Buffalo Bills’ Johnson Drops Touchdown: Blames God

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your wayCS Lewis


 

Living History

 

 

Well, well, well, the chickens are coming home to roost. The years of “name it and claim it” are taking their toll. Joel Osteen, here is your legacy. Ed Young Jr., here is the result of giving to get. “If you confess it, you must possess it”. (Didn’t know that meant the football). If we throw some prayers in His direction, we’ll catch the ball. God must be gratified that we are condescending to tell Him what we need and when we need it so He can put it on His calendar.
 

Let’s see what one of America's deep theologians, Stevie Johnson, Wide Receiver for the Buffalo Bills, has to say about God and His grand mistake this weekend in a game against the Philadelphia Steelers.
 

Take a look at the play (Updated  9PM 11/30 with new video)

 

Here is what he tweeted after the game as posted on TMZ.com.

 

 

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS IS HOW YOU DO ME!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS???? HOW???!!! I’LL NEVER FORGET THIS!!! EVER!! THX THO…STEVIE JOHNSON13
 

 

 

We Christians seem to be stuck on performance. If we pray enough, God will do what we tell Him to do. If we don’t pray and act good enough, He will do very bad things to us. Here is what a few Christians have to say on the subject.
 

  • “Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans because the people in that city have been tolerating sin. (John Hagee)
  • “9/11 was God’s judgment on America for forgetting Him.” (Anne Graham Lotz)
  • He prayed that Hurricane Gloria would not hit Virginia where he lived and it didn’t. (Pat Robertson)
  • "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"(Jerry Falwell)

 

I am amazed that so many people believe that they know the mind of God. However, a quick examination of the facts presents quite a different picture of God “punishing” the sinful for not following Him.
 

Sweden has all but eradicated God and is a secular society with very liberal morals. More people probably attend church in New Orleans than in much of Sweden. It is a rich country with a high standard of living. No destruction has occurred.
 

Then, there is the city of Amsterdam, which has legalized every form of drugs, prostitution, and euthanasia. I have a friend who was so disgusted by the sex shops in tourist areas that she refused to get off the bus. Amsterdam has a high standard of living and has yet to be destroyed by God.
 

Then, there is the elitist Christian who God listens to over all the others.
 

Pat Robertson supposedly prevented Hurricane Gloria from striking his town and horse farm yet his neighbors to the north, who were also praying, got zapped. Does Robertson have a direct line to God?
 

Meanwhile, the supposed healers, who speak “wellness” into the lives of the faithful, aren’t called into account. Benny Hinn has never let even one of his miracles be proven. Yet he claims to have healed thousands with a swish of his tacky white jacket. He lives in a fancy mansion and drives luxury cars.

 

It gets more confusing when we look at disasters in our own country. God told the children of Israel that, if they brought their first fruits, God would send the rain. Today, we are not a theocracy and the covenants meant for Israel do not apply to us in the same way. For example, there were many in the United States who tithed and gave to God in the 1930s. Yet, one of the greatest agricultural disasters in the history of our country, the Dust Bowl, devastated the Bread Basket of America.

 

So what gives? One only has to look at the early church to find the answer. These young Christians shared everything they had  and gave to the poor and destitute. Yet many of them ended up dipped in tar and used as torches for Nero’s garden parties. How many of the great early church leaders who sacrificed everything, like Polycarp and Perpetua, ended up feeding the lions and the blood thirst of the Romans in the Coliseum? Yet, these early Christians went to their deaths singing the praises of God.
 

Here’s the bottom line. The Christian life is not about getting rich, getting healed and catching the ball. It is far deeper and more eternal. It is about ultimate redemption and perfect justice. It is about being faithful when the world is not going our way because God has promised us eternity.

