Reclaim the Rainbow

A few weeks ago, someone shared a post which referenced an Evangelical preacher in the US calling for Christian people to ‘Reclaim the Rainbow’ for God. The target of his ire was not the local kindergarten, or any of the other millions of businesses (including may run by Christians, who use the rainbow motif as part of their brand. Predictably, the target of the post was the LGBT+ community for their use of the Pride flag.

The post raised a few questions for me.

The original flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, and has, in slightly altered forms, been available ever since. My first question is why this rather pointless discussion continues to rumble on 40 years later.

Secondly, I wonder whether it had escaped attention that the Pride flag as originally conceived contained eight colours, each symbolic of a particular meaning. The current version includes six colours. It is generally accepted, on the other hand, that the rainbow which we love to see after a shower or storm has seven colours. The Pride flag might remind you of a rainbow – you may even choose to call it a rainbow – but it’s not actually pretending to be the same as the real rainbow.

Scripture does say that the actual rainbow, the one we see in the clouds after a shower,  was set in the sky by God himself, to symbolise his covenant of love and faithfulness with all mankind. It occurs to me that a God whose love is sufficiently wide and deep to embrace every last member of the LGBT+ community, along with the countless number of us evangelicals who are prone to missing the point, would be largely unconcerned by the artistic symbolic representation of a rainbow in a flag.

Here’s the thing. A rainbow appears when sunlight passes through droplets of water, normally rain or mist. It is a natural, meteorological phenomenon which involves reflection, refraction and dispersion of light, creating an arc shape spectrum of multiple colours. 

The fact is that unlike the LGBT flag, the rainbow which adorns the skies doesn’t belong to the LGBT+ community, nor, as far as I know, have they ever claimed to own it. As far as I can see, nowhere in Scripture does it say that the rainbow belongs to the Christian community either!  

The Bible says that it was God who set his rainbow in the clouds (Genesis 9:13). His Gospel is a message of love. Rather than itching to tear up other peoples flags, lets use our energy to embrace them with His love.

Other Rainbow Posts: 31st December 2021 ‘Happy New Year’

Richard Jackson is the Executive Director of LifePicture UK and former Executive Director of Family Foundations Trust

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