Sunday, October 1, 2017

Standing Up for the Word

50 years ago when Bud Grant became coach of the Minnesota Vikings, he instructed his players to stand still at attention during the national anthem. This discipline helped them become one of the least penalized teams in the NFL. Nowadays, a select number of players are dishonoring the national anthem by taking a knee or staying in the locker room. President Trump’s recent S.O.B. comment was a bit harsh but I agree with reprimanding players who won’t participate just like they are fined for other acts of unsportsmanlike conduct.

In some churches, the congregation is asked to stand whenever the preacher reads the opening text of his sermon. The first time I noticed this practice was while watching Pastor John Hagee on television ministering from his church in San Antonio, Texas. A short time later, I started making trips to Pensacola, Florida to attend revival meetings at Brownsville Assembly of God. Then-pastor John Kilpatrick also had everyone stand up as he read from the Bible during Sunday services (I don’t remember the other revival speakers doing this).  

Since then I’ve visited additional churches where they “stand up for the reading of the word.” Once I posted a question on Facebook asking friends if they knew of any Bible verses supporting this. One pastor made reference to Nehemiah 8:5…

“And Ezra opened the book [of the law] in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.” 

If I’m visiting a church, I will honor the pastor and stand up if he asks the congregation to do so. Otherwise, I prefer sitting when reading my Bible during a service. Either way, we shouldn’t be ashamed to take a stand for God’s word both physically and in a spiritual sense. Just yesterday while witnessing at Burger King, a pastor friend and I met a fellow minister who invited us to stand and pray with him right there in the restaurant. Sinners often use the Lord’s name in vain in public. I’d like to see more Christians boldly praising His name in public.

It’s often been said, “If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.”

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” - Ephesians 6:13

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