What does Jesus have to do with sports?

March 02, 2015 5 min read 73 Comments

Since the beginning of our brand being in existence, there has been one particular question that seems to always come up: What does Jesus have to do with sports? This question often leads to others like, "Does God care about who wins games?" and "How does praying help an athlete during a game?". 

As a Christian sports apparel brand people often ask us these questions through social networks like twitter, facebook and instagram. These questions were also at the forefront during "Tebow Mania" and "Linsanity" where Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin were at the height of pop culture because of the unbelievable accomplishments of their athletic careers but chose to use that platform to express their faith and love for Jesus Christ. The sight of Tim Tebow on one knee praying before, during and after games became a phenomenon in itself being dubbed "Tebowing".

Jeremy Lin's sudden rise to super stardom coincided with the launch of Active Faith as he wore his In Jesus' Name I Play bands on his wrists while taking the NBA and the world by storm.It seemed in every interview or any chance they got, Tebow and Lin would make it a point to thank Jesus and give God the glory and praise.

 

Today you will see NBA Superstar Stephen Curry write bible verses on his shoes before games and point up after every made shot. In fact, Stephen's new signature shoe, the CURRY ONE by Under Armour, features his favorite verse, I Can Do All Things Through Christ... Philippians 4:13, within the actual shoe design. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is often seen leading prayer on the football field.

 

Then and now, the question of what does Jesus have to do with sports continues to arise. At Active Faith Sports we have an unexpected answer to that question:

NOTHING.

Thats right, a Christian sports apparel brand is saying that Jesus Christ and sports really don't have anything to specifically do with each other. To our knowledge there is no record or indication in the Bible that states that Jesus played any sports or had any interest in athletics at all. When you think of all of the issues the world faces and the interests that God has, we don't believe God really cares who wins or loses games and athletic competitions. In the last Super Bowl there were Christian players on both teams. Did the losing team's players not pray as much or as hard as the players on the victorious team? There are children starving in parts of the world right now. Do we think God is concerned with who the next NBA Champion will be? Our guess is probably not.

So if Jesus has nothing to do with sports and if God doesn't care about who wins or loses games, why do players and teams pray before games? Why do athletes thank God for winning Championships and awards and accolades? Why does Active Faith Sports even exist as a Christian sports apparel brand? We are glad you asked.

 

The Bible says in Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." 

That verse is the foundation that Active Faith Sports is built on. That verse is what our tagline "In Jesus' Name I Play" represents. See while we don't believe that Jesus has anything directly to do with sports or that God cares who wins or loses games, we do believe that God can use anybody in any position to bring Glory to His name. Based on that verse, as believers we are actually instructed to do whatever it is we do, in the name of Jesus. And in doing so, it gives thanks and reverence to the One who has blessed us with the ability to do so in the first place. This instruction says WHATEVER you do. So this concept of "In Jesus' Name I Play" is not limited to sports or athletics. In anything that you do, you can do it for the Glory of God versus for approval of man or your own glory. It doesn't matter if you are an athlete, a teacher, a janitor, a doctor, a lawyer, a garbage man, a full time parent... God can get the Glory by you performing your task to the best of your ability and doing it in a way that pleases Him.

All of us are blessed with some sort of talent or ability and we all have different platforms in which our talents and abilities are displayed. In our society, athletes have a platform that is unrivaled. People follow and admire athletes. Sports icons are trendsetters and are praised and treated as super heroes. It is the reason why companies and brands pay athletes millions of dollars to endorse their products and to use their platform to promote their businesses. So when an athlete thanks or praises Jesus, it is not saying that God cares about who won or that Jesus Himself has anything to do with sports. These athletes are just using the platform they have been blessed with to give thanks and spread the good news of the Gospel. When our Active Faith athletes thank and praise Jesus, they are simply thanking Him for the blessing of being able to do what they do. To reach the level of a Stephen Curry or a Russell Wilson, it takes years of hard work, discipline and skill. But without God blessing them with the specific talents they have been given, none of those other things would matter. 

Here's the awesome thing about Jesus. You too can use whatever platform you have and whatever talents you have been blessed with to give Jesus the Glory and it will mean just as much to Him as any athlete. You may never play in the Super Bowl or have your own shoe. But you can still do whatever you do in the name of Jesus and give God praise for the ability to do what you do. 

Do we think Jesus has anything to do with sports? No. But we can still use the platform it provides to spread His name and be witnesses. Jesus instructed his disciples to follow Him and become "Fishers of Men". At Active Faith Sports, we are fishing for men to win souls for Christ. We just happen to be using sports as our fishing net.

