First, I don't want to have an American church. I want to pastor a church in America. We have members from 20 different countries. More than one in three of our members were not born in America. I don't presume that they consider the American military "our" military. I don't even presume that they think of America as "our" country. I want them to come to church and experience great unity with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Scripture makes it clear that our unity is not to be based on nationality or culture.For a related conversation, check out yesterday's Al Mohler Radio Program, guest hosted by Russell Moore.
Second, I think in our culture the evangelical church (especially the Southern Baptists with our God and Country celebrations) is often synonymous with right-wing patriotism. So I think it doesn't serve the gospel well to make a big show of patriotism in our worship gatherings. My fear is that it will hurt the Christians ("I must be a good Christian, I am a patriot and have a yellow ribbon sticker on my car") and the non-Christians ("Being a Christian means being a good American").
And now, after clicking "publish post," I'm heading out to put my full patriotism on display at the festivities here in DC.