Jumping on the Eagles’ Bandwagon

Here is how one Roman Catholic writer saw the faith of Eagles‘ players as a win for the good guys (meaning the faith tradition centered in Vatican City):

On Sunday night, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots to become Super Bowl winners for the first time in history. But as national news outlets reported the big win, only a few also highlighted the quarterback’s Christian faith and his dream of becoming a pastor.

And he’s not the only player who praises God. A majority of them credit Him as their inspiration, and publicly, on Twitter.

In his Twitter bio, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles lists himself as a “believer in Jesus Christ” and uses his account to share quotes from the Bible. He tweets messages like “with God all things are possible” and “Thank you God for another day.”

And while quarterback Carson Wentz stayed off the field due to injuries, he offered God thanks shortly before the game.

“God’s writing an unbelievable story and he’s getting all the glory!” he exclaimed. After the game he added, “God is so good!!!! World Champions!!!!”

Two days after the game, Wentz turned to God after another life-changing event: He proposed to his girlfriend.

“She said YES!” he announced. “God is doing some amazing things and I can’t thank him enough!”

Acknowledging God is nothing new for Wentz. He uses Twitter to cite the Bible, give God credit, and even post pictures of himself with teammates kneeling on the field — to pray.

“My life is lived for an Audience of One,” he likes to remind his followers.

Likewise, running back Jay Ajayi tweets “GOD IS GREAT.” And wide receiver Nelson Agholor, along with left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai and right guard Brandon Brooks, tells fans “God is good.”

Following their win, wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted, “God is amazing.” Left guard Stefen Wisniewski declared, “Let all the Glory be to Jesus!!” (Instead of stressing before the “big game,” Wisniewski contemplated Bible verses.)

In his Twitter bio, tight end Zach Ertz also identifies as a “believer.” Right tackle Lane Johnson wishes “God Bless America.” Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery regularly tweets out “God Bless.”

On defense, Brandon Graham once posted a picture of the team in prayer. “Win, Lose, or Draw we make sure we give God all the glory because he is the reason we are able to go out each and everyday and play this game,” the left defensive end stressed in the caption.

No mentions of Mary, the church, sacraments, or the bishops. It could be that these players are Roman Catholic, but they don’t talk like it. In fact, lines like “God is great” or “God is good” could actually be Islamic.

Which raises the question of just how firm Roman Catholics’ resolve is in maintaining the differences between Luther and Francis. Of course, Francis has met and hugged Protestants during the 500th anniversary of the Reformation observances. And outlets like Commonweal, America, or National Catholic Reporter are hardly going to bang the gong for Tridentine Roman Catholicism. But lay writers like Katie Yoder working for Catholic Voter? Doesn’t she worry that, at the very least, these Eagles are going to spend a very, very long time in Purgatory without all the assistance of the church’s sacramental system?

But that worry would get in the way of the boosterism that regularly afflicts religious “journalism.”

Postscript: Is that a WWJD bracelet on Nick Foles?

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16 thoughts on “Jumping on the Eagles’ Bandwagon

  1. So, since the Patriots (to Christian Eagles’ fans, the Philistines) lost, are they anti-Christian? Or just the unbelieving players? Are there any believers playing for the Patriots? … Are there any unbelieving players playing for the Eagles? Was this a win for God? Or for the Eagles? I’m so confused. I’m still a Pats fan and I’m a believer. Does that make me an enemy to the church now? So does that make me an unbeliever because I don’t believe in the Eagles? Still confused? Me too.

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  2. -D Light says: So, since the Patriots lost, are they anti-Christian? Or just the unbelieving players? Are there any believers playing for the Patriots? … Are there any unbelieving players playing for the Eagles? Was this a win for God? Or for the Eagles? I’m so confused. I’m still a Pats fan and I’m a believer. Does that make me an enemy to the church now? So does that make me an unbeliever because I don’t believe in the Eagles? Still confused? Me too.

    -Postscript: Is that a WWJD bracelet on Nick Foles?

    WWJD: “ On defense, Brandon Graham once posted a picture of the team in prayer. “Win, Lose, or Draw we make sure we give God all the glory because he is the reason we are able to go out each and everyday and play this game,” the left defensive end stressed in the caption.”

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  3. Ali – you quoted D Light’s comment and two excerpts from the post with no analysis or insight of your own. What’s your point?

