Author Topic: God and Sports  (Read 457 times)

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Offline LizaSymonenko

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God and Sports
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:14:00 PM »
A friend and I were discussing predestination.  I disagree with it, and believe that we make our own choices in life.  The only things that are "predestined" are the time in to which we are born, the family in to which we are born, the circumstances/government/economy, and mostly the gifts with which we are born (our talents, skills, etc.)

My friend on the other hand is convinced that predestination exists, and that our life stories have been written well before we get a chance to live them.

He started speaking about sports...and I told him that I do not believe God supports any team...and that praying that so and so win or not right.  That we only pray for that which we "need"...and even that is more of what we need towards salvation, rather than physical existence.  However, my friend gave an example of perhaps God getting involved in Sports in order to teach a "lesson" to a player, humble him, etc.  I don't know about this.  That's not really taking sides with a team, but, impacting a single player.

Anyway...I'd like to hear what you all have to say on this.

Here are his words:

"Are certain things pre-determined by God? I am thinking about football here, firstly(europeean soccer). The Copa de America just finished recently and the final was between Argentina and Chile. For those of you who don't know it the fight between the best players in the world for almost a decade is between Messi(Argentina) and C.Ronaldo(Portugal). Messi being the holder of the best player award from last year. Anyway we are talking of Argentina they had reached 2 previous finals one world cup and one cop of america, in Messi's reign but they failed to win it. Now this Copa America was the third. Argentina totally dominated the match, opened the scored, the other team got a red card everything looked well for them, but in the end they were equalised and there was a penalty shootout. Now at the penalty shootout Argentina loss. This loss made Messi(a Champion 6 Ballon D'Or winner, a fighter) say that he feels he is not for him to win a final with Argentina, no matter what and that he will retire from the national team. He felt like it is not given to him. Then we have the EURO 2016 going on. 24 years ago the winners of the EURO 1992 were Denmark , a team that was not initially qualified for the tournament but due to the disqualification of another team they were put in to fill the place, unexpectedly they came from the holidays directly and won it. No one expected it. 12 years after that we have EURO 2004 held in Portugal where one of the biggest underdogs in history won it,i.e Greece. They played nothing phenomenal whole tournament. Euro 2004 was held in Portugal and the final was between Portugal and Greece, at Portugal playing C.Ronaldo the best player in the world together with Messi and they lost it. Now.. 12 years after we are at Euro 2016. Portugal barely qualified from an easy group from the 3rd place thing which correlated with other results gave them the most simple road to the final, avoiding Spain, France, Italy, Germany (the favourites to win it). Now we are at the quarter finals , Portugal reaches into a Penalty Shoutout with Poland. Emotions high. C. Ronaldo goes to J. Moutinho and insists on him shouting in the shoutout . and says "It is all in God's hands". Then they beat Wales in the semis and are not in the final. In the other semi Germany totally dominated France but lost undeservedly 2-0. Now the final is Portugal - France. And it looks like at least parts of it are predetermined. Some one said every 12 years in the Euro miracles happen. I was talking about this with someone and she said that she doesn't believe God cares or interacts in sports. Well the Church of God and Temples for the Holy Spirit are people. People are involved in Sports. And Football(europeean soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. Then I saw a 9 11 documentary how many people's lives were saved that day due to banal "accidents" , simple things stopping them to go to work on time. Do you think God predetermines things? Do you think certain events are meant to be predetermined? If so what is the sphere where God predetermines the most? I was talking to this same friend and I said that it is into the field of one's gift and talent that God works and intervenes and predestinates, predetermines. Because it would look fair, as talents are a gift from God and through this gifts God may reveal himself to us. But then we got to the part when someone remembered the parable of the talents, which at face value it looks unfair. Taking from the one who has the less and giving to the one who has the most. Life often seems this way that when you are going you keep falling and when you are up you keep rising, more like you get things when you feel you need them the least. My question is why isn't God less demanding with the one whom he has given less? Anyways.. Then someone mentioned the quote "What did you have that it was not given to you" which is from the bible or the fathers i can't remmember.  Does that mean that God is excused with predetermining everything into our lives even our downfall because it would be in the sphere of one's given gifts? And does God intervene in everyone's life as if to make himself known or revealed ? Are some given more talents while others less? Where is the fairness to that? Or for everyone there is a compensation of non-talent for every talent? How do we reconcile the parable of the talents who says "For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." with "To whom much has been given much will be asked" ? And why does God take the 1 talent and gives it to the one who has the most? In the parable God looks like he behaves to the one with 1 talent according to his belief "You know that I am a harsh master, so be cat out in the outer darkness where the gnashing of teeth is" . Does that mean that God is harsh and evil to some and predetermines them to evil things and/or perdition? As Romans says "if God wanting to show his wrath bore with great patience the objects of wrath prepared for destruction" . How is that behaviour of God fair and/or justified?

Does God put limits and barriers to (certain) people?
and does God predetermine choose one over the other
also had the quote "It is up to God who has mercy"
and say does that mean that we are all at the mercy of God do to whatever he want?
does God predetermine one in the detriment of another"

He also mentioned something about
the injury of Ronaldo (I don't know who Ronaldo is)
and the weird moth invasion.
...and Portugal won it
after 12 years
12 12 12"


What would you say in response to him?

« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 05:31:45 PM by LizaSymonenko »
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: God and Sports
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 05:35:10 PM »
My readings on free will and predestination are a bit scarce in primary sources, but I'll give my two cents.

My understanding of free will: We do have a free will that God has granted to us, but he has control over everything and therefore sets what is going to happen, respecting our choices, but manipulating circumstances, inspiring us with his Spirit, allowing or impeaching the harassment of demons...

Of predestination: Despite our free will, God knows what's going to happen. St. Augustine (he's not the best Orthodox reference to free will and predestination, but I find the following image acceptable) says that, since God is outside of time, not only does he know everything that's going to happen, but also his manipulation of circumstance, his inspiration, his allowance and impeachment of demons... this has all happened at the same time for him, in eternity.

Now, a more personal reflection on sports: God doesn't cheer for Manchester or Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, England or Germany. However, I don't see why he wouldn't use the results of these sports to teach people valuable lessons, not only to the players but also, say, to the supporters. Hypothetical situation: imagine what if I'd gotten too obsessed with my dear Flamengo and started losing focus to see its games. Imagine I had missed church to watch them play against Corinthians last Sunday. Flamengo shamefully lost at 4 x 0 to Corinthians. This might have been an opportunity to remember my religious life is more important then my football team. Maybe this sounds like I'm putting such a big event as a personal lesson for me, merely one of the 40 million supporters of Flamengo worldwide, but since God has control over each strand of hair of each of us 40 million, I believe he can set things to influence many of us positively at once. :)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 05:39:43 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Alkis

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Re: God and Sports
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 06:07:41 PM »
Well we don't have destiny. We have free will. God just preserves the Universe and if we want or allow him, He may help us in our problems. To say "God supports sports teams" I think it is a bit ridiculous especially in our difficult years with so many unfair wars, blood, etc... If God supports sports teams someone can think "why God doesn't stop wars?" And it would be a logic question. That is my understanding in free will.
For You keep my lamp burning; Lord my God You illumine my darkness. (Psalm 17:29)