 

Compare Stevie to the martyrs. They praised God 24/7, as they were being tortured, because they knew what awaited them on the other side. Johnson praised God “24/7” (yeah, right) and expected to catch the winning touchdown. He has trivialized the Gospel and needs to reexamine his belief system. Many Americans have a warped view of God as a Cosmic Sugar Daddy. We have demeaned the gift of the Cross of Jesus Christ by equating the catch of the ball or a Mercedes Benz with eternal redemption. 

 

So, here is what I say to Stevie. You dropped the ball and lost the game so quitcher bellyachin' and stop playing the oldest game in the Good Book-blaming it on someone else. Go and get right with God and practice catching that ball. 

 

Lydia's Corner: Exodus 13:17-15:18 Matthew 21:23-46 Psalm 26:1-12 Proverbs 6:16-19

 

 

Comments

Buffalo Bills’ Johnson Drops Touchdown: Blames God — 30 Comments

  1. A friend of mine just got back from Amsterdam last week and saw that area. He was stunned. His cabbie told him these women make tons of money. They rent the windows and pose in them selling their ‘wares”.

  2. “So, here is what I say to Stevie. You dropped the ball and lost the game so quitcher bellyachin’ and stop playing the oldest game in the Good Book-blaming it on someone else. Go and get right with God and practice catching that ball.”

    Love your advice, Dee!!!

  3. I used to feel bad about “wishing” the hurricane would go somewhere else. Then, one day, I was “somewhere else” and they were “wishing” the ‘cane on me. I had a silent laugh and (mostly) stopped “wishing” things.

    You will often “eat” your thoughts (and words) when you assign blame to the person that disaster squashes. If you think this way, you will either eventually find that you have to be inconsistent–or you will give up on God. And that seems like a bad idea.

    The race does not always go to the swift…but that is the way to bet. 🙂

    Bennett

  4. Deb,

    See…see…see… blaming God because you dropped the ball is as ridiculous as is thanking God because you didn’t! But in this country we fall all over ourselves thanking God for everything from blasting that turkey on the table (what does that do exactly anyway?), to getting a job, to landing safely at the airport, to not breaking our neck when we fall down the stairs, to not being audited this year by the IRS. Each and every one of those “thanks” is just as absurd as is blaming Him for dropping the ball.

    Just like blaming God for dropping the ball takes any responsibility off your shoulders for practicing harder, so does giving thanks take away from us the sense of pride and accomplishment we deserve because we DID practice and train.

    Dee and Deb obviously put a lot of hard work, time and effort into this blog and they deserve the credit, not God. God didn’t do it…there are many people who run equally good blogs who do not believe, so unless we are saying that Dee and Deb are so incompetent that they can’t run a blog without the help of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent deity, I say we give thanks to Dee and Deb.

    Thanks Dee and Deb! 🙂

  5. You’re welcome Karlton! I enjoy our little internet community here at TWW.

    I believe God has given Dee and me the ability as well as the desire to write here.

    One of my favorite Bible verses is:

    “In everything give thanks…” Therefore, I’m giving thanks for you and your participation here.

  6. Deb, Dee and anyone else, I just found this most excellent video (Flashbacks of Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure there!). It is the first video I’ve found which actually explains in detail the peer review process, what it means to be a scientist and why creationism and ID fail as science. A very well done, thoughtful and intelligent video. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    http://mainereason.blogspot.com/2010/11/peer-review-and-science.html

  7. Karl,

    interesting. But you know, there is more to this than it is all God, or it is all me. For example, I can take the blame for not practicing, and I can feel pride for having worked hard, yet at the same time I can be thankful for the ability God gave which allowed me to be successful at my practice, and I can accept God’s grace and comfort even as I face the consequences of my failure.

    Jesus always pointed at the ‘heart’ – the primary internal motivation. What we see in our football player’s response is a malformed internalization of who God is and who he (the football player) is. It does appear our football player was, at least at the particular moment of his txt, looking to God as he would a genie in a lamp. And he was mad it didn’t grant his wish. That is not a particularly well formed concept of God to begin with. Nor is it a well formed concept of himself.

