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NFL Protests: A Mature Message or Harmful Disrespect?
Frankly I couldn't care less what the problem is that individuals or groups are “protesting”. That's their business and privilege. They may or may not have a legitimate concern. It's the venue they have chosen and the way they have chosen to do it that concerns me most.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:7,8 NKJV
Like most of you, I have been deeply concerned with the latest antics of professional athletes. My greatest dismay, however, comes from the widespread support they are receiving from certain adult subcultures in our society. I’m deeply concerned at several different levels, some political, some personal, and certainly some theological, but the concern that has caused me to break my usual silence on subjects like this is for the future of our children and our nation. My comments are specifically addressed to Christian believers as I don’t think unbelievers will understand my point or care. Please note as well, I'm not attempting to judge any person's motives, but I am definitely calling them out on their actions and stating the inevitable consequences.
I believe we are missing the whole point. The object of this “protest” seems to change depending on who you are talking to. Frankly I could care less what the problem is that individuals or groups are “protesting”. That's their business and privilege. It’s the venue they have chosen and the way they have chosen to do it that concerns me most. These are men and women that have been elevated by society to be special and enviable because of their talents and accomplishments in the public arena, and in most cases, they are role models for young children and adolescents whether they accept that responsibility or not. Thus, the question: “What are we teaching our young children and adolescents?” Our flag, our president, our national government, are all symbols of many things, the foremost being symbols of authority. Open defiance of established authority that falls within biblical parameters will destroy a nation from within as it destroys the individuals that participate leaving anarchy in its wake.
We live in a day when teens speak to their parents and adults with disrespect that was not tolerated in my childhood, nor should it have been. Where did they learn this? They learned it from adults and the surrounding society that models and tolerates it. Disobedience to biblically mandated authority is forbidden in Scripture and for a good reason. Without structure and authority, the fallen nature of man will drive him to become increasingly evil in his conduct and culture. (Sorry about that Sigmund. You were wrong then and you’re still wrong today.) Disrespectful adolescents grow up to be disrespectful adults, and some even call for the death of those in authority especially law enforcement officers. I’ve had to deal with a rude and egotistical cop or two in my 60+ years on earth. In one case, I was so enraged by his rantings and verbal assault that I could have easily responded with physical violence. At that point in my life, were he not a policeman I probably would have. But he was a policeman, and I was taught to respect the position even if I couldn’t respect the man. I stood there and took his abuse responding with the only correct answer: “yes sir.” I didn’t get shot or arrested, and I didn’t even get a ticket. The fact of the matter is I wouldn’t have even had the conversation with him if I hadn’t been in the wrong in the first place. Respect is not being taught today, and disrespect is being taught in its place. Not just tolerated, taught!
I can’t remember a president that I agreed with on every decision he made. (Well, maybe president Reagan.) In fact, I’m ashamed of the disrespected mess our last president made of our country, not to mention the enormous debt, diminished military, and worldwide laughing stock the United State became when he drew a line in the sand and did nothing when it was ignored. But he was the president of the United States. Duly elected by the country. I have always respected his position and demanded the same respect be shown by those in my household. Why? Because he was the chief executive of the government of the United States. Today we have a large portion of the country making a mockery of the presidency because their candidate lost. Can we not see that disrespect at this level has given the rebellious side of this nation permission to do whatever they want in the name of freedom and free speech? Rioting, looting, shootings, murders, all somehow have become justified in the minds of some because they don’t agree with someone else or some other group. Some have declared “open season” on police men and women because of the conduct of a few possibly bad cops even though in almost all of the high-profile cases, due process of law cleared the policemen involved. And it’s not just in the streets; disrespect is on the floor of Congress. Do you not understand that when you give some the right to break the law, they will someday break the law against you? When laws were passed under the last Administration without bipartisan support, did it never cross their mind that grass roots America wouldn’t stand for it and that one day they would be put in the same position as the opposition party came to power? We may live in an immoral, deteriorating, dog eat dog, only the strong survive society, but we also live in a God created, God controlled, God directed universe. He has clearly said, “What goes around comes around.” (My paraphrase of Galatians 6:7,8) That’s reality. The fact that some don’t believe it is irrelevant to its existence. All sin, all rebellion against God, will have its consequences. What’s going around now as adults rebel against the established law of the land, and the disrespect they are showing to all authority will come back to bite us all in the form of anarchy in the next generation and the destruction of this once great, God fearing nation from within.
Let’s make it ever so plain that I find nowhere in the Scriptures a demand for blind obedience to any human authority. But I do find that there are specific and concise protocols for situations where man’s law or conduct violates God’s laws and principles. I’ll not expound them here. You can read for yourself the book of Daniel and Esther to get a good idea of how to approach even the most vile and unbelieving authorities. Wicked authority doesn’t scare me nearly as much as rebellion and the natural consequences that inevitably follow it. A lot of bad seeds have been sown, we desperately need to pray for massive crop failure in our country and society.