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Soccer team 'not about winning'
August 16th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Christian pro soccer team: ‘Scoring souls, not goals’

By Elizabeth Johnson, CNN

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - With 12 minutes left in the game, the Charlotte Eagles are losing 2-0. The North Carolina humidity hangs thick in the evening air. The home crowd becomes restless as the opposing team's goalie blocks kick after kick.

But the team gets a big break in the 78th minute and scores twice in two minutes against the Rochester Rhinos. This men’s soccer match ends in a tie.

Did God bless the Eagles with those goals?

“I don’t think God cares if we win or lose,” Eagles captain Josh Rife says, shrugging.

Coach Mark Steffens agrees: “Our No. 1 goal is not winning games. Our goal is to bring glory to God.”

It’s an unusual stance for a sports team, but the Eagles aren’t just any soccer squad. Members of the United Soccer Leagues’ 12-team professional division, they’re the only ones who say they care more about Christian values than about winning.

The team was established in 1993 after a “sports junkie fell in love with God,” Eagles co-founder Brian Davidson says. But if he was going to continue being involved in soccer - where he saw players cheating and sneaking fouls past referees - he needed to find a way to live out his faith on the field.

He had two goals for his ministry. First, teach men to live for God on the field by playing fair. The second: Send team members into the community - both locally and “to the ends of the earth” - to teach impoverished children and refugees about soccer and to use the sport to attract people who wouldn’t normally visit church.

Like any high-level competition team, the Eagles have regular practices. They sweat in the scorching heat. They win games. They miss goals. They hear lectures.

But the organization also focuses on character by investing in the players and the community.

Steffens, Eagles coach for 15 years, uses what he calls an “in-reach” plan, mentoring and building personal relationships with the 26 athletes on his squad and setting up accountability groups within the team.

“My ministry is to grow 26 guys into men,” Steffens says. “Men who do the right thing.”

That goes for both on and off the field.

On the field, the men are expected to be above reproach. They know better than to tug on an opponent’s jersey, run out the clock or take a dive to fake a foul. As Christians, they say they hold themselves to a high standard. They challenge each other to work harder and play better.

But is that enough?

Some observers say Christianity and sports are a questionable mix.

Shirl Hoffman, author of “Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sport,” says Christianity teaches “peace, humility, putting others before yourself,” while athletes are often more willing to cheat, hurt their opponents or take credit for their accomplishments.

“Sports don’t develop character,” Hoffman says. “They teach you to be selfish.”

Rife, 31, an Eagles captain and a midfielder for nine years, disagrees. He says there is a common misconception that Christians should be meek or passive. There were times when Jesus displayed meekness in his ministry, he says, but other times when he was confrontational.

Rife argues that sports are the “greatest teacher for wrestling with one’s faith.” Learning to strive together for excellence and unity in a competitive, challenging environment can help players grow and deepen their beliefs, he says.

As for whether God cares if a team wins or loses, he says that “isn’t a biblical view.” He cites the book of Job, in which God let a righteous man lose his family, livestock and health. God cares more about the bigger picture - the response of a man’s heart, as he did with Job - than he does about making sure they look good, Rife says.

Eagles co-founder Davidson says he realizes there may be few examples of godliness in professional sports. But like Rife, he says there are opportunities in a game when “we as Christians can live out our faith” - such as responding with grace to a ref’s bad call.

And when an Eagles player reacts to such a call with anger? Davidson knows it will be a learning moment and an opportunity for the player’s faith to grow. There’s a lot of grace and forgiveness in the Eagles’ locker room.

“We’re OK with failure,” Davidson says. “We just want to grow from it.”

Bob Schindler is a former pastor and current vice president of church mobilization for Church Sports Outreach, an organization that helps churches use sports as a tool for spreading the gospel. He believes the sports realm has strayed from God’s intended purpose, but that the problem is limited to selfishly motivated individuals. Competition itself is not the problem, he says.

