A Memorial Day Tribute (by CB Scott)

by Dave Miller on May 26, 2014 · 80 comments

America is at war. As of yesterday, 05-24-14, the number of men and women of the American Armed Forces who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan was 6,805. It is highly possible that before anyone reads this post another father or mother will be notified that their daughter or son will not be coming home. Another young wife or husband may get the news that his or her spouse paid the ultimate price. A little boy may learn that his daddy will never coach him in Little League again. Some little girl may come to the realization that when she gets ready to go to her high school prom, her mother will not be helping her pick out her dress or help her put on her makeup.

Yes, America is at war. However, that should not be a surprise to any of us. Truthfully, there has never been a time when either a great number or a small group of Americans were not engaged in a combative posture with an enemy of this nation we call The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. There is no glamour in war no matter the size, no matter the cause. Nonetheless, it is my opinion that war does become necessary in the human experience. War is necessary to maintain the kind of freedom such a nation as ours has enjoyed from the time of its birth. Freedom is a very costly commodity.

Therefore, I believe it to be proper and right to take a day and remember those who have given their lives to keep America free-to protect our way of life. I thank God for every man or woman who went into harm’s way and gave their lives. I thank God for those of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corp who have paid the highest price for freedom. And yes, I thank God for every American Operative, Contractor, and Mercenary who fought and died in places snakes and dogs won’t crawl that will never be reported or have their names written on a wall or monument to protect the interest of this country and the freedom if its citizens in foreign lands.

I am an American and I am not ashamed to be one. I will never back down from flying Old Glory, pledging allegiance, or singing God Bless America in church on Sunday morning in honor of our sons and daughters who gave their all for this country. By the providence of Holy God I am blessed to have been born here and I will never cease to thank Him for all He has given me as a citizen of this nation.

Beyond thanking God to be an American, I thank Him for Jesus who rescued me from the wrath I so greatly deserve. I thank Jesus who gave His all that I might have life and life eternal. There is no greater freedom than that freedom wrought by the blood of the Lamb. Today, I sang God Bless America and I thanked God for those who died to keep my nation free. I also sang Amazing Grace and I thanked God for the Soul Cleansing Blood of the Lamb. The day will come when there is no America for which to thank God. However, there will never be a time to cease thanking God for the ultimate sacrifice, that of His Only Begotten Son. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I see. ‘Twas blind, but . . .”

In Christ Free,

cb

1 Dave Miller May 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Thank you, CB, for this appropriate tribute.

2 dr. james willingham May 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Amen! In chorus.

3 Max May 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm

“There is no greater freedom than that freedom wrought by the blood of the Lamb.”

Thank you CB for reminding us of the cost of freedom not only for our country, but for our souls. So many live in freedom, but are not yet truly free. And because I’m free … I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ!

4 Greg Harvey May 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Thank you for the very clear comparison between the temporal sacrifice of many of our fellow citizens for a temporary freedom and the eternal sacrifice of one for many that promises eternal life and freedom from the slavery of sin to those who will put their full trust in Jesus Christ.

My brother-in-law is a Captain in the Army. He is always on our hearts and minds during his service. We don’t usually know when he’s home and when he’s away, but we get the occasional picture of him with his two sons and that provides an extra moment of thanks when it occurs.

5 Bob Cleveland May 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Thank you, my friend, for saying what we all know but seldom think about and rarely say. Please keep saying it; I’m personally joining the chorus as soon as I can log off here and get to my own blog.

6 Doug Hibbard May 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Remembering back to growing up among my fellow Air Force kids, and the ones whose Dads never came back from training flights and other “routine” events during the Cold War. So many sacrifices, and many that folks will never know.

7 Bob Cleveland May 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm

CB: I copied this and put it up at Eagles’ Rest. With attribution, of course.

It’s just too good not to.

8 Dave Miller May 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I will assume that two checks are in the mail – one to Cornelius Beauregard and one to me.

9 Bob Cleveland May 26, 2014 at 6:56 pm

An you KNOW what “assume” does…..

10 Lee Saunders May 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I watched the Memorial Day concert from the mall in front of the Capitol in Washington last night. Though that is not intended as a “Christian” event, in so many of the stories of the veterans, and some of the terrible situations they survived, or in some cases, the bad news that their families received, the presence and power of God was evident in so many of their lives.

