[Today] we celebrate July 4th, Independence Day as it’s known for us in the States. And the day itself raises questions about national loyalty for those of us who are strangers, exiles, aliens, and pilgrims on this earth. “Pilgrims and Patriots,” that was our topic back in a past year, in episode 378. But this year we will take a closer look at patriotism in the local church, and the time seems right to pick up an important email from a pastor named Scott who writes: “Pastor John, are there any acceptable displays of patriotism in a church service? I was brought up in a very conservative and patriotic background in which every patriotic holiday was celebrated in a Sunday church service, including Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, the anniversary of 9/11, etc. Elements like pledging the flag and singing patriotic songs were heavily used. Is this okay? I pastor a church that has a history of this, but it makes me uncomfortable.”

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