Super Bowl Champ Ray Lewis and the Gospel
Congratulations Baltimore fans, your team just won the Super Bowl.
The Ravens put together an amazing run in the playoffs, knocking off all the perennial favorites before jumping in the suit of the underdog one last time and knocking out the 49ers.
In case you missed it, Ray Lewis is a member of the Super Bowl Champion Ravens. He's the All-World Linebacker who likely has already cemented his legacy, and his spot in Canton.
He's also the guy that you couldn't get away from these past few weeks.
He was everywhere. All the time.
Shouting. Crying. Shouting while crying.
Some people love him, others love to hate him.
Yesterday, before the game started, CBS aired an interview between Ray Lewis and former teammate Shannon Sharpe. In it, Sharpe questioned Lewis about the infamous incident from 13 years ago that left two people dead and a host of unanswered questions. Many still believe that Lewis was either involved in the killing somehow, or at the LEAST has not been forthcoming about what actually happened that night.
Lewis, in response to Sharpe's questions yesterday about the incident, stayed consistent with his non-helpful answers. He never came out and denied any involvement, nor did he offer any sort of insight as to what happened.
At times, Ray Lewis can be pretty aggressive and in-your-face when sharing his religious perspective. So he was quick to bring it all back to God in the interview. And here is what he said, by way of hinting at his innocence:
“If you really knew how God works, he don’t use people who commit anything like that (murder) for his glory... No way! It's the total opposite!”
Meaning this: you want proof that I'm innocent of murder? Look at my life these past 13 years. I've been hugely successful, and have gone to great extremes to always point my success to God. To always give him glory. So of COURSE I could not have been involved in anything like murder, because God doesn't use people who does things like THAT to bring him glory!
Oh Ray... could you have possibly suggested a more erroneous perspective of the Good News?
Have you ever READ the Bible?
The type of person you are describing seems to be just about everyone in the Bible, and most of the time the whole point is precisely that God DOES use such people to bring about his glory.
Here's three of the most famous people from the Bible. And all three either committed or were involved with murder.
-Moses -David -The Apostle Paul
You could expand the list and add some other shady characters.
-Jacob (thief, manipulator) -Judah and Tamar (prostitution) -Peter (denied knowing Jesus)
And the list could go on.
But the point is this: Mr Lewis, where do you get off suggesting that if we REALLY knew God, then we could discover that God does not use people who commit atrocious sins?
Actually, it would appear that by your own life testimony, you're a witness against yourself.
One might suggest that, precisely BECAUSE you've "brought God much glory" these past 13 years, then Biblically speaking it must be because you WERE involved somehow in those murders.
That actually makes a lot more "biblical" sense.
Anyways, my point is not to accuse Ray of being involved, or being a murderer. By all accounts, Ray seems to be a pretty decent guy (especially after you read this story, which I really dig... in fact, THIS story is a much better witness to the Gospel than was Ray's interview with Shannon)
My point is to call out the terrible theology that he suggested yesterday. That "good" people are blessed by God and used by God. And that "bad" people, therefore, are not.
You couldn't be more wrong.