Lessons from a Fundamental Baptist on Memorial Day
Today, I have a post up on A Deeper Story. This particular story has gestated for quite a few years. I have some deep church-wounds, significant trust issues, and major baggage related to organized religion. So to actually experience this, and then see what I saw, and then write about it? This is all grace.
In the back, they’ve set up a museum-quality display of war memorabilia: photos, uniforms, helmets, boots, guns, posters, newspapers, and more. A life-size cut-out of a Marine stands next to an old organ across the room, and I stifle a giggle as I watch women pose for pictures with him (is there a rule that all Marines must be handsome?). Everything in the display is a memento from a loved one; each has meaning. White twinkle lights and bunting frame the display.
It’s beautiful. But it’s in church.
In a place where we should be focusing on the God who chose to lay aside the power of divinity to become human, who did not come as a military hero but a quietly subversive teacher and healer, I see no place for overblown patriotism. Did Paul not write that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness? Did he not teach that God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong, the foolish to shame the wise? And do we not sing that Jesus loves red, yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight? We dare not glorify military might in God’s upside-down kingdom (to borrow a phrase from Ann Voskamp). We dare not revise history to define every American conflict as a defense of the Bible and Christianity.
But despite the bile in my throat at such blasphemy, I go.