“God Bless America” and “Amazing Grace” along side each other in church, indeed!

You are hereby notified that portions of your blog post will be borrowed… :-)

11 Tarheel May 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Perhaps one of the best secular speeches of the meaning of memorial day.

http://youtu.be/O-C1L3BjoLs

12 volfan007 May 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm

CB,

This is really, really good stuff, Brother. Of course, we would expect it to be…coming from you! Thank you for your service, CB. From what I understand, you went to places that snakes and dogs wouldn’t go, in order to fight for freedom. Thank you.

David

13 Chris Johnson May 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

CB,
Good word!

It is a blessing, to be able to honor those that have died and given each American, at this point in history, a dynamic opportunity the speak the Gospel! Glory to God!

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Blessings,
Chris

14 Barrett Case May 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I am uncomfortable with the idea of patriotism in the church, especially in a church service. It seems tantamount to idolatry and worship of country. I can’t see how any degree of such is acceptable.

Now, certainly, we all bring some level of idolatry with us to church and to a church service, but PROGRAMMING such idolatry into a church service seems unthinkable to me.

How dare Christians pledge allegiance to anything or anyone but the Lord. I am appreciative of our servicemen and women (my father is an Air Force veteran). But allegiance pledged or worship given to any other is wrong. And it’s especially out of line during a church service.

Father, forgive us all.

15 Chris Johnson May 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Brother Barrett,

I think you missed what cb was intimating in his piece. He, as much as anyone I know would not worship any other but God alone!

Surely you know that to be patriotic is not only a good thing, but a Godly thing. Patriarchs, kings, priests, prophets and apostles—were clearly patriotic. They demonstrated their patriotism by love of country and caring for the welfare of the people. Jeremiah certainly is the bullseye for your criticism.

The guys I know here and our forefathers are right to be patriotic. I think you may be confusing Patriotism with Nationalism.

Blessings,
Chris

16 Barrett Case May 26, 2014 at 11:51 pm

“To be patriotic is a Godly thing”???

I don’t see it. I’m sorry. Pledging allegiance to a flag and to the republic– an act of patriotism — for instance, is incompatible with Christian faith in a jealous God.

17 Chris Johnson May 27, 2014 at 7:46 am

Brother Barrett,

Tarheel stated it well in his comment below. Nationalism (allegiance to such) seems to be what your beef is with. Misplaced worship certainly can occur, even when ordaining folks in some churches,….so I get what you are implying. Loving a people does not always lead to idolatry.

Blessings,
Chris

18 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 12:37 am

Barrett
I think your argument is mighty thin. What is done on Memorial day is just another way to ask God to bless our country, and to thank him for what He has done.

19 Barrett Case May 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

My argument might be mighty thin, if it wasn’t so sadly true. Far too often, our Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veteran’s Day celebrations at church cross the line. I’ve seen it, and I know you’ve seen it. If it’s just another way to thank God, that would be fine. But it’s rarely, if ever, that. It’s most always more.

20 Dale Pugh May 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

Baloney.

21 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 10:23 am

Dale,

I don’t think we should unilaterally throw the baby out with the bath water….but I do think Barrett has a valid point for consideration – even if a bit overstated.

22 Dale Pugh May 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I have NEVER, I repeat, NEVER been involved in a service that worshipped the nation. Overstated? Absolutely.

23 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Barrett

No! I have never seen it. Your thin argument is not true.

24 volfan007 May 27, 2014 at 10:01 am

Barrett,

I have to agree with the others. I think you’re way off base with this. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a good citizen of a country, praying for the leaders, asking God’s blessings on your country, and obeying the authorities of our country, unless they go against God’s laws, of course. Also, freedom is a very precious thing….it’s worth fighting and dying for….and, we should honor those men and women, who fought and died for freedom.

Barrett, it’s not idolatry to love your country.

David

25 Dwight McKissic May 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm

CB,

I learned a lot from this post. Unless I learn something of value, I consider what I’ve read a colossal waste of time. Your’s is a worthy investment. Thanks.

