Author Topic: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?  (Read 1668 times)

David Garner

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Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2020, 07:24:18 PM »
It is perhaps timely that in the Orthodox Church, we served the service of Kneeling Vespers at Pentecost yesterday.  The deacon intones:

"Again and again, let us, on bended knees, pray to the Lord."

The prayers, here giving only a snippet of each, are humbling:

"Hearken, therefore, to us now who pray to Thee, and remember us, humble and condemned as we are, and turn again the captivity of our souls, Thou Who hast Thine own compassion as intercessor for us. Receive us who fall down before Thee and cry: We have sinned. We have cleaved unto Thee from our birth, even from our motherís womb. Thou art our God, but since our days have passed in vanity, we have been stripped of Thine aid; we have been deprived of every defense. But emboldened by Thy compassions, we call out: Remember not the sins of our youth and our ignorance. Cleanse Thou us of our secret sins, cast us not away in time of old age; when our strength faileth, forsake us not. Before we return to the earth, make us worthy to turn again unto Thee, and attend to us in favor and grace. Measure our transgressions according to Thy compassion, set the depth of Thy compassions against the multitude of our offenses."

"I, the sinner, therefore, at the descent of Thy Holy Spirit, do supplicate Thy goodness: Do thou render unto me whatsoever I have asked unto salvation. Yea, O Lord, the good and abundant Giver of every benefit, for Thou art He that granteth most abundantly that which we ask. Thou art He that sinlessly became the compassionate, merciful partaker of our flesh and, to those that bend their knees before Thee, dost Thou graciously bend down and become the propitiation of our sins. Grant then, O Lord, Thy compassions to Thy people. Hearken to us from Thy holy heaven. Sanctify them by the power of Thy saving right hand. Shelter them with the shelter of Thy wings. Despise not the works of Thy hands. Against Thee only do we sin, but Thee alone do we also adore. We know not how to worship a strange god, nor how to stretch forth our hands to any other god, O Master. Forgive us our offenses, and accept our prayers with the bending of our knees; extend to us all the hand of Thine aid, and receive the prayer of all as an acceptable incense, rising before Thy most-good kingdom."


"Almighty Master, God of our fathers and Lord of mercies, Maker of the race of mortals and immortals and of every nature of man, of that which is brought together and again put asunder, of life and of the end of life, of sojourning here and of translation there, Who dost measure the years of life and set the times of death, Who bringest down to hades and raisest up, binding in infirmity and releasing unto power, dispensing present things according to need and ordering those to come as is expedient, quickening with the hope of resurrection those that are smitten with the sting of death. Thyself, O Master of all, God our Savior, the Hope of all the ends of the earth and of those Who are far off upon the sea, Who, on this last and great saving day of Pentecost, didst show forth to us the mystery of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial and co-eternal, undivided and unmingled, and didst pour out the descent and presence of thy holy and life-giving Spirit in the form of tongues of fire upon Thy holy apostles, appointing them to be the evangelists of our pious faith and showing them to be confessors and preachers of the true theology; Who also, on this all- perfect and saving feast, dost deign to receive oblations and supplications for those bound in hades, and grantest unto us the great hope that respite and comfort will be sent down from Thee to the departed from the grief that doth bind them."

On bended knee, let us thus pray to the Lord. It is to Him that we owe subservience.  Anything else, we ought do freely, as it pleases us and Almighty God, to His glory, and not of compulsion.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

peter_speckhard

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Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2020, 07:31:30 PM »
Although Peter, SW and I can never be divided in our absolute loyalty to the Green and Gold - and I say that in all seriousness - I took a knee last Wednesday at our live-stream service and will again this Wednesday. 

I took a knee because the commander of our whole region of Brooklyn, Brooklyn North, took a knee at the Barclay's with protesters last week.  I took a knee because the overwhelming majority of protests, which are non-violent, are designed to have all people, including especially people of God, humble themselves, in our case before the Lord.  I took a knee because it is an act of humble contrition with resolve to work for justice for all God's children.  I took a knee because the people of God whom I serve take a knee in confession and absolution every time we meet, and so do I.  I took a knee because we participate in a culture of violence and death, and it must be confessed.  I took a knee because in solidarity with those who have been oppressed, I have fallen short and will work for a better future in the years I have left.  I took a knee as an evangelical Christian Lutheran because it is God's desire that at the name of Jesus every knee may bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, and his Lordship is described precisely and exactly as sacrificing Himself for the sin of the world.

Taking a knee is a good thing.

Dave Benke
Sure it is. Many churches have kneelers designed specifically for Christian to take a knee, or both knees if they are spry enough. I'm assuming your Wednesday evening service didn't start with the National Anthem with all facing the flag. But I think your comparison is apt. Those taking a knee at football games are engaged in an act of worship, much like Christians in churches with kneelers, and their religion is socio-political rather than spiritual.

During the pandemic and since, in an immigrant congregation, in order to honor our location in Brooklyn in the heart of the pandemic, to honor those who work for our health and peace, we begin all Wednesday services, prior to the invocation, with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, which is for now inside the sanctuary, and then with applause for all who work on our behalf for health and peace.

Dave Benke
So you knelt for the pledge of allegiance? Granted it is adiaphora, but that seems like something very easily misinterpreted.

David Garner

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Re: What Does It Mean to "Take a Knee"?
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2020, 07:39:28 PM »
For what it's worth, I also have no issue with Dr. Benke taking a knee during the Pledge.  It is compulsion I take issue with, not voluntary demonstration.

If that is misinterpreted, then it seems to me the person misinterpreting ought to repent.  If it is suspected that it was intended to be nefarious, it would seem asking Dr. Benke is the way to clear that up.

99% of the problem with the whole "taking a knee" thing is Colin Kaeparnick did something that shouldn't be a big deal, and people made it a big deal.  Our president still makes it a big deal.  Now that the mobs have taken to the streets, it is viewed as sort of a secret handshake, which is nothing more than making virtue signaling a big deal. I favor neither approach.  Were I at a rally to protest mistreatment of black Americans by police and the court system, I might take a knee myself.  Were I leaving my office and a rally was outside and I was instructed that I should take a knee, I'd like to think I'd have the fortitude to stand.

"A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it."
-- Col. Jeff Cooper
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).