The top 2 news stories in the wide world of sports yesterday surprised me.
The NBA Playoffs are going strong – but that wasn’t the headline.
The Lakers got swept by the Spurs, ending their atrocious season – who cares?
Major League Baseball is in full swing (sorry, but yes – pun intended) – yawn.
Seth Pearson hits 6 homers in his back yard against his dad’s pitching – big deal.
Nick Saban admits that Auburn is by far a superior football powerhouse – blah.
These weren’t the headlines. And for any U of A fans reading this right now – you can breathe. The last one was a poor attempt at a bad joke (a guy can dream can’t he?)
The top 2 news stories yesterday AND this morning on ESPN.com (these days, it’s big time if you stay at the top of the headlines 2 days straight!)?
That’s right. An NBA center says he’s gay and arguably the most renowned Christian in sports is released from his responsibilities.
Holy Smokes Batman. . . Weird. . . Gives me the willies.
When I go to ESPN.com, I want to read about home runs and slam dunks and Tiger Woods and Auburn Football.
What are we to think about this? A couple of thoughts. . .
1. I better be armed and ready to talk to my boys about heavy stuff.
Not when they are 18. Now. When they are 7 and 6. They can read. They like ESPN. They like to ask questions (okay, they like to ask 20 million questions an hour). I better be ready to help them and equip them with truth and courage.
2. Like it or not, this is where we are sent.
On the one hand, a notorious Christian is released from an NFL team after one season. On the other hand, an NBA center comes out. I hope I’m wrong, but I can almost guarantee rampant arguments will be made why it would be wrong to ‘single out’ Jason Collins for his sexuality, while practically nothing will be said about Tebow being ‘singled out’ because of the press he brought with him based on his Christian convictions. Jesus followers, the goal here is NOT to get all in a wad about this sort of thing. This is just reality. Jesus said it would be like this. He’s not surprised. The goal is to recognize the world we live in and go after it with truth and love. As the Father sent Jesus, so He sends us. It doesn’t matter if we like it.
3. The Church MUST to wake up.
We must stop reading things like this and take up our Sunday School time talking about how bad the world is. We must stop giving the impression that we hope all the ‘bad guys’ burn in hell while we sing 1948 hymns from the ‘good ole days.’ Let me give us all a quick newsflash. . . are you ready? Here goes: Lost people are going to act like lost people! Can you believe it? Our job is not to judge them – but love them with the truth. Perhaps instead of us talking about how bad the world is (which always, conveniently, makes us feel better about ourselves doesn’t it?) we should spend more time strategizing how WE should change so the Gospel and the church would be more appealing and attractive.
We know the world needs a change. But they aren’t comin’ to us for help. Many are D-O-N-E. Could the problem be – not that lost people are gonna sin (can you imagine?), but that church people aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to remove all obstacles for people who might be turning to God?
Question: When was the last time you read the news headlines and thought, “What do I need to be willing to change so that the world might actually hear that God does love them?”?
I’m beginning to think the problem ain’t lost people. It’s us.
Holy Smokes Batman.