A key question from the Christian perspective, Schindler says, is whether there was competition in the Garden of Eden.

If the answer is no, then sports are a result of sin, and Christians should not partake in competitive activities.

But if the answer is yes - as he believes it to be - then Christians can take part in competition if they use it for the glory of God.

“The whole point of sports is to draw the best out of your teammates and opponents,” Schindler says. “I see that as very compassionate and grace-filled.”

The word “competition” is derived from the Latin “competere,” which means “strive together,” Schindler says. But he says athletes are indoctrinated with a self-glorifying mindset that has corrupted the word's original meaning.

Aware of the problem, Steffens, the Eagles' coach, regularly talks to his team about it.

“Guys, it’s not about you,” Steffens tells his players. “It’s about putting God first.”

During one pregame chapel service - a regular feature in the team's locker room - speaker Sam Blumenthal, a local businessman, reminds the team of this principle: It’s about “scoring souls, not scoring goals,” he tells them.

Through prayer - before and after each game - the team refocuses its attention on God.

“I think most high-level athletes pray to God for good individual performances and for their team to win,” Steffens says. “Our main prayer before games is for God to grant us strength and wisdom to play fair and Christ-like."

After the game, the team prays for its opponents and thanks God for the results, regardless of the outcome.

“We honor God whether we win, lose or draw,” Steffens says.

His players feel called by God to play for this team and want to “keep the main thing the main thing,” Steffens says. “And the main thing isn’t winning.”

“Priorities are well set and kept,” says goalie Eric Reed, 27. “It’s about living the gospel in a broken world - like in any job.”

The Eagles’ ministry can be seen in various ways around Charlotte, through weekly soccer camps, church involvement and inner-city ministry - as well as in their overseas tours.

This year, six players will travel to Trinidad to play soccer and do service work in the community. The team traveled to Jamaica last year, playing high-level opponents as well as spending time at an orphanage and a delinquent center.

Other recent destinations include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Colombia, Laos and Thailand. The team members who travel each raise a couple thousand dollars for the trips, believing they are preaching sermons through the way they play soccer overseas.

Locally, four players and two staffers have moved into four urban neighborhoods to lead the Urban Eagles, an outreach program directed at kids living in low-income housing.

“We’re a family,” Eagles forward and Urban Eagles volunteer Ben Page says. “The Lord has created this culture of love and acceptance, and the kids have responded.”

Page, 26, lives in Grier Heights in east Charlotte and has worked with the Urban Eagles since January 2010. Through this work, Page said he has realized that the unconditional love he is developing for the kids “is the love God has for me.”

In addition to soccer, the kids are taught basic manners and respect for one another. They learn how to struggle through difficult times and work hard.

“The world says they’re a statistic,” Page says, “that they’ll go to jail, or won’t graduate, or will cause trouble.” Urban Eagles teaches them that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives by pointing them to Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

“My goal isn’t to see their behavior change,” Page says, “but to see their heart change. And the fruit of a heart change is a behavior change.”

Page has played for the Eagles since 2008. He considers the team a training ground to learn how to care for others and find joy and purpose in investing in eternal things, such as sharing the gospel of Jesus with others.

“This environment where we’ve been coached by men who love the Lord - we’ve been cared about as people instead of just players,” Page says.

It’s an attitude that he hopes to pass along to the kids he works with off the field.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • North Carolina • Sports

soundoff (1,195 Responses)
  1. AustinITguy

    Everyone knows God only cares about Football, which is why he put it on Sunday's at 10am in the morning....when he is at home doing nothing...so that he can watch it.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  2. 5xad0w

    If you love God, love God.

    If you love soccer, love soccer.

