Faith on the Field & Deconstructing Faith
Coaches do more than coach. They are role models and parental figures. In motivating young athletes, a coach can’t turn off where he or she gets their sense of right and wrong, honor and thankfulness. The motivation to press on not only points toward the end zone, but a goal of eternal value. And, for some pastors, the only construction projects they worry about are building renovations, but others say they’re facing churchgoers who are tearing down aspects of their faith.
Coaches do more than coach. They are role models and parental figures. In motivating young athletes, a coach can’t turn off where he or she gets their sense of right and wrong, honor and thankfulness. The motivation to press on not only points toward the end zone, but a goal of eternal value.
That’s why Brannon Rodgers, a high school football coach in Sundown, Texas, said he paid close attention to the recent Supreme Court decision of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.
By a 6-3 margin, justices said that the school district violated the First Amendment rights of Joseph Kennedy, a football coach in Washington state, by removing him from his position after he refused to stop praying at midfield following games. Kennedy began the practice on his own as a way of expressing thanks to God for the opportunity to coach, but eventually athletes chose to join him.
Rodgers, who is also the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor at his school, says he sees his coaching role as one God has given him to be on mission for Christ.
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For some pastors, the only construction projects they worry about are building renovations, but others say they’re facing churchgoers who are tearing down aspects of their faith.
A Lifeway Research study of U.S. Protestant pastors finds almost 3 in 4 (73 percent) are familiar with the concept of deconstruction, and more than a quarter (27 percent) of those say people in their churches have deconstructed their faith.
When asked how familiar they are with “the concept of an individual deconstructing their faith in which they systematically dissect and often reject Christian beliefs they grew up with,” more than half say they’re familiar.
Among pastors who are familiar with the concept of deconstruction, around a quarter say they’ve recently seen the effects in their congregations. More than 1 in 4 (27 percent) U.S. Protestant pastors who have heard the term before say they’ve had attendees of their church who have methodically deconstructed their faith in the past two years. Close to 7 in 10 (68 percent) say that hasn’t been the case for them. Another 5 percent aren’t sure.
“The use of the term ‘deconstruction’ emerged in the last few years and has been used both by those questioning their own beliefs and those desiring to help them find the truth,” McConnell said. “Despite the growing awareness among pastors, it may be easier to find people in the midst of deconstructing their faith on social media than within churches.”
Church Responds to Online Threat, Worship Pastor Wins on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & Praising God in Prayer
Police in Haymarket, Virginia responded in textbook fashion to neutralize a threat at an area church on Sunday. A Kentucky pastor recently used an appearance on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune to do more than spin the wheel and win some cash. And, Wesley Duewel, the 20th century missionary and prayer leader, once observed, “Praise gives you the spirit of triumph and overcoming. Praise fires you with holy zeal.
The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.
Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.