I struggle with being snarky.
Because I have an extremely dry sense of humor, I’m inclined to make sardonic comments that, while usually causing others to giggle, are occasionally done at someone else’s expense. It’s not behavior befitting a believer and I’m happy to report that the frequency with which it occurs has gradually been going down as the Holy Spirit continually works on my sanctification and conforms me to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29).
That said, I’m still naturally drawn to satirical statements, and so when the “Let’s go Brandon” meme became culturally popular, I instinctively wanted to get on board.
But something happened to me when I saw an advertisement for “Let’s go Brandon” apparel and thought about buying it. Out of nowhere, a thought popped into my head: “Honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:17).
And voilà, there’s that Holy Spirit convicting and sanctifying work I was talking about.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly no fan of our current president’s actions. But that said, let me explain why I think “Let’s go Brandon” has no place in our Christian life.
What 'Let’s go Brandon' teaches us
The interesting thing about the “Let’s go Brandon” movement is that it does serve as a revealing and succinct commentary about our current culture.
While some try to defend NBC reporter Kelli Stavast and say she honestly mistook what the NASCAR crowd was chanting that day, the majority of people on both sides of the political aisle concede she knew exactly what was being said. And most conservatives naturally see it as a how-stupid-do-these-people-think-we-are example of the leftist media running air cover for their partisan agenda.
The meme also speaks to the hypocrisy we see on both the political right and left. The same people who gave a standing ovation to Robert DeNiro when he used an expletive at the 2018 Tony Awards to insult our previous president now decry “Let’s go Brandon,” and those who were aghast at Kathy Griffin’s picture of her with the fake severed head of Donald Trump seem OK with the current Biden vocal insult.
The Babylon Bee captures our situation perfectly with their article, Christians Face Clear Choice Between Party That's A Hypocritical Mockery Of Their Faith And One That's Openly Hostile To It.
What the Bible teaches us
Secular commentary of “Let’s go Brandon” aside, the Bible is crystal clear when it comes to our usage of the statement.
Our instruction with respect to what we say in general is to, “conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Col. 4:5-6). Even in regards to those who insult us, God says: “When we are reviled, we bless” (1 Cor. 4:12).
When it comes to governing leaders and our attitude toward them, Scripture is also very plain. I’m sure Paul and Peter were no fans of Nero just as I’m not of Joe Biden’s policies. And yet, they tell us:
“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” (Rom. 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 Tim. 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 Pet. 2:13-14).
Believe me, I’m not preaching at you so much with the above scriptures as I am myself. My snarky, “old self” (Eph. 4:22) fights against it and wants to join in with the “Let’s go Brandon” crowd.
But as a follower of Christ, if I am to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21), then I need to swap out “Let’s go Brandon” with “Pray for Joe Biden.”
Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.