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Monday, September 26th, 2016

ON GOD AND THE BIG GAME

12

I hope you are all enjoying the interminable 2 weeks before the Super Bowl! Aren’t they just awesome! No they are not. So maybe each day we’ll look at some of the goofier Super Bowl Stories and have a laugh to quell the lameness of this fortnight. Make sure you send me anything you find, mm-kay? Now…

I know what some of are you are thinking entering this particular Super Bowl run-up: enough about athletes and God. We just finished hearing all about Tim Tebow during the BCS title game. And now Kurt Warner is back in the Super Bowl.

But players like Kurt Warner and Tim Tebow shouldn’t be chastised because of their faith. Neither of them ask for a microphone to share their beliefs; reporters come to them for sound. And no player from the postgame prayer huddle says, “Hey, c’mon and get a camera over here–We’re about to pray!”. The camera follows them. And these guys would just as well praise God when they lose as well as when they win. They are simply being themselves.

So before you get too annoyed with all of it consider those things. Also consider that they would likely be just as content if no one ever interviewed them again. And really, aren’t their stories preferred to those of beaten spouses, gun play, drugs, banned substances, cheating coaches, late night arrests and all the other dreggy, seedy happenings from the world of sports that we read about on a daily basis? Can I get a witness?

Now to the big question: Does God care who wins the big game? Any game? Hit the jump for more

As a Christian I am explaining this from my perspective. The answer is perhaps. What you need to know is that God is not some genie granting wishes. There is no prayer cookbook. There is no ‘pray this amount of times or these prayers and you’ll receive this’. It doesn’t work that way. At all.

God might care who wins a game–if it has a part in His plan.

Tony Foeller, Pastor of Anna First church in Illinois: “I believe that God might care a great deal who wins or loses. If a Christian athlete can (in his post-game interview) bring God greater glory in defeat than he might in victory, I can see where God would have a great interest in which team wins. I don’t think the venue matters much to God…be it a sanctuary or a stadium.”

So God isn’t likely to say “Go Steelers!”. It’s more about how He uses people to accomplish His plan. This is seen all throughout the Bible.

So what about praying to win the game? Praying to have a good game? A good season? If you are a person that prays, do you not pray for success in your line of work, whatever it may be? I know I have. Is the athlete really any different?

[tags]Christian athletes, Kurt Warner, Tim Tebow, Super Bowl, Arizona Cardinals[/tags]

  • dhaab

    I’m not a very religious person, but, with all due respect, I think it’s preposterous to think anyone’s “God” cares about sports.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Agreed. But people are a different story, and that’s where the post was trying to go.

  • HeyBuddy

    Interesting post, Zoner, although I’m not really sure I understand the concept of an athlete bringing god greater glory in defeat than he might in victory. That’s the problem with this idea of “god’s plan”: literally anything can simply be chalked up to being part of the plan and it becomes an undefeatable argument (though not necessarily a compelling one). It is no longer subject to standard methods of analysis or logic.

    If Kurt Warner or anyone else wants to answer a question about how the winning play unfolded by praising god, that’s cool. That’s what remote controls are for.

  • HeyBuddy

    Also, I don’t understand your response to dhaab’s post. He wrote, “I think it’s preposterous to think anyone’s ‘God’ cares about sports,” to which you replied, “Agreed,” but in your original post you say, “God might care who wins a game–if it has a part in His plan.” Is there not a contradiction there? Either he might care who wins a game (if it has a part in his plan) or he doesn’t…

  • Pingback: Lancelot Links: Top Sports Links | For the public, by The Public

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    What I’m saying is that God isn’t likely a sports fan like most of us are sports fans. That is borne out in the Cubs recent losing streak =0p

    If you saw somebody praising God when they just lost the defining game in their career, and likely the only time they will ever get a chance to play in it, then I would say that would be indeed glorifying to God.

    So God cares, but not in the way that you or I care about the outcome.

  • http://lastrow.wordpress.com Laz

    Whenever this comes up I like to quote Will Leitch (formerly of Deadspin) who breaks it down very aptly:

    Realize the mindset of athletes like Zach Johnson, or Tony Dungy, or Kurt Warner. Their Christianity isn’t some peripheral aspect to their life; it is their life.

    [Secularists] might not agree with it, but from their perspective, everything they do, from showing up to church on Sunday, to buying meat, to scoring a touchdown, is done for the glory of Christ.

    They don’t thank Jesus for helping them win a game; they thank Jesus for everything. What sounds like mealy-mouthed platitudes to us are genuine, heartfelt beliefs for them.

    And from Johnson’s perspective: That moment, after he has just won The Masters, is likely the most high-profile moment he’ll ever have, on a national stage. One of the founding principles of Christianity is to spread the gospel of Christ. He would have no better opportunity. While the reporters were sighing and waiting for him to say something they could use, millions of Christians at home were awed by Johnson’s humility in the name of Christ. If they had a national television audience hanging on their every word, they’d do the same thing.

    Why this bothers us more than, say, LeBron James flashing his Nike logo every time he talks to Jim Gray is bewildering.

  • dhaab

    “Why this bothers us more than, say, LeBron James flashing his Nike logo every time he talks to Jim Gray is bewildering.”

    What makes you think it bothers people more? Personally, I have issues with any kind of extra message an athlete tries to portray to me. Just answer the questions and go back to the locker room.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Good stuff Laz. I had seen that before on a blog–the name escapes me right now. It was an interview with Leitch where he spoke of his Christian upbringing.

    DH, I understand your point but it goes back to what I was saying about them getting a mic shoved in their faces after every game. If you ask a guy like Warner “How do you feel right now?” his answer is likely going to contain something to do with praise.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner
  • http://http?joshqpublic.com josh q public

    all i know is, my favorite image in sports is that of big papi pointing godawrd when the sox thunk the unthinkable. if thats what it takes, i’m all for it.

  • http://lastrow.wordpress.com Laz

    DH,
    You’ll have to ask Leitch that since he’s the one who wrote it.

    So you have a problem with any ‘extra message’, does this include any reference to our new President?

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