26 dr. james willingham May 29, 2014 at 8:36 am

Dwight: I attended a Black University in Missouri, founded by two black regiments after the Civil War. I think of those men, resolute soldiers, determined to achieve the highest good, caring for others. I think of the training I had under one of the great Black Historians, Dr. Lorenzo J. Greene, Associate Editor to Carter G. Woodson on the Journal of Negro Life and History. Dr. Greene told me to start doing research. “Choose any subject you like. Take notes on every thing that covers the subject that you can get your hands on.” The result was 3000 5×8 notecards and a knowledge of Baptist and Church history which would enable me to serve as Chairman of the Historical Committee of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association and as Chairman of the Historical Committee of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. That research would enable me to write a thesis in American Social & intellectual History on the subject, “The Baptists & Ministerial Qualifications: 1750-1850, ” a play on the Jersey Baptist Church History, “Mirror of Our Past,” and an Address as a Chairman of the Historical Committee of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, “The Genius of Orthodoxy: Eldresses.” It would lead to other discoveries about Blacks and Black History or, if you prefer, African Americans and their accomplishments. This includes the 5000 that served in Washington’s army, the regiments from Rhode Island, the 180,000 Blacks who served in the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldiers who ended the Apache dominance in Southwest Texas and in New Mexico (these same men would be in the charge up San Juan Hill). There is more, but I could teach a course on the subject. I do note that Southern Baptists here and elsewhere were not too interested in what I knew about Black History. It was easy to identify my theology as the reason for rejection (Sovereign Grace), but they were exceedingly careful not to say anything about my knowledge, training, and experience in Black History. Even the Moderates were not really nice about this. My Moderate project director said, “You ought to have known better than to select a controversial topic like this (Christian Love & Race Relations!!!). If that church fires you, I will be right there behind them, supporting them.” Then when I got the project done, he nit picked the project so much that on the Friday preceding the Friday of the Baccalaureate I blew up. With due threats to the President that I was not going to the Board of Trustees, but to the floor of the SBC and raise one of the biggest stinks ever seen, and the project was quickly approved and I attended the Baccalaureate and then received my Doctor of Ministry on the Saturday after that second Friday. I kind of think that them folks then thought along this line. A Black couple back in the days of the beginning of integration went into an appliance store to purchase a washer. The salesman showed them a long line of Washers. The wife looked at the line of washers and responded, “Don’t you have something in color other than white?” The salesman who had some idea of how to respond, flipped up the lid of the nearest washer and said, “Don’t worry about it. Everyone of these washers has a black agitator in it.” I think that white Moderate school thought they had a black agitator in this white boy. Well, they sure had one that was upset.

27 Dwight McKissic May 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

Dr. Willingham,

That’s quite a story. You have an incredible history and have acquired a wealth of knowledge along the way. Thanks for sharing it with the readers if Voices. You were ahead of your time-a man born out if season-with regard to your passionate pursuit of Black Studies during the time frame that you pursued it. Thankfully, The Lord has allowed you to live a long time. We are now benefitting from the knowledge you gained before many of the readers here were born, which might also include me. And I am no spring chicken.

28 D. L. Payton May 29, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Dr. Dwight
Every word of what Dr. JW is saying is true and this is just the surface. He has found original source material on Baptist history that other people did not even knew existed. He has more historical facts at his beck and call than any man I know. He is by definition a true “historian”

29 Dale Pugh May 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Timely, appropriate, and well communicated, CB. Thank you.

30 D. L. Payton May 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Dr. C.B.

Thank you so much for the post. I can say AMEN to all of it.

My Dad was a WW2 Vet. He was in the first wave on the Normandy landing and was with the 3rd Army as it went through “The Bulge”. He was a Godly man and I am very proud of him.

I did not serve in the military and that is a regret. If I could turn back the time I would serve and do so proudly.

31 dr. james willingham May 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

And I am proud to have Ben Payton’s signature on my ordination papers, and his son as my brother-in-law.

32 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 9:24 am

Tarheel

Very well said. Very true.

33 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 9:29 am

Dr. J.W.

As am I. Thank you

34 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 5:08 am

Barrett,

I disagree with the total rejection if patriotism in your post – inferring that it’s ungodly. I think honoring the Lord with thankfulness for all things including our country is biblical and can be truly worshipful.