    We can thank God when things go well as recognition that things could have gone much worse. We are not in control, no matter how hard we work or how hard we try. But we don’t have to pretend we didn’t work hard. We just need to have the right perspective, a humble perspective. Even the most successful among us owe a great deal to those around them, and even those who came before them. If nothing else, thanking God helps us to learn to recognize there is more than one’s self to thank. A lot more.

    Likewise when things go poorly. We all make mistakes, non of us is perfect, and even on our worst days it is nice to have a loving hand to support us even when we know it was all our fault. Indeed, such a loving hand can often help to free is from the self-condemnation that would otherwise lock us into a cycle of failure, so that we can move on and perhaps do better next time. If nothing else, learning to lean on God helps us look beyond what we are and believe in what we can become with His help. To realize we are not alone in the world and we can do more than we think we can.

    Zeta

  8. Karl,

    Looked at your video. You won’t get too much argument from me on the lack of ‘real science’ on behalf of the ID proponents. Frankly, what I saw in Dembski’s paper “Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence” doesn’t even rise to the level of good math, let alone good science.

    And for an example of how the ID folks should react to the general skeptcism of the scientific community to their ideas, I would point to non other than Dr. Mary Schweitzer of the “preserved soft tissue in dinosaur bones” fame. She had come under severe criticism of her research. And an alternative hypothesis had been developed (biofilms) to explain her results. Some even attacked her faith indirectly and directly (Creationists because she accepts evolution and the long age time frames, Atheistic colleagues because she is a strong Christian).

    Did she cry foul? Did she walk away? Nope. She took each and every criticism and went back into the field and found new fossils and carefully, painstakingly redid here work to the demands and specifications of those who were her worst critics and reproduced her results – now having met every criticism face on!

    So there you go! That is how real science is done. That is how new ideas crush old ideas. Hard work in full view before the most critical of audiences.

    Zeta

  9. Hi Karl

    I met someone this weekend who reads this blog. He commented that he finds your questions thought provoking. So, thank you for adding to the discussion.

    I was wondering when you would get around to the “god hates amputees” question. I have been to that website and actually found the question fascinating. Here is how I view this. Pain, suffering and death have always been considered the norm amongst devout Christians. I think the idea of healing, actually claiming healing is a distinctly American phenomenon.

    When Jesus healed the lame man,He actually didn’t heal his inability to walk immediately. He first said that his sins were forgiven. This really miffed off the Pharisees because they believed that only God could forgive sins. So, then he He said, get up and walk. This really caused a brouhaha because the Pharisees realized that Jesus was demonstrating exactly who He was by the act of healing.

    Jesus did not come to heal us of our illnesses. He came to heal our rift with God.If He wanted to heal us of our illnesses then why would we go onto die. Everyone dies so any healing is temporary anyway. Healing was Jesus’ way of tangible demonstrating His ability to heal us of something much deeper.

    As you know, I have a daughter who survived a terrible brain tumor. It was malignant and she was given a less than 10% prognosis. This may surprise some readers but I did not believe she was going to survive. I had been a hospice nurse and knew that most people with cancer die of their illness. I also knew that most children die with malignant brain tumors, even those who have many, many people praying for them.

    Why did she survive? Good question. Why did she survive a terrible brain tumor with no deficits while a sweet boy with a relatively mild kidney tumor from a well known devout Christian family die? I don’t know. Sometimes, there are things out there that physicians do not understand. Did we just get lucky? Don’t think so. I believe God had something to do with her survival. Why? Perhaps one day I will know.

    But here’s the deal. I don’t think healing in this life is the norm. It really isn’t the point.

    Finally, thank you for saying kind things about the post. I appreciate it.

  10. Dee,

    it may not be the point, but that doesn’t really address the problem. If He heals anything at all in response to prayers and the claims of healing would make you think it was God’s full time job, then why no amputees?

    Thank that guy who liked my questions, the $5 is in the mail!

    I just added a new post on my blog with the amputee question and one more…related but different.

