Archives for July 2015

Why I took down my Confederate flag… 12 years ago

I read an article about the problem of race in our country. It was written by a black man who although he tried to make his point that we must communicate in order to overcome racism in our country, his examples lead me to think that he was doing more to lead us to view racism as a hopeless obstacle, so why try.

Why try?  That is the question that needs answered. Especially right now. The answer is not a presumptive claim that is it just the right thing to do. (although it is.) Nor is the answer rooted in equality. (although we are.)  Nor is the answer ‘we need to.’  (although we do.)  The answer for me came from the source that all answers really come from, the Bible.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
– Jesus in John 13:34

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirt, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20

No, neither of those verses tell me to take down anything. Or do they?  Let me review… The Bible teaches me that Jesus is God come to earth on a rescue mission for all who will follow Him out of this hell bound path.  He gives up His right as the Sovereign King of all to be one of His own creation. He dies in our place on a cross. Why? To save us. To show us He loves us.  To call us to come follow Him.  To remove the obstacle between humanity and God… to remove sin.

If that is true, than anyone who completes this life without surrendering themselves to Christ suffers eternally in hell. Knowing this, it is my responsibility to both God and my neighbor to do everything I can to bring people to know Jesus.  Part of that effort includes introducing people to Jesus, but also to remove any obstacle that I may put in the way.

Now as a matter of life and death, and even more impactful and lasting than the work of a surgeon, a follower of Christ must lead people to this Gospel.  No sacrifice is too great.  The greatest sacrifice has already been given in the life blood of God the Son.  What ‘heritage’ do I need to defend that is greater than the one that has been given?  None.

Make no mistake, it was (sometimes is) hard.  I was a member of ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans.’  I was raised in a home that remembered the lives and stories of a Confederate Soldier and his wife.   A great grandmother who would speak of an ‘illegal government.’  I know what it looks like to see the Confederate flag as something more than racism.  (Notice I said ‘more.’) I know that the flag is just one small part of a much larger problem.  Every journey must have a begining.

More than knowing about a flag, I know is this: I am not my own. I have been bought with a price.  So I glorify God above all.  My ‘heritage’ is no longer good or bad because its not a question.  It is irrelevent.  As far removed from me as anything sin in my past.  I am a child of God called to love other people. I am an ambassador for Christ. All this accomplished by Jesus work on the cross, his resurrection and now the faith that He has given me by His grace.

So 12 years ago, as I realized that my emotional attachment to my history could not stand in the way of sharing the love of Jesus with anyone, I took down artwork and a flag.  They were no longer what I wanted people to know about me.  Up went a cross….  Because that is what all who enter my home must know… about me, about my family, and if they are willing to hear it, about themselves.

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome… because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4