Saturday, March 3, 2007

Just give God the glory

After all the hoopla about Peyton Manning and The Colts, and Tony Dungy and his faith I am as a Christian very confused about why.

We live in a world where we are told to put more faith in God in all parts of our life. In our daily life, when things go well as well as when they go bad. However, as soon as a notable person says he/she has put their faith in God in public they are condemned for the very faith they profess.

I don't' think for a moment that God gives two wooden nickles about which teams wins the Superbowl but the Bible says the "For the Lord take delight in his people and he crowns the humble with victory" So we humble ourselves before God.

Is it possible that the faith of one man or one team had some favor in God? If not actually than in the mind of the man with whom the faith was displayed. Really what difference does that make?

The goal of this post is not to create a debate but rather toask the question " Is it so bad that a team of men want to give God the Glory?"
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Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, March 1, 2007

What so Wrong?

Tony Dungy's and Lovie Smith  have more in common than being the first African-American head coaches to lead their teams to the Super Bowl. The bond of their common Christian faith is becoming increasingly evident as media scrutiny intensifies surrounding the nation's highest-profile sporting event.
"The Lord set this up in a way that no one would believe it," Dungy told reporters after his Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots to qualify for Super Bowl XLI. "The Lord tested us a lot this year, but he set this up to get all the glory."

Then in recent times the Philadelphia Eagles took on the nomenclature  "Birds of Pray" for their continued public display of prayer.
This is common for winners of sporting events to quote “ Give God the Glory” but my question is how much do we really feel God has to do with the results or the outcomes of events.

Is there a level of hypocracity when prayer is done on the field but not the in the locker room or in the home or church? If prayer is for the purpose of glorifying God then how does God get glory by one team triumphing over another? I have seen RockStars  and RapStars, and other famous people the boast about the drugs and sex and lascivious living they do, only to praise God in their acceptance space for some award that they won then, rush to the limousine or dressing room to get high or drunk two minutes later. What part of this if any is giving God glory? Or are these people that leech unto the promises of God, while living successful cardinal lifestyle doing more to hurt than help the great name of Jesus?

Weather we want to admit it  there are some horrible people that claim to be Christians and we will never be able to correctly identify these people until that time that Jesus return and say either "You good and faithful servant" or "Depart from me I never knew you" that being said let us give some guide lines to prayer so that we don't get off track.

Not all Prayer is Good or Done for the Right Motives.

(Matthew 6:5) "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."

If the prayer is to give off an impression for the world then those that do these public prayer have received all that can form God. This does not mean the prayer in public is wrong, but we should consider why we are doing it, and for whom we are trying to impress.

(Mark 12:40) "They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

I find this especially serious when we think of the famous that profess God gave them a gift but would sale their own mother to extend their fame, boost their pride and fill their purses.

(Matthew 19:21) Jesus answered, When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

The concept of a Christ-centered prayer is foreign to most Christians,  when you combine these "Name-itand Calim-it" preachers with the self-center world of  rich and famous it there any wonder that what a christian should look like is so strange to most people?

(James 4:3) "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."

Make me rich, give me everything I want, take all these obstacles from my path, remove these trials, tribulations and burdens from me. What did James say?

(James 1:2) "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I find it sad that people will pay big money to sit on an icy cold bleacher to watch grown men wrestle over a pig skin. You can't get most of them to sit on a warm padded pew to hear the word of God for free. Even sadder, if they actually choose to go to Church, the Preacher probally won't teach them to pray for repentance, for character development, for the weak, the sick, the abused, the down trodden. It is much more likely that he will tell them they should pray for wealth and by the way don't forget his 10%.

I can think of many things to include in my prayers but honestly I think that the outcomes of sporting events are trivial in the grand scheme of things. When there are children starving, souls being eternally lost, Church's and their leaders fallen and corrupted, pedophile Priests, and a thousand other weighty issues to pray about, why should I concern myself with the outcome of games? Are there not more urgent and important things for us to petition God over?

Yet I'm not saying we should not pray at sporting events, I saying When we pray at sporting event, or award ceremonies, or even at church  we should make it very clear to whom the glory belongs!

Here is a link to an article I wrote recently called The Power of Prayer.

Brother In Christ