However, your point is well taken in my view that patriotism can certainly be over done and become idolatrous. Especially in worship services. We must take special effort to not commingle the gospel with American Patriotism.

35 cb scott May 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

“We must take special effort to not commingle the gospel with American Patriotism.”

Tarheel,

I heartily agree with the above statement. As a matter of fact, I shall take your statement of caution to a personal conclusion.

Anyone who would “commingle” the Good Story of Jesus Christ with American Patriotism does not have a solid understanding of either.

American Patriotism could never amount to the supremacy of the gospel of Christ. For the gospel declares the manner in in which God rescued us from the dominion of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.

American Patriotism as celebrated on Memorial Day is actually slight in comparison. Memorial Day celebrates the sacrifice of men and women who sacrificed their lives to free men, women, boys, and girls from tyrants and despots who would deny liberty of multitudes of hearing the gospel were such a thing possible.

The word “worship” can never, in the heart of true followers of Christ, be granted to a human cause, not even of such a noble act as dying to keep one’s country free of bondage to evil men with godless ideologies and desires to exalt themselves above God himself.

We can remember and honor those who have made sacrifice by thanking God for them, but we never worship them or the nation for which they died.

I think we can conclude that Paul himself recognized the sacrifice of a faithful soldier by a simple review of his letters. Specific to this would be Paul’s last Epistle which was written to Timothy wherein he used military illustrations to challenge Timothy to stir up the gift within him for the cause of the gospel. See 2 Timothy 2 for an example of such an illustration.

However and nonetheless, I stand by my contention that if a pastor of a local Southern Baptist church would allow American Patriotism to become the focus of worship, he has failed the calling of Christ to proclaim Christ and Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and King and is preaching a false gospel. I conclude with Paul that such villains be declared anathema!

Let me be so bold as to state that I have no problem in honoring a man who has committed noble acts for a just cause. (I believe freedom to be a just cause.) However, may God strike me dead if I ever bow my head or bend my knee before another human being no matter how great or significant his accomplishments.

36 Rick Patrick May 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

CB,
Thank you for this meaningful tribute. I will be sharing it during our church staff meeting devotional this morning.

37 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has protected freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has protected freedom of speech.

It’s the soldier, not the preacher, who has defended the freedom of religion.

It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has protected the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who has protected the protestors right to burn that flag.

38 dr. james willingham May 27, 2014 at 9:23 am

Tarheel: During the American Revolution, Elder Elijah Craig, chairman of the Committee and the Committee on the Revolution, met with the colonial legislators and made an agreement. To wit, that in exchange for the freedom to practice their faith, the Baptist ministers would go back to their communities and encourage their young men to enlist int he Patriots Cause. Elijah Craig was evidently, along with some relatives like James and Lewis, so effective that one whole regiment of the colonial militia bore the same last name, Craig, my grandmother’s maiden name. Also a close friend with the name of Donald Lee Craig was a descendant of Elijah Craig. The Craigs are a Scot clan, an extended family. I have three other clans in my family tree, the Banks and Tons (?) and Bankstons.

39 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 9:26 am

Tarheel

My comment of May 27, 9:24 should be here

40 Peggy Scott May 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

C.B. What a touching article for me to read.Yesterday I had the priviledge of attending a Memorial Day Program in a nearby town and I was humbled by the many men from all of our wars who were honored for their services for our country so that we can enjoy our freedom. They also called out the names of those who did not return to their families. We cannot take our freedom for granted. May God continue to use Christians who share the gospel every day and witness for Him.

41 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 11:34 am

Barrett is right and the rest of you are wrong. “Hail Caesar” days have no place in the Lord’s house. CB says he wants the American flag there to pledge his allegiance to it rather than to our Lord. He wants to sing of Old Glory or to the America which murders a million and a half of its weakest each year. Not me no way. I have spent far to much time trying to convince those of other countries that Christianity is not an invention of the United States as a tool to subdue other nations. I have spent far too much time exhorting other people groups that as Christians we are citizens of a Heavenly City. While CB is pledging to this murderous sin loving enslaving energy burning nation, what of the native of other lands to pledge to? Suppose there are visitors in your midst. Can they separate your loyalty to country to your devotion to Christ and His Kingdom. Yes,on Monday go ahead and attend your patriotic parades and pledges. I can join you there. On the Lord’s day I can thank God for freedom, pray for leaders and appreciate sacrifice, but here is one disabled veteran who will not lift a Hail to Caesar when I should be worshiping God.
Bravo Barrett!

