Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Steve Johnson Tweet Take 2

Other folks, perhaps smarter, with blogs more well read, have blogged about Steve Johnson's tweet. One thoughtful, albeit lengthy response is here.

Before moving on, I will say that Johnson tried to recant his tweet here. Nevertheless, since his tweet raised some interesting questions, I'm going to give my "take two" on Johnson's shot at God. This take is more aimed at a question, then at Johnson.

You regularly see QB's pointing to the sky for touchdown catches, as well as some who give praise to Jesus for a win. So if God makes you win, then does God make you lose? If God makes you catch the pass, then does God make you drop the pass? If you can credit Him for the win, shouldn't you be able to blame Him for the loss?


God is providentially involved in all of life, even evil things which people do to us (Gen 50:20). I prefer to use the word, "allow." He allows us to drop passes, catch passes, remember our spelling words, or forget something on the SAT. He is in charge of all things, and nothing is out of His control. Jesus calmed the storm in Matthew 8, and showing how even weather systems are powerless against his will. But Jesus often lets weather systems run their course too. Are they his fault? Well he did allow them...

At what level was God involved in Johnson's drop (he actually had 5 in the game), I don't know. And I don't care, and neither should we. While football is often the center of our universe, it isn't the center of God's universe. I don't think he cares a whole lot about the outcome of the game. He could run that operation like Angels in the Outfield, or just allow normal cause and effect and differing levels of skills and coaching to be the deciding factor.

The problem is that the one who wins is the one who gets the microphone, and so all we hear is, "Thank you Jesus for this win." We rarely get to hear the loser speak, which is what reporters would do if I had any say. But after Johnson's tweet, maybe I don't want Christian football players who just lost the game get in front of the mic. Twitter, like it or not, is perhaps even more powerful a tool than TV now.

In the end, good receivers, whether Christian or non-Christian, make touchdown catches at the end of the game. They just do. It is not wrong for them to take some credit in making a great catch.

Ultimately, in the end, God allows us to both catch and drop passes. When you catch it, remember who gave you the ability to catch it-whether you mention Jesus in the interview or not. I don't think Christ is dishonored when you don't throw out his name by giving him credit for the win. 

But when you drop it, recognize your part in it all, and then remember who gave you the ability to deal with the drop.

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