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Mr. Vick meets Jesus

posted by David Kuo

Michael Vick this morning:

“We all make mistakes. I made a mistake for using bad judgement and making bad decisions,” Vick said. “Dogfighting is a terrible thing and I didn’t reject it. … Through this situation I found Jesus and turned my life over to God.”

When I first heard about Vick and Jesus, I sighed. I did. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have but I did. I’m sure I’m not alone. It just seemed so very trite, so predictable, so manufactured, so lame. That’s what I thought. It is part of the whoring of Jesus’ name that is so common in our day. Yuck.
This is not good PR for Jesus. It would be much better if people said they were turning their lives over to Jesus while at the top. I mean a Nobel prize winner making that statement would be great PR for Jesus.
But then I paused and I thought and I prayed a little and I think my opinion is changing.
Good for Michael Vick. At least he didn’t say he was an addict and needed to go to rehab. At least he didn’t say he had been diagnosed with this or that and he was actually a victim in this whole horrible affair. Maybe his attorneys and PR people focus group tested those statements and saw they wouldn’t fly. Maybe they found Jesus to be his best defense. I don’t know. But maybe it is real. Maybe he has found Jesus, has decided to turn his life over, and is just like every other one of us – a really flawed piece of humanity in the process of being made more like Jesus.
All I know is that if Jesus wouldn’t reject him how could I? And that is the total truth isn’t it?
Jesus would never reject him. Jesus wouldn’t reject a dog slaughterer. Jesus wouldn’t reject a hypocrite. Jesus wouldn’t reject a liar or a murderer or an adulterer or a drunk or a rich man or a poor man or a gay man or a lesbian or a Democrat or a Republican or anyone else. Jesus is not in the business of rejecting those who are trying to follow him and are willing to have their lives transformed by him.
From the world’s perspective it is all madness of course. How can this be? How can he offer such immediate and total forgiveness? How is it that to call on Jesus and to confess all we have done wrong is to receive forgiveness? I don’t know but it is the faith that Jesus says is true.
Jesus makes it clear that he welcomes those who are sick – he says they are the ones that he came for. This is comforting to me because I am certainly much more like Mike Vick than a Nobel prize winner. It should be comforting to all of us.



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Elvis Elvisberg

posted August 27, 2007 at 6:24 pm


Of course you’re right about what Jesus would do.
The reason that you sighed is that love is not what Jesus stands for in the public discourse today. He has noisily been made out to be a touchstone or a mascot, and to stand for the advancement of one political party. We’ve seen the name of Jesus, and the ideal of democracy, discredited in many people’s eyes because of the inadequacy and stridency of their loudest advocates.
As to Vick, his statement overall seemed quite sincere. He apologized, accepted responsibility for his own poor decisions, said that dogfighting is a bad thing, etc., before he mentioned his newfound religious devotion.



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dave

posted August 27, 2007 at 7:36 pm


By their fruit we shall know them.
If Mr. Vick as indeed turned his life over to Christ, then good for him. We will see him bear the fruit of this change in his life in future years, and Christ will be honored.
However, if he turns back to his old ways once he is out of jail, we will all know that Jesus was just a fashion accessory for him.
Time will tell. I hope that Mr. Vick uses his wisely.



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I_Like_Dragyn

posted August 27, 2007 at 7:45 pm


Jesus wouldn’t reject a liar or a murderer or an adulterer or a drunk or a rich man or a poor man or a gay man or a lesbian or a Democrat or a Republican or any else.
Oh now don’t be so hard on yourself, Mr. Kuo, I’m sure Jesus wouldn’t reject a straight man or straight woman, either. :)
But back to the topic at hand – Why is it that every time someone gives a public apology, whether it’s Michael Vick or Paris Hilton, they have to go on and say “I’ve found Jesus”? Coming from a non-Christian, it sounds as though he’s looking not for immediate and total forgiveness from Jesus, but rather, from the public and his former employers so he can go back to playing football. It sounds cynical, I’m sure, but it’s just as hackneyed to me as when every time a rap artist writes an album glorifying gang violence and violence against women while espousing a materialist lifestyle of “bling” and “rims” and “32s” and thanks Jesus when it is successful in selling a multi-platinum album.



