God & Sports

18 May

We have all seen athletes do ‘christian’ signs and symbols on the playing field or court. If anyone has turned on the news they have seen these obvious moments of elation when the athlete is successful in their quest. We have another example in the Christian Post as Mr. Curry’s wife makes the following statement:

But something remarkable happened during overtime that the Golden State Warriors point guard’s wife believes was a part of God’s plan. (

Mr. Curry’s wife is happy that her husband achieved another record and won another game but to say that God made it that way is saying something that is very difficult to verify because if God is helping the believer on one team, why is he not helping the believer on the opponent’s team? Sure they may have disobeyed somewhere in their life and defeat in a big game is their punishment but what about the sins of the believers on the winning side? Are they ignored by God because God decided to play favorites?

Then we must ask, if we are not to follow unbelievers, does God give athletes a pass on those instructions as we read Mr. Curry’s comment:

“I have certain guys who I looked up to. Jordan, Kobe, those guys. Passing that on by doing my part to kind of keep that influence of basketball where it should be is why I play the game,” the Golden State Warriors’ point guard told USA Today Sports back in April

Does God allow athletes to disobey his word and still reward them for their disobedience. Those men mentioned are not Christians and they are not an example for believers to follow, no matter how talented they are yet here we have a wife saying God helped someone who disobeyed him.This sends a confusing message to those who read these type of articles.

We have written on Tim Tebow in the past and his habit to kneel in prayer every time he scores a touchdown. He is not the only Christian athlete who does this. Albert Pujols does it after hitting a home run as do many, many other athletes. We commented in that article that we do not see these Christians kneel in prayer when something goes wrong nor tell the reporter that they asked God what they did wrong, when they failed to achieve their objective.

They make it look like God is only on their side when they score and that God wants them to win the game. We cannot speak for God here and say that he always wants his people to win and that he will aid their efforts. I am sure he does if the athlete lives the biblical life correctly. There may be a verse or two stating this but we cannot think of them at this time, though we are sure if God is going to do that he is qualifying those promises with instructions that we remain blameless sin our sporting activities and do not follow the unbeliever or look to them for guidance,

God is not going to help us succeed if we sin and do not obey his word. he has shown that far too often and yet some Christian athletes fail to learn that lesson. In sports and in life, God wants his people to obey his word even if they do not have games go their way or have the shots fall as one would like to see.He is more interested in his athletes practicing what they say they believe than in on field moments of christian symbolism.

There are characteristics that are far more important for the Christian athlete to instill in their lives than kneeling in prayer in jubilation after scoring a touchdown. Characteristics like humbleness, modesty, gratefulness, meekness and so on. These characteristics make a far more lasting impression on the unbelieving world than a quick hypocritical kneeling in prayer after hitting that home run or other sports achievements. We say hypocritical because we do not see those acts of Christian symbolism when those athletes fail or make a very bad play. We do need to thank God even when things go wrong because those moments of failure allow us to learn from our mistakes and see if we did disobey God somewhere and we can make the correction.

Athletes are one group of people who are in danger of grooming a haughty spirit and they need to be careful that they do not go that route, and those acts of Christian belief on the field do not necessarily hinder that development but possibly aid it.  Then to say that God was in control and aided one believer’s team over another believer’s team is not humbleness, and so on but possibly mis-stating the chain of event that were involved in the game. We need to be sure of our statements because we may be insulting believers on the other side who have kept God’s way in their lives and do not deserve to lose the game.

Here is a link to another story that makes us question the involvement of God in a basketball game:

The attitudes depicted in that article, if correctly recorded, make us cringe and wonder about the depth of the people’s christian faith. Our case in point:

Curry’s personal inspiration to play professional basketball comes from an unlikely source: a desire to keep the sport held in high esteem. The Christian Post previously reported Curry as saying, “I have certain guys who I looked up to. Jordan, Kobe, those guys. Passing that on to doing my part to kind of keep that influence of basketball where it should be is kind of why I play the game.”

Really. We thought you were to play for the glory of God not for the esteem of the game or to further the agenda of those who do not believe.Christian athletes need solid biblical teaching just like evangelists and other talented believers do. They need real spiritual food so that they know how to act correctly before, during and after the game. We cannot let them be spiritually vulnerable as the sports world carries with it heavy temptation like the political world does and our athletes need to be properly prepared and discouraged from being hypocritical or practicing a cheap form of the faith.

The Christian testimony makes an impact, whether good or bad, on the court and off it and our Christian athletes need the right training to avoid making a bad impact. They also need proper instruction on how to speak to the press and others as words can harm a witness as well, as we see by the above quote and by the words of Mrs. Curry. God wants us to be the light unto the world and that desire include the sports world so we need our people involved in sports to be truly Christian and not of the secular part of the sports world or the compromised aspect of the faith.


3 responses to “God & Sports

  1. jbcowgill

    May 19, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Very well said.

    • theologyarchaeology

      May 19, 2016 at 3:36 am

      thank you. this is an area rarely addressed by church leaders

      • jbcowgill

        May 19, 2016 at 9:31 am

        Oh so true.

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