Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spiritual Violence

So I was rooting for Baltimore. I even had a $50 bet on them with my dad, just to show myself and the world that I was serious. And I am fine with Ray Lewis. Yes, he is a dramatic attention hog, but like many people like that, he's charismatic and therefore likable.

But Lewis said something to the world from the victory stage of the Superdome that really bothered me. He said: “It’s simple: when God is for you, who can be against you?” This is a direct quote of Romans 8:31.

The church has trained its legions to think this way. You came down with a cold? Satan is trying to get you. Didn't get that job promotion? The spiritual forces of darkness saw to that. Problems in your marriage? The devil does not want to see God's elect prosper, so he will do everything in his power to hold them down.

Christians allow themselves to be wrapped up in their own little bubble, and they don't see the ridiculous implications of their thinking. So when a non-believer is passed over for a job, or some other tragedy befalls them, does the Christian's line of thinking not fall apart in their hands like so much cheap Chinese stitching?

And the implications of Lewis' words are painfully, embarrassingly evident to anyone with a functioning brain: So God was FOR the Ravens, but AGAINST the 49ers. Really?

I'll just say it without pulling any punches: I think that modern American Christianity is intellectually bankrupt. I don't single out Lewis, he's only speaking into a microphone the way most Christians, in my experience, speak to their friends and family and like-minded compatriots.

And it's wrong, because it's so silly, and so insulting to the idea of reason and intelligence. I wish my tribe knew better, but for now we are saddled with an anti-intellectual mentality that thinks that faith and reason are mutually exclusive, instead of complimentary.


tom deslongchamp said...

Is he embarrassing to God or to Christians?

tom deslongchamp said...

I hope to love him some day as much as Jesus does!

JD said...

He is embarrassing to me as a Christian. God doesn't get embarrassed, I don't think :)

For some reason I am more interested in criticizing my own, rather than pointing my wrath towards those outside my ranks (spiritually and politically speaking); something is wrong with me, but for now, we are stuck with it.

Kathleen said...

Man, this really bothers me. The way he makes Almighty God a supporting character in Ray Lewis' quest to win a Superbowl is ridiculous, and as you point out, gives the rest of the world reason to not take Christians seriously. He took an amazing description about the overwhelming, conquering power of God's love to save us and made it about him winning a game. A game. The thing is, God is for him, win or lose a sporting event. He is for all of us, for that matter (Romans 8:32, 'He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?') But success is not evidence of God's love, nor is it a guaranteed consequence. I will go so far as to say that God doesn't advance his kingdom through sports championships. I doubt if there's anything he cares less about. But you know what? Ray Lewis isn't alone. We're all idiots, saved by God's grace, so there's that to be glad for. Thanks for the thoughts and for getting me all riled up here in Norway :P

JD said...

Yes Kathleen, very well put! Always glad to get you riled up, but ESPECIALLY when you're in Norway :)