42 cb scott May 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm

“CB says he wants the American flag there to pledge his allegiance to it rather than to our Lord.”

jtilson,

I made a promise to someone that I would not get into a personal war over this issue. However, I must declare that your statement above is completely without foundation. Therefore, you did not understand what I have written or you are, with willful intent, lying for some purpose of your own making.

I do not know you and it is obvious you do not know me. For I have never and would never pledge my allegiance to the flag and the nation it represents rather than to our Lord. Your statement is simply not true.

43 Dave Miller May 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

jtilson, CB is my good friend, but that does not stop us from frequently disagreeing.

On this, I back him 100%. To say that his loyalty is to to America “rather than to the Lord” is a slander for which you should apologize.

CB would probably say (though these are my words not his) that he sees no conflict between total devotion to Christ and a declaration of patriotism and gratitude for our nation. Patriotism does not demand idolatry.

Now, we could have a reasonable discussion of the limits of civil religion and just how much patriotism there should be at church, and how closely the interests of America and the work of the Kingdom should be defined.

That would be an interesting discussion.

However, in your zeal, you have slandered a good man and you will not be allowed to do such anymore.

You want to talk, fine. You want to slander fellow believers. Not here.

44 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Dave I now see that there was ambiguity in the statement regarding the pledge. What I meant was that in the moment of saying the pledge he was doing that to a country rather than to God. I can see that some of you misunderstood what I was saying, and that was not my intention. I thought I was dealing with the issues of civil religion and some took that as slander which was not my intent.
Now CB implied that I was lying. You have implied that I was slandering. I intended neither. but I can see why you thought so. I have no need to lie nor slander and detest those who do. Does that help?

As I said before, CB also clarified his positions in the 11:52 or so post . I can actually agree with most of the rest of what he said. It is the “in the church” sentence that I contend.

45 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm

jtilson

I do not have the vocabulary or the eloquence to say how much I disagree with what you have said.

46 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

wow. I join you DL in the “speechless” category.

Jtilson – if nothing else has achieved what few others have been able to do…that being render both DL and I speechless.

Also, whomever made CB make that promise has some stroke! CB held back after that?! ;-)

47 D. L. Payton May 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Tarheel

ain’t it the truth LOL

48 Chris Johnson May 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm

jtilson,

The target was about fifty yards to your left.

Blessings,
Chris

49 Dave Miller May 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

comment hall of fame, Chris.

50 dr. james willingham May 29, 2014 at 8:50 am

Jtilson: After the Vietnam war, when the soldiers were coming home, there were those lined up to spit on them. I take it you might well be of that viewpoint as you seem to know nothing about the doctrine of a just war. It is true that our soldiers are being abused by wars designed to advance the cause of a conspiracy that runs the whole earth and has for some 200 years or more, but let me say that the original intent has something to do with this. The folks who wanted to maintain the freedom of religious, speech, press, etc., intended good to their neighbors. Do you spit on them, Jtilson? If so, thank God you never tried to spit on a special forces fellow. I conducted the funeral of one who said no one ever spit on him, one of the most terrible warriors in history (speaking as a historian who studied wars and soldiers). That man’s Uncle moved to Japan, because he objected to the no-win attitude of our government in Vietnam, the same with Korea. Just think how hunkie dory it would be, if Hitler had one. Ever look at the pictures taken by one of your church members, pictures of one of the concentration camps? I did, and it gave me nightmares. Have a son. I have. Can you imagine him and yourself lying dead of starvation in that prison compound (I saw a number whom I so identified as likely to be fathers and sons), frozen in rigor mortis. And look above to D.L.’s father who helped to end that dreadful tyranny. A kinder, gentler man you could not find. There is more, but I defer to time and other considerations.

51 dr. james willingham May 29, 2014 at 8:51 am

if Hitler had won.

