Christian Athletes

Last year, World magazine ran an article on Christian athletes and their public expressions of faith. [1]  The article noted these expressions of faith are noteworthy and have generally been well received by the press.  However, Kurt Warner is quoted as saying that Christian athletes must live the life of a Christian first and then words can follow.  Actions are what demonstrate sincerity of those words.  The article concludes that Christian athletes must not let their actions or lack of actions destroy the positive press they have received.

If we humans acknowledge that words can be insincere and that actions are what demonstrate the sincerity of our words, why do we think God is any different?  I love how Mark Twain asks this question.

For ages we have taught ourselves to believe that when we hide a disapproving fact, burying it under a mountain of complimentary lies, He [God] is not aware of it, does not notice it, perceives only the compliments, and is deceived.  But is it really so?  Among ourselves we concede that acts speak louder than words, but we have persuaded ourselves that in His case it is different; we imagine that all He cares for is words—noise; that if we make the words pretty enough they will blind Him to the acts that give them the lie.

But seriously, does anyone really believe that?  Is it not a daring affront to the Supreme Intelligence to believe such a thing?  Does any of us inordinately praise a mother’s whole family to her face, indiscriminately, and in that same moment slap one of her children?  Would not that act turn our inflamed eulogy into nonsense?  Would the mother be deceived?  Would she not be offended—and properly? [2]

In fact God is not different than us in this regard.  This blog has documented that the entire Bible tells us God’s primary concern is our actions, not our beliefs.  So why is our doctrine of salvation concerned solely with our beliefs?

It seems we Christians live our lives one way and construct our theology another.  In our lives we acknowledge that actions speak louder than words but in our theology we say that word are more important than actions.


[1]  Mark Bergin, “Thanking God”, World, July 14, 2012, p. 76.

[2]   Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth (Greenwich, Conn.:  Fawcett Publications, 1962), p. 174.

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