3 Views on God’s Intervention in the Outcome of Games

This post has been inspired by our ongoing series: Does God Care Who Wins as well as the Sports Illustrated article: In the Fields of the Lord. Much of what is written below comes from Bob Schindler.

There are three views one can have when trying to reconcile God and his involvement in the outcome of sports.

1. God is an uninvolved spectator.

This position is influenced by deism. God (or a higher power) put the world into motion and has stepped back and is no longer intimately involved in the activities of the world, including human beings. Under this view, God does not care about who wins or loses a game because he doesn’t care about anything. There’s nothing worth intervening for.

2. God cares about some things and doesn’t care about others.

This is the view that I’ve found a majority of Christians hold. In other words, God cares about the “really important” stuff like cancer or sex slavery but he could care less what color shirt I picked out today to wear or which route I drove to work. Under this view, God couldn’t care less about sports. The outcome of games is just about as important to God as what brand of toothpaste I use. Of course he wouldn’t intervene. This view creates a dichotomy of “sacred” and “secular” buckets in our lives though. How do you determine which is “sacred” and “secular”? What Scriptural support does this position have? When people view a majority of their life as “secular” or unimportant, what impact does that have on them spiritually? This view leads to some uncomfortable questions with no good answers.

3. God cares about everything and is intimately involved in everything.

This view affirms the sovereignty of God and displays how God values everything. No “sacred” and “secular” buckets here. Everything is sacred. Nothing is too small for God. Tying your shoes, wearing your clothes, which toothpaste you use, and yes, even the outcome of games. If one can eat and drink for the glory of God then surely one can play sports for the glory of God (as well as everything else–1 Corinthians 10:31). This view says God very much cares about the outcomes of games. Does God intervene in the outcome of games? Yes. Otherwise He is not sovereign. “The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission.” As A.W. Pink says, “To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is ‘The Governor among the nations’ (Psalm 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best.” And I would add, “determining the course of games.” Why does he do this? As John Piper says, “God’s first commitment is to His own glory, and this is the basis for ours. God’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy His glory forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>