As an extremely conservative evangelical apologist of Christian Faith and religious freedom, I say that there is no good biblical, historical, or strategic reason to defend the flying (display) of the Christian flag (cross, fish, Chi Rho, oil lamp, 10 Commandments, etc.) today. To defend the display of any of these symbols is complete hypocrisy, sentimentalism, and ignorance. Instead, every real Christian should be calling for the expulsion of this symbol(s) from any public area (churches, schools, government buildings, etc.) for the cause of Christian honor and the march of the Kingdom of Christ into the nation.
Being a follower of Christ and a student of the history of the church I am quite aware of the arguments Christians make for the integrity of our precious symbols. I am persuaded of their intrinsic good intentions. The difficulty is that it is simply too easy for liberals (Christian and secular) to manipulate the calamities and hysteria associated to them, and it is too short of a leap from what was decent about Christian values to focus only on the sin of the past.
Perceptively, I understand why those who hate the symbols of Christianity argue against them, especially those who continually (but errantly) make the connection between the travesties of the past and the truth that is our Faith. For them, the crusades, genocides, inquisitions, and oppression of minorities continue and are as real to them as the truth of the gospel is to us.
Unfortunately, if Christians continue to pressure others to accept their symbols either in public displays or on the top of their very tall and offensively visible steeples under such principles as liberty, life, and holiness, they are engaged in one of the clumsiest projections of hypocrisy in history.
First of all, churches everywhere are poisoned with corruption, poor leadership, lack of love for neighbor, and a complete distortion of the gospel. The twenty four hour news cycle is full of sexual abuse, adultery, intolerance, hate, and even racism in churches. All of this occurs while parishioners and pastors shout the glory of the cross, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and liberty for all. What a bunch of crap!
The fact is that the Church screams that the culture needs to accept their “faith” at the same time that they refuse to accept the majority’s desire for equality for the oppressed. Until Christians can actually be consistent in their appeals for Christian virtues, tear down that flag (pluck that fish off your car, erase that Chi Rho off your website, symbol of the Trinity, cross, etc.)!!!
Yes, oppression was a cause
Although very few would deny that Christians generally teach and desire some of the great virtues of life, almost no honest Christian would deny that the Church has explicitly pursued the oppression of the masses, at least at times. This was at least one cause of the Reformation. The reformers revolted against the oppression of the 1500 year old regime named the Church of Rome. This skeleton in the closet of the Church has been hidden under the banner of the Roman Empire’s armies, the shields of the Crusades, windows of the witch hunters, the stocks of Puritans, and the bumper stickers and window decals of a thousand road rage revivalists.
Even though there are a great deal of good and virtuous ideals associated with the Christian Faith, there is no way to get around so many casualties of Christian malice. The results speak louder than the preaching. Books have been written, apologists have defended, films employed, music played, teaching the truth-and much truth can be found in them. All people are sinners. We are people too. I get it. The problem is that the in your face symbols of Christian crosses, high on steeples, statues of Christians, fishes on cars, and Bibles in every motel are too much of a distraction.
Furthermore, over the centuries Christians have penned documents that condone slavery, bigotry, unjust war, genocide, rape, tyranny, and much more. Even worse, for centuries the Church was the ruling government and impressed their debauchery onto the masses by force. And their constant effort to obtain more geography to rule over proves that our ancestors intentions have been imperialistic, spreading their vile hate over the nations of the west forcibly. In fact, it is one of the Churches commands, to spread the gospel. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19, ESV)
It is a distraction
For the millions of Christians who have placed so much time and effort into the placement of the Ten Commandments on courthouses, manger scenes in courtyards, Bibles in schools, crosses on public Easter displays, car bumper stickers, church signs, etc., its time to let it go! All of these symbols are distractions. Get away from your sentimentalism! We must not hold on to such insignificant images. We are merely called to portray the image of Christ. His cross, book, incarnation, commands, and ecclesiastical rule of his Kingdom have become idols we worship and our attachment to them diminishes the gospel.
Tear them down!
Go to the motels and rip out the Bibles! Go to the courthouses and tear down the Ten Commandments! Jerk those crosses off those offensively tall steeples! Burn the flags that are not merely the American flag, which portray the offensive, bloody, and divisive cross! Take a hairdryer and carefully heat up and peel that fish off your BMW! You’ll feel better. Heck, we’ll all feel better.
If there’s one thing Christians should be interested in, it’s assimilation. We need to become a culture that is barely recognizable. We should not remain overly divisible. Stop holding onto the past. Don’t tie yourself to some symbol that is inseparable form the greatest wickedness of its era. Chain yourself to Jesus who is the only one who can rid our culture of its own evil.