    You can easily do both but I don't see why the two should be intrinsically entwined. It's a little off-putting really.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • UncleM

      Tony, you are sick but right.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  3. mdn

    If they care more about God than winning, that is good. They should become priests. They are PROFESSIONAL soccer players. They are paid to WIN. They can always play for fun in the rec leagues if they wanted. This way they are not ripping off the consumer. We came and PAID to watch our team win, not preach their brand of religion...that is what church is all about.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Tommy

      They do still win, they have been division champions numerous times and won the league in 2005.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  4. Geezer

    Every opportunity to peddle jesus. Evangelicals want the whole world worship their nonsense god.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • MrHanson

      and atheists want to peddle their purposeless universe. What's your point?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Glass-in-Hand

      The point is, that all sports fans of all types of beliefs should be able to enjoy a good game, UnMolested by some specific belief system. Atheists just want to be left alone. They'd leave christians and their beliefs alone if those pesky christians weren't constantly sticking their noses in other peoples lives. Stay out of my life and we can be friends.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Neil

      Glass-in-Hand

      Yep, it is obvious that athiest just want to be left alone. You don't see many organizations started by athiest to help their fellow man. The vaste majority of charitable organizations are started by Christians.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Julio

      can you further explain? What is that doesn't make sense to you?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Dave3000

      Neil...The only thing you see started by Christian organizations are operations that put money in some phony pastors hands...You all demonstrate your lack of compassion for others when you vote the Republican line...Everyone should respect one another and their religions or lack of religion...problem is you Bible Thumpers wants to force your beliefs on everyone through our political system....Sorry , but its never going to happen.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • @Collin

      Dave: You should look harder because there are plenty of examples that disagree with (all of) your blanket statements. Information is useful. Hyperbole is not.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  5. scranton

    To all the haters posting. What harm are they doing you? Are they strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up churches or malls? No. If they want to run around in shorts and knee socks getting their butts kicked all the time who cares, why would any of you care?

    August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  6. BL

    Like most people of religion, these folks simply take from their belief that which conveniently fits their preconceived prejudice, and use that as a weapon to impose their will on others.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Tommy

      And you know this how? Have you ever met a single player or coach from the Charlotte Eagles?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Frogist

      @Tommy: You don't have to meet them to know that. You simply have to read the article. The whole ridiculous justification of "It's ok to play soccer, because it was in the garden of Eden" should exactly show you how they have manufactured some godly agenda out of nothing because it suits them wanting to play football. As far as using it as a weapon, while I might not use the word "weapon", I certainly see how they have chosen to use their organization to lasso as many people into their church as possible without thought of whether that's a necessary or even welcomed intrusion on that person's life.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  7. Utah Jack

    Christianity and organized religion in general is on the brink of destroying civilization unfortunately organized religion is still far too valuable of a tool for the ruling classes to use. Corporate interest in the US long ago realized that by aligning themselves with the very money oriented evangelicals they could effectively dominate politics. Thus the marriage made in "heaven" as the corporations could care less about social issues and the powerful evangelicals were all but willing to make piles of cash with the wall street set while telling the throngs of followers to do big businesses bidding. The sad thing is look at what the outcome of this relationship has been ... two wars ... the worst recession in US history and more power flowing to horribly selfish dare I say nearly "evil" people who are simply using the deluded masses as a tool. Whats the worst of all is it looks like we are in for round two of nutty evangelicals in the white house ... I'm sure that will be much better ... everyone likes to gripe about the current administration wait until we have Perry-Palin in there and then America will be changing its name to the Nation of Wal-Mart.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  8. Faith

    Christians are truly good guys. No matter what the business is, Christians alone aim to save the fellow humans selflessly. Only Christians have pure motives like their Lord Jesus does. God bless America because of these Christians.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • TheDucciano

      LOL. You mean the Christians who enslaved Blacks? You mean the Christians responsible for the Crusades? I'm a Christian and it doesn't take much of a grasp of history to realize that some of the more awful things that have occurred on this planet is under the banner Christianity and its sometimes guise for "capturing souls." Wake up dude: you sound like you're brainwashed.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • BL

      In my experience, Christians are the most intolerant, self righteous people I've ever met. I doubt one of them has a clue about or even believes what Jesus actually taught.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Drew

      This is definitely true of Adolf Hitler, one the most famous Christians of all time.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Mike A in MBG

      Yeah, those selfless Christians did a really good job "saving" Native Americans. And those same "Christians" did a great job of "saving" Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, selflessly torturing them until they "accepted" Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And of course let's not forget those good Southern Christians who "saved" Africans from primitive culture and brought them here to work as slaves in exchange for "accepting" Jesus.

