First it was one church. Then a second joined. Now there’s an online presence and a campaign for people of faith across the nation to recognize that God comes first, ahead of nation, and that means the Stars and Stripes will be accorded second place, behind the Christian flag.
According to a report from WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina, pastor Rit Varriale is placing the Christian flag at the top, with the American flag below it, on the flagpole at Elizabeth Baptist Church in the town of Shelby.
“Our typical flag etiquette is to have the American flag above the Christian flag. But when you stop and think about it, it should be our commitment to God first, then our commitment to country,” he told WBTV.
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He admits he got the idea from pastor Walter Wilson, down to road, at Focus Missionary Baptist Church.
And Wilson said the idea just came to him.
“As I was changing the rope one day, the Lord just laid on me that He is first and when He told me that, I switched the flags around.”
Now Varriale has launched the God Before Government website, through which other pastors are encouraged to join the movement.
There, he writes, “If there was ever a time when people need to stand up for traditional values and beliefs, it is now. On Sunday July 5th, Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, took its stand with a flag raising ceremony that displayed the Christian flag over the American flag. This new approach to flag etiquette symbolizes that our service and commitment to God is greater than our service and commitment to government – especially a government that coerces us to violate our commitments to God.”
He said churches need to “start flying the flags in such a manner that it is clear we will serve God before government. If your church is willing to join ours, please take a picture of the flag pole at your church, post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #GodBeforeGovernment, and join the conversation about religious freedom and the role of government in modern society.”
On the site, he advises readers that silence is “no longer an option.”
He recalled a prayer offered to the North Carolina General Assembly, in which he said, “The sad truth about the church is that it often takes the path of ease, when instead it should take the path of resistance, responsibility and reform. … The American church, like the German church of the 1930s and 1940s, is free of persecution because it has done little that is worthy of persecution.”
Both pastors told WBTV they hope to spark a movement across the land – especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that created same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states.
Varriale acknowledges that some claim the move is disrespectful. And unpatriotic.
But the former Army Ranger brushes it off.
“I really don’t need a lecture on patriotism. I’m willing to give my life for my country. When you think of military mottoes, for example, God and country, God first and then country,” he told WBTV.
Varriale he said the position of the flag is a symbol that congregations will serve God first.
One online commenter, Dave Higginson said, it’s a wake-up call for Americans “that God blessed us with our country and [Christians] should not, nor ever will, play ‘second fiddle.”
Original Article: http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/church-flies-christian-flag-over-american-flag/#BlYAZzeCM3zJYzeG.99