This week professional football player Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers made some comments about his thoughts on religion. While many will be up in arms and take the opportunity to voice the offense they take to them, I will choose to look at them differently. As you read I want to highlight some of his quotes and then will give my thoughts.
Me Either Aaron, Me Either
“I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell,”
Frankly I don’t know how anyone could believe in a God like this either. As a Christian I do not believe in or encourage anyone to believe in a God who “wants” to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell. I believe in a God who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to be the death penalty for us so that we may avoid a fiery hell. To me that is the complete opposite of a God who “wants” to sent us to hell. If that was His intent then sending His Son would have never been an option.
So in this I agree with Aaron Rodgers, I do not believe in a God who wants to condemn anyone to hell. That is not the God I serve and is not the God of the Bible. The God of Bible loves you so much that He sacrificed His own Son to pay for your disobedience.
This loving God also gave us free will and that free will allows us to decide whether or not we will follow Him and accept the salvation offered through and only through His Son. As a parent I can honestly say that allowing my children to make their own decisions is one of the toughest things I will ever do. Making all of their decisions for them is not love.
What’s Your Crutch?
“Religion can be a crutch, it can be something that people have to have to make themselves feel better,”
Again, I sort of agree with Aaron here. Christianity can be a crutch for some and for some it is a means to make themselves feel better. That is not true for all believers though and I choose to have faith in God, not His followers. It is like this, pain killers can be a crutch for some people and can be misused and abused. That does not mean pain killers are bad or should not be taken when needed. Same goes for Christianity. Just because it is abuses or misused by some does not mean that it is inherently bad or false.
I will say this, I cannot think of Christianity as a crutch in my life. Being a Christian has costs me more on this world than anything I could ever possibly gain from it while still alive. I have lost friendships, opportunities, self-advancement, money, you name it, I have lost it in my quest to follow God and say no to self. I would say that if I have ever used anything as a crutch in my life it would be my own selfish desires. Sitting inside my comfort zone, looking out for my own interests, those are the crutches that I have supported myself on throughout my life. For me, Christianity has been anything but a crutch.
On The Same Team
“Because it’s set up binary, it’s us and them, saved and unsaved, heaven and hell, it’s enlightened and heathen, it’s holy and righteous … that makes a lot of people feel better about themselves.”
Here is where I don’t agree at all with Mr. Rodgers. Christianity is not binary and was not set up that way. God never intended it to be us vs. them. This is not a football game where one team is trying to score and the other is trying to keep them from the endzone. In the game of life there is God and He is trying to usher everyone into the endzone.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him, may not perish but have everlasting life.
Whosoever, that is an all-encompassing word. There is no one in the history of the world since the death and resurrection of Jesus who that verse does not apply to. Does not matter who you are or where you have been and what you have done, if you choose to accept Jesus then everlasting life is yours.
The Bigger Issue
My biggest issue is not with Aaron Rodger’s on Religion. He is entitled to feel the way he does and I pray that God will move in his life and lead him to truth. My issue is that many Christians today are playing the game just like Aaron mentioned. They are playing like it is us versus them. They are playing like they have some kind of advantage over the other team. This is not the way. Christ called us to love one another. Plain and simple, love one another and spread the Gospel. Many Christians today have a mentality that says we are right, and you are wrong. Instead of pointing out how wrong the world is, we should be trying to help them find their way into the endzone. We can do that through showing love, compassion, and grace just as Jesus did for us. Let God work on their heart. Introduce them to Christ through the way you live you life.
God does not want you to go to hell.
He sent His Son to prove it.