Christianity and Athletics Commentary of Both Boxing and Running by Esteban Erik Stipnieks All Rights Reserved


This is an editorial commentary about Faith and sport….I will double post this on Tales/Boxing. Time Tebow is the focal point of the debate. I am going to pull out so to speak and take this from a focal length of 200mm to 28mm.

First thing we have to realize is that Christians are human beings first. As human beings we (I am a believer) are in the process of being transformed. In Tales I deliberately made Ace, Coach Noel Scott, and even the principal of NBHS flawed characters and Christians at the same time. In the boxing world I have demonstrated this when I fought Starr…..Johnson (There are many things I did that night which I would have done differently now) I did not like having to side against a brother in Christ on this site.   I can think of stuff I posted on this site which I was wrong about and conduct I have displayed in the past. My bible is direct about the fallen nature of man. Christ is about transformation. Does it excuse bad behavior….no. Christians myself included often provide evidence of man’s depravity. As harsh as my editorial was after Oscar almost lost his life on National TV it could have been far worse had I not been given rather stark reminders of a plane crash that was (forgive me amigos) as preventable. The plane crash was Beech Baron that slammed into a Kerrville hill side taking the life of dear friend. Being in the aviation world it was VFR into IMC with a hot airplane. The flight should have never occurred like Oscar’s fight.  I also know by the same token some of actions can be called cowardly.

Second there is a moral aspect to sport…..what happened to Oscar Diaz and Emily Klinefelter and yes to the Marine boxer was wrong. Elbows being tossed on cross-country course are wrong….the behavior I witnessed that lead to a fine on TV Packers V Detroit Thanksgiving 2011 was wrong. A Christian coach throwing a temper tantrum is wrong. A Christian coach allowing something to develop on the team only to slam it down was wrong. Even boxing you go hard at each other but you do not desire to see your opponent really jacked up at least the boxers I admire do not. Sports is about controlled aggression….I will also add that the most brutal thoughts I have ever felt as an athlete were on the cross-country course. You would be amazed at the savage thoughts that emerge in a seemingly benign sport…naturally those thoughts were wrong

Now we go into the aspect of prayer…..I look back at cross-country 1992 track 1994 knee issues STOPPED cold for some reasons. I remember clearly praying about the knee in my Tia Irma’s house after running with the Unicorns before the official start of workouts 1992 cross-country season. I might be so bold to speculate the conflict I had with my coach track 1994 (it was a conflict between believers) might have had something to do with the knee that needed lots of attention the cross-country season was not an issue during track. I also remember its odd behavior my last cross-country season. As a believer I was forced to realize I follow God and I was stuck in the place of Job. The Lord was taking away an aspect of my life blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Athletics are not life they are fun….they can be training aspects of life. Is it possible that Tim Tebow is thanking God for an opportunity so rare….absolutely. I dislike the simplicity of the question is God divinely intervening in the games turns God into my pet theological peeve the name it and take it gospel. The knee was healed the knee was unhealed blessed be the name of the Lord. The Christians I admire do everything they do as unto the Lord…..from a professional athlete, sports commentator, home builder, oil man, or employee at a theme park.  On teams as athletes Christians are called to have work ethic try their hardest and think of organization first.  As a commentator and reporter I am required to speak the truth with love.  

The recently asked question does God help Tebow win….I will go so far as to say the question is flawed I howl at the idea people thinking God is helping Tebow win. Like Warner Tebow is more than likely profoundly thrilled at where he is and grateful. Like Warner I suspect Tebow is aspiring to follow Paul’s adage of learning to be content in riches and poverty feast or famine. To those who proclaim the name it and take it gospel I simply add the question what disciples of the original twelve plus Paul died a natural death? What % were tortured. Perhaps we need to think about that on closing.  I see Tebow using thie opprotunity to shove the spotlight on Christ.  As I reflect on my own journey of faith (Tales of Dead Armadillo is far deeper reflexion of it) I marvel how fickle the definition of prosperity is.  My profile picture on face book was taken on the spot where I bowed down to Christ the memory of the day is inseperable from memories of two horrific capital murders.  A place where I faced physical abuse by a care giver heard the news of dear friend being murdered, and where the mother of 2 teammates who was later brutally murdered walked on the most sacred day of my life is a place I love and a place where I have the most tender memories of.  When given a chance for camp reunion or other event I go like I approached a workout where I suspected Coach would be making us do 800s.



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