      I'm sorry to tell you, but Christianity has a bloodier history than Islam (though radical Islam learns quick and is catching up). I'd rather be a Hindu or Buddhist...never heard either religion issue a "convert or die" edict.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Bibletruth

      Indeed, God has blessed America because of the presence of Christians. While this will eventually change as America becomes a persecuting power against true Christians (there is only one definition of a true Christian: Those who love God and keep his commandments), we should do all we can to hold off that day. These sportsmen are a beacon light in their own way.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Mystikral

      So only Christians had slaves? Seemed like it was a humanity issue rather than one specific group of people. Tribes held other Tribes as slaves in Africa, unless you would argue that they were Christian Tribes but I don't believe that to be true.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • KiltinSA

      You obviously never hear of the Inquisition and Salem Witch burnings – all in the name of Christianity. Christians will go to war just as readily as anyone else.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Frogist

      @Mystikral: Yes, slavery is a human issue moreso than a Christian one specifically. But for all their noise that their religion and its adherents are benevolent people who do good, Christians cannot escape the fact that they also were slave-traders and owners, even using their bible to justify it as part of God's plan. Christians do not get a pass for that so it is an appropriate response to Faith's statements.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Neil

      Mystikral

      There were blacks that had slaves too.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Dave3000

      Faith...It is fine to believe in God and that you are your brother's keeper...But don't believe blindly...Humans have killed millions in the name of religion...This is another reason why people object to religion or mostly religion influencing the political system... Keep working on your good intentions but study the real history of religion.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  9. Andrew

    This reminds me of The Power Team: "Watch as I break this ballbat over my d@#$ for Jesus!"

    August 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • TheDucciano

      Christians are SO annoying. And I'm a Christian.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  10. GW

    this is disgusting. just play soccer, it should have nothing to do with what you believe in or what religion you are. if you want to have a church group. great, but dont bring that into soccer. just play for the love of the game, play to win for your teammates, not god or religion.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Bibletruth

      Christianity is a 24/7 proposition...cant be compartmentalized to 1 or 2 hours a week. One either is or one isnt. In this case the team wants it known up front. If they are Christians, that puts no pressure on them at all (to act a certain way) because that is what they are. It does probably give many observers a heightened consciuosness looking for that "gotcha" word or action. No matter, they have every right to do their program, and why it should bother anyone is truly strange.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • luke

      How disgusting, these guys don't cheat, help kids who need it, and volunteer to go to other countries and help other people.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  11. allngoodtime

    Ah, yes, another "scraping the bottom of the barrel" story that will incite endless drivel between two sides who will throw stones at one another in the most divisive and hateful ways possible. Kudos, CNN.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • @allingoodtime

      There's no law that makes us post our comments online. Maybe it's our own lack of self-restraint that is the issue here.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  12. Jim

    dumb, dumb, dumb. Religious folk are really annoying

    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • LetsAllJumptToConclusions

      Boy I'd love to see the highest level of education you've achieved...
      Why are you even reading the BELIEF BLOG if you hate anything religious?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • derp

      "Why are you even reading the BELIEF BLOG if you hate anything religious?"

      How stupid of you to JUMP TO THE CONCLUSION that he was reading the belief blog.

      This is currently the lead story on the CNN FRONT PAGE.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  13. Møøse trained by TUTTE HERMSGERVORDENBROTBORDA

    Here is the coded language: “Our No. 1 goal is not winning games. Our goal is to bring glory to God.”

