Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

Take Your Hat Off (part 3)

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Just because you stand in a church and tell of your sins does not mean that you are free from them.

 Mark 8:38 — The Message “If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”

You must believe in your sins, own them, desire to change them, and then feel your shame deep within your very soul.

God is not asking for you to be perfect. He is not saying that you must live without mistake. He is telling you to use the conscience he gave you when you were born in living your life, to feel your shame in your sins.

You’ve lost me on this series.
I thought this was about Independence of America.
Celebrating the Fourth of July.
What are you getting at with all this shame and trust?

Pastor Bill, “This is all about patriotism, and not in the politically correct way.”

Pa·tri·ot·ism[pey-tree-uh-tiz-uhm or, especially Brit., pa-]
devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.

 Patriotism and the ‘God Gap’, by By Dave Schechter, CNN


Flying the flag is among the easiest ways to display patriotism. Is it also an expression of religion?

In an article titled “Flag Desecration, Religion and Patriotism,” Temple University associate law professor Muriel Morisey suggested that for proponents of a constitutional amendment, “the American flag is the equivalent of a sacred religious icon, comparable to Christianity’s crucifix, Judaism’s Torah and the Quran of Islam. No court has designated patriotism as a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, but in every other significant respect it operates as a religion in American culture. Regardless of the religious beliefs we profess, we simultaneously practice patriotism.”

In America we seek to show patriotism by recognizing symbols of our “country” and our “nation”. This is not wrong. The piece that we are missing when we are honoring our country, our fallen soldiers, because we are so careful to consider what our neighbors will say is our religious patriotism, and that is not very PC in our current society.

A soldier carries his gun into battle. As he enters what could be the last day of his life, the last minute even, he acknowledges he is there for “God and country”. The metal barrel of his gun leads him forward…

Pastor Bill, “Red is for the blood that spills. How many of you know about bluing on guns? Bluing is a passivation process in which steel is partially protected against rust, and is named after the blue-black appearance of the resulting protective finish.

When I was a young boy my father bought me my first gun and was teaching me to hunt. One day I went outside, on my own, and shot a rabbit. I was so proud. I threw the rabbit over my shoulder, put my gun in my hand and began to walk home. Blood dripping down the side of my pants, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to show my Dad what I was able to do.

When I got home I walked proudly to my Dad and showed him the rabbit. My Dad was not as happy to see me. I couldn’t figure out why. Then he looked at me and asked what I was thinking letting that rabbit blood drip on my gun.

Blood is the only thing in the world that will take the bluing away from the metal. Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

God is not claiming a religion, it is claiming a higher power.”

The Religious Character of American Patriotism
It’s time to recognize our traditions and answer some hard questions (1987)
By Frederick Edwords


In the last few years, we have witnessed a number of patriotic celebrations in the United States — celebrations that have taken on an almost religious expression. In 1976, it was the glorious bicentennial of our independence. In 1984, American jingoistic displays associated with the opening and closing of the XXIII Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles were televised around the world. On July 4, 1986, amid hoopla and fireworks rarely equaled, the Statue of Liberty was rededicated in New York Harbor. Finally, on September 17, 1987, we celebrated the bicentennial of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Festivities commemorating the final ratification of the Constitution on June 21, 1788; the passage of the Bill of Rights on September 25, 1789; and the ratification of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, were comparatively subdued but recognized nonetheless.

That these are more than just anniversaries in political history is made clear not only by how we tend to celebrate them but in the reactions we receive from people abroad: they simply cannot understand our fervor. After all, as Americans we do not belong to a single racial group, do not share the same religion, and are mostly relative newcomers to the national soil we inhabit (so new, in fact, that many British still refer to the United States as “the colonies”). Lacking, then, a single racial, religious, or long-standing geographical identity, our cultural unity and patriotic zeal seem hard to explain.

What is it, then, that binds us? The answer can be found in a set of ideals and myths pervading our national consciousness that has been growing for two centuries. Whether we admit it or not, even if we claim we are not religious, we frequently tend to operate according to the prophetic vision, dogmas, and rituals of a generally unacknowledged religious tradition. Our behavior belies this as we take pilgrimages to its shrines, view its relics, sing its songs, celebrate its holy days, show respect to its saints and martyrs, and respond to its symbols. The United States is indeed a religious nation, but its unifying religion is not Christianity or any other world faith — not even “the religion of secular humanism,” as has been claimed of late. It is instead a unique national belief system best called _Americanism_.


Author: bkbites

Stay at home Mom of 3 boys, 1 goofy dog, 2 wickedly crazy cats, and a traveling husband. Ah, what can be better? It's a full life without a doubt.

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