I have tried to let this go and not blog about it but it’s bugging me. I was listening to Michael Irvin’s radio show on ESPN radio earlier this week and understand why some people think so little of Christianity.
Irvin was interviewing a lady affiliated with the Humane Society in Georgia. The lady had filed protests at some stores that sold Michael Vick jerseys and the jerseys were pulled off the shelf. (Michael Vick, a pro football player, is in prison for running a dog-fighting operation.) I could understand a Humane Society supporter protesting Vick stuff but then the conversation went south. Irvin asked her why she continued to protest now that Vick had served his sentence and she begin to explain how he could never be forgiven and did not deserve the opportunity to continue his career in the NFL. She explained that in her mind, dog-fighting is on par with child molestation and Vick deserved nothing more than to be a janitor at a dog pound but never deserved complete forgiveness. Irvin then asked her if she was a Christian. She said yes and mentioned the denomination she attended and reiterated the heinousness of Vick’s crime in her eyes and that he did not deserve forgiveness or any other opportunities or a public career.
It got worse when Irvin’s co-host asked if Vick and a dog were in a burning building and she could only go in and get one, who would it be? She laughed and said that was an easy answer. The co-host asked if it would be the dog and she just laughed and said yes. The co-host could only respond “it gives the definition of “humane” a whole new meaning.”
Is it any wonder the world has a low view of Christians? Speaking the truth is necessary and many people will reject the truth but one of the core truth’s of Christianity is compassion and forgiveness. Jesus on the cross is forgiveness. Jesus resurrected is redemption. It’s available to everyone who will take it…and share it. To claim the forgiveness provided us by Jesus but say Michael Vick never deserves it…it just doesn’t make sense to me and I’m guessing it gives those who denounce Christianity an easy target for their skepticism, scorn and wrath.
I disagree with the woman’s idea of forgiveness. I don’t know that I’m right and she’s not but I will err on the side of too much forgiveness (is there such a thing based on God’s forgiveness of us?) than too little.
I enjoy listening to Irvin on the radio. As a man with a checkered past, he has built his relationship with God and is one who will extend compassion and forgiveness. At times, you might tune in and think you hit a gospel channel because he can preach – and would make a pretty good one.