    DGH – sounds like the author of the article needs to hear a homily on Matthew 5:45. Limited to 10 minutes, of course.

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  4. What about Matt Slater, Nate Solder, and Devin McCourty for the Patriots? I fear the attraction is that the winners of the Super Bowl and the top rated players are getting more attention than the gospel and Christian Eagles’ fans rejoice and then say “Oh Yea, and they’re Christians, see! They have sanctified the NFL!” … Given this trend, and since we have not been fully sanctified and glorified, I’ll wait till the Pats win another Super Bowl to draw attention to my favorite Christian players! … There is a unity in diversity, winners and losers all together in the NFL, since we are called from every tongue, nation and team!

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  5. The popularity of the Social Justice (football) League–the SJfL–is waning, so naturally: “lets get the Eeeevangelical vote in here.” Like maybe the fix was in for a feel-good underdog story to end this year of empty-stadiums?

    Fourth Commandment concerns… not on the radar.

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  6. In my own defense (without being defensive, I’m sure that’s the next ridicule) It wasn’t a ridicule, it was an observation. There are other Christians who have played in the NFL and have been vocal for quite some time, (see link below – not a great and reliable source of Christianity, and neither is the NFL). Either way Christ is set forth, and I praise God for that, as he saves NFL players just as he saves the average Joe on a street corner and uses them in similar capacities with the same effects by His Spirit. I am a brother in the Lord first, and my delight (the correct spelling – D Light refers to an adjusted spelling of my name, not a pun or play on words) is in the Lord, and I walk with my brothers daily in the Lord by God’s grace alone. My observation was to note how quick we jump when a celebrity confesses their faith publicly and puts it on TV as if it is up to them to convert the world, but how many times we are not as excited about ordinary Christians and Pastors who have no televised influence, who daily profess their faith and share their faith, and are sometimes ridiculed, abused and persecuted for it? (Think of Paul and the early church and the persecutions faced by ordinary every day Christians, and all the disciples, except one, who was killed) Are we cheering as much for that, or do we not think that is as significant? This is something that I have also struggled with, since I used to follow and consume everything “Christian (music, sports players, movies, etc.),” not realizing this is an old method used called manipulation. The fact that the name of Jesus was put on national television is a good thing. Maybe that will help to stir someone to pick up a Bible. But there are many other channels that televise Jesus’ name that unbelievers are able to access on a daily basis and probably click past. The question is, are we as supportive of our small local body of believers and think that their work and effort is far more out-reaching than that of NFL players who say the right words? Many will confess him to be Lord, doesn’t mean they’re his (Matthew 7:21-23). So what we need to understand is the line of thought of celebrity Christians and Christianity in America, beginning from the Great Awakening onward, and the havoc that it has caused across many congregations and denominations up to this point. The notion coming from those who want Christianity to somehow ‘influence the culture,’ is that the Church is spreading the gospel when it is popular, materially prosperous and attractive in the world and in ways mimicking the world, but really the real pattern found in Scripture, is when the church is weak and being killed is when we bear the most fruit. Let’s bring back that Old Life of simple Church stuff and not try to gain acceptance from the world. Praise God that these players shared the gospel. Praise God for those who do and are not recognized by the American media elite.

    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2018/february/this-patriots-captain-stands-strong-for-faith-boldly-preaching-jesus-is-the-son-of-god

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  7. Another note I am not promoting the prosperity Gospel or anything of the like by providing the above link, or referring to Christian TV as though they were actually Christian. I just said that the name Jesus comes up on TV every day.

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  8. Invoking the Divine Goodness after winning a football game in Philadelphia would have been a brilliant reductio ad absurdum against this kind of thing (Bradying?) before last week. Now it’s just the news.

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  9. I still believe we should pray for our brothers on the Eagles team (and all of the NFL) that have been public about their faith, as they may face the possibility of much negative backlash from the media. I hope I was not understood as ridiculing them in particular, but just observing the reaction of the bandwagon folks. I’m sorry if I gave that impression. God bless.

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  10. Ali – when did D. Light “ridicule his brothers?” I re-read all of his posts and didn’t see ridicule anywhere. And that’s great the Eagles player you quoted wants to give the glory to God, win or lose. And wonderful that Nick Foles wants to be a pastor. But what does any of that have to with the Eagles winning the Super Bowl?

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