    Here is the translation: "We suck. We suck beyond imagination. No matter how hard we pray, God still makes us lose. I am the worst coach in the history of soccer, so much so that I came up with this lame excuse about bringing glory to God, but that is just so I can find enough players to field a losing team. I suck, the team sucks, and that brings glory to God."

    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Tommy

      Funny considering they won they league in 2005.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Special Møøse Effects OLAF PROT

      Of course, in 2005 they played in the Kindergarten Soccer League of Greater Charlotte.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Tommy

      Yes, the USL-2, the third best US soccer league, is a kindergarten league.

      Hurrdurr.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  14. zhawk88

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Being a tool bag for Jesus makes me want to punch you, not go "yay happy fun time Jesus rocks!" with you.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Random Stranger

      That was not cool. That was just not cool.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • guest

      I will pray for you

      August 16, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • derp

      Best comment of the day!!!!!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  15. DerpDiggler

    If a sports team wins, they praise their god for making it possible.
    If a sports team loses, they never mention god, so I find this interesting that this team would actually praise him anyway.
    Then I realized 'oh wait, they already know they are a bad team, and as usual, using their version of god as a coverup for their lack of abilities.
    Hilarious in every way. It'd be even more hilarious if god was real in some way. Or cared about sports.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Tommy

      They were USL D2 champions in 2005. They're bad?

      August 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Tom in ATL

      How can you have such hatred toward GOD? Where did it come from? You can read the article and disagree with points made, but you go to all lengths to point out your disdain for your Creator. One day you will face Him. It will all be perfectly clear then. In the meantime, you might want to reconsider your position.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • derp

      "but you go to all lengths to point out your disdain for your Creator"

      My parents were my creator. They fu&*ed, and my mother got pregnant. That is how I was created. The magic sky fairy had nothing to do with it. We you paying attention in biology class?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  16. ab_contador

    the whole idea of this makes me ill

    August 16, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • LetsAllJumptToConclusions

      Then drink some pepto bismal and get off the belief blog.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • derp

      "Then drink some pepto bismal and get off the belief blog"

      Front page lead story on CNN. Doofus.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • LetsAllJumptToConclusions

      If you'll note the page header, you will find that the article is still in the "Belief Blog," regardless of HOW the poster got here. Boy, reading can be hard!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • luke

      People volunteering to help others and run inner city soccer programs for children makes you sick? You have serious issues.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • derp

      "If you'll note the page header, you will find that the article is still in the "Belief Blog," regardless of HOW the poster got here. Boy, reading can be hard!"

      Nice try at backpedaling douzchebag. This page is the direct link from the CNN front page lead story. You do not ever have to go to the belief blog to get to the story. The headers says belief blog because that is a subsegment the story is also in.

      You said – "Then drink some pepto bismal and get off the belief blog"

      You assumed that he was on the belief blog. However, he along with many of us could have opened this story directly from the front page without ever visiting the belief blog. This story is not the belief blog, it is linked to the belief blog. Once a story is posted on the main page, you do have to be reading the belief blog to open or comment on it. Are you getting this?

      You made an assumption (which is pretty darn funny given your screen name) that could easily be incorrect. I pointed out what a fool you just made of yourself, and you make a lame attempt at backpedaling.

      Reading is easy, apparently in your case making a fool of yourself isn't.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • LetsAllJumptToConclusions

      Right, which is why I said, "regardless of HOW the poster got here."

      Then you said, " you do have to be reading the belief blog to open or comment on it." I DO?? Well, golly I guess that means I'm here on the ol' Belief Blog and I sure as heck know it!

      In other words, we both agree the posters are in the "subsegment" known as the Belief Blog, and everyone knows they're here. That's why I said, "get off the belief blog" (i.e. get out of the RELIGIOUS *subsection* of opinions if you don't want to read about religion).