    If diseases are randomly distributed throughout the world between believer’s and noon-believers and if God doesn’t harbor any particular prejudice against one disease or another then why do we have different mortality rates for different diseases. Statistically God should be healing just as many cancers as he does pneumonia or food poisoning…the mortality rates should be much closer to equal.

    food for thought!

  11. Healing has always been a bit of a difficult issue for me. But miracles in general are not common things. Truth be told, if they were common, people would not think it was God, they would think it was some natural phenomenon they just hadn’t figured out yet!

    But the issue of the amputees is pretty much an in our face deal isn’t it Karl – those of us that believe in a miracle working God. Surely if God works miracles there would be some former amputees with fully functioning limbs. And that is a question I simply do not have an answer to.

    Oh, I could speculate. Even Jesus could not work miracles in towns full of unbelief. So faith factors into this in some way. Fundamentally, I tend to think God works in such a way that His actions can not detract from faith in Christ. That is, anything God could do that would forever or fundamentally deflect people’s faith from the Resurrection He simply will not do. He has chosen to focus all on Christ, He is that which is lifted up before the world so that the world might believe. I’m afraid a healed amputee might well be such a visible proof of God’s miracle working power that the act of healing may well become the focus of faith rather than Christ Himself.

    But that is speculation, and subjective speculation at that – not something that will be convincing to the scientific mind. Kind of an after the fact accommodation of theory with fact that would be rejected outright as special pleading in the peer review process 😉

    But 2000 years ago God did work an incredible sequence of miracles. A man was killed and locked away in a tomb, and the sun was darkened, and the body rose again on the third day. But that happened so long ago, and the witnesses are all dead and gone and all we have left are in many cases second hand recountings of the stories those witnesses told.

    But just 65 years ago a truly horrible event took place – the Holocaust. And there are pictures and documents and eyewitnesses. And just 65 years later there are educated men and women, even entire cultures that deny it ever took place! Just 65 years ago Karl. What will be the case in 1000 years if Europe and the US fall and the records are mostly destroyed and the Museum falls into ruin and all traces of Auschwitz and Dachau and Ravensbruck are buried under the dirt of a new civilization?

    So how often would God need to do an irrefutable miracle to keep His name alive in the world? To counter those that do not want to believe in a God? Once a decade? Once a century? Once every two millenia is clearly not often enough – is it?

    Yet for those willing to believe – once is enough. And according to the Gospels – those are the folks He’s after. So perhaps from His perspective He’s done all that is necessary. He’s willing to work with us individually according to our faith, but Earth shattering miracles that would basically force even the staunchest unbeliever to admit the possibility of God appear to be not on the table – except for the Life, burial, and resurrection of His Son. That’s where the true knowledge of God lies. Anything He does is going to point back to that event so that no one comes to Him without first going through the Son.

    Now don’t get me wrong Karl. I’d LOVE to see that amputee with the new limb grown as a result of a prayer in Jesus’ name! And if I was God, that’s what I’d do! And I’d do it just for you – so you could believe. But clearly, If God exists, if Christ is who I believe He is, that’s just not the kind of believing God is looking for – at least not right now. The lack of amputees walking around on perfect new legs is proof of at least that much.

    Zeta

  12. For a clear explanation of how God intervenes in human affairs please see the excellent article http://www.biblebb.com/files/combating_charismatic_theology.htm.

    Usually God intervenes with special acts of providence. Another way is with unilateral miracles or mighty works of God (least common). And the third way is with miracles that are done through human agency (the purpose of which is to authenticate the authority of those who speak for God).

  13. This topic is a big deal to me because this thinking has become mainstream. As if God is some big bellhop in the sky passing out goodies or badies. It is astonishing how prevelant it is. And it feeds into the ‘hate the victim” mentality in Christendom.

    Jesus speaks to this in Luke 13 about the tower falling down and the persecution. He said their sin was not worse to cause the tragedy. The point was: Be ready.

