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Hey, my fellow Christians, we need to have an in-house discussion. Listen, we have got to stop mocking and scolding people for publicly praising God. I’ve noticed this a lot recently, especially in the last couple of years. Sure, we claim that God ought to be thanked every day. We may even quote a line from Scripture and say “give thanks IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

But then an athlete like Ray Lewis or, last year, Tim Tebow thanks God after winning a game, or an actor thanks Him at the Oscars, or a musician at the Grammys, or anyone whom we have judged unworthy praises Him for an achievement we find meaningless, and we flock to the internet and take our place among the secular masses complaining that these people are “insincere” and they should “tone it down” because it’s “offensive” and “inappropriate”. I heard one person, a Christian, use the word “disgusting” when describing one of the previous cases. Really? You’re “disgusted” by someone praising God? Are you freaking possessed, man?

What is wrong with us? Since when should ANYONE “tone down” their worship? Since when is it EVER offensive to thank God? Since when can we, sinners and fools that we are, look at another man’s deeds and judge him unworthy to speak God’s name? And since when are we in the position to proclaim who is and isn’t sincere in their expressions of faith?

The Scribes and the Pharisees assumed this very same position and, famously, Jesus was not especially fond of them because of this.

I’ve even heard Christians say that it’s ridiculous to thank God for winning a football game because God doesn’t “have time” to worry about a stupid sporting event. “Have time”? Well, in one sense you are correct. God does not have time. He is outside of time. He has eternity. He is eternity. You are attempting to make Him finite but, in fact, he is infinite. He is omnipresent. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be God. So if you claim He “doesn’t have time” to worry about something as a dumb as a game, you are either venting out of ignorance with misplaced frustration, or you are blaspheming. Take your pick.

Another point: God is All Powerful therefore nothing happens outside of His Perfect Will. So yes, Mr. Athlete, it WAS God’s will that you win that game. I’d like any Christian to explain how it was not. I’d like to hear them justify their assertion that an event, however small, took place outside of the grasp of the Lord Himself. Tread lightly; you’re on very rocky ground theologically.

Maybe many of these people are just putting on a show with a bunch of fraudulent religiosity. Maybe they go home and sacrifice a goat on their Satanic alters. I don’t know. Neither do you. But to call a man’s faith “fake” is wrong. Very wrong. And it is not motivated by anything righteous or true. Also, it’s not as though public piety is rewarded nowadays so the motivation to “fake it” is, I would think, diminished. And besides, would we rather they thank themselves and glorify themselves? To glorify God is to humble yourself. I don’t care if I judge a guy to be the biggest crook in the world, he still ought to thank God every time he wins at checkers.

One other point: you may roll your eyes when a professional football player “goes on and on” about God. But did you ever think that POSSIBLY there are kids, boys in the inner city in particular, who don’t have any male role models and who have no idea what masculinity looks like. Did you ever consider that they are not viewing this guy’s worship through your cynical lens? They see a man they consider tough and admirable (rightly or wrongly) unapologetically speaking His Name. Now they carry with them the impression that faith and manliness can go hand in hand.

I think that’s a victory. That’s a huge victory. That’s a win for the Good Side. So why are you complaining about it?