I have a confession that may make me seem un-American. I am not a sports fan. I do not know enough about football to have a favorite team. I do not make judgments about which baseball team is the best. I am only vaguely aware of when hockey has its season. I have been known to fall asleep trying to watch a basketball game. All that to say if you ask my opinion about “last night’s game” you should not expect an intelligent answer. However, there are times that for conversation sake I will speak comments that have been stated by a sports broadcaster. Sometimes for humor I will tell a sports joke. Because of the popular fascination with sports many people feel a sense of authority on topics about their favorite team. I can read books about sports. I can listen to others, but in order to make an intelligent assessment about any given sports team I would have to study the team itself and not just listen to the opinion of others. I am assured by my wife who played sports in high school and college that the lessons learned from participating in sports is beneficial in many areas of life. She tells me there are lessons learned from coaches that is applicable to business and family life. I do not argue about sports. I do not think less of others who habitually watch sports. Sometimes I go to a sporting event or watch a game with friends. It is possible that if I watched a sport long enough to understand it that I may become a fan.
I am a fan of the Bible. The Bible has passages that use sports analogies. For instance;
- Hebrews 12:1New International Version (NIV) 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27New International Version (NIV) 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I have my favorite books of the Bible to read. I will never know all there is to learn from scriptures but that does not deter me from studying the word of God. Very few people who oppose the Bible have actually read it. Yet some people make claims and statements about the Bible based on others opinion. Some will only adhere to the opinion they heard from a teacher or read in a book and not consider any other view to have validity. How can a person make a reasonable statement about what the Bible says if they have never read it? Furthermore, how can a person of intelligence make claims about the Bible that are purely a matter of someone else opinion and state it as truth? Statements such as “the Bible is not relevant in today’s culture”, and “there is no useful information to be found in scriptures”. As a student of the Bible I find these statements to be ignorant. The timeless truths found in the wisdom books are still as valid as the day they were written. The poetry books continue to inspire artists and song writers both in the secular and Christian arena. The history books continue to provide clues for various sciences such as archaeology. The books on God’s Law have been the inspiration of our modern day laws. Gospels and prophetic books continue to encourage many to be kinder, more peaceful neighbors. Maybe the reality is that some people do not want to face the possibility of eternity being real. For some people they have not experienced the benefits of being a follower of Christ. It is possible for a person to become a fan of the Bible if they spent some time reading it. If a person wants to challenge the validity of the Bible they should start with reading it for themselves not just books about it or what others say. The same can be said of those that want to use the word of God against others.
I do not argue about sports or other topics that I am not familiar with. I will however continue to share insights of what I learn from the Bible.
Rev. Burt Schwab