WARNING: This post involves political content. Please note that this is simply an opinion piece. This is NOT meant to condone or condemn the recent protests.
For those of you who don’t know – this blog has been on hiatus while I had a baby. I was unsure of when I would return, but in light of the recent protests, I felt that today had to be the day. I am NOT speaking of the NFL protests themselves, but rather the reactions to the protests that I have recently witnessed.
I want to make something clear before I continue: When it comes to the national anthem and the American flag, I agree with the majority that there is a sense of respect that needs to be maintained. However, some the reactions I have seen towards these protesters are completely out of line. Some have been almost verbally abusive in nature and have come from the mouths/posts of my Christian friends, and frankly I think we need to be reminded of something.
The flag. The national anthem. Both are symbols that stand for our country, our freedom, and the American way; reminders of everyone who chose to stand for it (and in many cases die for it) in different ways. But that’s just it – they’re symbols. At the end of the day, the American flag is simply a flag and the national anthem is simply a song. They are images that we have chosen as a society to represent our nation. Sadly, within the past year, I have seen more Christians choose these images over people as though they are meant to be praised, and have placed them on the same pedestal of passion that I see them put up for the Lord – and that’s a problem.
Ouch. I think I just made some folks angry. But hear me out. For those of you are Christians, we need to look at this in a bigger perspective. We need to ask ourselves:
How much is the American Flag or the National Anthem going to be worth when we die and are facing The One who will judge us?
Is the Lord going to be more worried about how much you chose to stand for the flag or how much you chose to show love to others despite your disagreements?
For me personally, I think it’s the latter.
As the title of this post may suggest, I think we have become picky about – or even just plain blind to – our own idol worship. It’s easy to say that cigarettes, alcohol, or electronics are idols that we have placed for ourselves. However, it’s also easy to forget how anything and everything can become an idol for us; and unfortunately, it’s rather difficult to admit that something so meaningful to us as a nation could be one of those idols.
It’s also difficult to remember how important each and every human being is even though we may disagree with them. In the first chapter of Genesis, the Lord talks about making us in His image. I take this to mean that all human beings are meant to be image bearers of God; in this instance, we have to remember that the American Flag and the National Anthem are images created by man, not by God. We need to stop holding the images WE created in greater regard than the images HE created.
No, you don’t have to agree with the protests or how they are being done. However, DO remember that the protesters are children of God just as much as you or I are and need to be shown love. So, please take note of how to treat one another in times of disagreement, and ask yourself what is more important.