52 jtilson May 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

Wow Dr. Willingham, What ever led you to believe that I was the spitting type and exactly what did I say that you concluded that I know nothing about just wars? I think you went on a rant here without foundation, something I don’t normally see you do.

If you go back and actually read my comments you might glean that I am a Vietnam era veteran who served with honor as my country asked. I celebrate our country and its heroes in community political/civic forums where I find it most appropriate to do so, but I will not do so in the church. I will not pledge allegiance to the flag of the US in church and in fact believe its very presence is an abomination. When we equate being a good Christian with being a good patriot of the US, we have skewed the message of the cross. Those churches which have a blend of nationalities in the congregation must surely see the logic of this. Those congregations which even have a hope of ministering to Hispanics must consider the offense that it causes. Remember, I only quibbled with one sentence in CB’s piece. Aside from that one sentence I have not needed instruction in civics nor explications of patriotism vs. nationalism. The array of smoke screens , barbs, and evasions have all been interesting. I have learned a lot. Mostly I have learned that Southern Baptists really do like a little civil religion thrown in with the worship of Christ. I think there is a better way.

53 Christiane May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I don’t think C.B. is idolatrous, and I am certain he is a patriot.

If you look at a country like Great Britain, where thousands were killed by German bombers during WWII, you will find a kind of patriotism that is not in conflict or competition with worship. Look at their hymns

‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ and ‘Jerusalem’

in the lyrics of those hymns, patriotic expression is not at all taking away from Divine Worship. Nor are the two conflated. It’s about love, and about unselfish love at that. C.B. is undeserving of attacks on his post. I believe some people who commented owe him an apology.

54 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

CB
Just saying that while you are flying Old Glory in the church, and pledging in the church, and singing God Bless America in the church (that is what your sentence said, no lye), you could be worshiping God instead, no lye.
Now, why not deal with what I said too. Any mixture of Gospel with patriotism is a false gospel, unless that patriotism is to the Heavenly City where our true citizenship is.
Chris Johnson, you really think that Paul was patriotic toward Rome? How many yards to the sky is such a statement? Can you imagine a gathering of Saints from Mexico, the US the Brits and the Argentinian all being patriotic together in the time of worship? I can imagine them being patriotic to the Heavenly City and getting along, but not if their allegiances are to countries with their imaginary lines drawn on this earth.
I have never been in a church service

here in the US which did not go far beyond being thankful to the mixing of our political agenda with our Christianity. Until I do, these days are Hail Caesar days for me and I will not render to Caesar that which is not Caesars.

That is all I am saying. CB, your statement at about 11:52 tightened it up a bit. I just think it is time to stop mixing politics and worship. There are secular ceremonies for that and I participate. I wont give a moment of God’s time to anyone else. No lye.
,

.

55 volfan007 May 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

jtilson,

Do you make lye soap?

David

56 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Volfan cheap shot. You do see that I corrected myself about 40 minutes before your snide remark. Was it fun?
Tarheel, you probably shouldn’t have. But this way you don’t have to deal with content do you?

57 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Lol…I was making a joke from the other thread and not directing it at anyone in particular.

However, if you’ve been reading my comments I’m about the only one who has affirmed in any way any of your diatribes …. I’ve said you have overstated a good point.

You like biting hands trying to help you?

58 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Sorry Tarheel but I fail to see where you tried to help me. Could you point out where that happened. Otherwise I thought my comments left you speechless. Which is it? Gave up biting people some sixty years ago, but I don’t mince words and I’m not easily discouraged by the jeering section. If you want to discuss issues, I can.

59 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I’m sorry…you’re right. I affirmed to a point what Barrett said…

What you said is so far afield and extreme – no one can help you.

:-)

60 Chris Johnson May 27, 2014 at 5:18 pm

jtilson,

You are fighting the wrong battle for no apparent reason, and adding characters as you go. A bit of over-reach?

But, when it comes to Paul, he was highly patriotic in the sense I am speaking. He also had some buddies in the Roman guard, but he also didn’t have too much of a problem with his love for Christ…only a few lapses (Romans 8).

