Athletes thanking Jesus on television

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Jack K, Jan 17, 2018.

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  1. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    The current thread on the Minnesota Vikings game made me think of this question. Several of my friends tell me they are now fans of Vikings quarterback Case Keenum because right after the team's big win he supposedly (I didn't see it) began an interview with the sideline reporter by reciting the line, "First, I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Ditto with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who stopped midway through his post-championship sideline interview to insert the line, having forgotten to open with it.

    What do you tend to think when you hear an athlete do this? Do you like it or does it make you cringe? Does it feel like an admirable act of witness to Christ, or more like a violation of the third commandment? If your answer is that it depends, on what does it depend?
  2. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    The Liverpool striker, Daniel Sturridge has a habit of thanking the Lord when he is interviewed after matches (not that he plays that much nowadays). It is brave to do that, especially in front of the secular media in the UK. I am not sure that I have strong views on the propriety of it one way or another.
  3. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I like it when it is spontaneous. I am waiting for the loser to express the same after they get their fanny whipped. :)
  4. Cedarbay

    Cedarbay Puritan Board Freshman

    Case has been a processing Christian for several years and a member of Fellowship Of Christian Athletes. We were touched by his deliberate placing of God, wife and football win in order of importance.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I take that with a grain of salt; Jesus said it best:

    49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

    The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Lk 9:49–50.

    I am sure that some of the elect reside in these aberrant settings...they'll get onboard eventually.
  6. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I appreciate it, but also like it when those who are on the losing end will give praise and glory to Jesus.
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I asked the question because I usually cringe when I hear an athlete do this. That's probably because it sounds hokey to me, or possibly insincere. I also know some believers will praise the athlete for it and gush about what a fabulous Christian he is, which feels hasty and shallow.

    But I think I ought to be more charitable. I probably should assume good motives rather than bad ones. I mean, I can see that if an athlete is working on personal piety it might be a good discipline always to thank God first in those situations. We do need to catch ourselves especially when we're about to talk up our successes, and pause to acknowledge Christ.
  8. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    The thing I always feel wrong about it is that these same men seem to have no qualms about playing (working) on the Lord's Day. I would have had to give up my chance for the big bucks rather than play on Sundays.
  9. Brian R.

    Brian R. Puritan Board Freshman

    I second this.
  10. Cedarbay

    Cedarbay Puritan Board Freshman

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  11. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I'm interested in the practice in general, though. In many cases, the athletes don't play on Sundays.
  12. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    I guess I'm kind of agnostic and apathetic about their intentions. They are grown men who play games for a living--I don't expect too much out of them. The Lord knows their thoughts and intentions; I just ignore them.
  13. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Most of us grew into our theologies...most weren’t Reformed like we are today.
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  14. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I think if they live a godly life then it's a great testimony of the Gospel. If it's just a saying they say but they don't live a godly life, then I think they are taking God's name in vain.
  15. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    We all know that God is highly focused on the outcome of silly games of ball.
  16. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Jack, you should watch the original clip: Here it is (start at 8:53):

    He doesn't actually say (or start the interview off by saying): "First of all, I'd like to thank..." It's a lot more natural; in the context of the question the interviewer was asking, noting that it was an amazing moment. Keenum replied by simply saying it was, that it would probably go down (at that point in his life) as the third most amazing moment of his life; he notes that would have to be behind giving his life to Christ and also behind marrying his wife. So it was actually very natural. Also, it was awesome that he puts his marriage above football; and of course, Christ.

    Generally I agree with you, but this was not a cringe moment for me as I watched it; it was a *Yes, thank you for saying that* moment.

    I think this is how you can seize the moment in a God-glorifying way. Don't make it superficial or unnatural. But if the right question is asked, simply be honest; that's what it seemed to me that Keenum did.

    Incidentally, I'm a huge Redskins fan; and Kirk Cousins is a professing Christian and son of a pastor; he also happens to give to IJM. I love the way Cousins handles himself around the media. He remembers everyone's name and answers them by name as they ask questions; he's always really respectful of them, he's always humble, deflects glory and praise to teammates, etc. Everything about the way he conducts himself makes you say: Man, that dude is an awesome human being. But I'm not sure if I've ever heard him say anything about Christ; probably he has a few times in passing.

    That's where I would land. You don't have to say something every time. Show it by your humility, in your character, etc. But when the opportunity comes, go ahead and seize it if you're able.
  17. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, what you describe sounds natural and good.
  18. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Yeah, sometimes I wonder if they're thanking God for the win as if God just did something especially glorious, in which case that doesn't feel right. Even if playing sports is your job, it's still just a game. More often, though, I think the impulse comes from either a desire to remain humble or a desire to use the platform they've been given to witness to Christ.
  19. TULIPsolas

    TULIPsolas Guest

    I'm new here, so this is my first post. I live in Alabama and didn't hear what the quarterback, Tua, said until the following morning after the game. It made my morning! I was so pleased to hear a young man praise God like that in such a huge arena. Have no problem with it at all.


    Mrs. M.
  20. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    It's nice that he said that, but he also said that he was speaking in tongues to himself to calm him down during the game and identified his church which is a charismatic, prosperity gospel church--something all too common and destructive here in the deep South.
  21. TULIPsolas

    TULIPsolas Guest

    Well, what I heard was on the TV interview right after the win. What you are referring to, OldCourse, was at a later interview and I hadn't read that. So his doctrine is wrong, however if his Savior is the Jesus Christ of the Bible (and I have no reason to doubt that, not knowing him personally) I'm thankful he was bold about it. Perhaps he can get into RUF at Alabama and learn about TULIP, right?!?! Good point, and I agree it is prevalent in the South, however, from a survey I read recently nearly all in the top-10 church-going cities are in the South. There are worse things.
  22. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    And Our Lord chooses who will win and lose each and every game. :)
  23. Cedarbay

    Cedarbay Puritan Board Freshman

    Who am I to deny the "Minneapolis Miracle"?:rolleyes:
  24. Berean

    Berean Puritan Board Doctor

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  25. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

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