I've been thinking the last couple of days about the Confederate flag.
Because I was raised here in South Carolina, I'm used to seeing it. And that should not be surprising. It's part of our history. My parents never displayed one at our home when I was a kid. And I don't display one now at my home. But when I see it, I am reminded of the fight that broke out between the states in the 1860's. On an emotional level, it does not affect me too much either way. It does not offend me or excite me. While I do understand it's history and significance, I don't get too worked up about it.
Other people, however, see that flag and are offended by it. They have a strong reaction against it. For them, it represents a time in our country when slavery was legal. And the other problem for them is that some groups, who are known for being hateful and bigoted, proudly wave it as their symbol.
So that's the deal. Some people are offended by the Confederate flag. Others are not. What should we do about it?
Well, I think about the Apostle Paul. In the New Testament times, there was a controversy. Some people thought eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols was acceptable and no big deal. Others were greatly offended by that idea and would not participate in such a thing. Paul, who greatly cared about reaching people for Jesus, decided to take this stand: If eating this meat caused problems for other people and offended them, he just would not eat meat. To him, connecting with other people mattered more than a plate of meat. (You can read this for yourself in 1 Corinthians 8 by clicking HERE.)
That's how I feel about the Confederate flag. It does not offend or hurt me personally. To me, it's just one of the many flags from our nation's history. But, it really does cause problems for other people and offend them. It hurts them. That's just the way it is. So because of the pain it causes others, I do not wave a Confederate flag at my home, on my car, or anywhere else.
I care more about my relationships with people than I care about that flag.
I care more about seeing people get saved by Jesus than I care about that flag.
I do think the flag should be preserved in a museum. It is important. It does matter. History should not be erased and removed. Our heritage should not be forgotten. But we also need to remember the importance of caring about people and connecting with them on a spiritual level. That matters greatly.
So if you have a Confederate flag or choose to wave it, that's your business. That's between you and God. I'm not your judge, and I'll still be your friend.
But I'll just stick with my conviction to not wave it. I don't want to offend people unnecessarily. And I just don't want anything (a flag included) to destroy an opportunity I may have to share Jesus with a lost soul.
At the end of the day, the cross of Christ matters way more than a flag of the Confederacy.