How many of us are mere conformists who tag along like a puppy dreaming of that next treat? How much do we really care about the past with its injustices, prejudices and hatred?
Often, we aren’t even connected with the present as it relates to human indignities so much as the slanted spoon feed we receive from our beloved media. We remain safe and shielded.
We raise our flag of freedom and try to be thankful for it.
Flags are symbols of belief, doctrine, philosophy, and much more.
The Dixie battle flag, as of late, has been projected front and center. Many who never thought one way or another about it have decided to take a second look; past, present and future status.
It turns out that the Battle Flag of Dixie could have easily been flown in the early Greek civilizations where people could be owned and a man’s value was entrenched in what, who, how much and how many he owned. The Southern white male in the United States of America thought much of this Greek ideology. Aristotle taught him well.
Thomas Jefferson was among those landowners who owned slaves. His contemporaries were not upset by this; they were most often envious. Slave owners were able to justify their reasons for practicing slavery. And when their case needed a bolstering, well, can you get any bigger than God? Modify the scriptures here and there as Jefferson did, and your new god is right there with you as a heavy handed trump card.
RELIGIOUS SUPPORT FOR SLAVERY
In 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention was established. Baptists in the North refused to appoint Southern slaveholders as missionaries. So the free white slave owners started their own Southern version of Baptist Christianity.
What kind of flag was being flown? The white supreme “Christian flag”.
Southern Baptists of that day had great devotion to orthodoxy. They believed all the right things and stated them with deep conviction. The ultimately sad part is that so many would assign God to be their puppet. Neither Jesus nor the bible were allowed to speak to the matter of their greed, selfish ambition and twisted faith. Too many were heretics who imagined a compliant God who could rightly be seen as their slave and sponsor of their ruse. God was a rich white man and the humble Savior who came to free us from sin would need to stay in the background. In that day, we can be certain that there were few, if any, sermons preached on St. Paul’s words that flew in the face of prejudice of any kind.
“Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other,
whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman.
So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family, and you will be given what God has promised.” Galatians 3:28-29
What do we learn from this passage in the bible?
Firstly, being a slave to Christ and belonging to Him is necessary to understanding true freedom with equality.
To be a child of God is to be owned by Him and to revel in such slavery.
As the scriptures say, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.” I Corinthians 7:23 (also 6:19-20)
In the early church years, many Christians were enslaved by the Romans. As such, the bible instructs them on how to behave as slaves. They were taught how to act in Christian character towards their owners.
Secondly, a slave being equal (ethnicity, sex, and social position) to his owner was anathema to a slave owner and would mean the end of slavery as he knew it and practiced it.
Thirdly, slave’s new nothing of the wealth of their owner. Christians will be given “what God has promised.”
So how is it that professing Christians from any generation can claim to know the Jesus of the bible and yet practice such heresy of contradiction in His teachings by proudly suppressing another human being?
It’s all about the flag we chose to fly. You see, flags are easy. They can speak for us and when there is a public tide of flag wavers, they offer a false security; a rolling band wagon complete with “friends”.
Contemplate these examples: Nazi Germany, KKK in America, ISIS…Each with a flag that props up their evil cause.
Now look at us today. There still remains a remnant of those misguided forefathers. For these, it won’t matter if a Dixie war flag is up or down; in a courthouse or museum. Their heart remains darkened and unconverted by the Spirit of Christ. They still act on their need to be superior at another’s expense. Fear and greed are their insecure, intoxicating friends.
Why did it take 9 people dying at the hands of a lone, crazed man https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/us/church-attacked-in-charleston-south-carolina.html
to give us permission to remove a symbol of oppression and slavery? Because we don’t typically speak up and speak out until there is a tragedy.
Because evil would have us to be docile and passive in its presence.
A simple piece of cloth atop a pole waving in the wind means nothing until the people it waves for say so. It may well be that the Dixie Battle Flag will finally be relegated to the history books.
This flag will be in the museum of history, a history that has more shame than pride. And yet still, with grace, we find ways to remember the 700,000 + who fought and died in such a horrific and unfortunate war.
Then the flag is down. Then we begin working on other flags, like the Lobbyist Flag that represents the buy-off of our politicians and our country while creating a financial, socio-economic version of Old Dixie.
Fear not the flag but examine those who raise it and why.