    It has become common in many seeker circles to attribute every good thing to a “God thing”. As if a ‘bad thing’ could never be a God thing. I hear it all the time. I once asked someone who said this about a new job if the believer she knew who just lost a job was liked less by God. She could not answer but when I quizzed her on her new job, it was obvious she had made it happen through hard work and who she knew.

    So, what about the saint rotting in a Chinese prison for daring to proclaim His name? Punishment? Taking up the cross and following Him? God does not like them?

    We are told there WILL be trouble in the world. And we forget about Job. And we forget that God disciplines those who are His so the case could be made that few troubles in life could mean one does not belong to God? Sort of the reverse of this doctrine?

    A big problem for us in our country is that we do not have to depend on God daily for provision. We do not have to fear serious persecution for His Name. I suspect if we did, our ranks would thin considerably.

  14. Anon, Phil Johnson and McArthur are cessationists so that plays into what they teach. They also believe women are in sin if they witness to men.

  15. Zeta,

    Did you kiss the blarney stone when you were younger…you have a wonderful way with words and to slide between the cracks and loopholes, maybe you should look into politics. 🙂

    You see the Christians and the Holocaust deniers have something in common…the ability to envision and believe in a reality in spite of the evidence. There is plenty of evidence for the Holocaust, it is easy to demonstrate even 65 years later. The Holocaust deniers simply refuse to see it because it conflicts with their prejudices and beliefs. The Christians are on the other side of the same coin, they believe in miracles and Jesus divinity and God in spite of the fact that there is no evidence at all! So while the Holocaust deniers close their eyes to the evidence, the Christians manufacture it where it doesn’t exist, or believe in spite of it’s absence.

    Secondly, your argument still doesn’t make sense, so then why heal anyone at all in response to prayer. You say it might be because God doesn’t want people to believe as a result of the miracle, but come on, don’t you think that is exxactly what happens to people who pray for their mother, father, family member to be cured of cancer and they apparently are, the people believe because of the miracle. Let’s not forget as well Jesus own words in John 14:11-14

    Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

  16. Dee – great article. My boys last night were telling me about Johnson’s blaming God for the dropped pass. I think today many preachers like Ed Young and Perry Noble and Mac Brunson would tell him that this is what YOU get for not tithing. They have recently said in no uncertain terms that those who don’t give 10% “to the house” – will suffer calamity at the hands of God. Thus, maybe the storehouse tithing preachers will use this as a sermon illustration – see, this receiver had his hands so full of money that he didn’t give to God, that he didn’t have room for the football. 🙂

  17. Hi Karl,

    I did not say God did not want people to believe, I said that He may not do something that is so irrefutably a miracle as to convince even the hardest skeptic (beyond the Resurrection) so as not to detract from the Resurrection.

    Lets not start rearranging what the other has said to the point the summary bears no resemblance to the original statement – that poisons the well of cordial discussion.

    As for the evidence for God’s involvement in my life – I see and have seen plenty. The fact I have never seen an amputee regrow a limb in response to prayer does not detract from what I have seen. My father never bought me a 747, but I still am quite thankful for what he did give me. And I certainly would never say he never gave me anything. Likewise my relationship with God.

    Zeta

  18. Zeta,

    Apologies for my not being clear … actually I said ” doesn’t want people to believe as a result of the miracle”…the result as a miracle, part was my of of saying “doesn’t detract from the Resurrection”, sorry for the confusion.

    But even if that is true, and it is only an assumption on your part, what you are making a case for is that God only heals when He can be sneaky and slide it in so it looks like a natural event and not miraculous?

  19. Karl,

    First, I made the point originally that I could not really answer why God (apparently) does not do the kind of in your face miracle of healing that would be represented by an amputee regrowing a limb. There is no indication in scripture that such a thing is beyond what God is willing to do. There IS a rather significant thread through scripture that correlates God’s willingness to act with the faith of the individual, and so the overall lack of faith in our entire world or society is one possible scriptural explanation. The scripture remarks that even Jesus was limited in what he could accomplish by unbelief. But beyond that, All I can do is speculate.

