Dear Christians, God Is Not Offended by You Taking a Knee

taking a knee

I have been praying a lot this morning since the Lord put it on my heart to write about this topic. The thing is, this topic isn’t something I would personally choose to speak on. After all, I’m an introvert, and I absolutely hate conflict. I’m not one for arguing, and I’ll usually be the first person to concede in a disagreement. I’ve always felt like my battles belong to the Lord, and He will avenge me. He’s the only one who truly needs to see my heart, and it’s that nature that has typically caused me to step away from conflict, take the higher road, so to speak, and opt out of pointless arguments. I think silence is noble. That is, until it’s not.

God. It’s the only explanation I have for my feelings over the past few weeks. He has placed a fire in me, and on this subject I cannot just sit in my prayer closet. Y’all, prayer is powerful, and when we pray it gives strength to God’s people. But we are God’s people. It’s time to consider that we are the answer to prayer that God can use to change things. We are called to defend the powerless, to stand firm for justice, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I guess God started by telling me that to love I must also fight; something I personally and previously had avoided. I have zero doubt that the passion I hold on this topic is from God. That is the only explanation for why I feel so determined to put something down that would be much easier for me to remain silent about.

I also realized that my desire doesn’t come from a place of pride. It’s not about me proving I’m right and someone else is wrong. It’s not a debate. It’s a desire for people to see the heart of God. There is a reason God hasn’t given up on us yet. He knows we have it within us to see, because He placed it within us. From the beginning of time man has fought between seeing with the heart of God, or seeing from a place of sin. My greatest desire isn’t to be right. It is to try and show God’s heart. Now that I’ve explained that, and humbled myself to the voice of the Lord, I ask you to do the same.

I have bad knees. When I was twelve years old a doctor told me they’d go out on me, and indeed I have pain with them even now. You see, I injured the right one (especially) in boot camp. We were going through a training exercise that lasted all through the night, and at the end of each scenario our drill instructor would gather us together with the deep call of “take a knee!”

Well, after forcibly taking enough knee on sand mixed into concrete, I burst that fluid sack around my knee cap. I felt the pain in my knee towards the early morning of our exercises, and I knew that taking a knee was hurting me physically. But not once did I consider it an insult to my spiritual woman. I was a born again believer, and my honor and commitment as a follower of Jesus actually showed to my fellow Sailors, earning me the title of Honor Recruit amongst my peers. It was cool; I got a statue and special parade. But anyway, my point is, as a young woman who loved Jesus more than anything, when that gruff Chief yelled “take a knee,” I never once thought of Daniel and felt it necessary to lament about not bowing before his gods. Laughable, right? I mean, I knew that’s not what he meant. Taking a knee in this instance meant something else. Common sense, folks.

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I can remember as a high school cheerleader seeing the basketball coach call timeout, and the team would all huddle together, taking a knee. It was a time to regroup, focus their energies on what really mattered at that moment, and to come together as a team. I don’t remember anyone ever saying it was anything otherwise.

You see, I think we come up with things to argue about when a situation is uncomfortable for us. Racism is bad. The majority of this world agrees. What we don’t want to admit is that it still exists, that it’s a problem that hasn’t been solved, and the worst part, that most of us still exhibit racist tendencies. Admitting you’re wrong is really hard, and standing up for what is right is even harder, especially if you’re in the minority. When I was praying for the Lord’s voice specifically on this, I felt Him impress this comment to my heart.

It’s easier to argue with the truth than to admit to the ugliness inside you.

Taking a knee began in 2016 with an NFL player who refused to stand during the National Anthem. He stated that he could not show reverence to a flag that represented a country that did not stand against injustice and with equality for all. He was specifically speaking to the death of a black man by law enforcement (back in 2016). Sound familiar? It was his right not to stand, and to instead kneel. To take a knee. At this point taking a knee began to represent what this player meant for it to represent: the protest against inequality.

That is not what it became. I am an extremely patriotic individual. I am a veteran of the Armed Forces, and I’m that friend who will call you out on flag etiquette. Don’t get me started on the trend of senior portraits draped in a flag. All I’m saying is, I’m a patriot, but taking a knee wasn’t about being unpatriotic. No more than it is about the latest argument I see.

