Does God Care about Sports?

Why does an athlete’s praise of God or desire to give thanksgiving and honor to God, automatically equate to the notion that God cares about the outcome of games:

I refuse to believe that God — anyone’s God — has a rooting interest in the outcome of something as secular and perverse as a BCS game.”

This is from Mark Kriegel’s article on Kurt Warner (primarily) and other athlete’s with strong religious views.  Kriegel does not belittle Warner’s faith which has been well-documented – he actually commends it in a way.  However, he seems to set up a straw-man to argue with.

Does God care about sports?  Yes and no.  I believe that God cares about sports in the way that he cares about all things that happen in the universe.  At the same time, I have never heard a Christian athlete say their team won a game because God was “on their side” or something along those lines.  So, God does not care about sports in the manner that some have imagined:  as an emotionally entwined, nervous, and uncertain of the outcome kind of fan simply sitting on the sidelines or even ordering the outcome as a fan might?  I don’t think so.   I do commend those athletes who genuinely wish to recognize God’s sovereignty over all matters, including the games (or jobs they hold) they play.

How would you respond to the question, does God care about sports?


5 responses to this post.

  1. I hope I would respond to it as well as you did. But I might be prone to say, also, that the competition God is most concerned with is the one that takes place every Sunday – when His worship is placed in competition with the NFL, little league, and a hundred other recreational games.

    Here’s another question: Are Christian NFL players, whose career is based on drawing crowds away from worship 4-5 months of the year, providing a vaneer of spirituality that makes people feel better about unbiblical priorities?

    I say this as someone who likes Kurt Warner, and who watches NFL highlights (rarely a whole game). I’m no saint. Or Saint, for that matter.

    “Train yourself for godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, holding promise for the present life and the life to come.”


  2. Ken – these are excellent thoughts and an angle I had not really considered before. Thanks (as always) for sharing your thoughts.


  3. good points about competition, ken. i, too, have always wondered how professing Christian football players justify their working on the Sabbath.


  4. Posted by Julie on March 13, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Personally I believe that if God has numbered every hair on our head, he certainly cares about what we like or dislike. He is our friend and that is what our friends do as well. He loves us with a love that we as humans can not comprehend. Sports talents are god given just like talents of singing, music and teaching.

    We need to put god back in the sports and use it to glorify his name, giving him the credit for all the great things he has done.

    Many children today are not being taught the word of God and like our preacher says make the unbelievers want, what you have. So if they need to stay home and watch the NFL game to get a glimpse of Christ, planting the seed is the most important part. God can change a life after that seed begins to grow. We all know that life is better with Christ but the unbelievers do not know that, so we have to set the example out in the world. God will use whatever you bring him.


  5. Julie…thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It all comes down to our view of God’s sovereignty and His goodness.


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