On Christian Athletes Giving Glory to God

05 Feb

ben-hershey-417746After the incredible Super Bowl game Sunday night, we watched the presentation of the Lombardi trophy to the joyous Philadelphia Eagles. And then it happened – one after another, first the Head Coach, Doug Pederson, then the player making a clutch touchdown catch, Zach Ertz, and then finally the MVP quarterback, Nick Foles…all made mention of God in their acceptance of the accolades. From their Wikipedia articles, all three seem to be Christians.

“Bringing God” into a sports win irks a lot of people.

For instance, William Baker, author of Playing with God, says, “I don’t think it’s the right place and it’s not the right gesture. It’s an athlete using a moment to sell a product, like soap.”

I see what he’s saying, but in fact, I think that Mr. Baker is misunderstanding a truth about life and Christianity that the three sports heroes all seemed to understand on Sunday night.

Of course, I don’t know Pederson, Ertz, and Foles at all and therefore can’t speak for them, but if their thinking is anything like mine, they didn’t speak up because they felt God loved and helped them more than the Patriots. I imagine they are smart men and wouldn’t be so foolish. Surely there are many Patriot players who follow Christ also.

And it may be that the winning three were trying to “witness” for Christ, to “sell soap” as Baker might crassly put it; but I kind of doubt that too.

Instead, on Sunday night, Pederson, Ertz and Foles spoke up because they realized the great truth of the universe: that everything is about God…and His Son Jesus Christ. Everything. Indeed, all of human existence revolves around Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote,

(Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV)

Christians know that “all things were created…for him”. Therefore, he is the purpose and center of everything. And more than that, “in him all things hold together”, even frail football players.

So in their moment of victory, I doubt the three Eagles were imagining God a Philadelphia fan. And I doubt they were thinking that their testimony would cause the world to fall on its knees.

They were simply remembering that day is coming. And they were themselves…kneeling a little early…

…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:10, 11 (ESV)




7 responses to “On Christian Athletes Giving Glory to God

  1. Mark Hron

    February 5, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Amen Rog, it is not about me, us, or anything but the Creator who gives us life, in him we live and move and have our being, to him be Glory, Honor and Praise forever Amen! While I was yet a sinner he redeemed my life from the pit of doom and dispare and set my feet upon the solid ground which is Christ the Rock of my salvation. He gave me faith and grace to believe while I was still blind and lost and said me me there is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus. You are washed white as snow, now go into all creation and tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Amen


  2. Hank Snyder

    February 5, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Agree totally


  3. Clarice

    February 5, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Well said….I noticed recognition too and was so pleased ….claricekoenig


  4. DeAnn Thurmer

    February 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Well said as usual Pastor–thanks for your insight.


  5. Mark Vande Zande

    February 5, 2018 at 9:48 am

    They are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, it the power of God unto salvation. I need to be better at taking opportunity when it presents it’s self. Praise God for their testiminy.


  6. Evan Kooiman

    February 5, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I agree with you. I wish more athletes gave the honor and acknowledged that their talents are a gift from God.
    I know that Foles is definitely a believer and is fairly outspoken about it. Here is a link to him talking about the bible app on YouVersion

    And here is another of him talking about his faith.


  7. deputydoug55

    February 5, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    If no one demonstrates their faith or hears someone say that the Lord God is good, then how else will they know and understand and see this. Nicely said Roger.



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