Are you ready for some football!
As we ready ourselves for another great weekend of play in the National Football League, let’s think back on the games of last weekend. Perhaps the most talked about action took place off the field, as San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick continued his protest.
Kaepernick a six-year pro, who lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season, has willingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the National Anthem.
The QB is taking this action in protest of what he deems as wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
In an interview with NFL Media, Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black People and People of Color. To me this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”
Many people, including those of us who profess to being Christians, have complained that Kaepernick’s protest is wrong. Many think it is disrespectful to the flag, and to those who served and died in the military.
As I military veteran who took part in the first gulf war, and wore the uniform with pride for over a decade, I am not offended in the least by Kaepernick’s protest.
I fought for the free speech rights being exercised by Kaepernick’s protest. While I may differ with his specific expression of protest, I support his right to do so.
Furthermore, I applaud his courage for taking a stand when he did not have to do it. I stood up for freedom in the Army, so Colin Kaepernick could knee down in protest in a football stadium.
As a Christian and now a seminarian, I understand that God calls us to protest. More importantly, Jesus protested long before Colin Kaepernick.
Jesus was a protester when he stormed the temple overturning the tables of the money changers while proclaiming, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” (John 2:16, New Living Translation)
Jesus was a protester in His boyhood home of Nazareth. In the synagogue service, He read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah declaring, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day” (Luke 4:21, New Living Translation).
This incredible true statement by Jesus was true because He is the Son of God. However, the people would not accept this, so it led to the formation of a mob so furious, they chased Jesus out of town with the intention to kill Him.
Jesus was a protester when the disciples betrayed Him. He was a protester when the officials arrested Him. He was a protester when the soldiers mocked, spit on, and beat Him. He was a protester when He hung on the cross from the sixth to the ninth hour. Jesus was a protester when He died and arose again victorious three days later.
Jesus is a protester, and He is calling on you and me to also protest.
Jesus is calling us to protest – when we see injustices in the treatment by law enforcement of specific segments of our society, based only on skin color or economic status.
Jesus is calling us to protest – when floods take place again and again in places where it should not flood, and when earthquakes happen on lands where fracking was practiced. While our elected officials may deny the dangers of fracking, or the science of global warming, we cannot use this as an excuse to do nothing!
Jesus is calling us to protest – when our fellow man is left delicate by vagaries of life, and dumfounded by the ravages of sin. The best way to protest is to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
My fellow faith blogger Steven Mattson put it best when he wrote, “Christianity isn’t political power, military might, safety, wealth, control, fame, or comfort — it’s emulating Jesus.”
Jesus protested for causes that were just, for people who had been wronged, and for the world the way it should be. Jesus’ earthly life left us an example of what He wants us to do until He comes again.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12, King James Version).