The Flag and The Cross

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” (Psalm 33:12).

The grand old flag and the old rugged cross are two symbols that hold great meaning to many. The flag and the cross have both impacted the world in significant ways and have literally changed the lives of millions of people for the good. Both represent sacrifice and freedom. Both uphold the ideal of equality and the dignity of persons, the rule of law, the right to life, and the pursuit of God’s blessings or happiness. Both encourage virtue and character and represent the highest of moral ideals. 

A flag waving in the breeze gently reminds us of our beloved country, of how blessed we are to be Americans, and of how privileged we are to be free. We ought to love our country and the flag which represents it. Yet, as much as we love our country and strive to live worthy of the banner that flies over her, the cross deserves our loyalty and allegiance even above that of our country and the flag.

We do well to remember there’s a difference between our commitment to the cross and our commitment to the flag. Since the beginning of human governments, rulers have tried to combine the power of their throne to the power of God or their gods. Jesus is the only Ruler with the right to unite throne and altar. Until he comes we need to understand the difference between our love for God and our love for country. Rick Hogaboam said it this way. “If our worship doesn’t transcend our patriotism, then we are guilty of idolatry, of turning God into a national mascot.” What an important reminder!

A nation of patriots is not enough. A country with only national pride is inadequate to the task of realizing the ideals envisioned at our founding. We must cling to the old rugged cross. Our faith can not come second to our patriotism, humanism, or any other ism. Our allegiance must be first and foremost to Christ.

Do the flag and the cross matter? Absolutely! America is an exceptional country because of it, and will only remain an exceptional country if we maintain our proper loyalties to each. The cross makes better citizens, for it is the cross alone that can transform the human heart. Reconciliation and healing are only found at the foot of the cross. Our commitment to deny ourselves, to pick up our cross, and to follow Christ daily is the only true hope for any nation (Matthew 16:24). 

To listen to the entire message, click here! If you’d like to watch any previous messages, visit our archives. To watch this Sunday, click here! The live feed begins at 10 AM. The message is “The Flag and The Cross.”

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