The Rev. Shaun LePage, pastor, Community Bible Church, 906 N. 1464 Road:
“Sure, Journal-World Editor, I’d love to answer a question for the Faith Forum. What’s the question?”
“Why would God favor one football team over another?”
“Why would God ... what? What a dumb question! God doesn’t care about ... ”
Wait a minute. Movie memory.
What was that quote from “Chariots of Fire”? You know—Eric Liddell, the great Olympic runner who refused to compete on Sunday? What was it he said?
I found it on YouTube: “I believe God made me for a purpose — for China. But he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
Interesting. Was he right? Was God pleased when “The Flying Scotsman” ran in the Olympics? If so, could God be pleased when men play football? Didn’t God make them fast? And big? Didn’t he design them with the ability to pass, receive, kick and rush?
Didn’t God grant Joshua favor in conquering Canaan? Didn’t God grant David favor when he challenged Goliath? Or Nehemiah when he rebuilt a wall? Or Joseph in business and Daniel in government? He did!
Does God care more about wars, duels, construction, business and politics than football? Probably not. It wasn’t the what, but the who. There was something about Joshua, David, Nehemiah, Joseph and Daniel that found favor with God. Something about who they were and how they did things.
Didn’t Paul write, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”? If eating and drinking can be done for the glory of God, couldn’t you play football for the glory of God? If so, couldn’t a football team play for the glory of God? If so, couldn’t that team receive God’s favor?
Question is: Does anyone—or any team—really play football for the glory of God?
— Send e-mail to Shaun LePage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. Matt Cox, pastor, EastLake Community Church, 200 McDonald Drive (Holiday Inn Convention Center):
We know that God has handed hockey over to the Canadians, soccer over to, well, the rest of the world and he works exclusively with Jayhawk basketball. God’s most complex issues in the American sports world are in the NFL. There are so many poses and nods to God on touchdowns that you wonder if God needs a detailed Excel sheet to keep it all organized.
But he’s so mysterious in his messages. Once we thought God was passing for Tim Tebow in so many fourth quarters. In one game, Tebow’s stats and TV ratings matched the “3:16” he displays on his eye tape. We all thought God was emphasizing John 3:16. But the loss to the Patriots surely proved God’s message was prophetic, along the lines of Romans 3:16 “Destruction and misery always follow them.”
But perhaps the answer lies in Paul’s second letter to the church in Opinia. 2 Opinions 3:16 says “For God so loved American football, that he gave a complex system of poses and prayers, that whosoever does the most prayer huddles and poses on camera, with bonus points going to those who point to the sky, shall not be tackled, but have an everlasting abundance of touchdowns.”
Sure, that letter never made it into the Bible. But since that’s how many people feel, it has to be right!
As far as the Giants and Patriots? God has a dilemma. If you feel distant from God today, it’s probably because he’s way too busy crunching the holy huddle stats for the Super Bowl since there are many people of faith on both teams.
Forget that Tebow himself said God isn’t interested in who wins football games. We should eliminate the fun, family entertainment out of the NFL and turn it into something super spiritual!
— Send e-mail to Matt Cox at email@example.com.