The recent brouhaha over the NFL players who’ve participated in the Take a Knee protests has dominated social media all week. This has revealed much about where we place our priorities as a nation, as Christians or non Christians, and as just plain people. The Take a Knee protests are just the latest in a series of events that have shown a harsh spotlight on something that concerns me deeply. I am afraid that too many conservative Christians have allowed politics, nationalism, and patriotism to completely enshroud their hearts for hurting people. That is particularly troubling in light of the fact that, as Christians, having a heart for hurting people is basically job one.
This week, much of what I have seen posted from my most conservative Christian friends–good people that I’ve known to have soft hearts and to love others–is the message that they proudly “stand for the flag and kneel for the cross.” That’s a catchy little slogan and, normally, that’s not such a bad thing to proclaim. The part that troubles me, conservative Christian friend, is that I fear you are using that slogan to get in a dig at people who are hurting. It is obvious that you are taking your stand not just to support your country–its flag–its anthem–and its veterans–you are also taking a stand against a group of people who are terrified that their country doesn’t value them as it should. These people are hurting so much that they are willing to risk their very livelihoods to call attention to what they feel is a tremendous injustice in our nation. Too many of you, conservative Christians, seem to be piling onto their despair–you are vilifying them. Is that what you are called to do?
I don’t know where the blame lies in some of these situations. I only know that it has created a very volatile atmosphere around the nation. Fear–apprehension–mistrust–lack of empathy–they are running rampant in our inner city streets.
So, in the end–as far as I’m concerned–it makes little difference whether the Take a Knee protesters’ cause is 100% valid because their fears are 100% real.
That should break the hearts of all Christians–just as it would break the heart of Christ were he walking among us.
But patriotism has shrouded the hearts of too many Christians. Too many have sold their soul to a political ideology.
In the process, they have lost sight of their calling.