Blah, Blah, Whiners Have You Anything Else?

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I am…started to say “surprised” but really I’m not because I saw it coming from a mile away.  I am…started to say “amazed” but that’s not the word because there’s nothing profound or significant in it.  I am…started to say “speechless” but there’s so much I could say.  I am…started to say “fed-up” because I certainly am, but as a follower of Jesus I need to be more than just “fed-up”.  I am…started to say “disgusted” and that certainly is an emotion that is present and prevalent in me right now.  So, what’s the word I’m looking for?

Well, this wordsmith who usually finds something deep and profound is left with just this simple phrase:  “I am sick and tired of it!”  I realize these words lack spiritual depth and certainly are not words of grace and mercy, but they do describe where I am.  I was feeling bad about it until I remembered Jesus, the week of His death, walking into the Court of the Gentiles and seeing that “spiritual flea market” of currency exchanges and sellers of animals for sacrifice.  OK, so maybe it’s not so bad that I’m feeling sick and tired of it.  I do think that Jesus was sick and tired of seeing those who were supposed to represent HIM on earth tied up to and wrapped up in so much that had absolutely nothing do to with the Heavenly Father.  Hang on a minute while I take these cords and fashion me a whip.

Much has been said about the recent acts by NFL players hitting the knee or staying in the locker room while the National Anthem is played.  And herein is my rub, those first 4 words–“Much has been said”!  What “has been said” are words, lots of words, about anger and disgust.  The only threat of action is to “stop watching them on TV”.  Well, gee golly, that ought to change our culture and nation!  But I didn’t see any change after Monday Night Football in our culture.  Maybe after Sunday when sooooooo many are not watching NFL football our culture will change.  Guess I’ll have to wait until Monday to see our culture change.  Yet…..somehow I don’t think that act will bring about any real change, culture shift, or a “everyone lives happily ever after” narrative.

Look, people!  That is their right and freedom.  Even my son, Sargent First Class Matthew Burbank (combat veteran of 5 tours in some of the worst flea-infested-arm-pits parts of the world) acknowledges he paid a price (though he calls it a small price, but I, Dad, know better than that) for them to disrespect THE Flag that draped the coffins of his friends and comrades in arms.  Before I continue my “sick and tired” thoughts, you need to think about this in a practical way.  If we ban this form of protest it will not be long until another form of protest and another and another, until finally we will have lost one of the linchpin principles of this nation:  Freedom of Speech.  Remove that linchpin and soon thereafter all the other linchpins will be pulled and we will be living under tyranny, again!

Wait, I just heard something thinking, “OK, Mr. Kingdom Pastor, what would you suggest?  Just go ahead and watch those games?”  If that’s how you want to express your freedom to protest by not watching those games, then by all means, go ahead.  But if you are wanting to hit those players in the pocketbook, then simply do NOT buy anything that has the Officially Licensed NFL logo.  That’s where the money is made.  By the way, that includes more than jerseys, t-shirts and caps.  There are other products that are labeled “The Official _____________________(fill in the blank with a product or service) of the NFL.”  But do you think that is really going to change our culture and our nation?  You do?  Look, contact me and I will arrange to sell you some great Gulf Coast property in New Mexico, or Montana if you prefer Montana.

What do I suggest?  I am so glad you asked me that.  Here’s my suggestion:  HIT YOUR KNEES!  Pray FOR, and not AGAINST those you see as the problem in our culture and 1nation.  And then pray some more–for YOURSELF!  Churchians and Tenured Pew Sitters, quit complaining and start doing something that will make a positive difference in another person.  Mahatma Gandhi may not have been a committed follower of Jesus Christ, but he certainly gave clarity to the teaching of Jesus and our responsibilities to God’s creation when he challenged people saying, “You must be the change you want to see in others.”  Do you remember that time when the disciples saw a problem, people were hungry and needed to be sent on their way?  What was Jesus’ initial response?  “YOU give them something to eat!”  So you who passionately profess to follow Jesus but consistently “pass the buck” and expect others to do something, “What say ye now, to Jesus?”

