I realize that I may be just a smidge late in posting this article with it being the end of the week and all and the clash between the White House and the NFL having taken place earlier this week.

Blame it all on my Coach James who’s constantly drilling into me to lead with my ears, follow up with my tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear (it’s a Christian thing—you probably wouldn’t understand).

At any rate, if I’m being honest I really could care less about football. I mean I was never really a huge fan of the sport, to begin with, but then again, I’m not much of a fan either of foolish controversies (thank you mainstream media) in particular that which has now encircled its players.

Now, before this little diatribe of mine shines any further allow me to say up front that in no way shape or form do I make light the plight of people of color. Being Latino I can relate—to a certain degree—to the prejudices faced for being of a different race.

But in light of recent protest demonstrations, I believe we have moved the line of scrimmage far away from the original cause against racial injustice to an area instead belonging to the individual concerns of the players themselves.

Nonetheless, as a retired military veteran although I feel I must restrain myself sometimes while watching the evening news I have come to accept the fact that NFL players are American citizens who have bestowed upon them the entitlement to exercise their First Amendment right to a [peaceful] protest regardless of how I might feel.

With that said, between the inflammatory remarks made by our President, the entire NFL “brotherhood” now taking a stand, er, should I say a knee, (to include a few rogue baseball players now joining the bandwagon), and those who have been running pass interference from the sidelines through social media, I have to say that I am rather disappointed with the way we’ve fumbled over this subject as a nation.

Furthermore, with all the hoopla that’s been going around since Colin K’s first inaugural knee bend remonstration back in 2016 you would have thought by now we would have moved the ball a little further downfield. Yet, here we are again first and ten.

To add insult to knee injury as an official of the game I believe we as the church may have overlooked an important call on the field that has the potential for effectuating real change within our society—the call of the Gospel.

Why the Gospel?

Well, for starters, to those who take the Great Commission seriously they understand the authority from whence the rules of the sport have come from and that any delay of game will result in serious violations during play for both players and officials.

Secondly, in peeking into the apostle Paul’s playbook we can see God’s game plan for redemption, that is the Gospel of Christ, which by the way is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16)—for the Jew first of course, and also to the Greek mind you.

Now, for all intents and purposes, I’m all about making a difference. But what does the Bible have to say about protesting? Zilch!

And with regards to changing the world does the Bible have anything to say about that? Puh-lenty!

Having access to God’s playbook we are privileged to hold in our grubby little hands a skillful blend of offensive strategies at our disposal.

Beginning with Mark 16:15 we have our basic running play:

“And [He] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”

Down the field, as receivers in The Great Commission we’ll run what’s called “fast routes” such as go, fade, and post routes in this passing play from Matthew 28:18-20:

18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”

In this running play from John 14:12 we’ll need to look for the hole in the defense as our Quarterback hands off the ball to His running back while he runs it up the middle:

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

And finally, when you find yourself in that glorious end zone feel free to perform theIckey Shuffle if you must:

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

As Christians, we are also the salt of the earth and we can certainly lose our saltiness, or become a little too salty to taste for that matter, if we are not careful to “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Tim. 2:23). If there be anything offensive among us please let it be the Gospel.

Truth is we do have certain inalienable rights as American citizens and when we choose to exercise a play on these rights the opposing team should be mindful of encroachment when preparing to blitz.

On the flip side of that toss-up coin, however, as citizens of a different kingdom when looking for examples of past performers to emulate we need not look any further than Paul, who being an Apostle, refused to exercise his rights so as not to allow anything to hinder the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:12).

Yet, in that rare instance where we see that he had, in particular calling upon his Roman citizenship, it was with the advancement of the Gospel that Paul had always in mind (Acts 22:25,27,2823:11).

Run to win,

Den

Photo: Source