Since yesterday’s email alert, new information has emerged. Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem; regardless, one must always strive to seek the truth and stand for truth while still being gracious at the same time.
In our article on page 4, we pointed to Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys as patriotically giving due reverence to the symbols of our freedom and to the soldiers who have given some—or all—to protect those freedoms.
Monday night, many were surprised as the country witnessed this team, and its aforementioned owner, interlock their arms and take a knee just prior to the playing of the national anthem. Some from both sides of the controversy felt that it was a form of compromise, while others focused on the fact that the entire team rose before the national anthem was played, went to the sidelines, and, with arms linked, stood respectfully for the national anthem, the flag, and what these symbols stand for.
Actually, these actions are in line with Mr. Jones’ statement from last week: “I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag. So that’s not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that’s given up a little bit for it.” And The New York Times reported that “Mr. Jones addressed the news media after the game, saying he had never been more proud of his organization. He said he believed the demonstration was not a departure from his previous comments in which he had said he would not tolerate players protesting during the anthem, and that the team was unified in that regard.”
The other person we pointed to as an example of respect was bronze star veteran Army Ranger turned Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Some believe that because he accidentally ended up outside the tunnel, he doesn’t deserve the acclaim that has been awarded to him. With jersey sales sky-rocketing, Villanueva feels badly that he made his coach and his team look bad, but don’t they rightly look bad? In choosing to not be present for the national anthem, they not only showed disregard for America but also for the NFL game operations policy which states that “all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.”
Keeping in mind that his training as an Army Ranger would have impressed upon him the importance of standing as a team and following the decisions made as a team, it’s only natural that he says, “Every single time I see that picture of me, standing by myself, I feel embarrassed.” Standing in the open for the anthem was the right thing to do and at least one of his fellow players is questioning the team’s decision to not come out. It’s a shame that Villanueva wishes he had done things differently. We all understand the collateral “regrets” from doing the right thing; but those collateral hurts and losses should never make us feel regret for doing the right thing.
Why bother pointing all this out? Because with all the fake news, the half-truth news, and the highly electrified-politicized culture we live in, it’s important to seek truth, show understanding and grace, yet find the truth and point to it.
There are undue pressures thrown upon entertainers, sports figures, educators, idols, pastors, and even upon you and me to be politically correct. Granted, some in the above mentioned arenas take the mantle of politics upon themselves, which forces this politicized fervor onto others as well. Why do we need political analysts on ESPN? On the Grammys or the Oscars? Why do teachers teach history from today’s politics instead of teaching today’s politics in light of history?
In light of this, let us recognize a few things: There are more “spin-doctors” out there with their own agenda than there are truth tellers. There is much pressure on people to behave or react in a certain way according to the political climate of the times. That the lawlessness and disregard for the rule of law has trickled down from our courts into our police force (there are many sodomy laws and laws regarding pornography which are still on the books yet ignored), down into our sports and other industries (the NFL game operations manual states in part, “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking…”).
Recognize also that truth transcends politics, entertainment, sports, and all else. We must allow truth to use us to transform first ourselves and then our society. The outside pressures that fall on us should be pushed back by truth, not by our feelings or desire for “peace.” So seek out true Truth; stand firm on truth and stand fast for truth.
Regardless of the political climate, political correctness, or the lawlessness and corruption in the political realm and other cultural arenas, we are called to stand fast upon and for the truth. In doing so, we must never forget that there is truth in how we are to respond to those who oppose us—we are to love them and pray for them. Loving—in part—requires reproving (gentle convincing) and rebuking (a stronger denying of the falsehood being perpetuated) with love as our motive. These actions are done in the name of Christ that others might be drawn to Him, for our Lord prefers reconciliation.
This doesn’t require compromise; but it means that we need to look beyond our perception of others in search of the truth. It means that we not only present the blinding light of truth but we direct it to their feet rather than in their eyes. It means that as we are image bearers of our Creator, we strive to be full of grace and truth, even as He is full of grace and truth.
Yes, truth divides; but if we are ever to bring unity to this divided nation, it must be through the Truth.
We are looking forward to our upcoming conference scheduled for Friday evening, October 13 (Fremont, Michigan) and Saturday morning, October 14 (Grand Rapids, Michigan). We are calling the events “The Sword of Truth or the Sword of Islam?”.
Mark your calendar and plan to be with us either on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 PM at American Decency, in Fremont, MI or on Saturday, October 14 at 9:00 AM at Double Tree by Hilton, Grand Rapids, MI to hear powerful messages from two men of God.
For more information and to register click here or call us at 231-924-4050.
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