He wrote this as well…which probably won’t set well with you as well…. just after his admission of failing:

“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”

Sounds like Paul is worshiping himself, until you read further. I think we know what Paul is getting at though,….right?

As far as CB goes,…he is not an Apostle (some other denominations may like to make him one though), but if you read any of his other comments, its pretty clear what platoon he is in, and who his commander is…..no doubt!

Blessings,
Chris

61 volfan007 May 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Chris is right….it sure does look like Paul loved his fellow countrymen a great, great deal. His heart broke for their lost condition.

Apostle CB, I have a corn on my big toe that I need you to heal. Should I come down to Georgia? Or, do you make house calls in TN?

David

62 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Funny
Chris. His love for his countrymen now morphs into patriotism. Too funny for words!

63 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

lie

64 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

“You forgot to purge yourself with hellabore while you were preparing to fabricate this lie.”

From Proceedings at Augsburg, pg. 290 of Luther’s Works, Vol. 31

(just thought I would throw this in there.) ;-)

65 Chris Johnson May 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Brother jtilson,

You simply have “nationalism” mixed up with what patriotism means….

patriot (n.)
1590s, “compatriot,” from Middle French patriote (15c.) and directly from Late Latin patriota “fellow-countryman” (6c.), from Greek patriotes “fellow countryman,” from patrios “of one’s fathers,” patris “fatherland,” from pater (genitive patros) “father” (see father (n.)); with -otes, suffix expressing state or condition. Liddell & Scott write that patriotes was “applied to barbarians who had only a common [patris], [politai] being used of Greeks who had a common [polis] (or free-state).”

Blessings,
Chris

66 Tarheel May 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Welcome to 5th grade civics class, jtilson. Take notes, please.

67 jtilson May 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Thanks Tarheel and Chris
This is not the first time that America’s civil religion has been discussed here in the blogs. I find a lot of decrees in your posts but very little reason.
I will only refer you again to my comment at about 3:05. I would like for either of you or anyone else who thinks I am so seriously wrong to at least deal with the reasons that I gave you.
If you can’t do that perhaps you could ask the next Mexican you see what he thinks of the American church.
Have a lovely evening.

68 Dale Pugh May 27, 2014 at 10:59 pm

“Any mixture of Gospel with patriotism is a false gospel, unless that patriotism is to the Heavenly City where our true citizenship is.”
I would say that everyone here agrees to that, jtilson. Not one person here is advocating a mixture of nationalism/patriotism with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not one person. And I would also venture to say that every person here understands the preeminence of our heavenly citizenship. That does not, however, negate doing honor to our nation and those who have served it to the point of sacrificing themselves so that you would have the freedom to continue worshiping as you do. Had the Allies failed in the 40′s, I dare say that life in America would be MUCH different than it is today.

“You really think that Paul was patriotic toward Rome?” Read Romans 13 and tell me that Paul didn’t see the hand of God at work in that earthly kingdom. Was he “patriotic” about it? His heavenly citizenship compelled him to be a solid and contributing member of his own nation. The fact that he was unwilling to compromise his faith when the attempt to force him to renounce his faith is a testament to what we should all be: Christians first, earthly citizens second.

“Can you imagine a gathering of Saints from Mexico, the US the Brits and the Argentinian all being patriotic together in the time of worship?” Why not? Why can’t people of several nations gather together in gratitude for the place they call home? Why can each not desire to see his or her nation blessed by God? Why does it have to be “either God blesses me or God blesses you, but He can’t bless us both”? God is bigger than that. And I can imagine this being done within the context of the recognition of biblical teachings on earthly citizenship. You make it either/or and it doesn’t have to be that way.

“I can imagine them being patriotic to the Heavenly City and getting along, but not if their allegiances are to countries with their imaginary lines drawn on this earth.” I agree. But if the earthly citizenship is primary do you really think that the heavenly citizenship matters all that much to such people? I don’t.

“I have never been in a church service here in the US which did not go far beyond being thankful to the mixing of our political agenda with our Christianity.” I’ve been to plenty. I’ve conducted many. Never has any service I’ve been a part of raised the banner of country above commitment to Christ. As a matter of fact, each of them has made it clear that our nation has no hope without Christ.