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Thinker

posted August 27, 2007 at 8:03 pm


Well, I think if somebody has found Jesus, those who have claimed Jesus as their savior must simply say “God bless you.”. We spend a lot of time determining who has apologized properly, who really means it, who has found God…. I’m pretty darn sure – it is none of our business except to care for anyone who tries to change their path.



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LiLi

posted August 27, 2007 at 8:13 pm


Bullhockey! Michael Vick hasn’t found Jesus anymore than Osama Bin Laden has. It is probably a good thing that Jesus would forgive him…because I don’t think many others will.
“Why is it that every time someone gives a public apology, whether it’s Michael Vick or Paris Hilton, they have to go on and say “I’ve found Jesus”? Coming from a non-Christian, it sounds as though he’s looking not for immediate and total forgiveness from Jesus, but rather, from the public”
Amen.



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I_Like_Dragyn

posted August 27, 2007 at 8:16 pm


I’m pretty darn sure – it is none of our business except to care for anyone who tries to change their path.
I know that, and perhaps its simply from my experience that whenever someone has a profound experience, such as “Finding Jesus” or “Attaining Enlightenment” or “Joining the Universal Consciousness”, even for a moment, there is expected to be this overpowering rush of ecstacy, this sense of being filled, filled, filled until you explode into a million pieces like a balloon, only to be put back together the next moment by that very same experience. Every time I see it occur in such a somber mode amongst flashing cameras in full piece suits calmly and professionally – it just doesn’t seem to fit what we would believe to be a truly mystical experience of “Finding Jesus” or “Attaining Enlightenment” or “Joining the Universal Consciousness”.
Does that make sense?



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canucklehead

posted August 27, 2007 at 8:17 pm


I think jail cell conversions now outnumber death bed conversions.
Tell us about your relationship with Jesus a couple of years from now, Michael, when you’re not in a position of needing public sympathy, forgiveness or salvaging some scrap of your reputation. Tell us about your relationship with Jesus on just a normal day when you’re Michael Vick, the nobody, not Michael Vick, the ex-NFL quarterback felon.



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Larry Parker

posted August 27, 2007 at 9:41 pm


I think Jesus, not patriotism, is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
David may be right and that may be literal in Vick’s case, which of course would be good.
But I doubt it.



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Rick

posted August 27, 2007 at 10:04 pm


It’s called GRACE…
probably the most irrational, unbelievable thing that will happen to any of us. Thank God!



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Lance

posted August 27, 2007 at 11:53 pm


As with all of us, only time will tell.
Let us watch Mr. Vick years from now, when he has perhaps been forgiven by many and life gets back to normal (or at least closer to normal than now).
Then maybe we’ll be able to see if Jesus has found him.



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Donny

posted August 28, 2007 at 12:13 am


David Kuo:
“Jesus would never reject him. Jesus wouldn’t reject a dog slaughterer. Jesus wouldn’t reject a hypocrite. Jesus wouldn’t reject a liar or a murderer or an adulterer or a drunk or a rich man or a poor man or a gay man or a lesbian or a Democrat or a Republican or anyone else. Jesus is not in the business of rejecting those who are trying to follow him and are willing to have their lives transformed by him.”
\\\
Many of the kinds of people you list reject Jesus by their actions and their words. And of course it is their right to do so according to Jesus.
Vick “finally” said he did something wrong.
I can see at least four kinds of people in your list that will not do that about their “wrong” behaviors.



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James Kanka

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:03 am


I felt much the same way as you did when I heard… actually a co-worker overhead Vick on the news and leaned over to me and said sarcastically with a laugh, “Michael Vick found Jesus.” I didn’t know what to say at first because I had the same doubts he did, “Come on Vick,” I thought. To my co-worker I simply responded, “I hope he did.”
How does it sound when I tell people I found Jesus?



