Frequent travelers of Highway 20 between Cartersville and Canton should recognize the name of Sutallee Baptist Church. It’s grassy campus is situated just off of the road near the Cherokee-Bartow County line. From a kingdom perspective, this is an ideal location. Though there are numerous evangelical churches in and around Bartow County but its population is 80% unchurched. One would hope that a church like Sutallee Baptist would stand out as a city on a hill , shining its light through the spiritual darkness of Bartow County in such a way that local citizens would see its good works, and glorify God the Father in Heaven. Unfortunately, this past Sunday Sutallee chose to steal the glory due to God in Heaven and project it upon the United States of America. Sutallee Baptist advertised a special event in the Cartersville Daily-Tribune “featuring a worship service honoring military, law enforcement, elected officials, and public service.” The name of this event was “God and Country Day” at it took place on Sunday morning July 1st. Rather than differentiate itself from the world, Sutalle mimiced its earthly celebrations. Unfortunately, this church was not alone in dishonoring the Lord’s Day.
Sunday became distinguished as “the Lord’s Day” because it was the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, an act that forever separated Christianity from any other religion (John 20:1). Since that time, believers have gathered on the first day of the week to celebrate His victory over sin and death. Conversely, “patriotic” worship services honor the victory of Washington over Cornwallis. Sutallee Baptist turned the Lord’s day into “God and Country” day and gathered for a “worship service” which honored sinful human beings for thier civic service and not God alone. This is, plainly speaking, a form of syncretistic idolatry which places the United States on par with Almighty God. Sutallee Baptist, which is pastored by a veteran of the US Marine Core named Billy Edmonson, dishonored both God and the United States by mixing the honoring of the former with the worship of the latter. So, too, did the Church at Liberty Square which presented a “patriotic program” entitled “Celebrate America” for its Lord’s Day service. Oakland Heights Baptist Church has invited a US Congressman to speak on its campus at a Fireworks show in July 4th.
These publicly advertised events are representative of similar events that take place all over Bartow Baptist Churches. When the very churches that purport to represent Christ celebrate a secular national holiday as a part of their corporate worship, it is no wonder that their county is 80% unreached for Christ. Quite frankly, some of these very churches are unreached for Christ. Sutallee Baptist boasts a membership roll of 700 but a weekly attendance of approximately 200. Statistically speaking, its own membership roll is 72% unchurched. Church statistics like this one, which by are by no means anomalous, indicate that Christ’s witnesses in Bartow County should turn their eyes towards the 20% of the county which purports to be “churched.” This 20%, as evidenced by this weekend’s syncretism, is in desperate need of discipleship and perhaps even the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
Great article! I thought I was the only one that was bothered by these kinds of “worship” days. Independence Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…. all brought into supposed “church services”, while the Bible sits unopened and ignored. Thank you for posting this.