I have always loved history. I’ve told countless people that it’s the best storybook there is, and it’s all true. That may be one of the reasons I’m so proud of this country, the United States of America.
You see, it’s that love of this land that brought me back to God. I gave my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ when I was a junior in high school. But I quickly recanted in my pride and lived the life of an atheist for 28 more years. But one night, alone behind the wheel of our Suburban, driving from Phoenix to San Diego, I had a long discussion with myself. Or at least I thought it was myself at the time. I talked about how this country started from humble roots. It allowed the cast offs from other lands to come in and to build a land that would throw off the tyranny of an absentee monarch. This country would grow and prosper and save the world from two world wars. We have much to be proud of, and much to be thankful for. But that night, I decided, with myself that there had to be a God. Because the circumstances of the independence of our land, and the simple inspired truth of the Declaration and the Constitution could not come from mere man.
So that brings me to this week. We acknowledged the 15th anniversary of 9/11. My family went to see the movie about “Sully” Sullenberger and the “Miracle on the Hudson.” I also watched several of the 9/11 documentaries on the History Channel. With this as a backstop, we learned about Colin Kaepernick, who feels that this country harbors institutional oppression of the black community. He has decided he will not stand for the National Anthem in protest. Before I get into how I feel about this, I have to say that it is his right to sit during the National Anthem. The freedom of speech protects such acts of protest. The last 50 years have been filled with many people finding many ways to protest the status quo. Sometimes with results that improved our society, sometimes not. The only caveat to his right to protest, is in doing so, he is also responsible for the repercussions. The NFL or the San Francisco 49’ers can take disciplinary action. Fans can quit buying his merchandise. People can quit going to NFL games. If he has decided his protest is worth those actions, then by all means, sit during the National Anthem.
On Monday I posted a Facebook comment poking fun at Mr. Kaepernick’s protest. It was amazingly met with people who disagree with my stance. The reply that just shocked me was the one saying that we need to listen to Mr. Kaepernick’s protest because there has been so much injustice poured upon the black community by the white community. I said, I would like to hear more about this and be able to get into a civil debate. The next reply opened my eyes. But not in the way that person was hoping. You see the argument hinged on the assumption that America is flawed and has purposefully sought to subjugate members of it’s society. I’ll be the first to admit that we are not perfect. We have had parts of our history that are morally and ethically reprehensible. It is important to remember these so we don’t repeat them.
My feeling is there are societal groups, and even churches and pastors that are trying to find a way to justify the current popular social trends. It’s now legal to abort a baby, but the Bible clearly says that is wrong. It’s now legal for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman, but the Bible clearly says that is wrong. These are the two major things that people are trying to twist and justify. The racial divide gets caught in this in the name of social justice. However, once that swell of pride around what our society calls legal, and the outrage of social inequality, comes to a head, we see that what is being protested for, is not biblical. No matter how many pastors or prophets encourage and embrace it. There is a folksy proverb that says, “Man plans, God laughs.” At this point, he is probably beyond laughing and shaking his head.
There is a sin called pride. This is where we as human beings start to think we are on par, or know better than God Almighty. It happened with the tower of Babel, it’s possible to happen here again. Compromise is another sin that churches and pastors get themselves wrapped around in order to ensure the collection plate stays full.
One more thing, it’s a fact that if you look for the bad things in life, you will find them. If you look for the good things in life, you will find them. If you are convinced America is bad and is horrible, how can you feel that it was blessed by God? If you think the only way to God’s heart is to honor the protests of an overpaid, undertalented, spoiled brat, whose only job is to play a game, then you might need to revisit the book of Romans.
You see, America is great, and it is great because it has been blessed by God. It has been blessed by God in order to bless others. We can be part of this great land, and continue to work to bless others, or we can take the seat of the skeptic and miss the blessings that God has already set out for us.
For me, I choose to stand.