Last Sunday in an on-air, post-game interview and subsequent tweet, Chicago Bears kicker Eddy Piñeiro Jr. said, “If you don’t believe in God you better start believing he’s REAL.” Anyone watching the moment with eyes unclouded by hatred of and rebellion against God, could see the joy of a man who wants to share his joy with others. But what Chicago Tribune opinion columnist Eric Zorn saw was this:
Piñeiro’s post-game remarks—including a follow-up tweet—were a taunt, not an expression of humility. They implicitly derided nonbelievers and deployed his success as evidence of the superiority of his theological outlook.
Zorn mistook a wish for a taunt, joy for arrogance.
Zorn then meanspiritedly mocks and mistranslates (or transmogrifies) Piñeiro’s statements, twisting them beyond recognition:
I made a field goal, therefore Jesus is real and atheists and agnostics should get on board!
Serious, theologically orthodox Christians don’t believe Jesus is real because of the successes they experience or gifts they are given. In fact, the Bible teaches that Christ-followers like every other human in this fallen world will suffer: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Maybe Piñeiro, who evidently loves Jesus and desires that all would come to know and love Him, wanted to take this opportunity to share some really good news—news about Christ. Maybe Piñeiro wants atheists and agnostics to one day see the kingdom of Heaven. Is that wish a taunt or an expression of love for the lost?
While Zorn may know a thing or two about writing, he’s as bad at theology as is his ideologue-in-arms Rex Huppke, so here’s a primer in theology (trigger warning for Zorn who may find Jesus’ belief “in the superiority of his theological outlook” off-putting):
- Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- Jesus says, “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
- Jesus commands his followers to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
- Jesus says, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
- Jesus says, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
- Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
- Peter says to followers of Christ, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Zorn’s beef is really with God.
Listen to this article read by Laurie:
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