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Special Monday Edition

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In order to end our focus on religion and sport, today is a Special Monday Edition to get the final thoughts from readers on this topic out. Or, to rebrand, ‘Pete’s on holidays and has the time to do an extra piece this week!’

So, without further ado…

Box Hill North footy legend

‘I have no issues with someone thanking God when receiving an award – similar to thanking family for support, etc. especially if he has played a role in getting the person to where they are today.

After a touchdown I reckon is a bit too much – on two fronts – firstly how much does God really influence individual plays or game results? What about the other team? And secondly that type of thing can easily blur into showmanship.

Maybe it’s my personality (vs showy American footballers) but if I was genuinely grateful to God for something I did on the footy field, I reckon a private prayer would suffice.’

14 time basketball champion

‘Tim Tebow (pictured above) is driving me nuts by taking a bended knee (‘Tebowing’!) on every big play he or his team makes, thus drawing ridicule and sarcastic coverage of God and Faith from a variety of media personalities, podcasts and programs. He is currently the most polarising athlete in American Sports. (Blogger’s note – I said this first!)

I’ve got a message for him though… Neither God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit give a crap about that key first down you got or how you’ve won a couple of flukey games at the end. God does not care about sport results! And you are painting Christians across the world as fruitcakes. I just want this guy to get pummeled for a few games in a row to bring him back to some sort of reality.

Thanking God when you win an award is great, as long as it’s in context. As in, ‘I thank God for the opportunities and talents he’s given me, and for allowing me to do what I love for a living etc etc…’

David Robinson - one of the best athletes and classiest people I've ever seen.

It would be interesting to dig up David Robinson’s MVP speech after he won it in 1995. He is a great man of God, wonder what he said? (Blogger’s note – take a look at the clip, Robinson acknowledged his teammates, coaches, family and fans before thanking God. It was all classy, consistent with the great man himself…) Shaun Hart of the Brisbane Lions is also an interesting take.

I’ll ask you this, would you or I be pointing to the sky after we hit a big 3, or win a basketball GF? I’ve played in I think 14 winning basketball GF’s at last count, and not once did I think God has blessed me by allowing us to win. He wouldn’t care. God doesn’t love me any less or bless me any less because we lost our Semi last week by 1 point… yes, 1 point.’

A Minister’s (and 3-point gun) take on things…

‘When I hear about a player thanking God for their performance (see Jason Terry / Allan Houston) I always think, ‘Does God really care about your sporting achievements?’

There is no doubt that scripture affirms God’s interest, care, and devotion to humanity. Psalm 139 says, ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.’

The Genesis creation story affirms our unique relationship to God as our Spirits are infused with God’s. So there is definitely a case for believing that God is actively involved in who we are and what we do. I certainly believe this.

In the Gospels, Jesus spent the bulk of his time with those who were considered nothing in his culture: the prostitutes, disabled, despised public servants. He showed them that God was seriously committed to bringing about hope, redemption, and meaning to these outcasts. These people were not successful, they were considered the nobodies of their time, nameless and poor.

Allan Houston - pure shooter, great man and guest writer is no. 1 fan!

When I see a professional athlete, earning millions, extremely successful, known to all, I thoroughly doubt that God really cares if they win another professional championship, score a touchdown, or make a big basket. I find it odd that God would work so hard to ‘bless’ the skills and talents of an athlete and seemingly do nothing about a world riddled with pain, hurt, extreme poverty, human sex slavery, and environmental concerns. Surely our global issues are far more important?

Hey, I love sport, I just don’t know if God really cares about how many rings an athlete wins, or how many rushing yards they finish their career with.’

In closing

This topic has engendered the most hits we’ve had so a massive thank you again to everyone who’s shared or read!

Tomorrow’s post looks at the impossibilities of dropping off the sporting grid completely … and why that might not be such a bad thing.

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About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

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