The Seattle Seahawks stunned the world in Super Bowl XLVIII by not only beating the slightly favored Denver Broncos, but also by destroying them. After the 43-8 win gave the team its first Super Bowl victory, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson led fellow Christians on both sides of the game in prayer giving glory to God. After praying, Mr. Wilson got on stage in front of millions of fans and praised God for the win.
In another interview after the game, Mr. Wilson told reporters: “It’s only my second year, but I believe in the guys that we had. I believe in the coaching staff it’s just God is so good. He brought me a really long way. It’s unbelievable. It’s kind of surreal, to be honest with you. Sitting there holding that trophy up and I’m looking up, I’m just so thankful for everything that I’ve been given.”
Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung echoed Mr. Wilson’s sentiments: “The Lord allowed me to be here. And I keep saying that all the time, man. With Him there’s purpose, man. I’m not just here to exist, I’m here to live. And I’m glad He’s going to use me this way through my platform to bring glory to Him.”
Mr. Wilson and Mr. Okung are two high-profile professional athletes who boldly give God the glory for their talents and accomplishments, taking none of the credit for themselves. For some reason, this kind of humility and outspoken praise of God scares the media. The whole time Mr. Wilson was speaking about God’s grace in his life, you could just feel the tension in the stadium and in the locker room afterward.
For some reason in today’s culture, it’s OK to use profanity, it’s OK to openly talk about sex, it’s OK to disrespect authority, it’s OK to discuss another’s personal life, but when it comes to talking about Jesus it’s not OK. Why have our priorities as a culture turned 180 degrees?
Modern TV shows and movies depict male characters as cool when they sleep around and treat women like objects. Modern music glorifies profanity and degrades women. But when it comes to Jesus, or even thanking God for His blessings, everyone gets upset. Rap artists can use whatever kind of language they want regardless of their cruel portrayal of women, but when a religious person says, “Hey that’s wrong, you shouldn’t be treating people this way,” they are labeled as judges and intolerant. Christians may be one of the only groups not tolerated by modern culture.
People use the phrase “Jesus Christ” or “Oh my God” when something terrible happens. But when Russell Wilson says, “Thank you, God,” or when Russell Okung says, “The Lord has blessed me,” people respond with condescension or even hostility. The truth of the matter is that Jesus is cool. Jesus continues to save people, bless people, forgive people, change lives, restore relationships and provide for those who cannot provide for themselves.
Our great nation is founded upon the freedom to exercise religion and the freedom to speak your mind. The First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees these freedoms as God-given rights. You, the individual, can choose not to give in to the cultural norm that looks down upon religious-speak.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Courage is required to see modern culture for what it is and decide to change it for the better. Societal norms don’t just appear out of — or disappear into — thin air. Individuals must decidedly act on their convictions. With that said, I want to thank Russell Wilson and Russell Okung for having the courage to speak truth to millions of Americans. Let’s join them in thanking God and making Jesus cool again.
• Armstrong Williams is the author of the book “Reawakening Virtues.” Join him from 4-5 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. daily on Sirius/XM Power 128. Become a fan on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.