This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.
The “stand or kneel” debate in the NFL has become a major political and social media buzz topic. What biblical insights can we gain about this controversial issue?
- The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what to do in a lot of instances. In this issue, we can’t point to a book, chapter, and verse that give us a black and white answer. We have to draw conclusions based on biblical principles.
- A lot of Christians especially think about this issue in terms of their patriotism or political affiliation while in many cases failing to think about it in terms of their relationships within the body of Christ.
- The two “extremes” of the issue are “kneeling” and “standing.” Those who are kneeling during the national anthem are attempting to draw attention to issues of racial injustice within our society, especially in regards to how African Americans in particular often do not receive equal treatment within the justice system.
- On the other end of the spectrum, those who oppose kneeling feel that kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to our nation, our flag, and our servicemen and women. They feel that the protest disrespects everything those symbols represent and that the national anthem is not the best time for an airing of grievances.
- In Rome, Christians were dividing on non-essential issues, like whether or not to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Romans 13:8 says that Christians should treat one another with love. The underlying principle of how we deal with one another on “gray areas” or “disputable matters” is love. The question it raises is: “What is the attitude you hold toward people who hold a different perspective than you?”
- If you are a Christian, your first and foremost allegiance in all matters should always be to Jesus Christ, not to any national, ethnic, or cultural identity.
- It’s good to have convictions (Romans 14:3) but each of us are answerable to Jesus Christ for our convictions and actions (Romans 14:4, 12).
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Pastor Ross said that a lot of Christians especially think about this issue in terms of their patriotism or political affiliation while in many cases failing to think about it in terms of their relationships within the body of Christ. Explain why you agree or disagree.
- What is the attitude you hold toward people who hold a different perspective than you? Explain.
- Are you willing to listen to a different perspective before you decide it is a bad or useless perspective? Explain.
- Is a person who “kneels” necessarily anti-police or anti-America? Is a person who “stands” necessarily anti-justice or anti-black? Explain.
- “We owe it to people to love them enough and to listen” to their conviction, says Pastor Bryan. Explain why you agree or disagree.
- Read Romans 14:19. How should this apply to the “kneel/stand” debate and to other relevant issues that can be contentious among Christians?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.