Recently, Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick would be the cover athlete for their 30th anniversary campaign. Accompanying the decision was a controversial flyer that says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” In all forms of media, you can find a tug of war between the dissatisfied patriots of this country and the elated activists of ‘black rights’. Subsequently, a few days later, Nike released a two minute advertisement featuring some of it’s premier athletes, building off of that idea while addressing contradicting biases. Not to mention, the man behind this popularized phenomenon, narrated and appeared in it at the end. With this fiasco, you can draw multiple points of emphasis and topics for conversation. But, let’s take an interesting and not talked about enough angle in the Christian community: Activism.
I call it interesting because, generally, the bulk of the Church’s affairs seem to be church matters (notice the capital C vs. lowercase c). The underlying issue here, is that if Jesus commissioned us to go out into the WORLD, this commonality is restricting us from fulfilling a holistic call from God. If the early church took the approach we seem to take, more than half of the New Testament wouldn’t exist. Ephesians 4:10 reveals that God wants to fill ALL THINGS.
The term Activism means the action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. We could make a list longer than the Red Sea of things that are longing for a change. To take it a step further, things that are desperate for life, not knowing that they need Life (intended to capitalize). All of which, Jesus shed his blood on the Cross to provide.
Digging through the Gospels, God desired to occupy more than just the sanctuary; at that point in time, the synagogue. Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding (John 2). Jesus recruited Peter at his workplace (Luke 5); the first documented story after the disciples learned of Jesus’ resurrection was Peter returning to his workplace and using the instruction of Jesus to catch an abundant amount of fish, excelling at his craft in that manner (John 21). Jesus called Matthew at the tax office (Matthew 9).
God being Sovereign, He has a burden, a grief, an intention, and a plan for everything under the sun. To digress from this briefly, God sees us as unfit ambassadors if we are unable to reflect His glory Monday through Saturday. However, I believe the Lord, in this hour, is raising up a generation that’ll occupy every arena of life. Not just investing within the four walls of the church building. But depositing into businesses, doctors offices, community centers, etc. In the same manner Peter was able to bring Jesus to his workplace. Maybe, just maybe, if more Christians cling onto the idea behind Nike’s most recent campaign slogan, we’d better represent the God who loves all of His creation and whom He desires to come to repentance versus the alternative: perishing.
Final point: some of us are too infatuated with what the world’s given us to stand on the Gospel you know to be true. Colin, like Matthew the tax collector, took a bold position at the expense of their careers. The word belief in the New Testament has been manipulated to the point that the word “acknowledging” seems to be synonymous. In the Greek, believing actually means to commit. The Bible says we know them by their fruits. Does your activity display commitment?