Crimson Tide Fans and the Gospel


Last night I had the opportunity to speak at the Old Hickory Church of Christ on the subject, “Crafting Your Personal Vision.” I made the statement that in order to find your personal vision one needs to understand what bothers them in this world. In other words, in their heart of hearts, what do they look at and think to themselves, “This needs to change”? I made the statement that isn’t it ironic that many of the things we are most passionate about hold no eternal weight when it comes to the kingdom.

Enter Alabama Crimson Tide Fans.

I have witnessed a lot of SEC fanatics and the conference has some of the craziest fans in the world. The team that takes-the-cake are Alabama Crimson Tide fans. These people are dedicated and come in masses overtaking the Facebook, Twitter and every other social networking site. It is phenomenal and somewhat impressive. It’s also somewhat comical because these fans (every school has them…BAMA just has more) have real problems differentiating between Tide football just being a game versus the meaning of life. Remember this guy?

BAMA fans I realize you are getting mad right now and probably have websites, pictures and evidence to prove me wrong. I can hear the chorus now, “Robbie, there is a reason why BAMA has 14 national championships and your team doesn’t.” I guess so. I even think it is hilarious when I go to some of the major conferences among some of the youth ministry circles I run around in. Without failure I will see more Tide paraphernalia than any other team combined. It’s hilarious. I wish I saw more VOLS stuff there but we have had little to cheer about. I digress.

My point?

Why are we not that passionate about the gospel? What would it look like to have droves of people lining up to hear, proclaim and share the good news of Jesus Christ? I look at some other settings like The Village Church, The Church at Brook Hills, Mars Hill Church and North Point Community Church and the masses are coming to hear the gospel and I wonder, “Why can’t we do that?” I am not talking about copying models or giving up core doctrines but I think it comes down to something: passion. I wish we had 1/8 the passion for the gospel that BAMA fans have for football.

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Crimson Tide Fans and the Gospel

  1. I am not a Bama fan (in the least!), but I get your point. It is the truth about sports in general, and I am as guilty as anyone. We have gotten way out of line with what excites and moves us as a culture.

    Another proof of this is how the national media (and fans) have thought so much about Penn State’s football legacy, and it has gone almost unreported that Penn State is also being warned by their accreditation board. Which is more important? The games on the gridiron, or the standing of the entire school?

    Great thoughts, brother!

  2. I could use this illustration just as well with UK during basketball season. I’m still getting ripped about IU beating them in the regular season. But you are right, what if they/we could take that passion and energy and put it into Christ? We would once again be turning the world upside down like the apostles and early disciples.

    1. I toyed with entitling this, Kentucky Basketball and the Gospel but thought there were more BAMA football fans in my experience.

  3. As an Auburn fan, I am glad you picked on UA. But as other posters have said, it is not limited to Bama fans. Many of us put our hobbies before our God. This includes hunting, going to the river, video games, shopping, and so on. I wish, like you, we could tunnel that excitement and energy into the church. I always thought when I was FHU that we could take all that time spent working Makin’ Music (probably 80 hours per person) and cancell the show one year and use our time to glorify God rather than ourselves/social club. Thanks for the thoughts Robbie.

    1. Adam, now you are speaking my language. What about the Lectureship? What would it look like to have hundreds of preachers making a difference in the Henderson community for one whole week?

      1. I still think there needs to be a balance between teaching and service (If you don’t know, you won’t do- Indicative to the Imperative). Maybe the Lectureships should reflect this balance.

  4. Ed…great words. We see this at an early age when parents push their kids into sports and that sport becomes more important than family time and church. Thank you you for the message!

    1. I struggle with sports because there is such a tug by other parents. Kaleb did all-stars this year and it was tough on us physically, financially and emotionally. I don’t know how parents do it. I invested hours teaching him to hit a ball but hardly any time serving the kingdom.

  5. As most know, I’m a Bama fan, MORE know I’m a devoted follower of Christ. But as fan of the Tide I must say – AMEN! To be honest a lot of our fans sicken me. I see sports as a diversion and/or a connector. I do love to win national championships BUT when we do lose (hard to remember sometimes when that last was :)) I get over it within minutes and move on. And when we win – it does feel nice – but I know it is of no real substance. It’s just a game, compete, laugh, enjoy it. Life is not – souls are not. Thanks Robbie

    1. Thanks Dale. I agree. It is just a game. I went to a UT-Vandy game one year and our fans sickened me as well…so did our players 😉 Balance seems to be a good term to use here as well as perspective. I appreciate you Dale.

  6. Great article Ed. I like sports and wish for the days that the Vols will start getting those National titles again, but the way our country is today, and at my age, I have started thing more about the crown of life. It last forever, not just a season. Thanks again Ed.

  7. Let me tell you the reason why Alabama fans are so passionate. We are raised to love Alabama with all our hearts and to swear to hate Auburn. We are put in cute tide outfits from the day we are born till the day we die. There is also nothing else sports wise in the state no NFL, NBA, NHL, MBA, etc. We are constantly reminded by each other that our chief rival is Auburn and that our ultimate goal is winning.

    What if our church families taught us to love Jesus with all our hearts from the day we were born? What if we saw Satan as an enemy who we want to defeat more than anything else? What if there were no other things competing for our loyalty? What if we reminded our people that our goal was to celebrate Jesus, his love and his grace, and to defeat the enemy by bringing them to the light? Then the church and me would grow more than we ever had.

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