Since it isn't a "church service," is it insignificant?
Photo from Journey Films/RNS via the Texas Baptist Standard
These bishops are honoring their leader and their military.
Photo from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
This should be disturbing. I find the photo below equally disturbing.
I find in the hour of trial that the Sermon on the Mount is tosh, and that I am not a Christian. I apologise for all the unpatriotic nonsense I have been preaching all the years. Have the goodness to give me a revolver and a commission in a regiment which has for its chaplain a priest of the god Mars: my God.- George Bernard Shaw
There are endless differences between the Nazi State and the U.S. Government and its leaders. I am not comparing the United States with Nazi Germany in any way. I am not saying that putting up the American flag is the same as saluting Hitler. (If accused of this, I'll ignore it.) I am comparing the attitudes and theology of the Christians. I find the apparent political theology of the Christians in the first photographs to be the same as that held by the Christians in the third photograph.
In the face of growing religious nationalism and the increasing collusion of the German Church with the German State, the Confessing Churches of Germany issued the Barmen Declaration in 1933.
We reject the false doctrine that the Church could and should recognize as a source of its proclamation, beyond and besides this one Word of God, yet other events, powers, historic figures and truths as God's revelation (paragraph 1).
. . .
‘Fear God. Honor the Emperor.’ 1 Pet. 2:17. Scripture tells us that by divine appointment the State, in this still unredeemed world in which also the Church is situated, has the task of maintaining justice and peace, so far as human discernment and human ability make this possible, by means of the threat and use of force. The Church acknowledges with gratitude and reverence toward God the benefit of this, his appointment. It draws attention to God's Dominion [Reich], God's commandment and justice, and with these the responsibility of those who rule and those who are ruled. It trusts and obeys the power of the Word, by which God upholds all things. We reject the false doctrine that beyond its special commission the State should and could become the sole and total order of human life and so fulfill the vocation of the Church as well. We reject the false doctrine that beyond its special commission the Church should and could take on the nature, tasks and dignity which belong to the State and thus become itself an organ of the State.
My thesis: For Christians, patriotism is bad, and bad for us. It is idolatry. For elaboration, see Friday's post, below.
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