More than once recently, I've been asked my opinion regarding flags in the sanctuary. I've written about my respect for the flag here, but I'd like to address the specific question directly.
Regarding flags (national or otherwise) in the sanctuary of a Christian church: I do not believe this is fair to the flag. The United States Code (the US Flag Code) states the following:
(175) (k) When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
It can be inferred from the document that "superior prominence" means t…
Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that you may give to the poor in secret. God who sees what you do in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:1-4
There are a lot of things happening in this passage. First, financial generosity is equated with religion. So, in some capacity, Jesus expected that the doing of faith would involve the giving of money, in addition to time and talent.
Second, one’s own giving should be generous enough that one might be tempted to tell others but instead must keep it secret. If you were ashamed of what you were giving,…