I read an article online just yesterday that had as its subject Poll: Some say God influences sporting events. I’m not going to get into all the statistics other than to say that a new survey has found that more than a quarter of Americans believe that God “plays a role in determining which team wins” at sports events.” There were, however a few statements in the article worth noting and perhaps discussing.
“Faith and sports have long gone hand in hand; many athletes regularly thank God after their team wins, and some even write references to Scripture on their game-day gear.”
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who will make this Super Bowl his last game in the NFL, has regularly thanked God in the Ravens’ somewhat improbable run to the Super Bowl.. . . After earning a berth in the big game by defeating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, Lewis told reporters, “God doesn’t make mistakes. He’s never made one mistake. … God is so amazing.”
The depth of Lewis’ theology might have been partially revealed in the following comments from the article:
“I’ll tell anybody. One thing about God’s will, you can never see God’s will before it happens,” Lewis said after the game. “You can only see at the end of it. For his will to happen this way, I could never ask for anything else.”
It sounds like ray Lewis was saying that God determined who won the conference championships and that there might be Divine interest in the Super Bowl. If given the opportunity to speak to Mr. Lewis, I would suggest knowing what’s important to God can be discovered by just reading the Bible. I might also add to the conversation the fact that although God has had throughout history, and does have even now, a direct hand in the affairs of men, sporting events don’t seem to be on the list. God seems to be very interested however, in His elect remnant, which is directly connected to the honor of His Name and the praise of His glorious grace!
I have also pondered on occasion the tendency of some players to publically display their faith either with praying postures or heavenward pointing gestures. They kneel or gesture and we automatically cheer their Christian faith! Well, there have always been men of faith in professional sports, but there was a time when their faith was expressed in a form of ‘quiet professionalism’, not unlike combat soldiers who know that overt ‘demonstrations’ or intentional public displays of their faith can be detrimental to unit cohesiveness and even success on the ‘battlefield’, not to mention counterproductive to their evangelistic efforts.
And of course there’s the account found in Luke, chapter 18 of two men who went to the Temple to pray:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Food for thought. . .