Two North Carolina pastors have decided to place a Christian flag above the American flag on poles outside of their churches — actions that they hope will inspire Americans to take a stand for their faith.
"Our typical flag etiquette is to have the American flag above the Christian flag," Pastor Rit Varriale of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, told WBTV-TV. "But when you stop and think about it, it should be our commitment to God first, then our commitment to country."
The Christian flag — which is unknown to some — has a white, blue and red design that was created back in 1897 to commemorate the faith.
Varriale decided to change the placement of his flags after he noticed that Pastor Walter Wilson of Focus Missionary Baptist Church in Shelby put the Christian flag above the American flag a few months back — a decision that Wilson said came after he felt God compelling him to do so.
"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," Wilson told WBTV-TV.
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Following the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, the pastors are hoping that their efforts encourage others across the country to make similar decisions, with Varriale adding that he believes gays and lesbians have been more willing to fight for their cause than Christians have.
"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 pastors, who recently launched a website called God Before Government, held a joint event on Sunday during which the Christian flag was raised first before the American flag.
"Encourage your pastor and church leaders to do the same and start flying the flags in such a manner that it is clear we will serve God before government," a statement on the website reads.
The pastors are encouraging people to share photos of the flags on social media, while also partaking in a national conversation "about religious freedom and the role of government in modern society."
(H/T: Christian Fighter Pilot)