THE WORD: What about those flags in the sanctuary?

Published 7:59 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

2 Timothy 2:3-4

In many churches, just like ours, there are two standards, or rather, two flags: the American Flag and the Christian Flag. I’ve heard that some people, even some Pastors are uncomfortable with having the American Flag in the church sanctuary that we shouldn’t mix nationality and religion. That’s a fair enough discussion regarding the Bible passage, but I believe that people who love Jesus also love their country.

Also, these two flags represent two types of freedom. One is a freedom that, as someone once wrote: It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble. It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

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Veterans over the centuries have sacrificed so much to obtain and preserve this precious freedom — which also includes the God-given right to worship our Creator anytime anywhere. That leads us to the other type of freedom, represented by the Christian Flag — a greater freedom that can only be found in Christ.

This is a freedom from a life of futility, freedom from the tyranny of sin, regret, hate and bitterness. It’s the freedom to love God and love our neighbor. To serve either of these flags (and the freedoms they represent) faithfully and effectively, we must meet certain requirements.

Before one can become a veteran, one must first be a soldier. So what does it take to become a veteran? Not just a military veteran, but a spiritual veteran? The Apostle Paul knew a little something about that. Having enlisted in the Lord’s army after encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus and enduring countless dangers, toils and snares as a result, Paul was a “Veteran” Christian if there ever was one.

Toward the end of his life — while facing execution for his commitment to Christ — Paul sat in a cold Roman prison, cut off from the world, with just a quill and some parchment. Paul knew that he would soon be executed and so he wrote his final thoughts to a young pastor named Timothy, passing to him the torch of leadership, reminding him of what was truly important and encouraging him to keep the faith as recorded in 2 Timothy 2:3-4.

I am thankful for our opportunity to thank our veterans this past week! And I encourage you to continue in the faith, one day becoming a spiritual veteran when we all get to heaven. What a day of rejoicing that will be. Thank a veteran for his or her service. Thank God for His blessings.

Rev. John Moxley can be reached at