On Athletes and Olympians & Faith

“All the glory for this goes to God” Gabriel “Gabby” Douglas, or The FlIying Squirrel said as she awaited to head over to claim her gold medal in the All Around. Then as her countries national anthem was played a huge grin spread across her face, at 17 years old she had won Gold, something her friend and training partner Shaun Johnson had done four years earlier. The following morning on Facebook the attacks started, The Liberal media went after Douglas for sharing her faith on an international stage.

It got so bad at one point that I turned off my computer and put it away, forgetting that twitter even existed almost deleting my facebook account. While that’s an exaggeration it’s not an exaggeration to say in big bold letters “LEAVE THE ATHLETES AND OLYMPIANS ALONE.” There I said, just let them be, and while you’re at it leave the Christian CEO’s and the bible based corporations, leave them all alone. Conservatives, Liberals and Liberation Theologians alike, leave them alone.

Why do I say this? I heard an analyst once say that Tim Tebow was only drawing negative attention to himself because of his outspokenness. Ask anyone in the Denver Locker room and they’ll tell you otherwise, Tebow was loved by his teammates in Devner, and will hopefully have an impact on a failing Jets team. You ask the hundreds or thousands of young Christian men who weren’t sure they could couple their faith with their favorite sport how negative Tebow’s been on them, they may laugh at you, and they should.

What about Trevor Bayne (At right)? Jamie MacMurry? Dale Jarret? Nascar drivers who have all proclaimed their faith on national television.  In fact I seem to recall Jamie Mac saying this after winning at Charolette two years ago; “People ask me why I cried at Daytona, when you’re struggling it really makes you think and pray and you learn a lot about faith and I couldn’t have done this without God.” How about Trevor Bayne after his surprise win at Daytona, the first words out of his mouth were “I want to thank God, I couldn’t do this without him.” Never heard anyone in the Liberal Media complain about that, or Darrell and Michael Waltrip’s multiple biblical references during the Daytona 500 rainout in February, no one ever complains about NASCAR. Is it because they think we’re crazy, or is it because Christianity is so rooted in the fan base we have the audacity to pray before ever race, for the race.

These Christians are showing their faith, they haven’t told you what to think or how to act, they have said publically that they are Christians. They never asked you to join them, they are clever though, now those who thinking are probably thinking “Maybe there’s something to this Christian thing?” It’s a gentle and quiet form of Evangelism that we seem to have forgotten.

In 1 Thes. 4:11-12 Paul encourages the church at Thesolonica to; “to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (ESV). These Olympians and Athletes are doing what they are good at, working with their hands and they just so happen to do it for the glory of God. Who’s business is it of yours who they do it for the glory of, should we work for the glory of ourselves? No We should do it all for the glory of God (see 1 Cor. 10:31).

Truth is I love watching these Athletes perform, you can see it in their eyes that they are there for something more, they are there for a bigger purpose just to win Gold. They have acknowledged what Jonathan Edwards calls “The Chief End of Man” that being “To being glory to God and find our happiness in Him.” They enjoy what they are doing, even when they are not doing well.

So if you’re a Christian and you join my the quarterback of my favorite NFL team and say “You should tone down your faith” then in the immortal words of Brad Stine “Put a Helmet on” because it is the outspoken ones who are not afraid to share their faith that will stand out, not the camouflaged Christians being blown with the preverbal societal tides

So leave the Athletes and CEO’s alone, go out and live your faith out, don’t worry about what your brothers or sisters in Christ are doing with their faith. Unless they are falling into Heresy and causing division you have no right to criticize them. Remember it’s not about what we do with our money, our time or the faith we are given, it’s about how we represent Christ. So to the Liberal media I say “Leave us alone” to those that might agree with them I say the same thing, to the Christians who agree and refuse to talk about your faith I refer you to the Ministry Blimey Cow and Jordan Taylor who would undoubtedly tell you “You’re doing it wrong.”

God Bless you
Jonathan David Faulkner
Director / Founder 10:31 Life Ministries

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