An Illustration of Tradition

The other day my wife shared with me a piece of art she had to study for class. The piece is called, What is the Proper Way to Display a Flag? It is by Dread Scott and was put on display in February 1989. Some of you may remember the controversy it started. Here is what the piece looks like:


It is an ingenious piece of art. On the wall there is a picture of various “uses” of the American Flag. Some of them are the flag burning, some are over caskets, etc. Below this picture is a shelf with a book for visitors to write down their thoughts about this piece of art. The catch of course, was that you needed to stand on the flag to write. At the time it was illegal to desecrate the American Flag in America. This piece of art received major publicity; some were furious, some were excited, and others were changed.

The piece reminded me of the church as we know it. As Christians we are free in Christ. Some of us have had laws imposed on us, others have made new laws for themselves. Some of these laws that go against the very messages of Christ. We do not know that these laws are binding us, we even feel that they are truly part of his gospel, they have grown on us and us on them. When someone comes along and talks about the laws and how they are extra and can be removed, there will be some who are furious, some who are excited, and some who are changed.

Are there any laws, traditions, or whatever, preventing you to act fully within the freedom that Christ has given you to serve him?