    Now that God only heals when He can be sneaky. I would say there is a certain truth to that – though it certainly is a very negative way of looking at it. The Bible tells us that God requires faith of those who follow Him. It says that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.”. To me a logical consequence of that would be that God is not likely to work in the world in such a way as to remove the requirement for faith. Thus I would not expect to see God working in such a way that the only possible explanation for an event attributed to Him would be divine intervention. This is not to say that rather spectacular miracles would not be possible. Just that there will always be room for the skeptic to formulate some other at least marginally ‘reasonable’ explanation for what had happened.

    Zeta

  20. Karl,

    let me give a simple example that illustrates my point, yet is clearly in the category one not prone to faith can fairly easily dismiss. When my daughter was very, very young, she wanted a dog very bad. But we have allergies, and so we did not think it possible. But one night I heard her praying and she asked for a dog we would not be allergic to, and one that would ‘play catch and never get tired’. Now me being a bit soft hearted could not hear that prayer without at least trying to find a dog we could live with. So we researched and learned that standard poodles, having hair and not fur, are among the best kinds of dogs for folks with allergies. They also are very good with kids, good family dogs. And so we researched and found a good breeder and got ourselves a poodle. What we did not realize is that poodles are retrievers. Not only are they are retrievers, they are RETRIEVERS. This dog will literally fetch a ball till she drops from exhaustion, and then she’ll beg you to do it some more as soon as she recovers.

    As far as I am concerned, God answered her prayer. But a skeptic will find it simply an interesting, happy, coincidence. I can’t prove God was involved, but we do have exactly what she prayed for: a dog that does not bother our allergies, and a dog that literally would run herself to death if someone was willing to throw the ball to her for that long.

    Zeta

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  22. Too bad the wide receiver dropped the ball. Tough toenails sez ol’ Muff. Good stuff happens to bad people and bad poo-poo happens to good folks alike. I no longer believe that there has to be any rhyme or reason for it, or some divinely ordained and pre-settled blueprint to explain it. It just happens, like an immensely huge roulette wheel~(Ecclesiastes 9:11-12)~with huge inertia. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows!

    Funny you ladies posted an old b&w pic of an old Kansas town during the depression dustbowl. It made me think of Dorothy and her courage when she stood up to the great and powerful Oz. It mattered not one iota how many pious American folk in those good old days genuflected and strove to be “Biblical”, the dustbowl happened anyway.

    The dustbowl was caused by greed, stupidity, hubris, and un-sustainable farming practices, God had little to do with it.

  23. Everyone seems to have missed who was really to blame here. It was George W. Bush’s fault, of course!

  24. How true that we never hear a word from Hagee, Lotz, Robertson, and all of the rest of the TV preacher crowd concerning the rot and dishonesty that permeates televangelism today. I guess there is a kind of bond these people have. You know the birds of a feather flock together crowd. Personally all of them make me sick.

  25. Bill
    Read my post tomorrow. I am going to be dealing with “Christian cruises.” You might find some things to agree with there.

  26. After reading this article, I thought immediately of the book, “Radical.” I started reading it after seeing it praised from the pulpit of my church and here. It appears to be one of those, “things will never be the same again” type of books because it forces you to look at what did Jesus Himself say about following Him. It truly is radically different from what you hear and more importantly see from most churches. I am exhilerated and yet (I’m ashamed to say) somewhat afraid of what this will mean, but I know that it can only be good in the truest sense of the word.

  27. I can’t believe no one has commented on the most important part of your whole posting:

    The Philadelphia Steelers?!?!?!?

    Oh no, you di-n’t!

    Pittsburgh can keep their Steelers. We’ve got the Eagles.

  28. Dee, :-), no worries. I am sure you’ll be watching their big playoff game Sunday evening. (If you do, tell me how it went. I’m not really THAT big of a fan.)