North Carolina pastor Rit Varriale is encouraging churches to fly the Christian flag under the American flag. In a reversal of etiquette, the move is said to be symbolic that the churches serve God before government.
Varriale, a senior pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, said that the church installed a flagpole in order to raise the two flags after Sunday morning worship. The Christian flag is to be raised in the higher position, a reversal of flag etiquette that calls for the American flag to be always at the top.
The purpose is to serve as a “symbol that we’ll serve God before we serve government, especially a government that tries to coerce us to violate our commitments to God,” Varriale said in a video on Baptist Press News. “That’s the stand that we have to take as Christians.”
“We hope congregations all across the U.S. will join us on this,” Varriale said. “Prayer-fully, it will sweep across our country as a message to congregations to reevaluate our priorities. We serve God first. If you already have flagpole on your campus, go ahead and flip that order around,” Varriale encourages his viewers.
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He said he hopes other churches will join in by including photos of their flag displays on their website and on Instagram via godbeforegovernment.
“If you stop and think about it, (flag etiquette) is inconsistent with what the Bible teaches us,” Varriale said. “We are first and foremost Christians who are called to serve the living God.”
“So from a Christian perspective, our flag etiquette is completely improper,” he said. “We should be flying the Christian flag above the American flag” as a demonstration that Christians will respect and obey the federal government only insofar as the government does not ask something inconsistent with what God has called His people to do.
Varriale noticed a small African American congregation down the road that was doing the same thing. “I asked the pastor about this and he shared the very sentiments that I have."
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Varriale appeared on “Fox and Friends” where he said that American culture has been pushing back against the traditional Christian values for some time. He said that as a veteran he was willing to serve for American freedom. “I’m incredibly patriotic. At the same time, I’m a Christian,” he said, according to Fox News.
“In God we trust,” the national motto signed into law by President Eisenhower acknowledges that a Divine Being exists and that it is the greatest authority a person can be accountable to, Varriale said on Fox.
Varriale said the clash of religious rights with minority and individual rights, particularly in the LGBT agenda and a number of lawsuits against Christian businesses should make Christians ask where they went wrong.
Varriale, in part, blames the “admonition from the government to stop praying in the public school system.”
He also said that LGBT leaders have employed civil disobedience, saying, “That is the level of commitment they have, and that’s why they are winning.”
Photo Credit: Screen shot via Fox News