      But it's ok, because I can see that you're angry, and angry people often get defensive and start taking comments personally and calling people "douzchebag[s]". So I'll just remind you to relax, understand that we BOTH agree that this article is POSTED on the Belief Blog (whether you access it on the homepage or not - HTML = "religion.blogs.cnn.com....." ), and that ultimately you'll probably still try and argue back, because God forbid we both realize that the people I'm criticizing are those that come to this page with the knowledge that it's about religion, and then complain that they're reading about religion.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  17. Xerxes 2011

    If he makes this goal, you are damned to hell.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  18. bailoutsos

    No goals? So, they run around aimlessly about the field?

    August 16, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Tommy

      Where did you get "no goals" from?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  19. Colin

    "A key question from the Christian perspective, Schindler says, is whether there was compet.ition in the Garden of Eden."

    Seriously? I was under the impression that everybody who garduated fifth garde knew that the Garden of Eden was simple Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology.

    What other deep questions do they contemplate, whether there was fishing on Noah's Ark? Whether Apollo could beat up Zeus?

    August 16, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • @Collin

      And I was under the impression that everyone who graduated the 5th grade could spell "grade."

      August 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Colin

      Ironic that you misspelled my name

      August 16, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • @Collin

      I was assuming you just misspelled that too.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Marc Boudreau

      HAHA you had know comeback so you pointed out a typo, hahahah loser

      August 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Colin: Did you read the article attached to that bit of "logic"? Priceless. Why work so hard to find justification for something that's harmless? Seriously, they can find reasons why God thinks it's ok to play soccer compet!tively, but not why all human beings gay or straight deserve equal treatment under the law?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Omar the Octopoidal Cat Murderer

      I believe you're looking for the word "no". I suggest you return to second grade.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • @Collin

      Frogist: you lost me on this one. I did read the article above, and found Colin's smarmy 1 sentence dismissal of the Garden of Eden to be overly wrought with self importance and pompousness. Which made his spelling mistakes all the more comedic. I don't care if you agree with religion or not- how you go about asserting your position is the real take away.
      Article: "Christians aren't so bad, they like sports and try to make an impact by being good sports."
      Colin: "Christians are poorly educated people with the minds of 12 yr olds, who apparently don't know the difference between their own God and Greek mythology."
      Frogist: "Christians are closed-minded idiots. Here's an unrelated example to strengthen my argument."

      August 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  20. Faith

    Ah, artists and athletes can never give up God. He is the entire purpose and glory!

    August 16, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Faith

      The thought of God produces true excellency. Glory to self leads to addiction, divorce, insanity, suicide, and child abuse even if he wins a game or two.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Helge

      Faith, Divorce rates among conservative Christians are significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.
      See http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

      Blows your idiotic post away.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Geezer

      your jesus can go shine my shoes

      August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Helge

      Maybe you should look up "excellency" in a dictionary too.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Tommy

      @Helge
      No it doesn't. You're automatically assuming someone who identifies himself as a conservative Christian is putting God ahead of self. The vast majority of people who identify themselves this way go to church once a week and doesn't give God a second thought other than that. They use their religion to feel morally superior to others, not to actually focus on God.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Tommy is a Twit

      Yes it does. Now be a good little pre-pube Tommy and go lookup The No True Scotsman fallacy, you ignorant twit.

      Only a fool would put a sky fairy ahead of their self.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Neil

      Tommy,

      You are correct in that many use religion as a reason to condemn others. As a conservative christian, I give god a second thought every day! (and a third, fourth, fifth, etc!) I was raised in a catholic home where we went to church once a week and wanted to get out as fast as possible. We would attend Saturday night service so we could go party afterwards and sleep in. I could out drink and out cuss about everyone I have ever known. But if you asked me if I was a christian, I would have said yes. Yes, there are those type of people in any church but are not the norm by far.

      It wasn't until I got out on my own and experienced life that I came to a TRUE faith in Christ as a christian. If you would ever meet me, you would see how important faith is in the life of my family. The point is, most people only talk about the hypocritical christian and assume all are like them. You personnaly may have never meet a true christian because they don't hang out in places that non-christians typically would.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.