We live in a fallen world.
What happened in Charleston, South Carolina recently was devastating. My thoughts and prayers have been with all those involved. It’s incomprehensible. It’s unimaginable. It’s downright sick and horrible.
I’m a southerner. Born and bred. I love the South and always will. But I’m extremely partial to good ole North Carolina. I love to joke with others that it’s the Promised Land here on earth. It’s where Jesus is going to come back to…no question about it. Most don’t know whether to laugh or run. (It’s kinda funny!)
I’m also a family man. I’ve been blessed with the greatest family a goofy kid like me could dream of. And yes, that includes you too Aunt Mable. (I don’t really have an Aunt Mable, just joshin’.) But seriously, family falls right after faith.
I’m not a racist. Never have been and never will be.
I do own a confederate flag though. I used to hang it in my room in college. I bought it at one of those trashy beach shops. To me, it represented where I came from. I think North Carolina is the greatest place on earth. I’d take North Carolina over Greece, Spain or even Italy, any day of the week. And no, I ain’t crazy. Well, maybe depends who you ask, but that ain’t the point.
Does that mean that I support slavery? Absolutely not. I never have and never will. I vehemently oppose it in any form or fashion. There was a time not too long ago when I would have supported the Confederate flag, chalking it up to Southern pride. But not anymore. I read a simple but brilliant post from Donald Miller this week (check it out here: http://goo.gl/AZhHDb) and I believe that only one question needs to be asked:
“Is healing our racial divides more important than a symbol representing Southern pride?”
What’s more important for you: healing or hate, peace or dissension, breaking down walls or building them? I know where I stand because I know what’s more important to me. I say take the daggon flag down. Take it down from all government buildings. Take it down from your front porches. Take it down. God’s Word says to, “Make up your mind not to put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister” (Romans 14:13 NIV). The Confederate flag has been a stumbling block for way too long.
I’ve made up my mind on this issue. Have you?
Where is my flag now? Not sure. Probably buried in some box in the garage of my parents’ house. Since college I haven’t cared much for it. But one thing’s for sure, I won’t fly it anymore. How’s about we just find another symbol to put on our flag to represent the South…who’s in? How about a big ole oak tree? Oh I know by golly, let’s use a mason jar. Heck, throw what looks like a pitcher of sweet tea on there and call it a day. That’s about as Southern as mama’s buttermilk pie.
I still love my family, good ole North Carolina and the South. That will never change. But my identity is not one of a Southerner or even a North Carolinian. First and foremost, I am a follower of Jesus, I am a child of God and lover of all people. My utmost and absolute loyalty is to the King. King Jesus! Above all else, at all times, and no matter the cost! The flag I hold high with pride and dignity, the flag that I wave daily is the banner of Jesus. HE is where my loyalty rests, now and forever!
Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!