The title of this article contains some of the few things I really love. I love the political world. Early in my life I was a political “junkie” reading everything I could about how the American political system works. I was a precinct president of my Republican precinct when I was 18 years old, a delegate to the South Carolina State Convention (my boss was an alternate delegate and when I got bored I gave him my pass so he could get onto the floor!), and headed into the Marines Corps. I was planning on a life in politics. While the political landscape has dramatically transformed since the late 1980’s, I still follow politics from afar. I love politics.
My experience with sports is less spectacular. I played two sports growing up, soccer and badminton. Soccer was not as popular then as it seems to be now. Badminton has yet to really catch on. In actuality, I played nearly all the sports and enjoyed it immensely. In college I started playing golf and, for a short time, entertained the notion that I could play professionally. The truth is, I couldn’t even beat my friends consistently, much less a group of professionals. I still love sports.
In my early 20’s, however, I learned that my true passion was Jesus Christ. While there are days when I feel the same strain as everyone else regarding my life’s ambition—cold and listless—these days are few and far between. The cause of Christ led me to give up politics and sports as ambitions. My true love led me away from my other loves.
This is why I am so concerned with how Christians will respond to the latest separation between our culture and Christian living. So many Christians are invested in the culture trying to redeem it from within (contextualization), that they are in danger of being swept away by the culture’s hard move toward moral wickedness. This is apparent in both of the arenas I mentioned above. In politics, a man who has historically supported immoral politicians has become one himself. He offers no solutions, no real policy ideas, and yet he has the support of millions of American evangelicals. He may win the Republican nomination and many Christians will be the reason for his election. At the same time two events in politics have collided with sports—one in Georgia and the other in North Carolina. In my home state of North Carolina, the state government and the governor have overruled the city of Charlotte regarding a law that allowed men to use women’s bathrooms if they identify as a woman. In Georgia, the state legislature there has passed a law outlining religious liberty as it relates again to LGBT issues. The NFL, the NCAA, and other sports organizations including the Atlanta Falcons, the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, and other state based teams have strongly urged the governor to reject the legislation.
The point of this article is not take a position on these legislative actions. I have not studied them at all and do not know if they are really good or bad. My point here is that there appears to be a time coming when Christians are going to have to choose what they love more, God or politics/sports. My choice is made. I will gladly give up the political arena and stop watching the NFL if it comes to that because my love for God is just so much greater than these. When what I truly love is threatened by my other loves, those have to fall away. There is no other option for me.