biblebannerThere’s a small controversy brewing in GA relating to high school football and religion. It relates to whether or not a high school football team can run through a banner with a Bible verse on it. I wasn’t sure what would happen if the other football team had a banner with a Bible verse to run through as well. Wouldn’t that be a conflict? Here is another viewpoint.

As a pastor, I definitely want people to know their Bible and study it and most of all to live out the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is a challenge to all who are honest in their faith. Today I was reading Alphabet of Grace by Buechner and he started his book by saying he was a “part-time Christian.” He meant that he lived up to the name of Christ sometimes and other times he didn’t. I’ve found that to be the best description of Christian living yet. So, I am all for free speech but this situation goes into the area of religion and would be best handled by not quoting Bible verses.

Maybe they could get by with something similar by resurrecting the Constantinian vision before the battle of the Mulvian bridge. Their coach could make them put crosses on their helmets and have them run through a banner with the words “with this sign conquer.” The pep club could also make stickers with the greek letters “chi rho” on them and wear them during the games.

There’s an interesting relationship between religion and sports, particularly football. It’s not uncommon to see a player drop to a knee in the endzone after scoring a touchdown or pointing to the sky after a good play. What I am still waiting to see is a running back fumble the ball on a key play and give God glory for that miscue or a quarterback who throws a “pick six” and drops to a knee in gratitude. I’m very uncomfortable with the assumption that God wants one team to win over another or that there is a great deal of eternal significance in the outcome of a ballgame.

From another vantage point, I was thinking about how parents in the stands would react to a saying from the Koran being written on a banner for their children to run through. That would present an interesting case study for those of us in the Bible belt.