Blown Call Illustrates Battle for Truth

October 3, 2012

Blown Call Illustrates Battle for Truth

If you think that truth is irrelevant and unwelcome in our culture today, consider this modern-day parable from professional football.

Fans of America’s largest and most lucrative sport struggled with poor officiating through the first three Sundays of the 2012 season. But the faithful finally had enough of the “replacement referees” last week when the poorly trained fill-ins blew a game-changing last call on Monday Night Football.

Packer defensive back M.D. Jennings clearly made a heroic interception in the end zone as time ran out, but the replacement refs awarded Seattle with a phantom touchdown and the win. It was the second, observable bad call in the play that should have favored the Packers. Game over. But not forgotten.

With that single event, the sub-par officiating that had been evident across the league during the union referee lockout, suddenly mattered.

For the league, the financial stakes were no longer limited to the union refs’ compensation demands. The dispute was causing even the most devoted fans to walk away, putting at risk the estimated $9 billion the NFL earns in annual revenue.

Even President Barack Obama found time during his busy schedule to weigh in on the issue saying, “We’ve got to get our refs back.”

Just three days after the infamous bad call, now referred to by pundits as “the Inaccurate Reception,” the regular referees were back on the job. All was considered right again in the world of big sports—fans happy, players happy, advertisers happy, owners happy.

It is almost refreshing to be reminded on such a grand stage that the American people, and certainly NFL fans, appreciate truth when it counts. Christians can learn something from this.

First: Consider the recent challenge to Chick-Fil-A owner Dan Cathy’s right to operate his business according to his personal religious beliefs.

The Constitution protects Dan Cathy’s right to free speech and the freedom to practice his religion. Customers who are offended by his statements are free to eat lunch elsewhere. These freedoms should be championed and defended because they are derived from standards given to us by God. And if Dan Cathy can be attacked for his views and bullied, than so can any one of us.

Media elites and even some politicians justified their trampling of Cathy’s Constitutional rights in the name of “tolerance,” defined and practiced as intolerance of faith.

Yet the rule of law is the cornerstone of a free and orderly society. Without standards that are consistently and fairly applied, order becomes chaos.

Leviticus 19:15 warns, “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” When there are no longer common standards to determine right or wrong, might makes right and the freedoms we all enjoy are threatened.

Second: Consider the difficulties that are arising as biblical standards of righteousness are removed from our schools, our courts, our businesses and our public policy and replaced with new standards of “tolerance” for everything but biblical values.

Without reliable standards of right and wrong moderating our choices, we are vulnerable to the whims of political correctness. We can clearly see that inept referees calling an interception a touchdown is not good, and we can all understand the far greater threat to society if evil is celebrated as good and good punished as evil.

That bad call cost replacement referees their temporary jobs. Will making man the central authority for moral judgments permanently cost us our nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian values?

Isaiah wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

This past weekend, I experienced a wake-up call.

My wife, Ann, and I with our two youngest sons attended a conference on Creation at an evangelical church. The talk was interrupted repeatedly by a man and woman who appeared to be there solely to mock the presenter, and throughout the course of the event they would applaud references to atheists, as self-appointed referees against biblical truths.

Earlier, this couple even deceived the speaker into having his picture taken with them so they could boast about their exploits on social media. They were cheerleaders for a culture attempting to deconstruct our national basis for Truth, the Bible.

As believers, we have a choice—to remain apathetic to these attacks or to become active. I, for one, am choosing to step up my game. My heart has been quickened to do more, to fight for what is worth dying for and to take a clear stand. I ask you to join me. Put on your spiritual armor and together let’s stand for God’s truth.

To become active, we must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. This is a call to combine courage, humility and love, but we must all use our voices. But make no mistake; if you take on this challenge and speak up, you will be putting a target on your back.

Prepare to be labeled intolerant, hater, fundamentalist, idiot, bigot, racist—the other side uses the powerful tool of embarrassment and humiliation to discourage and defeat you.

Upholding a standard for Truth is an issue far more important than the outcome of a football game. If we lose the battle to preserve Truth as our common standard, we not only lose America, we lose everything.

