Did God Fix the Outcome of the Seahawks/Packers Game?

The Seattle Seahawks (my team by the way, go ‘Hawks!) have been in the news recently because of their improbable last minute win over the Green Bay Packers.  With four minutes left in the game, the Packers had a 99.9% statistical chance of winning.  But the Seahawks pulled it out.

Russell Wilson, the QB for Seattle, is a vocal Christian.  After the game he prayed and gave glory to God (which is awesome).  He also seemed to imply that God caused the improbable outcome of the game.

“That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special. I’ve been through a lot in life, and had some ups and downs.  It’s what’s led me to this day.”(link)

Some other Seahawks gave credit to God too, but without implying God determined the outcome.

“We fought.  Playing football it’s awesome.  God is so good.  It don’t get no better than this.” – Earl Thomas, Facebook.

“To God go the glory!” – Richard Sherman, Facebook

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Aaron Rodgers, QB for the Packers (and also a Christian) had a different view.

“I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome, He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.”(link)

Here’s what I think:

It’s really cool that so many football players are vocal about their Christian faith, and that they give God the glory.  I admire that in their character.  Through their platform they can be a positive witness for Christ.

And God certainly does help us to do our best in all we do as we honor him.  In  the case of athletic events, he does that for Christians on both teams.

But there are some problems with the idea that God fixes the outcomes of games.

First, God can be glorified with either outcome of a sports event.  God didn’t need the Seahawks to win in order to bring about his plan. If the Packers had won, God would be equally glorified.  It is really a small view of God to think that he has to make sure a certain team wins.  God is bigger than that.

Second, it implies that God honored the request of players and fans of one team, but not the players and fans for the other teams.  Does God love Russell Wilson more Aaron Rodgers?  No, he loves them both.  And for a player to claim that God favors him over others is a little selfish.

I agree with Aaron Rodgers.  God cares less about the outcome of a game than he does the people who are involved in it.

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22 Comments

Filed under determinism, free will, God's love

22 responses to “Did God Fix the Outcome of the Seahawks/Packers Game?

  1. Adrian

    “it implies that God honored the request of players and fans of one team, but not the players and fans for the other teams”

    What’s wrong with that?

    • For a player to claim that God favors him to the exclusion of others is selfish.

      • Adrian

        Noah, Moses, David, Mary etc all found favour with God. (Luke 1:30, Acts 7:10, Acts 7:46, Gen 6:8 etc.) and in Noah’s and Mary’s cases it was pretty exclusive.

        Paul sought it (Gal 1:10) and Peter tells us what finds it (1Pet 2:20)

      • In most cases God’s favor is based on our obedience, not randomness. See Romans 2:11 and Acts 10:34. So if the Seahawks were all Christians, and the Packers were all pagans, you might have a point. Even then though, I don’t think God needs to control sports events to bring about his plan. And I think he loves the people of both teams. Wilson’s comment reveal a little bit of prosperity gospel attitude. I do like Wilson overall though.

      • Adrian

        I don’t know if you meant it this way, but by asking “Did God Fix …?” there’s an implication of asking “Did God cheat?” because that’s one meaning of a “fix”.

        To “fix” and/or “control” something one has to be in there pushing and prodding making things happen their way don’t they? My understanding is that God created the universe knowing and determining what would happen beforehand and so it does, including the results of all sports matches.

        BTW, I don’t see how God doing things based on something other than what you or I do can be considered “random”.

      • Yeah, I’m using “fix” as a synonym with “cause”, or “God setting it up”, as Wilson said.

      • Adrian

        Thinking again Kevin, it’s a fault I have :)

        Yeah, I’m using “fix” as a synonym with “cause”, or “God setting it up”, as Wilson said.

        When one asks “Did God fix …” isn’t there a time factor that needs to be included in the question? For instance deciding to do something in the last four minutes to affect the result is different from doing things over the preceding years to achieve the result which is different again from predetermining the result, not as an isolated incident, but as part of the overall history of all mankind.

      • I don’t think God “fixed” the game, regardless of the time factor either way.

