It all started at an October 2 NASCAR race at Talladega. The winner of the race, Brandon Brown, was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter as the crowd behind him began to chant. At first, the chant was unintelligible, but eventually, it became clear that the crowd was chanting a vulgar phrase directed at Joe Biden.
The reporter, doing her best to mask the situation, abruptly suggested to the viewing audience that the crowd was chanting, “Let’s go, Brandon!” in order to cheer on the young driver.
From that moment on, the phrase “Let’s Go, Brandon!” has become a cultural icon. From t-shirts to internet memes, and even to local billboards here in eastern Kentucky, the phrase has become a rallying cry for those who express a gross disdain for our current president and his administration.
Now, a NASCAR team is considering using the phrase as a part of their sponsorship for the upcoming racing season.
So, understanding the background of this phenomenon, how should Christians respond to “Let’s Go Brandon”? Let me suggest three thoughts:
The Bible is clear about what a Christian’s attitude toward governing authorities ought to be.
Now to be clear, I am no supporter of our president’s actions or policies. In no way do I feel support for him welling up inside of me. However, I recognize that my feelings can never be the proper guide of the attitude I am to have toward him.
As a Christian and a believer in the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God contained in the Bible, the truth of God’s Word is what ought to guide my attitude toward President Biden (or any other leader for that matter). Acknowledging that, I recognize that the Bible is clear about what my attitude toward the president ought to be.
My attitude should be the same as the apostle Paul’s and Peter’s toward the evil emperor of their day, Nero – an attitude of humility, submission, respect and honor.
Consider what they said to first-century believers in the following passages:
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves…. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:1-2, 7).
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” (1 Peter 2:13-14).
Supporting “Let’s Go, Brandon” damages our Christian witness.
In Colossians 4:5-6, Paul writes: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Here, the apostle teaches us that as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we ought to live in such a way that our actions and our speech establish the credibility of our faith rather than damage it.
We are to wisely recognize that every situation, including one like “Let’s Go Brandon,” is an opportunity for us to speak truth into the culture and thus provide a Gospel witness for non-believers.
I have been greatly discouraged by the number of professing Christians who are crying out “Let’s Go, Brandon!”
Number one, it provides no Gospel witness at all.
Number two, it damages our Gospel witness a great deal.
And number three, it is the exact opposite of the speech that ought to characterize our lives as God’s people.
Paul says our speech ought to be “gracious, seasoned with salt.” In other words, in the words of a great Bible commentary, our speech ought to be “spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, complimentary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful.” “Let’s Go Brandon!” is none of those things.
We must overcome evil with good.
In Romans 12:21 we read, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Joining in the rally cry of “Let’s Go Brandon” is consistent with being overcome by evil. It has no place in our lives as Christians.
Instead, why don’t we seek to overcome evil with good and launch a new phrase. How about instead of “Let’s Go Brandon,” we start a rallying cry of “Pray for Biden.” How might our God answer such a petition? I don’t know, but I do know that He is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20).