 

God bless,

In Jesus' Name I Play

 

Click band to Shop "In Jesus' Name I Play" bands

 


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Jesus can do everything and do believe in him he can put you in the sport no matter what it is so should pray him and praise his name and I really need to go to NBA but I know Jesus will do because Jesus is our strength when you weak he’s your strength my name is Ben and when I was in Africa I asked God to help me with my family and now I can worship His name because I know he pulled me here he bring me here in America all the time when I wake up I pray when I go to sleep I pray because I know that is Temptation in my life there is other things going on in my life I don’t know my future by Jesus knows the first time I started playing basketball I was just playing for fun and now I’m getting better so I think I’ll make it to the NBA I keep asking God to help me and you need to be ashamed to praise him name in Jesus name we pray amen

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Sorry I have to disageee strongly with your idea of communicating that faith has nothing to do with sport. In fact it’s a poisonous view (and possibly just for the sake of taking a ‘strong’ stand to make a point) to say NO Jesus has nothing to do with sports. But by communicating that in that way. Why even have faith in sport? Why play sport if Jesus has nothing to do with it? Because if he has NOTHING to do with it, then I should be doing something that He DOES have something to do with! If I said I’m gona go get wasted and laid but I’m gona do it for the glory of God so I’ll tell everyone why Jesus is so good while I’m doing it then that’s fine. I’m giving I’m glory still. Or If it’s good but not beneficial, why waste my time doing anything that’s not WITH and FOR Jesus.
So what does Jesus have to do with sport? WVERUTHING. He is my creator after all so He cares what I do with myself. He’s given me gifts skills and talents To use for His glory. If that includes playing a sport, (just as it would playing an instrument for worship or cooking to serve n be hospitable) then not including Him in it, (Not just for His glory) but because of His kindness and grace do we play! So He has everything to do with me stepping out on that field, as Moses said ‘if you don’t come with me and gonbefitevme Im not going! It’s the same for sport, He better have something to do with it or it’s worthless rags and I better go another way to be salt and light for His kingdom… but what better way???!! For me there isn’t one, sport is the platform I have to share Hos glory He wants me to play and compete at my best. That’s not a promise to win, but to use what He’s given me and take care of what He’s given me (talents) with the best of my ability. To produce fruit for His Kingdom! Competing is not about me, it’s about revealing who He is in me. When trials challenges pressures come, soortbis a microcosm of life. You can guarantee if you don’t have Jesus close in your sport He’s not close in your life.
Sorry but Jesus has EVERYTHING to do with sport because if He’s not there I’m not going.

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Hey Brad,

I’m going to keep this short. Your comment actually is an issue with humans not sports. Sports do not have the power to make humans worship it. Humans are the ones who have traded in creation for the Creator. Sports are part of creation. What we as humans do with them is a reflection of our own hearts. Are you willing to say the same thing about money? Because people mistreat that. How about food? Because people mistreat that. If you’re going to abstain from sports because of the idolatry of humans, then be consistent and abstain from money, food, animals, or even intangibles like “being nice” or funny or generous, because humans have actually idolized those things as well. Sports are not good, sports are not bad, they just are. The line between good and evil cuts across every human heart, not sports.

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March 21, 2016

JMJ Sorry my Mistake, Starting with the words Foolishly man Prays for peace. etc.(should have been a period after the name Emmerich). The words after the period are mine. thank you. Joseph J. Pippet

Joseph Pippet
Joseph Pippet

March 21, 2016

JMJ Competition such as Sports is against God! Jesus in most appropriate language treated…of trade and commerce with foreign nations taking occasion at the same time to censure severely the various fashions and frivolities lately introduced from Athens. He condemned likewise the games, juggling now in use among them, and which were now spreading throughout Nazareth and other places. these games were likewise a product ot their intercourse with Athens.Jesus stigmatized them as unpardonable since they that indulge them look upon them as no sin; consequently they do no penance for them, and therefore they cannot be pardoned. -The Life Of Jesus Christ as told by Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich Foolishly man Prays for peace, than turns to Conflict through football, tennis, soccer, boxing, baseball, ping pong, checkers, chess, wars and many other ways of conflict, just to be better than the other instead of Loving the other as God demands! Respectfully with Love, Joseph J. Pippet, North Cape May, New Jersey

Robbie Burns
Robbie Burns

February 05, 2016

Great stuff! Y’all are spot on! I have a blog called Burnsie Bites – Faith/Family/Sports. Recently, I wrote on a similar topic entitled, “Does God care who wins or loses?” Check it out at https://rdburns00.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/does-god-care-who-wins-or-loses/

Brad
Brad

January 05, 2016

I’m convinced after being bound by the sporting world for years that GOD always has and always will be against sports. The people of religon have tried to make it acceptable and right by saying sports promote team work and helps troubled young men and women. Then we see a few pictures of different players praying on the field or scriptures on thier shoes, etc… and the whole time we ignore the real issues with sports.