I will continue to salute the flag, say the Pledge, honor veterans, and pray for our nation’s leaders. I will continue to be grateful for this land I call home. But I do so recognizing that all of that is nothing without the power of God’s grace at work in my life and in our nation. I dare say that everyone here would give that same witness. You go to far. You make blanket statements and false accusations. You make our gratitude out to be idolatry, and that, sir, is

69 Dale Pugh May 27, 2014 at 11:00 pm

oops…….hit “submit” too soon.

and that, sir is simply wrong.

70 Dave Miller May 28, 2014 at 12:09 am

Well said, Dale.

71 jtilson May 28, 2014 at 7:00 am

Thank you Dale. I can agree with most of what you say. Your 3rd paragraph still skates over how other countries feel about American political patriotism in a religious context, but at least you didn’t recommend civics lessons. Thank you for your serious response.
Since the last time this civil religion was discussed we got a lot of the same fluff without dealing with the issues, I thought rattaling cages might be more proper. I expect the 4th of July Hail Caesar Day might provide more opportunity.
As I have said before too, I can agree with all that you say if held in a public forum. In the Church I still won’t render to Caesar a moment of my time.
Thanks again.

72 Chris Johnson May 28, 2014 at 7:17 am

Brother jtilson,

I understand the point you are trying to make, and join with you in not surrendering ground to the real enemy. Praise be to God, that battle is already won, the blood has been shed!

Blessings,
Chris

73 Dale Pugh May 28, 2014 at 8:00 am

I appreciate your reasonable reply. And I respect your freedom to choose how you will or will not “hail Caesar.” I do not “hail Caesar” either, as that would constitute the equivalent of emperor worship. But I do exercise my freedom to honor my country and those who work so diligently to protect it.

I do not discount your very strongly held beliefs, but I do strongly disagree with them.

74 D. L. Payton May 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Dale

well said. In fact it is for that principle that men and women die on the battlefield.

75 Dale Pugh May 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Exactly. My 90 year old dad served in the 3rd Marine Div. during WW 2. He was 17 when he landed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 24, 1941. He was at Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, etc. Guess I get my sense of honor for country from him. He faced death, saw death, and even exacted death on others. I do not envy him for his memories of those days.

76 D. L. Payton May 28, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Dale
I completely understand. Somewhere here I stated that my Dad was on the first wave of the Normandy landing. He went with the Third Army through “The Bulge”. He was a foot solider who carried an M1 Garand. So he too saw action.

He was also a Godly man

I did not serve in military and that is a regret. If I could turn back time I would. I feel like my Dad did his part but I did not. And like you, all of that moves me to feel deeply about or men and women in service.

77 D. L. Payton May 28, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Dale
One more thing. You mentioned the memories. My Dad would not about serious things except for one incident when as he put it “God saved him from death” However he would readily talk about the humorous things. Did you know that somewhere in what was occupied Germany, there is a Jeep that is high centered on a big rock. They simply walked off and left it.

78 dr. james willingham May 29, 2014 at 8:58 am

Brother Jtilson: Go back and see where I pointed out that the Baptists enlisted their young men in the Patriots Cause in the days of the Revolution. They were very much a part of the military from the get go. Now they are being forced out it, their places being taken by those who despise the Christian Faith. Just consider how nicely they will treat you or any of, regardless of our contretemps here, just because we call upon the name of Jesus. Then you will begin to wish for the days of old, sure enough. And that while sitting in the concentration camps that are already prepared and partially staffed, waiting for all of us poor dumb ignoramuses.

79 jtilson May 29, 2014 at 10:13 am

And what does all that have to do with me? I am a patriot of the US. In spite of the millions of aborted, in spite of the imperialism of the last century, in spite of Vietnam, in spite of our excessive waste of energy resulting in the destruction of our planet, in spite of the present administration’s opposition to all that is Holy, in spite of our willingness to think we are all ways right because we are the US of A.

You simply are not dealing with what I have said. Go back and read my comments.

80 Chris Johnson May 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

Brother jtilson,

What you just stated is correct. Regardless of national policy, being a patriot is distinct and separate. Paul did it that way, I do it that way, looks like you do it as well. Now that is something we can all get our arms around, and even talk about within our local church families.

Blessings,
Chris

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