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ABOUT US: Welcome to Cowboys of the Cross: your resource for Christian cowboys. Cowboys of the Cross is the new home for Riding for Christ Ministries, providing cowboy church and outreach to the rodeo and cowboy community for more than 10 years. The new web site is your source for stories of faith and encouragement as well as devotions and news and information affecting cowboys of faith. Cowboys of the Cross also serves to minister to rodeo cowboys and bull riders by traveling to rodeos, bull ridings and equine events across Canada and the United States. Learn more about us here:   MORE ABOUT US HERE

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Storm Denison,

Wichita, KS

Rodeo Announcer

The flag needs to mean something again, but Jesus needs

to mean

even more

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

 

Skip Wells is one of the soldiers gunned down yesterday in the terror attack in Chattanooga. The attached photo is a screen shot from a Facebook post of his in April in response to the flag-stomping nonsense that had gone viral.


What happened to the nation that was once so united under its 'stars and bars'?

As a kid growing up in the 80s in Ontario, we saw a lot of American tourism and with access to so much of your media, there was an 'ugly American' stereotype. It was this sense of an 'in-your-face', 'we're better than you' attitude, however true or false it might have been. There was so much flag-waving and what felt like boastfulness from the outside, looking in. Whether they were right or wrong, it's just a general feeling that some people had through what was mostly seen on the evening news and in sports broadcasts.

What we were reacting to was American's strong sense of nationalism and pride with the American flag being the dominant image. After the events of 9/11, American tourists all but disappeared and at the same time, while there was a temporary resurgence in national pride, the negative American stereotype also seemed to disappear.

 In the past couple of weeks people are now wiping their butts with it and taking dumps on it because stomping on it as a viral sensation just wasn't enough.

No!

As an immigrant to this country from Canada, I can't believe what is happening to the flag, both physically and symbolically.

In recent weeks, we've seen the 'rebel flag' become a source of debate at to whether or not it is a symbol of southern pride or racism with extreme, knee-jerk reactions to destroying all kinds of historic Civil War symbols motivated by frenzies started through social and news media.

But something has happened to the American flag as well.

While I've always hated using terms like “liberals” and “conservatives”, it simplifies the description of what's going on. Liberals, upset by issues from law enforcement, race and economics, have begun turning their treatment of the flag into symbolic gestures of what they hate about their own country. The gay rainbow flag has been seen waving in recent weeks on the 'liberal' side of life in victory for winning the right to marry. With so many holding up their own flags or desecrating the American one, conservatives have now become the flag-bearers of the stars and stripes whose differing values and morals seem to include patriotism that's been abandoned by the liberal side.

Yes, there are exceptions across the board, but the division we're experiencing is real and growing wider literally by the day.

Tennessee is now my home. Chattanooga is just a couple hours down the road and it and the towns of three of these soldiers who lost their lives yesterday are places I've driven through often to get to rodeos and bull ridings to do cowboy church.

The American flag needs to be a symbol again that unites us as a people. We need to set aside our differences and collectively mourn the loss of those lives, taken because they too are symbols that a an extremist religious ideology hates. They fought for all of us to have our different ideas and beliefs but they fought under the banner of the American flag. That is the one symbol that should unite us and love of country should bring us together.

 


For Christians, we have to remember we are united together, not under a flag of one nations but through the shed blood of Jesus Christ who died for our sins so that we could be made right before God, through our saving faith in Christ. That most definitely separates us from those who reject the gospel message. But we have to remember that Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loved us. Everyone, regardless of our differences, deserves to be told the gospel message of Christ's love and forgiveness and God's plan for redemption. They deserve to be shown God's love through Christ in us.


 Philippians 3:20-21: But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enambes him even to subject all things to himself.


Mark 12:30-31 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.