Who will you take the knee for?

Taking the knee started as a protest gesture by American Football players back in 2016 who refused to stand for their national anthem in protest at discrimination and police brutality.  This week, people have been asked to “take the knee” around the world in solidarity with George Floyd and those affected by his killing.

I have seen several people respond on social media by saying that they will take the knee for no-one. This has included Christians who have said that they will take the knee for no-one because they only kneel before King Jesus. This isn’t a new thing I’ve been told quite firmly by some Christians, usually ones who are in positions where they expect loyalty themselves that they only submit to Christ.

It is ironic isn’t it that people have managed to create a virtue signal out of refusing to virtue signal. Furthermore, I want to gently suggest that they have missed the point.  You see, if they have realised that an act original seen as a sign of defiance is also actually a demonstration of humility , they have missed the point that people who submit to King Jesus, above all are required to submit to others as well as him, in him.

Ephesians 5:18 says

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Being filled with the Spirit is contrasted with being drunk on wine, or under the influence of alcohol. So, if we want to be filled with the Spirit then we must be willing to submit to God’s influence over the whole of our lives. This is followed by a lost of things that those filled with the Spirit and submitting to the Lord should do culminating with the words

 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.[1]

Paul cannot be any clearer can he. If we fear, respect and revere Christ, if we bow to his Lordship then we will submit to one another. Of course, at this stage we recognise that Christ is not asking us to do anything that he hasn’t already done himself.

Christ chose to take on the nature of a servant (Philippians 2:7) and in John 13, we see him loving his disciples by kneeling to wash their feet.  Furthermore, Christ the Son who is equal with the Father and one on nature willing submits to the Father’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I cannot claim to submit to Christ and not submit to my brothers and sisters in him.  Taking the knee should not be a mere one off protest, rather, it should be our daily posture.


[1] Ephesians 5:21.

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