I have been a 49ers fan for about 25 years. They have been at the top and bottom of the league many times in those years. Even if I tried, I could not cheer for a different football team. There is something about the jersey that I will always love.
I have been a Lakers fan for almost as long. But as soon as Kobe Bryant announced his retirement, I started cheering for Steph’s Warriors. Two very different approaches, but one thing is the same: I find myself wanting to cheer for a team. Why do sports fans cheer for certain teams?
One reason might be that God wired all of us to think in terms of corporate identification. Paul says “every family in heaven and on earth” is named by God the Father. But notice he says “every family.” God thinks in terms of family before individual. He elected a people from before the foundation of the world, not just persons.
That might be a window into gospel conversation with an avid sports fan who can’t explain why they might cheer for the Browns or the Cubs or whoever else might almost never win, or even with bandwagon fans who always want to cheer for the best team. Human beings love to feel like they are a part of a good corporate reality. Even in something as inconsequential as sports you have the imprint of the image of God.
This is a perfect example of what bearing false witness can do:
Watch a 20 minute documentary by ESPN here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10365079
HT: Kevin Deyoung
Oh, that the Lord would do similar things in all our hearts!
We do not need anything from creation to understand life and godliness. God has given us everything we need in the Word for that. But just thought I might try to “redeem” what is happening with the Los Angeles Lakers. Dwight Howard, probably the best player at his position in the NBA, is going to be traded to the Lakers (Lord willing? Don’t want to sound blasphemous, but everything is under His hand) this weekend. No one knows if he will stay with the team beyond this next season. But Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ star player over the last 15 years, is excited because of the possibility of a championship this season, and because now there could be another superstar to carry the Lakers after he retires. He knows what is best for the team is that there always be someone to “pass the baton” to.
Pastors should have that same mentality. I am not a superstar at our church by any means, but you get the point. All Christians should always be growing and discipling others. If you’re not doing that, you are living in disobedience to the Lord. All pastors should always be growing and discipling others. And all pastors should work, by God’s grace, to raise up at least one other in the church who could take their place. You do not know what tomorrow holds! Any of us could die tomorrow, and if that happens to a pastor, is there a man in the church who could step right in?
This of course is the beauty of having a plurality of elders, but it is also why it is necessary to always have preachers being trained, always. If you are young like me, it does not hurt to raise up another preacher because you do not know what tomorrow holds. But if nothing else, he could be raised up to possibly pastor at another church. If the preacher that is raised up finds a job somewhere else or plants a church out of your church in another city, praise God! And no sweat, just raise up another preacher by God’s grace. Is this not God’s design for the church?
Honestly, do you think pastor search committees were the hope of the Apostle Paul? Even if a pastor had to step down for unexpected reasons, that’s ok, because you should always have another preacher waiting in the wings. Certainly, no pastor should retire and hand the church over to a pastor search committee! (God bless all those who have ever served on search committees; that is faithfulness on your part in the situation God allowed at your church) Could we not pray, brothers and sisters, for more intentional discipleship in our churches so that we will always have men who are being raised up, and so that we will never need another pastor search committee ever again? Is it not God’s will that we always have sheep with under-shepherds?
You should listen to Al Mohler’s podcast everyday, as he always gives some of the best analyses on current events through the Bible’s lens. I love hearing him talk about sports (because he is not much of a sports fan). This is today’s podcast. His take on Tim Tebow is very well articulated, gracious, funny, and biblical. It starts a little past the halfway point of the podcast: