Here’s a good question at The Church and Postmodern Culture: what do you do about July 4th weekend church meetings? More specifically, if you are visiting family and their church has a very patriotic meeting, how do you respond? Would you choose to attend in order to avoid offense? Would you choose to not attend? Would you confront your family members and/or their church leadership?
My thoughts run fairly negatively on nationalist displays in church buildings. I don’t think American flags, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, etc. belong in a worship meeting directed towards God. While I acknowledge the freedoms we enjoy here in America, including that of religion, patriotic displays have no place in our liturgies. At best, it blurs the line between church and state; at worst, it is outright paganism.
That said, it doesn’t seem appropriate to confront people with whom you do not worship. I would simply choose to not attend such a service and have a frank conversation with my family. I would encourage my family members to consider all that the Scriptures say about the state and whether we have gone a bit overboard (and, of course, open myself up to be taught; I could be wrong). I would encourage them to take the issue up with their church, but not do it myself.
Now, if the service is in your own church, well that’s a different question.