Hit YOUR knees in prayer.  Ask the God of infinite mercy and grace to forgive you of your whining when you should have been doing something to reveal the presence of Jesus in your own life.  Genuinely regret that you are a part of the “when all is said and done, more is said than done” crowd.  Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart and mind with the Presence, Power and Provisions of God Himself, the power that caused The Resurrection to happen for Jesus!  Hit YOUR knees and ask God to open your eyes, mind and heart to all those people you will see today who need to see Hope, who need to be made whole in Jesus Christ!

Then look for practical ways to do it.  Take them out to lunch, to Starbucks, to somewhere and listen to their story.  Offer to take someone who can’t drive shopping with you.  Find ways to live UN-selfishly.  Caleb Kaltenbach, in his book, Messy Grace, reminds us that as Christians we need to be known what we are FOR, and NOT for what we are AGAINST!  And what we should be for is people coming into the loving Relationship that God wants everyone to have with Him.

Churchians, Tenured Pew Sitters, and WATNFL (Whiners Against The NFL) card-holding-members, begin doing things FOR others that only Jesus would do.  Watching re-runs on Sunday afternoons, Monday nights and Thursday nights will NOT change our culture and nation.  But taking personal responsibility to show and share the love of Jesus, especially without words ever being said, WILL change our culture one life at a time.  And the first life that needs to change may well be your own.  I know this is true in my case.

Love God with all your heart.  Love others the way Jesus loves you.  And makes sure all the glory goes to Him!

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23 thoughts on “Blah, Blah, Whiners Have You Anything Else?

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  1. Hi Bro Randy. I fear I have gotten way behind in my reading and commenting, and what a place to come back.

    I agree with you and your son. I happen to be a veteran myself, and put myself in a place where I might have given myself to defend that very flag. I oppose all efforts to legislate this behavior, even though i find it personally repulsive. The day we do that, all the lives spent to defend that very right were wasted.

    My only other thing is harder for me to articulate, and I usually make people mad when I say this, as it is hugely unpopular, especially among my brethren in the South. I speak to Christian who are against these morons protesting like this. News flash: my faith and my Patriotism are not actually linked in any way. I happen to be very patriotic, and also hope I am very faithful. Nonetheless, the two are not related. God does, of course, require that I be a good citizen, under the legitimate authority of my government. But, I don’t have to be a Patriot, or even support the ideals of this country to be a good Christian.

    Our citizenship ultimately is not of this world, or this country. You have clearly laid out just what Christians ought to be doing in relation to this situation. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your line, “News flash: my faith and my Patriotism are not actually linked in any way.”–boy if our southern folks could ever understand that, and like you expressed so well, that our citizenship is not of this world or country, I think we might make more of an impact for the sake of Jesus! Give me Jesus over politics any day…and every day!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Not sure what to make of this:

      News flash: my faith and my Patriotism are not actually linked in any way.

      What am I missing that you two get?

      Doesn’t Romans 13:1-7 command us to be subject to the governing authorities? Moreover, are we not suppose to love our neighbors, which I think includes our countrymen? I suppose this is an issue of semantics, but I don’t understand. Why are faith and patriotism mutually exclusive?

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      1. Well yes that passage is absolutely binding. We are commanded to be subject to governing authorities.

        Just a few thought and maybe it will help. Being subject to doesn’t mean I have to be always patriotic. It means I have to obey the law and pay my taxes .

        I think many have gotten confused and think God has a covenant relationship with this county like he had with Israel. This is not so. His relationship is with people not our government.

        I love this county. I love her enough to let some people try to kill me for her. Nonetheless my citizenship is not in this country but in heaven

        Nobody actually said patriotism and faith are mutually exclusive. I said the are not linked. Tom,there is a real tendency especially here in the South to equate faith with patriotism. Meaning many would say any good Christian must be an absolute patriot and that only a Godless heathen would not be.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think I see your point. I think the issue is how we define patriotism. We believe the same thing, but we don’t define the word patriotism the same way.

