Thursday, February 4, 2010

"I am not ashamed of the Gospel..."

Euan Murray is a Scottish rugby player that has been making a few waves lately for refusing to play on the Sabbath. Murray is a Christian and will not be playing with his team as they face France this Sunday.

The Guardian interviewd Murray.
He suggests that the path many professional sportsmen follow is "rotten". He tries to explain. "All the shiny bubbles," he says, holding out his big hands and shaking his head in sadness. "The money, the possessions, the fame, the great elusive relationship – all bubbles that appear perfectly spherical, all the colours of the rainbow. They're bright and shiny and light as a feather, and you chase them because it's good fun, but the minute you get them they burst and they're empty." He pauses. "I'd had enough of chasing bubbles."

What were the "bubbles"? "The attraction of all the glamour and glitz that society puts up on a pedestal and says is the be all and end all. All the tinsel, you know? The success. There are many ways of measuring success – it could be in popularity, the funniest guy, or the guy with the best scores, it could be money, it could be getting the best-looking girl, lifting the most in the gym, having the best clothes, it could be being the best rugby player in the world." He trails off. "It's not wrong to be funny, or have a great-looking wife. It's not wrong to have money and to want to be the best player in the world, but if that is your idol then that is wrong."

In finding God, he says, Murray was able to change his path. He picks up a mug of tea and a glass of water and holds them out in front of him. "This is the tea, all dirty and horrible, this is me, yeah? That's Jesus," he says, motioning to the water. "Pure. He's taken that filth upon himself and before God he says, 'Punish me for it'. He's been punished and look what he's given me. That perfect goodness in the eyes of God. He's declared me innocent." He swills the dregs of the tea and smiles. Can it be that simple? "I'm ashamed of the things I've done. Of course I am. But I'm thankful I have a saviour. He's saved me from that lifestyle. He's given me a new life."
What I love about Murray's witness is that there is no apologizing or "this works for me" explanations. There are no vague references to God or "the man upstairs." In just a few short statements Murray explains the doctrines of substitutionary atonement and justification. This is not "Jesus will give you your best life now." This is the proclamation of Jesus as Saviour.

Read the entire article HERE.

HT: Martin Downes


Kimberly said...


Good post. Thank you. This struck me:

"Well, when you really become a Christian, life's a battle. You're going against the tide. The crowd are going one way and you're going another. It's always going to be a battle to be different. The easy thing is to go along with the crowd, everybody's doing it. You know? Try going the opposite direction to a crowd. It's hard. You won't get very far."

Todd Pruitt said...

Indeed. And I love his use of the image of "bubbles." They're bright and shiny but they are extremely fragile and fleeting.

Kimberly said...

Yes, I liked that imagery too. Very good (and effective) word picture.

I've been reading out of J.I. Packer's Knowing God. In one of the chapters he talks about how Christians, pastors, etc.(well-intentioned as they may be), will often paint a rosy picture of the Christian life in an effort to win converts. Afterwards, new believers find their problems haven't disappeared after all. It can be very disenchanting if you're not clear about the "costs" (in all ways) of becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. When he says, "when you really become a Christian, life's a battle," that's a more realistic assessment of the Christian walk. (Though not a great "selling point," I realize :).)

threegirldad said...

Question 11.
Which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness?

Which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness? While it lasts, the religion of worshipping oneself is the best.

I have an elderly acquaintance of about eighty, who has lived a life of unbroken selfishness and self-admiration from the earliest years, and is, more or less, I regret to say, one of the happiest men I know. From the moral point of view it is very difficult! I am not approaching the question from that angle. As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity. I am certain there must be a patent American article on the market which will suit you far better, but I can't give any advice on it.

--C.S. Lewis, "Answers To Questions On Christianity," God in the Dock

Todd Pruitt said...

I LOVE that quote from Lewis. He absolutely nails it. If you want "your best life now," then there are better places to go than Jesus Christ. Money, sex, and drink will provide far more immediate pleasure.

And the problem with the church growth movement, the Osteens, etc is that they promise "seekers" what Jesus never promised would-be followers - better marriages, obedient children, job satisfaction, etc.