      • Adrian

        Parallel question Kevin; as you’re using “fix” as a synonym with “cause” why continue to use the word “fix” which comes with negative connotations?

      • Theologians also use the term, eg “God’s fixed purpose”. By which they mean something God has already settled on as a foreordained outcome. I think the term is fair, despite the negative connotations.

      • Adrian

        I acknowledge the logic, though I see something decided on before the foundation of the world as a little different to something decided on during a four minute period.

        (Though Open Theists might argue that even though God had *decided* yonks beforehand that the Seahawks were to win not knowing if they would or not meant He had to intervene at the end to make sure they did.)

  2. You can usually tell who God favors in the New Covenant by how much tribulation and suffering they have. Therefore, God clearly favors the Green Bay Packers.

    –from a slightly sarcastic Packer fan.

    • Adrian

      Like!!!

      I guess that in some way being human is being like a young kid whom Dad and Mum are taking on a holiday to an amusement park. We have some idea of what the park will be like but we’ve no concept of the journey we have to go on to get there, so the proverbial question “Are we there yet?”.

      Fortunately Dad and Mum (and God) know the way, and though at times it may seem difficult for us we’ll get there in the end. And we will enjoy it.

  3. Adrian

    God: 1 Kevin: 0
    (he says with a grin on his face)

  4. First of all, Russell Wilson certainly has you fooled into thinking he is a Christian. There is nothing about his life–not the words he parrots in front of a camera–that would indicate he is a follower of Christ. He recently divorced his wife of only two years after they both had been caught sleeping with other people. What church does he go to? You don’t know, do you? Is he ever seen at a worship service? Using God’s name in vain to make the public think you are his follower is sinful. Even his statement that God wanted him to win is unchristian and proves he isn’t led by the Holy Spirit. Shame on the writer.

    • Wilson says he’s a Christian, and I take him at his word. Really, it’s between him and the Lord, not for us to judge. I can’t speak to all your accusations. I do know he visits Seattle Children’s hospital every week, and meets and prays with sick kids. The bottom line is we are all guilty of sin, and we all need the grace of Jesus. Me, you, and Wilson too.

  5. IF you take someone’s WORD that they are a follower of Christ, then you will accept just any one into the fold. That is WRONG, WRONG. It is NOT between him and the Lord, it is our lifestyle, our relationship with others, our public testimony. Simply saying you are a Christian is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Pity you don’t realize this. Being a follower of Christ is NEVER a private matter.
    Yes, Wilson visits childrens hospitals. That’s his civic duty; he makes his very comfortable living from the people of Seattle, and is required to do that. Ever see Wilson in church? Ever see him on a mission trip? Ever see him go to the homeless and dirty? NOPE. Just those great photo ops with sick babies. Babies who don’t need redemption.
    You, sir are too naïve to be writing any kind of column. You are a pawn for the hypocracy of famous people. NEVER, NEVER “take some one at their WORD” that they are a Christian. My Lord said, “by their fruits you shall know them.” Read it. This is NOT being judgmental; it is full observation.

    • Also, if God fixed this game, and why are you writing about such a trivial issue, then God must have fixed the Super Bowl game AGAINST Russell Wilson’s team. Think about that. It happened the same way only in reverse. Perhaps God is telling Wilson to shut his hypocritical mouth and stop using his Savior as a publicity tool.

    • Do you know Wilson personally? How are you privy to the details of his sexual life, church attendance, and mission work? If you don’t know him, you are gossiping about him.

      Wilson attends City Church in Kirkland. And he talks to his pastor daily. Google it.

      Wilson goes to Seattle Children’s hospital every week, and has been doing so for 3 years now. He does it because of Christian love, no other reason. This article shares a story of him praying with a family of a 16 year old boy who died to cancer. That is the kind of Christian witness who brings others to Christ.

      Wilson is not a perfect man, he admits this. He’s a sinner who needs God’s grace just like you and I do.

      If you don’t like the blog and think it’s trivial, then by all means don’t comment here!

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