I worry about our culture and the Christian response to it. This issue is an age old one, with many different solutions. Should we withdraw from culture? Should we go along with culture? Do we try to transform culture? Do we exist in parallel with culture? My musings were actually brought about by the comments of a football player, whose jersey I regularly wear. The comments made me wonder if perhaps my allegiance should be elsewhere. How should I respond? What should I do, if I do anything at all?
Now some might feel that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. After all, just because I wear the jersey doesn’t mean that I support everything that they say or do! True, but perhaps there are role models out there that I would be better off supporting, even if they don’t play for my team! I remember when Charles Barkley famously said, “I’m not a role model,” and belittled the idea that professional athletes serve as examples for society. That begs the issue. We are a celebrity culture, and we like anyone that is humorous, beautiful, wealthy, powerful, or athletic. We follow them on Twitter, and Facebook. We buy their products. We go to their movies. We watch their games. We support their campaigns. We wear their jerseys. And we say something about ourselves when we do. We say something about who we like, who we support, and who we are. And we need to remember that we are role models too! 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” We represent Jesus Christ to the world, and it should impact everything that we do.
The answer to my current dilemma is easy: I wear the colors and the logo, but not the jersey. I support the team, but I don’t necessarily take a stand on the individual. No, nobody is perfect. But my responsibility as a Christian is to be and to point people to good examples and godly lifestyles, not end up in a position where I am defending what someone else does simple because I’m a fan. I need to be a bigger fan of Jesus, which brings a responsibility of its own! For you see, Jesus “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).