I have election protesters and ‘Never Trumpers’ in my pews. How can we move forward together?

"The fractures in old friendships are forcing us to ask some difficult questions. For starters, does our Christian faith truly transcend our political opinions? Should it?" - Chris Davis

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dgszweda's picture

What the author misses here, in my opinion, is that the issue between election protests and 'Never Trumpers' is less about this specific issue and more around a broader view that individuals have.  The Trump presidency has done less to create new barriers and more about exposing existing issues and making them dividing lines.  One of the challenges that I have with talking to others is that this view drives the entire discussion level outside of church.  So it makes it very hard to have meaningful relationship outside of church/spiritual matters.  While I am more than happy to worship with them around Christ, I have little appetite to be exposed to their line of thinking and/or conspiracy theories.  That could definitely be my problem, but I am seeing more entrenchment than bridging of issues.

Probably a better approach would be to kill social media in the church.  That is probably the biggest issue around this to begin with.

TylerR's picture

Editor

First thing you gotta do to establish a united vision is remove the American flag from the platform. That'll be sure to get everybody on the same page!!!

I'm joking ... kind of

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

I've been a proponent of removing the U.S. flag from churches for a while--the very fact that it must be flown higher than anything else--to include the Cross--seems to be to be closer to idolatry than I'd like.  I think it also has a fair amount to do with an overall excess of nationalism in the church on both sides of these issues.  Reduce this pressure a bit, and it stands to reason that the argument over "never Trump" and "election stolen" is reduced as well.

I think as well that there is a degree to which both sides need to moderate their positions as they observe the evidence.  What I see on both sides is that people are simply accepting the news reports, and are not really digging through the evidence for themselves.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Well, it was a joke. It surely won't unite anybody! Don't try it unless you're brave ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

my 8 year old noticed our hymnals had patriotic songs in them. He came over to the piano and asked me why are these songs in a hymnal about God. Great question!

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I'm probably typical of someone who grew up in a fundamental church in the 70's to early 80's.  I didn't know another church that *didn't* have an American flag, and I would have thought it would be weird NOT to have one.  Today I'm much older, and I don't think I would have a very strong opinion either way.

My church is currently renting facilities.  At the moment, we are renting a Southern Baptist church, and previously we rented a Ruritan Club.  Both display the U.S. flag on their platforms, and it's not up to us to remove it.  If we do get our own facility, it would be interesting to see the different opinions that would come out.

I would not really see an issue with us retaining it due to the following things:

  1. We don't point out or make mention of the U.S. flag.
  2. It's displayed at the same level as the Christian flag on the opposite side, and there is a prominent large wooden cross higher than both at the center.
  3. We don't sing patriotic songs or have patriotic services.
  4. Personally, I don't think it wrong to remind ourselves that Christians have multiple authorities set up by God, one of them being government.  In its proper place, respect for that authority is entirely within biblical command/principle.

If we ever have the chance to have our own facility, I would be OK with whichever way any vote to have the U.S. flag would go, and certainly would not cause any strife or division over it.

Dave Barnhart

Mark_Smith's picture

I've always thought the "Christian flag" was weird too. 20+ years ago a church I attended had a dedication service. Part of it was a "pledge of allegiance" to the Christian flag... I didn't do that. I have no allegiance to a "flag" founded in Brooklyn in 1897!

josh p's picture

I agree Mark. I say remove them both. This is a church. I was once a deacon in a church where we pledged allegiance to the flag and the Christian flag. I explained in a meeting why my family would do neither and they looked at me like I was a lunatic. 

T Howard's picture

...I read comments on SI that cause me to smile.

Pastor Rob V's picture

platform and have served some which didn't have one. I have always assumed that the American flag is there because there is a love for the country. It is a reminder we are citizens of Heaven but we are to be good citizens on Earth as well. I've never seen a problem with having an American flag behind me nor would I have a problem if one wasn't there. To me the issue is we should love our country because we live here and love the people who are here.

Don't be a great pastor, just be a pastor and let history judge for itself.