). We do not judge with Word of God, we fight with it. We defend the faith with it, while fighting on the behalf of souls who are perishing in their blindness. God does say, that if you judge someone (shame someone) for lying, yet you lie yourself, you will endure the same judgment you placed on the person who was just like you. Remember, God is not mocked.

    ///“critical thinking skills suggest”///

    The Christian does not “lean on our own understanding,” because “the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.” We have a conscience He has given us. We either obey it… or ignore and eventually have our “conscience seared with a hot iron.” Skills are what the world acquires… those who depend on their own faulty minds. Jesus praises the Father because He has “hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.”

    ///“At what point can our nation decide who is NOT eligible for liberty?”///

    What true Christian is really concerned with the liberty a nation can give? This world is not even our home. Nations and governments do as they always do, they come and go. A true Christian takes after their Father, and their upmost concern is not their temporal civil rights, their concern is for the eternal consequences of each human being. Our true right as a human being is eternal death. Nothing else. We have offended our righteous God and Creator, we have rebelliously given Him the fist… our “right” is death. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, if we believe Him and obey Him, we are now covered by Him (from the wrath of God) and have “been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

    Our business in the lives of others should not be to make their stay here on earth as cozy as it can be, our business should be what we were given (ministry of reconciliation). Christians want true and everlasting liberty for people… for the “truth [does] set us free”… “For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

    A true Christian does what Jesus did: “to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

    Christ is giving mankind what he needs in order to live the life He intended for them… pacifying a persons sin against God is what satan does in order to destroy that soul. Again “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

    ///“… future generations will view the American flag in similar distaste…”///

    So is it politics or Jesus? The American flag or Jesus? Even the Christian flag or Jesus? It cannot and will not be both. All nations. All tongues… all knees bow before Jesus Christ. In this blog, it’s evident you are more concerned about what the world thinks than what Jesus, who is Judge, thinks. The crime is against Jesus. It doesn’t seem to concern you at all that there are multitudes rebelling against God in the most unmentionable ways. Remember, all nations will be judged by Christ as well… how they governed God’s people and His land. Matthew 25:32

    ///“If the Christian community does not react with love…”///

    Again, whose definition are you using? The world, or God’s…? We know God demonstrated His love on the cross… but also His wrath. God cannot be love only. If He loves, He also hates. He is Love, He is Just.
    If a Christian reacts with the list you mentioned (hatred, judgment, condemnation), then that person is not a Christian. You as a Christian should be able to point that out for others to understand.

    The world truly hates Jesus Christ and His Church, and will try to use His own words against Him. Love warns about “the wrath to come.”

    ///“To be a Christ following American patriot we must keep our faith and politics separate.”///

    Choose one. We can’t be both. We either submit to ideas that glorify Christ or that rebel against Christ. When a nation continually changes and casts off the laws of God as if they were irrelevant and old news… you have to chose who you were serve.

    Politics or Jesus? This is one of the many reasons the Jews hated Jesus and rejected Him as their Messiah. They were looking for a political savior to deliver them from Rome. All the Messianic prophecies told us that He would come as a man to pay the penalty for our sins. When Jesus died, rose from the dead. and sat at the right hand of the Father… it tells us afterwards, He returns not as a lamb, but as a Lion, ruling the nations with a rod of iron. The Jews kept bringing up pesky and pointless political issues, while Jesus always responded with the answer that mattered… answers that pointed people to spiritual freedom from sin and life through righteousness.

    When Jesus walked the earth… His mission was always to be about “His Fathers business.”

    What other option is there? “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”… “in which you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are either patriots of satan’s kingdom or servants in Christ’s kingdom.

    ///“keep our faith and politics separate…”///

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” So how are you to love God with your all, yet keep your politics separate?