The world, has erected their temples of worship (stadiums) and they shout for 2-3 hours lifting up their favorite team’s and while the focus now is not astrology, magic or divination although I’m sure their are some who try to engross themselves in these particular sinful acts in order to get the win. Now the issue is: they’ve made idols out of players, and they worship at the altar of their heroes success and these sports figures are propped up as being role models to the younger generation when most times, they are drug abusers, alcoholics, and abusers of women, etc…People are even superstitious about their teams on game day. They wont do a certain thing or they may feel like they have to do a certain thing, maybe wear a certain players jersey or it will cause bad luck for their team if they do not. People will argue that these are not their idols yet they own their jerseys, clothes, they decorate parts of their houses like their favorite teams, they research their team and player more than they ever do The Word of GOD. Believers are now entering these places of ill-repute that have its own set of rules once you enter their gates. (drinking allowed, fights breaking out, filthy language everywhere, promoting of sensuality , betting taking place online before these particular games, fierce competivness between players and fans, threats im sure have been made at referees if calls go against what the players want therefore promoting lying and dishonesty is what is wanted) Everything we stand against and have Bible for we set it aside and say I can handle it for a few hours. I’m just going to watch a good game of football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf and it wont phase me but yet your whole week will be affected if there was a bad call that cost your team the game or if you lose the game , you wont be happy until the next game day when your team has a fresh start so to speak. And it breeds carnality the longer you indulge in these things and before you know it, you plan your day around game time instead of set family time. You will spend more time prepping for a game (grilling outside taking about the game, etc…) You will watch pre-game show to get all the peoples opinion about the game before the game, yet you find it hard to show up for prayer when that is the most important time of your day. And carnality will rob you of your prayer life, fasting, reading GOD’S Word, reaching out to others, being sensitive to GOD’S Spirit, then you start fighting resentment towards the man of GOD because he is teaching the Word Of GOD and you don’t wont to hear it that way instead you want it interpreted to fit what you want to do. Before you know it your thinking of switching churches because so and so allows this particular thing while your man of GOD is doing everything he feels to do and say to try and get us to Heaven. Do you see the horrible progression, carnality leads you to. In the end you leave there church either bitter at the Pastor and you try and find someone who will cater to your desires or you backslide altogether which all could have been avoided if “Prayer” and "Submission to GOD and the man of GOD were where they should have been

From Christianitytoday.com

“In Warren St. John’s Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer—a fascinating account of the lunacy that is University of Alabama football—the reporter recounts a conversation with a Mr. and Mrs. Reese in their $300,000 motor home, purchased exclusively to travel to Crimson Tide games. The couple, it turns out, had missed their daughter’s wedding because it fell on the same day as the Alabama-Tennessee game. They said they had managed to make the reception, and noted that they had asked their daughter not to schedule the wedding so as to conflict with the big game. Asked why he did it, Mr. Reese could only shake his head and respond: “I just love Alabama football, is all I can think of.”

If the Reeses’ behavior qualified them for sport fanatics award of the century, surely the son of a Philadelphia woman deserves honorable mention. During a 2005 Philadelphia Eagles—Green Bay Packers game, the man ran onto the field, leaving behind a trail of powder coming from a plastic bag he was carrying. Police learned later that the powder was the ashes of his mother, an ardent Eagles fan. “She’ll always be a part of Lincoln Financial Field and of the Eagles,” the man told police.

Extreme examples, perhaps. But both are rooted in the same passion that drives spectators to paint their faces with team colors, wear bizarre hats, and engage in the collective delirium that one philosopher has called “too close to the religious to call it anything else.” Alumni signal their loyalty by flying their alma mater flags on their front porches and plastering the family car with team logos. And now the truly loyal can arrange for their final rest to be in coffins adorned with their college team’s colors."

Scripture states in Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Scripture states in Deuteronomy 5:7 “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”

Scripture states in Exodus 34:14 "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Scripture states in Matthew 6:24 " No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Scripture states in Joshua 24:15 " And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Luke 16:15

15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

1 Corinthians 13:11King James Version (KJV)

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man,(Spiritual Maturity is the key) I put away childish things.

1 John 2:15

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Sports is a diversion from where GOD wants to truly lead the Church in these last days. And as I read earlier today, that use to games were not played on Sundays and Wed. out of respect for The Lords day but the enemy has crept in among us and instead of being intent on whats happening in service we are dying to get home to hear whos winning.

