“Deny Christ? Sure, as long as I don’t have to miss the game!”


Yesterday, I shared an article by Terry Mattingly on the neglect of the media to cover stories of terror outside the West and of their choosing to downplay or ignore the religious angle of these stories. Here is another article on the tendency of the media to cover deeply and in length the terror suffered by those in the West, while largely ignoring the terror suffered by those in the Middle East. Another angle to this story: I did not hear that those on the bus were told to convert to Islam or be killed. This part of the story was not shared by Western media outlets. Why? Is it because of the religious angle? Again, why is the Western media ignoring the religious angle to these stories?

This article asks the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” Why are we in the comfortable West, who are largely free to believe what we want and to act on our faith without suffering consequences for doing so, so negligent in the practice of our faith?

I once wrote an article for the Knoxville New Sentinel about why people don’t go to church on Sunday. What is the main reason people don’t go to church? Is it because they don’t believe what the church teaches? Is it because they don’t like the priest or minister? Is it because the church is filled with hypocrites, or is always asking for money? No! The main reason people don’t go to church on Sunday is because of conflicts with work and sports. Today, people are expected to give their lives to their jobs and careers. Sunday worship is regarded as secondary to work, something that needs to be sacrificed for the company. And, while in the past, sports programs often left Sunday alone because they knew it conflicted with church, that is no longer the case. Sports is expected to come first in the lives of kids. To be blunt: Church is fine, as long as it doesn’t conflict with what’s really important! When there is a conflict between work and sports on the one hand, and church on the other, many Christian families are choosing to forego church in favor of work and sports. I wonder how easily ISIS will conquer Christians in the West if they ever get the chance. “Convert to Islam or die!” they will demand. “Uh, yeah, sure!” Western Christians will answer. “As long as I don’t have to miss the game!”

God bless and keep strong our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering martyrdom and terror in the West, in the Middle East, or wherever. Lord, prepare us, too, to be strong in the faith when we face the temptation to sacrifice our faith for petty comforts.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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