Stop the idolatry!

The following very minor story made me want to upchuck my Wheaties this morning…were I the kind who eats Wheaties that is, which I am not…but I digress.

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/05/victorious-h-s-relay-team-banned-from-state-meet-after-religious-celebration/

And here: http://www.khou.com/sports/Act-of-fath-costs-track-team-its-win-205661221.html

The story linked shows some sort of consternation by a local community when their track team failed to make the State finals. There are two versions of the same events here: one, and the one the press is loving, is one of freedom of expression and honest appreciation for God-given talents. The other, and the one which I subscribe to and am appalled that no one seems to have picked up on, is that using religion to excuse unsportsmanlike conduct is exactly why I believe that 90% of US Christianity is some sort of American New Thought movement and nothing at all to do with Christianity. To be fair, New Thought had or has very little with showboating, this stuff is pure Christianity. Alas.

Let me see if I understand the justification here: the young athlete raises his finger to heaven, and simultaneously his hand to his ear to listen to the crowds adulation, and claims this is a symbol of his humility before God…hmmm…how about we call this showboating and humiliating your opponents, and the worse type of ego worship that is so entrenched in so-called Christian churches these days.

Should I even ask if any of the other runners on the other team were Christians? Am I to assume that God has preferred this one idiot against the other runners? He is divinely appointed to win? Can we possibly try to inflate this ego any further?!

There is so much to detest here. First, the terrible form – I am sure if his coach is any good he will hear a thing or two about running through the tape BEFORE celebrating. In fact, this is exactly the case. had he run through the tape, and continued through and then going to the crowd raised his finger and so on, my guess is that nothing would have come of it. It was because of showboating, I am certain, that he got disqualified.

But if it had stopped there, I would have just ignored the story. It is the second part, where the terrible behavior is being asked to be overlooked because of it falls under religious freedom that really really annoys me. yes you are free to worship whatever ego you want, just please do not bring Christianity into it! Argh. it is hard enough these days to try to witness to the loving power of Christ without idiots doing this.

Can we just make sure we all understand: Jesus on the cross is an act of faith. Winning at sports is not. As a cleansing of my palate I will be working slowly through these minor little passage from this little book which apparently some people like to call “holy” but in fact use it as a springboard for their own prosperity and fame….Nary a  word here about winning…

  • Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
  • Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
  • Romans 8:36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
  • Galatians 6:17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
  • 1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
  • 1 Peter 4:14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
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About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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