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James Kanka

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:05 am


I felt much the same way as you did when I heard… actually a co-worker overhead Vick on the news and leaned over to me and said sarcastically with a laugh, “Michael Vick found Jesus.” I didn’t know what to say at first because I had the same doubts he did, “Come on Vick,” I thought. To my co-worker I simply responded, “I hope he did.”
How does it sound when I tell people I found Jesus?



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liz

posted August 28, 2007 at 11:00 am


I have a real problem with people who publicly find Jesus when they are exposed to public judgment over bad/illegal behavior usually when they are at risk of losing great sums of $$$$. Finding religion is between the individual and their God and that is where it should remain, but the P.R. value of being seen with a bible is too great for some.
Of course God knows what REALLY goes on in the heart & minds of men and will be the ultimate judge.



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SoNick

posted August 28, 2007 at 1:53 pm


Seriously.
The guy’s morals are completely screwed. He kills animals for the enjoyment of others and talks about it as “an error of judgment”. As if it wasn’t his barbaric conduct that was reprehensible, just his poor little misguided thinking. Nothing a little prayer can’t cure, eh?
What Michael Vick is implying when he’s saying he found Jesus is that his crime was in fact some sort of trial put on his path by god in order for him to be saved. Wow. I guess we should spare the rod, then, since he can’t really be held accountable for the mysterious ways of the Great Architect. He’s a good christian now, no? That must mean he’s been cleansed of all past offenses, no matter how revolting. I guess we should consider him beyond the reach of human laws since he now answers to the man above?
Pathetic.
honestly folks, what’s worse? A moral atheist or a hypocritical christian?



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CSMacFinney

posted August 28, 2007 at 8:16 pm


First, Christians don’t accept the argument that Vick’s actions were an “error in judgement”. We agree that Vick’s actions were evil and that the evil was completely intentional. That is the definition of sin.
Second, Christians do not believe that personal and spiritual forgiveness absolve men from the necessity for punishment by human laws. That is why many Christians support Capital Punishment.
Third, we also agree that Vick’s moral’s are screwed up. Nevertheless, if Vick has really received Jesus (we’ll only know by how he lives from now on), Jesus will begin to change Vick’s morals so that he will gradually start acting more and more like Jesus. That’s what people are really supposed to mean when they say that they “gave their lives to Jesus” (ie. They allow Jesus to control and change them).
Fourth, Christians do not believe that Vick deserves forgiveness any more that we believe that we deserve forgiveness for ourselves.
With regards to your last comment, it is always amusing to discover athiests who are more self-righteous than the Christians they accuse of self-righteousness.



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Paul

posted August 28, 2007 at 9:59 pm


CSMacFinney: You say “Second, Christians do not believe that personal and spiritual forgiveness absolve men from the necessity for punishment by human laws. That is why many Christians support Capital Punishment.” I apologize for the digression, but isn’t the question with capital punishment whether it should be a “human law”? When we support capital punishment aren’t we taking God’s role unto ourselves? Do we have the right to decide whether someonelse lives or dies? Are we claiming infalibility; ignoring the posibility that humans make mistakes and can exeucte innocent people even if following the laws? (Presidnet Bush’s apparent glee in executing prisioners in Texas is the most shameful aspect of his personal history. Especially given how carefully he and then-Counsel Gonzolez reviewed clemency petitions.) Should we then support abortion because it too is a “human law”? Again, I apologize for the digression.