“I’ll only take a knee to Jesus Christ.”

Sigh. Yeah. In light of this fallacy, this mass confusion that’s abounding, I felt it necessary to write a blog about the difference in taking a knee and bowing before the Lord. Yep, folks truly seem to be confused about that. Or are they? Is it really just a way to avoid the ugliness within us all? To pretend we don’t battle sin? Let’s look a little deeper.

Why did I mention taking a knee in bootcamp and ballgames up above? It’s because the act of taking a knee isn’t an issue until it’s in regards to something that makes us uncomfortable. When we’re faced with admitting we’ve been wrong we get defensive, and we try to think of reasons that we must really be right.

Hence, taking a knee, a movement that originated with Black Lives Matter and the fight for equality (and continues to represent that), has instead become an apparent affront to God. It’s become bowing down to Satan (Luciferianism), Democrats (the Left), or man (the world’s opinion). This crazy bait and switch took off like wildfire, and before you knew it a large number of “Christians” felt that the taking of a knee was synonymous with rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you see the slapping forehead emoji right now?

You can take a knee to huddle during a ballgame timeout, but not for equality. You can take a knee to scrub your floors, but not in the fight against injustice. I saw a man on his knees changing his tire the other day. I didn’t stop to scream at him “how dare you worship that piece of rubber,” but I did stop to take a knee with him and help. Think about that. Read it again.

It comes down to an issue of pride and humility. It hurts my old knees to take one, but I do. It hurts to admit you’re wrong. It hurts to take an inventory of your heart. It hurts to humble yourself, be a servant, and apologize for something you may not even be responsible for or a part of. Jesus didn’t bring sin into the world, but He certainly knew how to take it out. We argue that we only take a knee to Jesus, forgetting He took a knee to wash the disciples feet. We say we only bow down to Jesus, yet we ignore His example of humility, love, and service. Jesus took up for the Samaritan woman and the leprous man the church threw out of the gates. When minority groups are being treated less, thrown out of the city gate, murdered in broad daylight, or shunned for trying to say “my life matters,” don’t you think Jesus would be the one right there taking up for the weak, and yes, taking a knee with them?

Y’all, Satan is called the great deceiver for a reason. I’m going to use strong words right now, so be prepared. You cannot be a Christian in name only. You must walk the walk, in addition to talking the talk. I’m not sure if you can see how divisive it is to dig your heels in so stubbornly? Stubbornness is the refusal to admit wrongdoing or to check your own heart. The Bible tells us to ask God to guard our hearts and minds from evil, yet a closed mind will never be available to hear from Him. How many times did Jesus say “they have eyes but don’t see, and ears but don’t hear?” How many times did He warn against the yeast of the Pharisees? Guys! It’s not the Democrats who are destroying people. I mean, not just on their own. It’s Christians. And that brings me to tears. We are holding the title of Jesus followers, but not following His teaching.

Seriously. If you have made a Facebook post in the last two weeks about “all lives matter,” but you haven’t read the Bible in those two weeks, you could be part of the problem. If you’ve said “I only take a knee for Jesus,” but you don’t actually kneel and pray to Him every single day, you could be part of the problem. If you’ve only shared the post of a black person on social media when it agrees with your own opinion (and let’s be honest, you had to really look for that one in one hundred that agreed with you) then you might be part of the problem. If you’ve remained silent because you don’t want to cause waves with a controversial subject, then you could be part of the problem. I mean, I get it, my knees hurt too, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take one, literally or figuratively. If you cannot humble yourself and try to listen to the hurting heart of another human being, because it makes you uncomfortable, you are definitely part of the problem.

We are in this world with a population who is hurting, and they’re crying out for help. If you’re too busy twisting words so they suit your bubble, you are part of the problem. Do you know the difference between taking a knee and bowing down to the Lord? Those who take a knee are standing for injustice. Those who bow down to the Lord know their master’s heart, they know His commandments to love, and those who truly bow down to the Lord have no problem humbling themselves beside those who have been forced to take a knee.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.