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Plucked from Today’s News
Stop Taking a Knee
by Dennis Lee
From last week’s news there’s a story about a Sam Goonrod, relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, who refused to kneel with the rest of the team at the playing of the National Anthem, but not for the reason many people might believe.
It was because he didn’t want to be a hypocrite because of his faith in Jesus Christ. He said, “I’m a Christian, so I just believe that I can’t kneel before anything besides God … I feel if I did kneel I’d be a hypocrite. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
I find this story interesting as our Church is beginning a new Wednesday night study in the book of Daniel. In Daniel chapter one we see Daniel’s integrity and how he refused to take a knee, that is, to compromise his faith even though his current situation was forcing him to do so.
He and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were given a daily amount of food and wine from the King’s table, and to refuse would potentially mean retaliation from those who oversaw their captivity and development.
But Daniel stuck to his guns, because eating these foods would violate God’s laws on which foods were permissible and not permissible (Leviticus 11). And there was also the violation of eating foods offered to other gods, which was the custom of these cultures, which was even reiterated and forbidden by the first church in Acts 21:25 saying, “they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols.”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we’re not to kneel, or take a knee to anyone or anything other than the Lord God Himself. Instead, like Daniel, Goonrod, and others like them, we are to take a stand for our faith and God’s word when current culture would want us to deny our faith or keep silent.
Will it cost? The unfortunate answer is in most cases yes, especially in countries that don’t provide the freedoms we have in America or in most of the Western industrialized nations.
In last weeks news there was also a story that hasn’t seen much press in America in how China is now demanding poor Christians to renounce their faith in order to receive welfare benefits to survive. They are also to remove all Christian imagery from their homes.
One member of a state-approved church in the area said, “Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing—they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive.”
In our nation, and in the world’s current state of affairs, which include the coronavirus pandemic, racial violence, and economic devastation, there is more pressure than ever for Christians to deny or renounce their faith, or for some, it’s just plain easier to say nothing.
But now is not the time to take a knee, but to stand for Jesus Christ and the gospel message.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study