Christians Follow Christ First, Not the United States of America

Christopher Benek
Christopher Benek

If you struggle with the concept of someone kneeling during the national anthem then you are really going to have a hard time with the coming eschaton. Jesus didn’t come to unilaterally support the United States of America — he came to save and redeem humanity and the world. Christians are supposed to follow Jesus first, not the United States of America.

Now, before you object, please don’t try and bait me with tired excuses because:

A) I love our country.

I am proud to be an American citizen. I grew up with an American flag on the wall of my bedroom. Growing up in a low-income trailer park in northeast Ohio where folks lived pretty simple, that American flag hung on my wall as a constant reminder that I live in a land of opportunity.

When I grew older, I was the first student in my high school to have a United States flag sewn on my letterman’s jacket. Many of my classmates would soon follow suit. With every accolade that was added to my jacket the flag was there as a constant reminder that I had a responsibility to strive to be better because others had earned those opportunities for me — some with their lives. Even back then I was committed to speaking passionately about this fact. Even to the point where I won awards for doing so through our local Veterans of Foreign Wars – Voice of Democracy contests.

As a matter of fact, I was so enamored with our country that when I graduated from High School I enrolled at Hiram College, where a fellow Ohioan and 20th President of the United States James A Garfield once served as president. I went to Hiram to study political science and history to learn about the founders of our great nation. I wrote my final collegiate history project on James Madison whose personal story and tremendous affinity for Princeton provided great inspiration for me to go on to study at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Our country afforded me the opportunity to become the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college. There are many places in the world where I simply wouldn’t have had those opportunities but where I would have instead been subjected to maintaining the status quo. Because I know this reality, I am indebted to the brave men and women who have gone before us seeking to establish, protect and defend the liberty that we all cherish.

B) I have always honored and will continue to honor our veterans.

I fully recognize that the opportunities that I’ve benefited from are a result of the sacrifices of others. My grandfathers served in World War II and I grew up hearing stories about the horrors of war. One of my grandfathers was awarded a silver star and a purple heart for his valiant service in the war. The other of my grandfathers enlisted before he even graduated from High School, forfeiting his education, because he believed so strongly that our country needed to help others.

I will never forget the day as a child when, in the middle of one of his stories about the war, my Grandmother said something to the effect of: “If there is ever another draft I’ll sneak you across the lake (Lake Erie) to Canada. I just couldn’t bear to let you go to war.” And holding back tears and with a stern yet cracking voice my grandfather, who I knew loved me dearly, replied: “No… he’d go.”

I will never forget the mixture of love, fear, and courage in his voice.

C) I’m not a Donald Trump hater.

Actually, I wrote an article Challenging Christian Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Supporters prior to the election.

As a matter of fact I don’t hate anyone. I don’t hate people who disagree with me. I don’t hate people who are different than me. I don’t hate people who vote different than me. I don’t hate people who have more money than me or who are successful at what they do. I don’t hate people from other countries.

D) And I don’t believe that Colin Kaepernick is entitled to an NFL quarterback job.

Years ago I wrote an article entitled: Play Tim Tebow or Trade Tim Tebow wherein I accused the NY Jets of mistreating Tim Tebow when they claimed that his “terrible” play was the reason that he wasn’t field time. I still don’t buy their excuse.

The problem then was the same problem that Colin Kaepernick is facing now. Keeping Tim Tebow on your team meant hosting a media circus. And a media circus has proven disruptive to effectively running a professional sports team. When every question is about your backup quarterback and not about moving your team forward then your team is prevented from moving forward.

I enjoyed listening to Skip Bayless’ Tebow rants as much as anyone and I regularly listen to the manimals on the The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz but, let’s face it — they aren’t helping Colin Kaepernick to get hired, they are just fueling the circus fire. And that is OK — they are just doing their job. And we sure seem to love the circus.

But Colin Kaepernick, not dissimilar to Tim Tebow, has chosen to leverage the media circus to forward his personal beliefs. That is his right, but it doesn’t entitle him to be hired to a job that pays millions of dollars. There are plenty of quarterbacks out there who want to play that don’t have the distraction of the media circus circling around them. And I think that it is an NFL owner’s prerogative to choose not to entertain the circus with their organization.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Christopher Benek