I’m huge Duke fan. I think Cameron Indoor Stadium where they play is the best college basketball venue there is. I’ll argue that Coach K is the greatest college basketball coach of all time. And of course I am completely objective and have no bias in all of this…
It can become quite easy when you are friends with someone, or admire someone, or voted for someone, to want to defend them when others are critical of them. Even though you are not connected to them personally, it can seem at times that these attacks on them are somewhat attacks on you as you associate with them, support them, etc.
It is not a bad thing to want to defend someone or something you believe in, but there comes a point at which it can be.
I know there have been times where I have been guilty of this. But the way people defend their preferred politicians is where I see this play out most clearly. I’ve seen and heard Christians more willing to defend their politician of choice, and become more worked up about their dissenters, that it is clear that they are very personally invested in this person they haven’t even ever met.
And when we are not careful this happens to all of us. We are more affected by our sports teams, hobbies, or something at work, than we are on what should be the ultimate thing: Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church writes,
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
-1 Corinthians 1:11-13
If you are a believer in Jesus, then while it is certainly okay to have various passions and desires, none of them should take precedence over God himself. In the Corinthian church, people were choosing sides and making their identity in which teacher they liked more over their common faith in Christ.
There is nothing wrong with having preferences, but there is a problem when we identify more with our preferences (or people identify us more with our preferences) than we do with Jesus.
I won’t go to the grave arguing how great of a coach that coach K is, but I will do that arguing the divinity of Jesus. Everyone worships something (or things), it is just a matter of whether or not what you worship is actually worthy of that worship.