Patriotic church services a shrinking trend

Patriotic church services a shrinking trend

Patriotic church services a shrinking trend

America celebrated her 245th birthday over the weekend, and many church services across the nation featured patriotic music and pledges. But a segment of evangelical churches kept silent on the subject, saying patriotic observances in church are inappropriate.

The national anthem was one of several songs First Baptist, Dallas sang to honor America during its Fourth of July service. Afterward, Pastor Robert Jeffress told the "Today's Issues" crew that it seems to be a shrinking trend.

"Fewer and fewer churches are doing this," he said. "They're afraid of the criticism. At First Baptist, Dallas, we set off the fireworks. In the sanctuary, we wave the flag; we express our gratitude to the military and honor the different branches of the armed services."

A concern among the abstainers is anything that is done in a worship service is, by definition, worship.

"Mostly we focus on God's undeserved blessings on our country," Pastor Jeffress responded. "We're not worshipping America. We're worshipping the God who has blessed America."

Jeffress, Rev. Robert (FBC Dallas) Jeffress

He went on to explain that his congregation has three purposes: Express gratitude to God for his blessing, acknowledge our Christian foundation as a nation, and declare that our future blessings as a nation depend on our faithfulness to God.

And quoting author Ken Woodward, Jeffress called that historically accurate.

"He said when you look at the evidence, it can be said that the Bible, perhaps even more than the Constitution, is our nation's founding document. Most people are absolutely ignorant about our nation's Christian foundation," the pastor concluded.