Racenut wrote: ↑September 25th, 2023, 12:40 am
Not the point, many who contribute to the University do so in the hope that young people are being positively affected by the Gospel and a simple acknowledgement of from whom all blessings flow would be some evidence of that growth. It's supposed to mean more on the mountain.
I must say that I am on ASOR every day and listen to every podcast and press conference and I hear a lot of sports news, but I hear nothing about the spiritual progress of players or what spiritual themes are being shared as we did with HCHF the past several years. In fact, I see more spiritual conversation and references on the Auburn Twitter threads than any of LU'S sports news or chats. I really have no desire for LU to becoming a national power in sports without the accompanying spiritual fabric. Wake Forest started as a Baptist school, Duke as a Methodist school but you would be hard pressed to find any evidence of that foundation today. I really hope and pray that Liberty does not go down that road.
Racenut, I understand your concerns and agree with most of your points. Here are a couple of thoughts:
-In fairness, Flames Central Podcast regularly features stories regarding athletes or coaches' spiritual journeys. Several of these are well done and have won journalism awards. Also, I have heard various students and coaches talk about their faith spontaneously in several different interviews. However, though, I think you are correct that most of the time the on-air talent sticks to sports talk and doesn't use much spiritual verbiage. I would assume this is intentional for specific reasons.
-I don't mind saying that I was the first person on this board to suggest Hugh Freeze as HC when he was hired. He is a superior communicator and did a great job while he was here. That said, as he would attest, I do think that God sent him to Auburn to be a witness. That's why I hate the "He left us!" nonsense and LU fans hoping for him to fail. He is in the secular lions den (tigers den) and there will be a lot of non-Christian bigots yearning for his dismissal. You can book it, his participation in the on-campus baptism service this past week will be used against him when he is eventually let go one day in the future.
That said, I am very appreciative for JC and his staff. As a whole, I think they "get" the Liberty mission and are doing a great job getting settled in. HF was at a redemptive point in his life after significant personal failure. God gave him another chance on the SEC stage. JC is at a different point in his life and gives every indication that he wants to take LU and its Christian mission to new heights, albeit he is less verbal than Freeze was. But actions speak louder than words and we are only four games in on his first season. Let's give him some time.
-America is more secular and growing bolder and less tolerant of Christians and biblical truth with each passing year. Your skepticism regarding LU's fidelity to its founding mission is understandable. However, if there is a major Christian school that will not lose sight of its founding vision it is Liberty. There are so many solid Christians invested spiritually and financially who realize that all the new buildings and sports accolades mean absolutely nothing if Christ is not honored, and young people's lives are not impacted by the truth of God's Word. Some don't get it, but most do, IMHO. So, I have a lot of hope.
However, your word of caution is well warranted and should be appreciated by all.
I do hope the LU on-air media talent will feel free to express their faith and realize that it is a big encouragement to LU fans and the listening audience. And William Byron is Liberty's highest profile ambassador and a special talent. However, he's got a mic on him for hours every week recording his every word, good or bad, as he drives inches from other cars at 200mph. I wouldn't want to switch positions with him. But that's the world he lives in and for every "Hell, yeah!" he yells it would be nice to hear a few "Praise God!" comments as well. (But, that said, I did laugh when he referred to his Liberty Chevy as "bad a.s.s" after he won. He wasn't lying. It was a great win.