If your church is going to be holding an Independence Day celebration this year, I hope you’ll think this through and decide to skip it.
Celebrating Independence Day at church is among what I believe to be the most offensive things we could do in a place that is supposed to be reserved for worshiping the God we see fully revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the one who taught his disciples to pay their taxes, and nonviolently love their enemies– even to be willing to lay down their lives to love their enemies. I hope that it might strike you as odd and outright offensive that we’d go to a building to worship the one who taught us to pay taxes and love enemies… in order to celebrate the date we decided we’d rather go to war and kill our enemies instead of continuing to pay our taxes.
Celebrating Independence Day at church is to celebrate something that is the polar opposite of the Jesus of the New Testament. It’s offensive. It’s idolatrous.
It’s something I hope you’ll skip.
Jesus calls us to bring healing to the nations– he didn’t say anything about violent nationalistic loyalties, and in fact, was a force against both.
There’s no room in a church named after Jesus to celebrate the things he stood against.
Here’s a few examples of what this nationalistic idolatry looks like:
Yes, because the place where we worship Jesus, the nonviolent lover of enemies, is the perfect place to celebrate the military– something designed for the sole purpose of killing people and breaking their things.
Or hey– if pyrotechnics is how you like a worship service, try this one on for size:
And, it’s never too early to get our kids involved in the service so that they learn that fighting and killing our enemies is a way to “bring glory to God”.
So yeah, just skip it this year– the mixing of nationalistic pride and the Christian religion has always been a horrible idea.