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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Truth As Far As I Can Tell... The Christian Flag

John 18:33, 36a - 33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. 

            Last week, we enjoyed a great time with a wonderful group of kids at Vacation Bible School at Pleasant Grove UMC.  Each evening, we began with an assembly where we said the pledges of allegiance to the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible.  That got me thinking about the Christian flag and where it came from.  So I did a little research and thought I would share what I found.  The following excerpts are from

 The Christian Flag is a flag designed in the early 20th century to represent all of Christianity and Christendom, and has been most popular among Christian churches in North America, Africa and Latin America. The flag has a white field, with a red Latin cross inside a blue canton. The shade of red on the cross symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary. The blue represents the waters of baptism as well as the faithfulness of Jesus. The white represents Jesus' purity. In conventional vexillology, a white flag is linked to surrender, a reference to the Biblical description of Jesus' non-violence and surrender to God.

The Christian Flag was first conceived on September 26, 1897, at Brighton Chapel on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York in the United States. The superintendent of a Sunday school, Charles C. Overton, gave an impromptu lecture to the gathered students, because the scheduled speaker had failed to arrive for the event. He gave a speech asking the students what a flag representing Christianity would look like. Overton thought about his improvised speech for many years afterward. In 1907, he and Ralph Diffendorfer, secretary of the Methodist Young People's Missionary Movement, designed and began promoting the flag.

Some churches practice a "pledge of allegiance" or "affirmation of loyalty" to the Christian Flag, which is similar to the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. The first pledge was written by Lynn Harold Hough, a Methodist minister who had heard Ralph Diffendorfer, secretary to the Methodist Young People's Missionary Movement, promoting the Christian flag at a rally. He wrote the following pledge: “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands; one brotherhood, uniting all mankind in service and in love.”

            Flags are used to rally our loyalty.  To which “kingdom” are you most loyal?  Is it your family?  Is it your southern heritage?  Is it the country in which you grew up?  Is it your favorite college football team?  Is it the branch of the military in which you served?  All these earthly “kingdoms” will one day cease.  Perhaps you should switch your allegiance to something eternal—to Jesus and his Kingdom.  Of course, I am no expert and certainly don’t claim to know everything, but that’s the Truth as far as I can tell…
God loves you and so do I!


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