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Losing for Jesus?

An interesting piece about a competitive "Christian football" team in the UK that has lost every single match it has played so far this season. Not sure what actually what makes a football team "Christian". At the time the story broke, it had conceded 120 goals in just 16 matches. The manager says his team is losing because of the club's Christian principles. Amory Green Rovers FC manager Marc Hodsdon told the Express :
We are absolutely shocking to be fair. We could well be Britain's worst football team — but we are certainly the nicest…Last Wednesday, we lost 15-1 in our local derby yet we walked off the pitch being the happier team.…We have had a lot of praise from the league for our sporting attitude. We have never had any sending off and we never abuse the ref. Our attitude is always spot on.
The manager is certainly to be commended for prioritising participation ahead of winning at all costs. There is a sense in which the winner takes all mentality of sports robs us of the very fun that sports are meant to convey. I was particularly warmed by how they try and allow others on the fringe of competitive sports due to their health to take part.

However, it seems to me that the team is lacking an important Christian ethic of professionalism. There are some people who think that  we are not meant to be professional in our work. There is nothing Christian about a team that is so poorly organised that it cannot win a single match. It brings disgrace to God because God wants us to perform at our level best, It does not sound like this team is actually doing that.

I do also wonder whether the "incompetent but nice Christian" image it is portraying ultimately gives the wrong impression about the Lord Jesus. The world already thinks Jesus was simply a nice man. It's attitude is that Jesus is a nice man who gives us warm religious fuzzies while we turn to the “experts” (whoever they are), the seriously qualified people, for the challenges of real life.

When we read the Bible we see a very different Jesus. Jesus Christ is the shrewdest man who ever lived. No one ever outthought him. No one ever surprised him or cornered him in debate. He was always out ahead of the pack, both his friends and his enemies. And he was able to do this because he was fully empowered by God the Spirit. The world needs to see us fully empowered by Spirit and that will certainly lead to taking our "secular jobs" seriously.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2015

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