It is not time to wave the white flag of surrender. This is not a game; it’s a battle that demands our all, and we are on the winning team.

Chuck Bentley

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About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
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12 Responses to Blown Call Illustrates Battle for Truth

  1. L. Wilson says:

    You should have mentioned that Chick Fil A’s sales are up for the year after Mr. Cathy shared his comments and the supposed “controversy” came to light. Clearly there were a lot of people who either share his beliefs or at least still believe in his right to freedom of speech and religion.

  2. David King says:

    Not sure that it really matters but Jennings lost the game. Fourth down with no time remaining the play is to swat the ball into the stands. The interseption attempt pads the stats (not heroic) if sucessful but ends up losing the game

  3. Kurt says:

    Up until this email I had been a follower of this site for a few years. I gravely took offense to the message of this email and it’s reference to “poorly trained officials”. These men took on an unenviable task of working these highly publicised games and severely berated by “notables” such as John Gruden of whom I have no respect for. After all, the high point of his career was from a stolen moment of a wonderful man and coach in Tony Dungy had built up a championship caliber team and released so Gruden could sneak in and win one championship. Although I understand the underlying message of what point is trying to be driven home with the example you provided I strongly feel that it was a poor example to use. For all those that bicker and complain (still) about how those courageous men performed, I challenge them to work one season as a football official (or any sport for that reason) and see how they fare in those sports in being the arbiter of the rules, keeping the spirit of the game flowing, and upholding the integrity of a call. See something at high speed with the human eye without the aid of a camera or a TV to give your countless angles, slow motion, and replays and see if one would feel the same after that season. I am discontinuing use of this site.

  4. David W Gray says:

    Chuck, you are so right. For a number of years now, I have pondered over the idea that too many Christians, including Christian leaders, have failed to look at the actions of our Biblical leaders when it comes to standing up for righteousness. It’s as if the Bible reader skips right over the verses that pattern our right to stand up against error. I’ve called it the Mr. Rogers syndrome. Honestly, it makes me a little angry to continually watch church leadership not stand up. But little, by little, I’m encouraged. I recently watched a video of Bishop E.W. Jackson and others at the STAND Press Conference “Exodus Now”. ( I’ve been making a stand recently and I was accused by one Christian brother as drawing too much attention to myself.

  5. deb kamp-schroeder says:

    great analogy–love it and go Packers

  6. cathy hammonds says:

    thank you for the encouraging words and the Christians do need to take a stand for the Truth or we will fall for anything. I’m motivated to act. I won’t be passive and watch opportunities to be a witness for Christ pass by. thank you

  7. Dale D. Cummings says:

    “Truth wears no mask; bows at no human shrine; seeks neither palce nor applause but only asks for a hearing; and then, more often than naught-silently demands a verdict!” — Redfield

    Your topical comments about truth were “right-on”, my friend!

    Dale D. Cummings

  8. Great post, Chuck. I so appreciate your ability to draw correlations between today’s headlines and Biblical truth and take the time to unpack it for the rest of us. Many Blessings!

  9. Susanna says:

    Thank you for a well written article. I’m seeing a need to press in and express more urgently what I believe is the truth – what God’s Word has to say on whatever subject is being discussed. My friend and I are attending a Creation conference in mid-October and I wonder if we will encounter anyone there who tries to express their opposing views. Please pray for me as I become more willing to express my belief of God to others, even my own family. Thank you, Susan

  10. Coram Deo says:

    Wow – what a challenge. Thank you for the wake up call.

  11. Susan M. says:

    I agree. The Lord recently put on my heart to not only pray for the leadership in this country, but to get involved. So I have been attending our local township meetings. Lord willing, I may run at some point for a position. We must step up to the plate and prepare for action, even if it means getting hit by the ball.

  12. D. Mac says:

    Right on Chuck. Indeed, the war has been won by our Lord and Savior; and we are on the winning team! The question we must ask ourselves is, are we up in the stands watching from the distance, or are we participating in the victory?

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