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BJ ( www.Purpose101.com )

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm


People who turn their life over to Jesus are NOT trying to be cool or hip but they are REALLY turning their life over to Jesus.
The reason you may be thinking this is so predictable or that is because you yourself have not found Jesus personally yourself.
In a world where being Christian is not “cool” or the thing to be, why would a well known superstar be bold enough to stand up and declare his faith in Jesus Christ?
Maybe he was truly convinced of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
People. I used to be into the new age beliefs and also hated everything about Jesus and Christianity at once. But 3 years ago, I personally found Jesus Christ to be who He claimed to be, the way to the Father as he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
The Bible explains that the world hates Christians because the world hated Christ first. This simple blog post explains the world’s hatred towards Christ and as a born again Christian myself, I am here to defend Jesus Christ and say He is the truth, the way, and the life.
BJ Min
http://www.Purpose101.com



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BJ ( www.Purpose101.com )

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm


In addition, Jesus Christ is a God of “second chance” and “grace.” That is the WHOLE entire message of the Bible and the Gospel.
That we all were supposed to be destined to Hell because of our sinful nature. We have broken all of God’s laws and are guilty of it.
Yet, instead of God rebuking us and He came to save us through His Son Jesus Christ. Christ died for us while you and I were sinners. And he rose from the grave to defeat sin’s power over us.
And if you repent and turn your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will also be saved. Stop judging people and being a pharasee and start giving them grace like God gives us grace.
BJ Min
http://www.Purpose101.com



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canucklehead

posted August 28, 2007 at 10:38 pm


BJ – might I suggest you check out and read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic, The Cost of Discipleship, in which he speaks of, among other things, costly grace.



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Karen

posted August 29, 2007 at 2:21 am


Actually, ‘finding Jesus’ is VERY cool…. when you’ve screwed up publically.
Secondly only to confessing some sort of substance abuse addiction or having been abused in the past.
Its a ‘get out of public censure free’ card.
Check in about a year and see if he’s still saying it.
My prediction is…
If he gets back to the football, you’ll not hear about it again. If he’s banned or at least suspended long enough to affect his income, or future earning potential, you’re going to see a book, and a post on the Christian Testimony circuit, as well as his own little golden throne on TBN.



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BJ

posted August 29, 2007 at 3:02 pm


Karen,
most non-Christians see from your point of view because inwards, they seem to have hate for Christians. Jesus explained it by saying that the world will hate Christians because the world hated Christ first…
We have to stop ONLY looking at Christians and pointing out their flaws because all Christians have flaws…that is the POINT of Christianity…we are all imperfect including you and me…
but we have a PERFECT God…
it’s NOT about focusing on Christians but focusing on the LEADER of the Christians…Jesus Christ Himself…
listen to His Words…what is HIS message? what was HE all about? why did HE die?
focus not on the christians but on CHRIST Himself…that is the point…i’m not saying it is okay for people (christians or non-christians) to do wrong…it is not…
but the focus should be on God’s grace (undeserved blessing) poured out to all of us…not just michael vick…but you also…me…and EVERYONE in this world…
if you honestly look at yourself, you will realize that you also are guilty of breaking God’s laws…just like michael vick…you and i are NO different in God’s eyes…we all have fallen short of the glory of God…
but we have God showing His love for us by sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross for us…the Bible says that forgiveness is paid through the shedding of blood…
before Jesus, the shedding of blood was done to first born, unblemished animals on a yearly basis…but God had a bigger plan to shed His own Son to pay the punishment of the entire world’s sins “once for all”…
i hope you and everyone else who has not turned to Christ…will repent to God and turn your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ today…
BJ
http://www.Purpose101.com



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Karen

posted August 29, 2007 at 3:49 pm


Thank you for the pitch for Christianity. Which has no bearing whatsoever on the thread, or my own post.
Unconscious or hidden ‘hatred’ or not (and I could try and deny it, but why bother? The Bible said it, therefore, it must be true, right?), the fact is, that conversions after scandal are often seen as beneficial to the celebrity or politician who has one.
Usually performed only after the guilt is established, since if they still have a shot at claiming they ‘didn’t do it’, then there’s little reason to need the ‘change’ they claim their conversion allowed so easily.
Oh, and just a hint. Insults and psychic claims of knowing what your conversion target thinks and feels are not very effective sales techniques.



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