Earlier today, I posted two pieces on the NFL players’ ‘protest.’ You can find both of them on my blog about Natural law, The Road to Concord. But I didn’t address the Spiritual aspects of this issue in either of those blog posts. That’s because the Road to Concord is about Natural Law, which is more political in nature. The OYL is about learning to understand and apply God’s Word to our daily lives, so I will now address the issue from the perspective of Scripture (at least, according to my best understanding of Scripture, that is).
In the event that someone isn’t aware of what this is all about, many NFL players have been kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before the start of their football games. This all started with one man who said he was sitting during the anthem to protest the nation because it oppresses “…black people and people of color.” Soon after this, that man included the military in his protest, although he said he was not attacking the police or military. The movement started to grow until now, the protest includes several hundred players. However, now it is about not only the nation, but also the President. Furthermore, the players are claiming it is not only about protesting social injustice, but also their right to free speech. So, what should a believer make of all this?
First, on the surface, it would appear that social justice is something any believer should care about. however, what is meant by ‘social justice’ goes against Scripture. By ‘social justice,’ people mean that everyone should be given some guarantee of a certain level of material wealth and security.
Very well, then. Let’s address this idea of social justice. But first, let me appeal to your fundamental knowledge of Scripture here. I do not want to fill this post with scripture passages and citations, especially since most of what I am going to use should be common knowledge to any believer who has traveled the walk for more than a few years. If this is a problem for anyone, I apologize and beg your forgiveness and indulgence. Now let’s tackle this first issue.
First, God never promises anyone any guarantee of anything in the material world. In fact, we are told to look at this world as just a place we visit, and not to place material things above the Spiritual matters of God. So it is not Scriptural to tie ‘justice’ to material wealth.
Scripture also teaches us that our property belongs to God — all of it. But that we are the masters of that which is given to us to tend. If our material wealth is ours to steward over, then it would be wrong to take from me — no matter how much excess I am deemed to have — and give to another. That would be theft, not charity. Scripture is very clear, we are to give to those in need. But that giving is supposed to be voluntary and done with a glad heart. How can we follow these commands if we embrace an idea that says it is acceptable to steal from one and give to another based on our idea of need? In fact, in doing this, we might actually cause harm to the people we are trying to help. If we look to government for our sustenance, then why would we turn to God to provide? What happens in this case is that we teach the poor not to depend on God or God’s people, but on those in the government who steal and give to us. We teach them to turn from God and rely on sin for their survival and call it justice. So, no, social justice is not rooted in or supported by anything I’ve ever read in Scripture.
The next thing this man claims is that he is oppressed because he is black. Is there any truth to this? Honestly, there once was. There were parts of this nation where the law was used to justify the oppression of black people. But that time has long since passed. the law no longer allows it, so their is not ‘system of oppression.’ In fact, the man who started this ‘protest’ is black, but he was adopted by an affluent white family. He never knew any ‘oppression,’ and his position as a starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers (at the time) was testimony against his claim that black people cannot make it in this nation. The NFL players are 70% black in a nation where blacks are only 15% of the population. That testified against him. At the time, Barak Obama, a black man, was President. That, too, was testimony against his claim. So are all the rich black businessmen and women in this country. The actors, singers, lawyers, teachers, Congressmen and women…. All of them were testimony against his claim. This leaves one to wonder whether or not he was being honest in his claim, but we will not judge that. But it is OK to keep it in mind. Scripture never teaches us not to judge. It says learn to judge correctly. So, when the world we see does not match the world we are told exists, we are justified to question a person’s motives.
The next thing we need to understand is that this is an attack on the nation. When a person protests the flag, which is the symbol of the nation, that person protests the nation. Lest we forget, God, Himself, created the nations. Then He created Israel to be His nation, His inheritance. God’s Word also calls for the use of banners to represent things such as tribes and nations. The key is to remember they must never become an idol or be allowed to replace God. Unfortunately, many of those pushing back against this protest seem to have forgotten or never heard of this part of Scripture. Still, when these players protest the nation, they are treading on the dangerous side of God’s Word.
This brings us to the key part of this issue — at least so far as Scripture is concerned. What these players really want is the destruction of this nation as it was founded. This nation was founded by Christians and on Christian principles and ideals. It was even dedicated to Yahweh by our first President. This makes us a covenant nation: not a covenant ordained by and promised from God, but one ordained by us and promised to God by the nation. This means these players are seeking to tear down something that was dedicated to the Lord, and they are doing so through false witness (claiming the entire nation is something it isn’t).
Now, others may disagree, but my reading of Scripture teaches me that those things which are from God do not need to bear false witness to achieve their goals, nor do they have to tear down that which has been dedicated to God. Twisting the truth is the very first thing we see Satan doing in Genesis. And tearing down the things of God is what Satan was trying to do when he twisted God’s Word. Personally, I sense this same spirit in the actions of these players. Sadly, I do not believe they have the Spiritual knowledge and understanding to see what they are doing is not a thing of God, but of Satan. But a believer should be able to see it. this is for certain.
I’d like to offer one final thought on this matter before I close. Personally, I do not place a great deal of value in the words of millionaires telling me they are oppressed — especially when they have seized the property of other people to make their case (the teams, stadiums, and broadcast networks do not belong to them). Nor do I accept the sincerity of people who want to be credited with doing good while demanding to be protected from any ramifications of their actions. David never protested the fact that his actions got him thrown in the lions den. So, honestly, I do not accept the sincerity of these players’ claims. All I see is a bunch of people trying to divide the nation and tear it down over something that is against Scriptural teachings (i.e., ‘social justice’), and though I know God can and probably will use this to the good of the believers, I do not see the movement as coming from the Lord, Himself. For me, this is of Satan.