The Holy Ghost will change your life.

Experinece Acts 2:38 -39 "Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the Giflt of the Holy Ghost
For the promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Acts 2:1-4
“And when the day of pentcost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place
And suddenly there came a sounnd from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting .
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

You overcome situations in your life after the Holy Ghost comes
Acts 1:8
“And ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…..
Not here to make folk mad.

Kristen Collier
Kristen Collier

December 18, 2015

THIS IS SO AWESOME!!! I used to want to be an Olympic dressage rider, but the Lord called me out of the horse world, it was a really selfish environment, but I know the heart behind wanting to pursue excellence in sports, so I am SO excited to hear about your work!! Also, my son, 18, is a huge Warriors fan and godly young man, so it’s so great to hear about your witness, and the whole Warriors team!!! And don’t forget that the Bible says to “run the race with endurance,” and that also “a soldier doesn’t concern himself with civilian affairs,” so those of us who’ve trained hard can apply that mindset, as it’s a battle to the finish, and we must think of it that way, to have the fierce warrior heart to endure!! God bless you guys!!!
Kristen

Gavi
Gavi

September 12, 2015

Hi Yenifer,Thank you so much for your interest. You can very elisay be involved in any of our activities just come. You can come to our church services on Sunday. We now have two services or meetings one at 9:30am and the other at 11:30am. You can attend Our Wednesday night service at 7pm. We simply teach through the Bible in our church services and Worship God in song. Of course it is all in English. You can also attend our English conversation clubs that meet on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 till noon and on Friday 2:30 till 4:30. You also might be interested in out Coffee Shop Nights. They are a time to come hang out, meet new people, and practice your English. We have music in English, table games, and conversation questions. We have these events on the last Friday night of each month. All of this is free and there is no need to sign up just come.I look forward to meeting you soon.

Aldo
Aldo

September 04, 2015

Also Javier Hernandez “Chicharito” not giving importance to critics he still offering his work to God

Patrick Okpobowei Akosubo
Patrick Okpobowei Akosubo

June 19, 2015

I love this. It is my heart desire to draw Nigerian sports persons to Jesus through my pet project Sports For Jesus (S4J). Stay Blessed.

Kelly Williams
Kelly Williams

April 23, 2015

This is an excellent article and spot on! We can bring glory to God by spreading this message whatever our platform is. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the question if God cares who wins or loses, without remembering the big picture and message in Colossians 3:17. I may not be an athlete, but I’m a fan, and as a single parent, this is perfect to share with my son and his young friends. Love the brand!

Rachel Zaccaria
Rachel Zaccaria

March 03, 2015

I thank you for this article also. May it be spread far and wide for athletes or non-athletes of any age to read and think about. God cares about us and loves us with an unending love so I believe he cares about things that are important to us. Whatever they may be. Everything in God’s glory and all praise to him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the good news you are spreading in a way people, especially young people, can relate to.

Guy F
Guy F

March 02, 2015

Thank you for this article. I do think supporting and bringing to light, those athlete who play for the glory of God is important. I am not in any way debating or disagreeing with your view, I am just offering a different one. I am a coach of a church youth team and struggle with this question for my boys team filled with believers and non-believers. Yes, Jesus has little to do with sports in that he does not play or catch or shoot or coach for the most part. But I pray that everyone (non-believing parents/players as well as believing) see Christ in me in how I coach and relate to the players and in my team in how they act and play win or lose. In the second question does God care about who wins or loses, I think can be answered by just the first 4 words of that sentence, Does God care about…..? And the answer is yes. God is big enough to care even when we feel he shouldn’t or doesn’t need to. God counts every tear we shed. Does he need to? No but he does. And if he cares to know about every tear, he can care about sports.As CJ Maheny wrote, sports are a gift, and we should not waste it. As with any gift from God, whether talents, sports, job or marriage, we should not take it for granted and give HIM the glory for that gift. God orchestrates the Earth and its relationship to the moon and the stars, perfectly. He can easily orchestrate who will win or lose. But not our of favoritism or for their personal glory but for HIS. Wilson’s interception and they way Wilson acted after was for God’s glory. Yes it is a game, but a major road to lead many to Jesus in many different ways (coaching, spectating, playing). I like to think HE does care and has everything to do with sports as he has everything to do in all of our lives.
My humble opinion.

Dr. Kerri Parsons-Shomette
Dr. Kerri Parsons-Shomette

March 02, 2015

This article is fantastic. What a beautiful and uplifting way to remind us that our lives are a platform to spread God’s word each and every day!

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