Monday, August 27, 2007

Hi, my name is Michael Vick and I've found Jesus

Today was the anticipated plea bargain for Michael Vick. There's an endless debate online on whether he'll ever play again, if the media firestorm is race-related, will the public forgive him, and on and on. So I won't go down that road. But in the following press conference, which appeared genuine and sincere, it stood out to me that "through this situation," he found Jesus, asked for forgiveness, and turned his life over to God because he (and this is my favorite part), "think[s] that's the right thing to do as of right now."

My question is, when is it not the right thing to do? Turning to God is an easy PR scapegoat when we get our hands caught in the cookie jar. Either that, or rehab. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure God appreciates being "turned to" and I know Jesus appreciates being "found" whenever we actually get around to doing it. After all God, "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim 2:4) And we know that trials build our faith (James 1, 1 Peter 1). But it's awfully convenient when one's repentance is made so public.

On a related note, I finally caught an episode of "Saving Grace" on TNT. If you haven't seen it, it's a story of a cop who makes a desperate cry to God for help and help comes in the form of a tobacco chewing, beer drinking angel named Earl. Ok, it sounds hokey and borderline blasphemous, but it follows a similar mold as "Highway to Heaven", "Touched by an Angel" and "Joan of Arcadia" where an angel comes to prove God's existence to a skeptic while at the same time saving the day before the hour episode is up. This show isn't much different, except it's much grittier and I was surprised to hear cussing on TNT. I like how the show seems to be structured, the angel is helping Grace with one part of her very flawed character per episode, in tonight's case it was lying. But I had a hard time being drawn into the story because the grounded storyline, investigating the brutal beating and murder of a woman, didn't reflect the larger lesson Grace was supposed to learn. Now I admit to being pretty cynical while watching it and I also admit that my short attention span didn't allow me to actually finish the episode (it was against MNF afterall). But I was intrigued just enough to want to see more.

What does this have to do with Michael Vick? Well, it perpetuates in the media the notion that repentance is easy and God is right there on-call whenever we have a crisis of faith. But if the goings not tough, we can forget about God for a while knowing fully well that he'll be there when we really need him, as though we don't always need him. Look, I hope Vick's new found faith takes him down the same road as Reggie White. (Not meaning to link any of this scandal to anything done by White, but rather as an example of a professional football player who was also a minister) Just as I hope that people who see "Saving Grace" are moved to take a deeper look at their own faith and relationship with God, or lack thereof. But Hollywood has made me too cynical. However, my faith in God, and the ability of his word to be so sharp as to "divide soul and spirit" should cut through those chains of cynicism. Let's hope so.

1 comment:

Rama said...

Great off topic posts with Vick and Bonds, Let me remind, they aren't off topic when you think about the gods and idols that members of this world allow themselves to worship and follow. I would think about re working your blasphemous remarks of the baseball gods and call them something else, but really great things to think about as a student of Entertainment SPorts Netork in Bristol, CT.