          Some people think patriotism is about backing the policies of the government. These people complain those who don’t back the government’s policies when their party is in charge are unpatriotic. Don’t think so. There is such a thing as loyal opposition. I think patriotism is about loving our People no matter who is in charge.

          Here is example of what I mean. Both the apostles Peter and Paul were patriots. Both urged Christians to be good citizens, but the Roman government brutally executed both.

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        2. Wally, you hit the “10 Ring” with this comment: “I think many have gotten confused and think God has a covenant relationship with this county like he had with Israel. This is not so. His relationship is with people not our government.” A lot of people, in the south especially, think that God has called us to create a “Christian nation”. Truth is, He calls us to proclaim the Good News of The Kingdom of God and to be His instruments of bringing that Kingdom to EARTH, not just a part of it!

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  2. Bro Randy, I initially “shared” this post that you put on Facebook, then when I read it again, I deleted it. I kept thinking of my older brother who fought in Vietnam when all I was old enough to know about it was that somebody made him go somewhere far away and fight and my seven-year-old self couldn’t figure out much else except that my big brother was gone and I didn’t know when he was coming back. I agree that we must all have the right to protest peacefully; but when someone you love has carried shrapnel in their body for 50 years and has a real hard time being in a crowd, even at church or a restaurant because of PTSD, anybody who disrespects the nation he wears that for – OR any symbol of said nation – especially when they are making money that I can barely comprehend how to spend it is so much, “playing” one day a week; well, it’s very hard to sympathize with them. But I had to leave this post, because you ARE right. God never gave us the right to judge or condemn AT ALL, even when other people are hurting us or those we love, or hurting us BECAUSE of those we love. God gave us the command to love furiously and without bias, and do it even to those who show no regard for us. If His people cannot show the love He shows to us, nobody else ever will. Sometimes it’s not easy being a Jesus freak. But I guess it never was…

    De Colores.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sick of it as well. Then again, I’m supposed to be worried about a group grown men who play a stupid child’s sport and make millions? What? Are these my role models or something. Too, does anyone thing by them taking a knee that a darn thing will change? Ask the millions who protested the Viet Nam war. Ask them if it changed our involvement. And finally, do I really care what those idiots think of me or my country or my flag or my entire family that served? No. I don’t care what they think, but I do care about serving the Lord and care not who bows to the government.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen!

    A couple of things seem forgotten. During games when the national anthem is being sung,most people are sprawled out on the sofa with a bag of cheetohs and a beer! Then we go on social media and suddenly become Captain America, all patriotic and offended. Just saying.

    Second, where I live we fired a high school football coach for being on his knees praying before a game. The SC upheld his firing. Nobody is noting the irony (and the opportunity) in suddenly finding the bulk of the NFL on their knees! Maybe they don’t why they are down there, but Christians should! We should all take a knee and start praying every time they do that. It would be delightfully funny, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to spread the gospel. Look, we’re all praying now, at football games no less!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Looking at something from a different perspective can be amusing. Sometime ridicule can be quite effective.

      This the high school football coach?

      Former Washington state high school football coach Joe Kennedy, who was fired for kneeling in prayer, reacted to NFL players’ national anthem protests.

      “I can’t wrap my brain around it,” Kennedy said. “I’m a Marine. I want the same rights for everybody else.”

      Let’s not forget another guy.

      Ah, the media double standard. When a NFL player kneels in protest, it’s considered “unifying,” according to MSNBC. When Tim Tebow kneels in prayer, NBC calls it “polarizing.”

      And yet another.

      Wakulla County Schools athletic coaches, teachers, and club sponsors will undergo a refresher training session on Feb. 1, after the school district received notification from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, saying that Wakulla Middle School Football Coach Eddie Metcalf participated in a student-led prayer with his team immediately after at the Oct. 7 game.
      The U.S. Supreme Court dictates that while student-initiated prayers are allowed on public school campuses, administration, teachers or coaches cannot lead or participate in prayers.

      Obviously, NFL coaches need refresher training.

      Liked by 2 people

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