By Jack Wilkie
A few weeks ago I wrote about how we can know when our love of country (which isn’t inherently wrong) has become an idol. One such indicator comes when we are willing to put our country, party, candidate, or political ideas over people’s souls.
Is it really worth losing a friend over these things? Of course not. So, we must strive to not give offense. There’s no need to put out every thought you have on every issue on social media and drive people away. On the other side of things, don’t take offense. Political disagreement is no reason to cut someone out of your life. People’s souls are too important.
That, of course, brings us to the debate of the week. We’re all entitled to feel however we want about the anthem protests in the NFL. I hold an opinion (that I’m not going to tell you for obvious reasons), and you are free to hold yours. But broadcasting that opinion on Facebook or discussing it in a way that drives a wedge between us and people on the other side of the issue is blatantly unchristian.
Why on earth is a disagreement over a country’s flag a battle that Christians need to be fighting? The Gospel is divisive enough as is. Let’s not tack our opinions on and selfishly drive even more people away. I know it’s an emotionally charged issue, with one side protesting what they feel is great injustice, and the other side feeling that the protests dishonor those who have served and given their lives for our country. But that’s all the more reason to stay out. Feelings can be deeply hurt over these matters, and when feelings are hurt, walls go up. When walls go up between us and our brethren, it hurts the church’s unity. When walls go up between us and those in the world, it hinders our ability to reach them.
We need to get back to “WWJD?” When we do that we’ll realize that what Jesus would do is listen to people’s concerns (whether its concerns about injustice or concerns about respecting the military and the nation) and try to build bridges. I can guarantee you that what He wouldn’t do is drive people away by publicly voicing a preference on a divisive, nonessential matter.
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:18