When it comes to visiting the White House and standing for our national anthem, it’s important to understand the difference between honor and agreement, respect and acceptance.
President Trump scratched the surface on this over the weekend when he tweeted: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a Championship team,” and, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL he should not be allowed to disrespect our great American flag.”
Honoring an invitation to the White House does not constitute agreement with the policies of the one living in that house, nor does standing for our national anthem mean acceptance of past or present national sins.
But this simple point of clarity is missing in today’s cultural conversation.
Can you imagine the uproar if Christians at basketball and football games refused to stand for the anthem because of their disdain for abortion in our country? Or the outrage if believers on sports teams rejected invitations to Obama’s White House because he flip-flopped on gay marriage? The media would go nuts.
But we don’t act like that (or, at least, we shouldn’t), and here’s why.
God commands us not only to honor and respect our leaders, but also to pray earnestly for them:
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
In no way does this passage mean we have to agree with or accept the policies of those in authority, but it does mean we should honor and respect their God-given position in our lives and pray for them.
The words “God-given” here are key – because Romans 13:1 says: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”
Although this does not mean governing leaders have absolute authority or that we should agree with or accept their governing policies, it does mean we must submit our respect and honor to those whom God has placed over us.
In our homes, we’ve made it a habit to pray for our leaders and respect them with the way we speak about them – even with leaders like President Obama, whose policies ran directly against the values of our Christian faith on many levels.
We would have also been honored to visit the White House had he invited us. (Hopefully we could’ve respectfully encouraged him to consider more family values.)
The bottom line is that nothing good is accomplished when honor and respect are thrown out the door – no matter how much you dislike or disagree with things.
Countless Americans feel this way.
Unfortunately, the hard left has built such a hostile narrative against our country that the virtues of honor and respect have all but left the building.
Yet the basketball coach at Virginia Tech brought them back a few months ago as he lined up his team on the court and taught them this incredible lesson. Words don’t do his video justice, so we want you to watch it for yourself – and then show your children and other kids in your sphere of influence. We believe moments like this, where honor and respect are clearly hallowed as vital virtues, are important to the health of our nation:
Media wishing to interview Jason & David Benham, please contact [email protected].