Two North Carolina Baptist pastors have started a movement inspired by the Supreme Court ruling sanctioning same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Pastor Rit Varriale of the Elizabeth Baptist Church and Walter Wilson of the Focus Missionary Baptist Church, both of Shelby, N.C., launched the website God Before Government, which encourages churches to put the Christian flag above the American flag. From the site:
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.
As Christian Fighter Pilot points out, putting any flag above the American flag technically violates U.S. Flag Code, and thus U.S. law, though it is generally unenforceable. “Our typical flag etiquette is to have the American flag above the Christian flag,” Varriale told WBTV. “But when you stop and think about it, it should be our commitment to God first, then our commitment to country.”
Varriale decided to put the Christian flag above the American flag after driving by Wilson’s church one day and seeing how he had done it. Wilson told the Charlotte Fox affiliate how he was inspired to do it: “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.”
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Varriale acknowledges the LGBT community has been more bold for their cause than has his side. “The reality is, they have been willing to sacrifice more and be more bold for their cause than the church of Jesus Christ for serving God, and that’s got to change,” he said.
The two churches came together for a Sunday flag raising. You can see some photos from the service below:
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