In Arizona, a high school football player was recently penalized for praising God after he scored a touchdown.
He raised his hand toward God for four seconds, and the referee flagged it as “excessive celebration” or “taunting.”
The player was going to be suspended, but he appealed it and is now back in for playoffs. Other football experts agree that the penalty shouldn’t have been called.
Here’s a video clip showing his gesture and interviewing him.
The quarterback, Pedro Banda, says that he will continue to praise God when he scores touchdowns “without a doubt.”
Here are some thoughts:
- Whatever we do is to glorify God.
Pedro Banda gets this and won’t be bullied into silence. We must do the same.
When Paul was teaching the gospel and building up the churches, many “opposed and reviled him” (Acts 18:6). The Lord visited Paul in a vision to encourage him: “‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you’” (Acts 18:9-10).
In America, enemies of the gospel are increasingly trying to stamp out all praise of God. Employees are told to keep their faith at home, schools discriminate against Christian groups, and Christians’ religious liberties are stripped away in the name of same-sex marriage.
But the Lords’ promise to Paul applies to us today.
- Expect persecution
“‘If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you… All these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me’” (John 15: 20-21).
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