For some time now, there has been much news about NFL players taking a knee to protest the (American) National Anthem. What started out as one man attempting to call attention to what He perceived as unfair treatment of a segment of the population. Whether people agreed with him or not, many take exception to his form of protesting as other NFL players joined him - some for the same reasons, some for their own.
Protesting IS as American as it comes and in spite of the way he did it, I would say they have a constitutional right to protest as they see fit. It harmed no one. It didn't interrupt any ceremony or service. Understand, I didn't like it but I can look past it. Ignore it. I firmly believe it would have gone away on its own if we all had.
What bothers me most is that many like me who are Christ followers have gotten wrapped up in the flag and forgotten who we are. We have traded in the one true Gospel, for something I call the God and Country Gospel.
Never heard of it? I bet you have but just didn't know it.
We've all heard about the prosperity gospel. The one that says God loves you too much for you to be anything other than healthy and wealthy and wise. It tells you things like just trust God and he will make everything o.k. for you, because he loves you and no loving God would ever let harm come to you. The key is you must 'have enough faith' in God and then God will take care of you. It's more than just off base, it's wrong. Yes, wrong. No matter who says it or in what venue.
This god and country gospel is one that worships America, it's one that worships freedom, worships “rights.” It’s a gospel based on the idea that Christians should have an easy existence. It - like the prosperity gospel - promises security through something other than Christ.
The preachers of 'this' gospel passionately shout generic references to God, call for fervent prayer and public pleas for “morality.” But their supposed top devotion is EQUAL to a devotion to the Stars and Stripes - as if the two were one in the same.
What is so dangerous about it is that it claims that God is in control, but in reality, it looks to those in power - government or 'man' - as the one(s) who are really in charge. Not God. Not our sovereign Lord.
The god and country gospel also says that living out and sharing your faith is dependent on having the freedom to do so. That one’s greatest source of identity and value can be found in one’s nationality. It bemoans the loss of prayer in schools, rather than the lack of prayer at home. This gospel says it’s better to silence opponents than minister to them. It asks for a pledge of obedience rather than a change of heart. It asks for you to take a stand but sits on the larger issues.
America, or at least your idea of it, has become an idol. Need proof? Look at last election cycle we just went through. You had 'religious' leaders on both sides calling for disastrous results if a certain candidate was elected. In other words, if someone was elected that didn't hold our values then we couldn't hold on to them ourselves.
What I believe is based in and on God's Word - THE BIBLE - and is not changed by who is in the White House, who controls the House or Senate or if someone chooses to sit, kneel or ignore the National Anthem.
Our faith must be stronger than that and more properly rooted than that.
I do love my country, but my love for the country comes AFTER my love for God.
I desire for a strong, faith-filled, faith-based America but as it turns away I am reminded of the words of Joshua, "as for me and MY house, we will serve the Lord".