    “If the overlap between politics and religion continue to eclipse then the social separation between those that are in need of God’s love and those that claim to be of God’s love will continue to grow…”

    Yes. There will be a separation: the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats. And it is God who separates. What do you say for Paul when you tell the world about Christianity, when he says “if anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed”? That doesn’t seem like a loving thing to say, yet he endured extreme hardships (labors, received stripes, imprisoned, deaths, beaten, stones, shipwrecked, night and day in the deep, many journeys, perils of water, robbed, wearied, sleepless, hunger and thirst, cold, naked ) to relay the message of the Gospel to that same group of folks you say needs God’s love… Paul laid down his life to tell them the Truth in Jesus name… and you don’t lay your life down to comfort the lost in their sin leading them to death… Marriage Equality in Jesus Name… Please pray about your title… because it screams of blasphemy. Marriage was created by God and exemplifies the very nature of God… do not be found guilty of the same crime the lawyers in Jesus’ day committed: “Woe to you lawyers! For you have the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”

    Please consider all I have written. You are my family. I love you and your family. But if this is truly how you speak/feel/believe about Christianity… then you truly don’t know and are wrong. And that is the most terrifying thing to be wrong about. Please consider these things. Lastly, remember… Jesus said “take heed how you hear…” and He, along with Paul and those who love Him afterwards, cry from the rooftops to not be deceived… and that if we truly loved the Truth and hated the lie, we would be protected from the lie.

    1. Thank you for your detailed and thorough response of the words that I wrote. I appreciate the fact that you pointed some things out that I have failed to consider (i.e. the title of the piece) which I may offer an edit in the near future to correct that perception. I’ll keep this short. I guess mainly because I realize that we can easily have this conversation in real life if we want to. Well, that and typing out “he said, she said’s” doesn’t feel quite adequate to the topic.

      You are very well spoken here, and I appreciate the amount of time that it seems you spent on your response. I want to interject briefly and clarify a few quick things.

      1) I believe you may have missed my point entirely with what I wrote. Half of the piece was focused on the take down of the confederacy and our human nature to rally behind a flag. I do believe that it is poison to be a Christian nationalist and, in my opinion, it is nearly impossible to be person of good faith and a politician simultaneously. Main takeaway was meant to be to love everyone regardless of who they are or what they represent.

      2) At one point you accused the act of love as a form of idolatry. I respectfully disagree. The people lost in the world need a bridge to walk across so that they can experience God’s love. If all we do is condemn the wicked then how will they ever find grace? If they are constant targets of the judgement that you describe then I find it difficult to believe that the kingdom of God would grow at all. With this mentality the kingdom of God is simply a privileged group born into the religion of Christianity. And what I mean there is that if you aren’t born in a Christian home then the chances of you finding God’s grace would be slim to none because everyone around you representing God would be so busy judging your behavior and choices. It is not my job to judge. It is God’s. If I am wrong with believing that then it is up to God to judge me for that misconception of His Word.

      3) You quoted my phrase “no prerequisites” and used it against me. My rebuttal: I said “no prerequisites except to believe in Him and to love.”

      4) Lastly, I would like to respond to your concern that I am more concerned with what the world thinks than what Jesus thinks. Yes, I am concerned with what the world thinks because if the world thinks that Christians are a bunch of jerks then how are we to be a good witness? Judge others? Sure. Judge them with kindness. Judge them with love. God said we will be hated? Ok. But does that mean we are required to be hateful?

      It may have been self-righteous of me, but with the words I wrote here two years ago I was simply attempting to warn whoever may read it to avoid feelings of hatred when considering people we may disagree with. You say we are called to condemn through hatred, and I say we are called to witness through love. Whatever that is interpreted as is beyond my control, but my focus is to ensure more people hear about grace through Jesus’ love instead of the stronghold to Jesus’ wrath through judgement that you have described.

      1. Just to reiterate.. I’m sincerely concerned and do not have an accusation against you. My deepest intent is and always will be to reason with a great deal of care. Based on your response, I would like the opportunity to talk with you about all of this some day. I feel as though I could write pages and pages, and things would still go misunderstood. There are things I wrote in which you made a response that indicate I may not be making my point clearly (less important is “my” point, more importantly being the Lord’s truth). Thank you kindly for you response!

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