Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Evangelism

Last week, Brigham Young University, the flagship school of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, announced plans to go independent in football. With the BCS shell game that has gone on this summer, this isn't necessarily earth-shattering news. There is a tangible financial benefit in being able to negotiate your own TV deal and schedule your own opponents to maximize viewership. And all evidence this summer has shown us that television revenue is more important that winning or losing.

But this isn't about that. Based on comments made by BYU's administration and coaches, eyes on the game don't translate into dollars but into potential souls to be saved. Dan Wetzel at Yahoo sports seems to be the only one in the national media to take that angle on this story.

At the same time last week, Glen Coffee decided that the best way to reach souls is to NOT play football as he gave up his NFL career. Tim Tebow, college sensation and evangelical poster-boy, thinks differently. And of course I could list many more on both sides of the argument across different sports.

Idividuals aside, you could also look at this as fulfilling the stated mission of a church-affiliated university. Yet Notre Dame, Gonzaga, Baylor, or TCU don't approach their mission the same way (and I could fill this entire space with a 'did you know?' list of religiously affiliated schools).

So my question this week is this,

Is football, or any other competitive event, an effective means if spreading the Gospel?

(and please refrain from debating the theology of the Mormon religion)


Michael Perkins said...

My answer is yes. Anything is a useful long as we use it to Glorify Him and not ourselves.

I can spread the message of hope at long as it is for Him...or I can talk about Him and use it for personal gain.

I guess what I'm saying is that there is no wrong platform, it just depends on who you want to glorify.

Awesome stuff bro.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with Michael on this - if it Glorifies God and not us. I have been people use a wide variety of things to push forward the gospel that I thought was strange but that God chose to use.

Good thoughts!

Fatha Frank said...

Thanks guys for the comments. I agree that it has to be for His glory, not our own. I have my own (non-religious) bias against what BYU is doing, but I see their point. I wonder though, how effective a draw Liberty University's basketball team would be playing on TBN? I just think there's a better way to do this that what BYU is proposing.

Tebow vs Coffee is an interesting debate and it really all boils down to the individual's preference and desire to glorify God with the talents they've been given. God bless Glen Coffee who is going back to school and is willing to follow through whatever door God opens for him (amazing he's not going to seminary or directly into any specific ministry, just that his heart is more to follow God than the paycheck). At the same time I pray for Tebow's success (and not just because I'm a Broncos fan) because we need authentic role models in professional sports.