If one were to read the story of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, his image of gold, the crowds of people, the playing of an anthem, the compulsion placed upon all present to bow down to the image when the music is played or they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Daniel Chapter 3
That scenario sounds alarmingly similar to what is happening in the United States at sporting events and indeed the rest of the world. The world has become a world of idol worshipers.
Because the playing of the music is called “an anthem” or an image is called “a flag” today, does not change what they really are.
When one reads this story at Daniel Chapter 3, it is interesting to note how King Nebuchadnezzar went into a “rage and fury” because three Hebrew boys – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – refused to bow down and worship his image at the playing of the music (the anthem). An American President (and his supporters) also went into a rage when NFL players “took a knee.”
An American President (and his supporters) also went into a rage when NFL players “took a knee” in protest to racial injustice and inequality in the United States. Are these athletes right in what they are doing? Are they disrespecting the flag and “the troops?”
They have a lawful right (A Constitutional right) to protest peacefully. The Constitution does not say when or where they can protest or what about. It seems to me that many White Americans seek to call all of the shots and tell Black and Brown people where, when, or what they can protest about. Well, that is not freedom. It is the maintenance of power and control by one people over another.
Are the athletes correct in that racial injustice and inequality exists in America? Absolutely. It also appears to me that many White people feel uncomfortable and agitated when the issue of race comes up. Many of them prefer not to acknowledge a terrible episode fo slavery and its aftermath in America and what it does to a people. (Yet, many of them have no problem when the Jewish Holocaust is constantly placed in front of them).
As an African American, an unsettling feeling of “You Black folks just need to shut up and accept the cards you have been dealt” comes over me. And, I do not like it. What do I teach my children and grandchildren?
The very thought of having another race of people telling Black and Brown people when, where, and what we are to protest about is unsettling to me. And, when it comes to a flag and the cries that those taking a knee to it are disrespecting it is a false. These very same flag-worshipers do not complain when their flag is worn as articles of clothing such as bikinis, bathing suits, underwear, and bandanas. Why? Because they are the ones doing it and profiting from it. There is nothing more disgusting to me than a hypocrite who sees the gnat in some else’s eye, but not beam in his own.
Yet, flag worship is image worship.
The story has King Nebuchadnezzar ordering the three boys thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to serve the Babylonian gods. (Dan 3:13-15)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego gave their reason to the King as to why they refused to bow down. The related to the King that they “will not worship” his gods because they worshiped only one God, The One True God.
When the boys were thrown into the fiery furnace, they were not harmed. This frightened the King and then he began blessing the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Dan 3:28)
What a lesson in humility for the King!
Today, the nations of the world place pressure upon its citizenry to bow down to inanimate objects under the false guise of patriotism and respect. These nations threaten with incarceration, firing (pun intended), and even death to those who refuse to bow down to them in reverence.
This should be extremely concerning to those who are followers of The Master, Jesus Christ? Why?
Because what is the force behind all of this that would compel individuals to worship, serve, or bow down to something that has no life in it, such as a flag. Anyone’s flag!
There is more to this than just someone believing that refusing to do so is “showing disrespect to a flag and the country it represents” or “disrespecting those who fought and died in the wars of those nations.” This is foolish! Christ spoke of peacemakers, not war-makers and those who relish in it. I am an American and a 20-year Veteran and Americans speak of war and fighting and conquest more than anyone else and we even celebrate it.
I know that Satan is “the god of this world.” ( 2 Cor 4:4). I also know that all of the kingdoms of the world today belong to him. How do I know that? Because he offered them to Jesus at the temptation and Jesus never said that they were not his to offer! (Matthew 4:8)
So, how does the “god of this world” get his worship? Through the images of the world: Flags and other images.
That there are anger and passion displayed towards those who abstain show that these idols are not from The One True God. God is invisible and cannot be worship “through” man-made things.
My concern is that there is a certain race of men among the human family who has created this modern-day furor to be loyal to idols and they are placing compulsion upon those who do not wish to go along with it, to bow down to inanimate objects. They get angry. They go into a rage. Is this normal. Sadly, many of those persons are persons who claim they are followers of Christ! They blend “God and Country” as if God has a favorite nation and to justify their lude and ungodly behavior.
They should know that the idea of “God and Country” is their creation, not The Most High God. Devotion to Him must be exclusive and not shared with man-made images that the nations sacrifice to the god of this world and demons. (Acts 10:34, 1Corinthians 10:18-22, and Exodus 20:5)
In my opinion, the taking of the knee in protest to racial injustice in America is not enough. I believe a more effective form of protest would be “not to take a knee” but to stand, but refuse to place ones hand over one’s heart and do not look at the image.
Taking the knee is an act of worship just like someone who is standing and placing their hand over their heart.