Have you heard about the confederate battle flag controversy? If you haven’t, you’ve probably been in a closet with no wifi or cell service. Wish I could do that sometimes.
Anyway, how should we, as Christians view this controversy? Why is it even relevant to Christians?
Warning: People will not agree with me. That’s fine, but hear me out, and I’ll give you the same respect.
Well, let me first give you background on myself on this topic. I come from small town Mississippi. I still live in small town Mississippi. My high school was 2A in size, and it is one of the absolute most redneck places on the planet. There is nothing wrong with that either. With that though came a lot of the “Southern Pride.” This was heavily influencing me when I was in high school. I was proud of the flag that my state so proudly bears on it. That flag is the Confederate Battle Flag.
Yes, I understand that the Confederate Battle Flag is rarely ever used for racist motives. It’s a symbol of southern pride and heritage. I live in Mississippi. I understand the meaning all too well.
I used to be proud of the Confederate Battle Flag. My favorite show growing up was “The Dukes of Hazzard.” My cousins were/are all about southern pride, and I’m proud to be southern. I wanted to be like my cousins. I embraced all that came with it. You know, hunting, fishing, camo, confederate flags, talking with a thick southern accent (there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, hallelujah!). Well, after high school I started thinking for myself. I am in college. I’m an adult, and I form my own opinions on issues. I started realizing I am the least country southern boy that you will ever meet. I rarely fish, hunt, and camo doesn’t come near me anymore. I still, however, was proud of confederate flag.
I can honestly say that I no longer care about it. Here’s why.
Many, I don’t know an exact number, in the African American community take offense to the flag. I get the whole “Southern Pride” thing. I understand the vast majority of people who have the flag have no racist intentions. I was there myself, but we live in the Bible Belt, guys. We take pride in our Biblical principles being part of our Southern pride, and this will not get me liked by many people, but why would we support this flag that offends many in the African American community?
What if, because you have a confederate flag on your car or hanging outside of your house, that you lose the chance to be a witness to a person who is offended by the flag?
Romans 14:16 (KJV)
Let not your good be evil spoken of:
It may not be racist, but why take a chance at losing your witness? Is it really worth that?
Hebrews 12:14 (NLT)
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:33 (KJV)
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Paul gave up MANY things that he had for the spreading of the Gospel. He gave up a position of authority. He gave up luxuries and things he liked to do for the cause of Christ!
For the advancement of the Kingdom, and for our good not to be spoken of badly, I believe we can live without it if someone is offended over it.
Here in the south we cling to our Bibles and are proud to be Christians, but how does offending someone over a flag add up? It is not the official flag of the United States government. The Mississippi state government flies it on our official state flag. Look, if it gets in the way of me being an effective witness to someone, I need to put it up, stop, cut it out, or whatever. I’m a proud American. I’m a proud Mississippian, but if a confederate battle flag, which has no use in 49 out of 50 state governments and has no use in our national government and is obsolete besides representing a heritage, offends someone, as Christians why should we cling to that? It can hinder the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven.
I love my heritage. I love things that can represent it. I love my history, but I cannot win some people to God in the African American community because of the confederate battle flag. It’s not about my heritage. It’s about Christ’s heritage. If I can take down my confederate flag to effectively witness and minister to people, it is worth it. The cause of Christ is much more important than my heritage or southern pride.