“Jesus is better than anything… even better than the Super Bowl, better than an NFL career, any of that.”
This is what Rocky Seto, a member of the Seahawks coaching staff, said to Mark Driscoll during a recent interview with the megachurch pastor. While fans of the Seattle-based football team are probably still celebrating their victory in last night’s Superbowl game, Christian viewers have been taking note of the exceptional faith displayed in many of the players. In particular, the spotlight has fallen on quarterback Russell Wilson. Though more subdued than figures like Tim Tebow, Wilson’s Christian faith is none the less a defining attribute of his character. This comes as a surprise, given that Wilson’s home city is not considered a very Christian environment, as pointed out by Patheos:
For, you see, Seattle has long been identified as the cutting edge on post-Christian American life, the national capital of the “nones,”the religiously unaffiliated people who are a rising force in our culture. It’s an oh-so liberal area when it comes to lifestyle issues of all kinds. Seattle is not supposed to embrace a conservative Christian like Wilson. So there is something going on.
Wilson was among the Seahawk players interviewed by Driscoll before the 2014 Super Bowl. During the questions, he revealed how his faith has impacted his life, and how he looks to Jesus for strength and comfort. The Christian Post quotes him as saying,
“’Jesus is love! At the end of the day, we are all looking for someone to comfort us, somebody to be there for us at all times. When we are at the worst times of our lives, when we are battling with something, or struggles, whatever it may be, when we are at our highest point as well, when things are going really well, we want somebody to comfort us and be there for us and to say, 'Well done.' That's Jesus!’”
These words will come as a breath of fresh air to Christians, who in recent years have found themselves growing more and more unpopular in the public eye. With culture shifting at an alarming rate, conservative Christians are unprepared for the new challenges facing the world today. Whether it is the dramatic transformation of pop stars in the media, or the ongoing debate about marriage, the Church continues to find itself on the fringes of society. To better prepare ourselves, and to better understand Christ’s grace, Christians must be willing to stand up and wrestle with the difficult questions of the world. Individuals like Russell Wilson must live their faith openly and honestly, acting justly and walking humbly in the grace of God.
What about you? What are you looking for in a Christian leader?
*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com