I do not like to lose. I’m not one of those guys that will win at any cost but, It does get under my skin when I don’t come out on the top of certain competitions. This is especially true when it comes to board games. I literally have people who will not play Monopoly with me who can attest to my fierce nature that rears its ugly head during this game. On a side note, I am always looking for fellow monopoly addicts to share a game with, but I digress. I do not like to lose and this puts me in a strange predicament because I do not often win.
I have never been particularly successful at much of anything. I have played on moderately good sports teams (yes I like sports.) I have played in moderately good bands, and I have been moderately successful, by the worlds standards, at most of my hobbies. I am not one of those guys that is going to devote all of my time, energy, and resources into one particular pursuit so I suppose that means that I will always be moderately good at these things. That does not squelch the desire in me to want to win. I will always hate losing.
I have never met anyone that likes to lose. I have met varying degrees of people who desire to win. Some will literary turn into five-year old boys or girls if they lose. They throw temper tantrums, cry, scream, and do everything shy of wetting themselves to show that they are not happy with the pownage that just took place on them. Most people are not like that, most people take their loss with a stiff upper lip and go home.
I got thinking about this idea of winning and losing the other day because of a statement I read online by a devoted Christ follower. Apparently there are a group of Atheist’s that are once again trying to take God out of some kind of important monument. I have to pause for a minute because I am having a hard time figuring out how an Atheist can take God out of anything. When I look through scripture I don’t find people with out God having the power to forget him and ask him to leave, that power is only possessed by Christians. We are the only ones who throw God out of our lives. The concept of Atheists taking God out of stuff is foreign to me, and I would argue foreign to the scriptures.
The issue the bothered me the most about this Christian’s plea to fight the Atheist onslaught against our ability to put God’s name on trinkets in public was the verb-age that was used to rally others behind his or her cause. It is a phrase that I am hearing more and more in prominent Christian arenas. The phrase, “We can’t let the Atheists win.”
Is our faith so fragile that if we don’t see the name of God on every item within our line of vision we will all turn into kitten killing hedonists? This type of winning rhetoric aggravates me so much because I believe it does more harm to the Kingdom of God than good. Here are a few conclusions I have come to concerning the Gospel of Winning.
1) It’s not found in scripture.
I do not see anywhere in scripture where Christians win. In fact, scripture is pretty clear that while we are on this side of eternity we will watch our culture slip farther away from God. The idea of winning is pretty foreign to the disciples of Jesus. In fact the only time the phrase “win” is found in scripture is when the apostles are speaking to the idea of humbling ourselves in order to win just a few more to the kingdom. Check out 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
I am finding it hard to see anywhere in scripture where the apostles rallied those who were following Christ to fight to win any perceived rights they possessed while on this Earth.
2) No body wins an argument.
I am becoming a strong believer in the idea that arguing is useless. Those of you who really know me should know this is a radical swing of philosophy for me. I like to argue. I like to win arguments. I’m starting to realize though that no one wins an argument. I can scream at Atheists all day about my rights to stamp God’s name on every building in America, and they are not going to change their mind. Likewise they can scream at me that I’m a total moron for believing in “the spaghetti monster” (Dawkins, The God Delusion). The cycle will never end.
3) We need to focus less on winning fights, and more on making disciples.
It’s time to accept that non-Christians are always going to act like non-Christians. We need to stop being surprised by that. I am always struck by how very little time Christ devoted to chastising non-believers. Most of his ministry was spent telling religious people that they are going to hell, and telling people who were hurting that God was closer than they thought. If Christ were alive today we would want him to sign petitions, preach pro-life rally’s, and appear on Fox News. I think we would be sorely disappointed. Disciple making does not happen screaming behind the microphone of a pulpit on Sunday morning about the godless heathens that are attacking our freedoms. It does not take place on the conservative news programs that wear Christianity like a mask to attract an audience, and it does not take place in whinny blogs that rant about whats wrong with everything, (insert nervous ironic laugh). Disciple making happens when we begin to realize that we need to lose. We need to stop trying to win, and start trying to serve. When we do that the gospel wins.