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DominicX's avatar

What do you think of people who think God wants them to win games and contests?

Asked by DominicX (28706 points ) April 5th, 2014

Tim Tebow praying before a football game might come to mind immediately, but what actually brought it to mind was the TV show Survivor. My friend was watching it and there was a Christian guy on there who said “I really think God wants to me win; I’m here to honor my God”. And I’ve come across other Christians who have this attitude, particular in regard to sports games.

I guess I just don’t understand this mindset. While I understand God giving you strength to try and persevere, this idea that God takes sides and “backs” certain people doesn’t make sense to me. Why would God support someone over another person, both of whom are just as Christian as the next? It just seems a bit selfish to me, to think that God wants you to win and beat other people.

Is this an attitude you’ve come across?

Disclaimer: it was actually my Christian friend who once told me that this kind of attitude irked her, so this is not just an “atheist’s view”. And this is absolutely not a “bashing” question.

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41 Answers

ucme's avatar

I’ve only ever seen this with US sports stars & it makes me laugh every time.
Seems to me what these people essentially believe is that their “God” cares more about them personally than other believers.
Favouritism on a truly epic scale, delusional halfwits.

DominicX's avatar

@ucme That is true—it does seem that they believe God cares more about them than others and that I find hard to believe. But then if they don’t win, they’ll say “I guess God didn’t want me to win”. And I don’t think that’s true either. But that’s just me. I would’ve felt the same way back when I identified as a Christian; it makes no difference to me.

ucme's avatar

Imagine the headline…God accused in match fixing scandal…due in court toosday

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why would God support someone over another person, both of whom are just as Christian as the next?
God will support His children just as any earthly parent would support their children. Would God care if they won the Daytona 500, an Olympic metal, the divisional championship, I can’t say, but I doubt it unless it somehow brought glory to God. Those athletes and such who want to glorify God, they can do that better by playing with honesty and integrity, then if they win, God is rerally magnified then.

GloPro's avatar

I would respond to someone saying that with, “huh, well, good luck. Nobody wants to disappoint God!” And move on.

elbanditoroso's avatar

As we have said so many times around here – God is irrational in concept. So praying to God is similarly irrational. It’s harmless to ask god to let you win a lottery, but it’s also pointless.

But to me, there is a deeper theological question.

Suppose there are two people – John and Jane. They aren’t related, they don’t know each other.

John is praying that he wins the lottery. Jane is beseeching god to let her win.

How does god decide? He’s going to piss someone off.

Symbeline's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I would certainly hope you’re right, I don’t see why God would care who wins, as long as the games are played with integrity and honor.

I think it has a lot to do with patriotism though, which goes hand in hand with Christianity. In the US, anyways. Not wanting to single America out, probably hockey players here do it all the time haha.

amujinx's avatar

I always assume it is an attempt to be humble. Instead, they show how full of themselves they are by the fact “God helped them win” when God could be curing diseases or ending famines. I always view it as the height of egotism, and I think less of people that do it.

flutherother's avatar

With that attitude I can’t see how you could respect anyone else or feel any sense of humility. Such people get on my nerves.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Why would God bother? Oh, because the player is one of God’s children. Okay.

But wait. Why would God help one of his children to win against another of his children (who is probably also praying for a win)?

I think maybe god is just kickin’ back drinkin’ a coldie watchin’ the game like everyone else.

Oh yeah, what do I think about people who think God is helping them? Nothing at all. And I don’t think anything about people who think it is silly to do so.

kevbo's avatar

It is only the expression of a being that believes itself to be something separate from God. There’s a kaleidoscope of expression that manifests like this in the world, because there cannot be experience of things without belief in separateness.

We all latch on to misguided beliefs about reality. Eventually, it leads to a transcendence when belief in the outer world as a separate thing comes to an end.

cookieman's avatar

I think their deluded.

Kropotkin's avatar

All I know is that every time some vainglorious celebrity attributes their success to their purported god, or thinks their “Jesus” or whoever, wants to them to succeed—Zeus is blasphemed, and that egotistical celebrity or athlete is destined for the fiery pits of Tartarus.

Cruiser's avatar

Motivation to succeed at levels unknown to ordinary men often requires motivation and faith in a higher power and I would never begrudge anyone who then finds extraordinary strength and spirit to achieve their goals they pray for.

Blondesjon's avatar

I guess I think I am super psyched about the Milwaukee Brewers’ chances at a post-season this year.

bolwerk's avatar

The gods and giants each want their own to win. It’s uncertain wheref the pissant god Yahweh falls into this, but he would possibly be an incarnation of the trickster god Loki. Thor would crush it with hammer Mjölnir and his weakling son Christ would be trampled under the eight hooves of Wotan’s steed Sleipnir.

The cowards go to Helheim, and the courageous few who die in battle are whisked away to Valhalla by the Valkyrie. In the end, all will be destroyed, even the gods, in cathartic fire and flood and the world shall arise anew without all this Judeo-Christian nonsense.

Blondesjon's avatar

@bolwerk . . . You forget that no matter how killed the Vikings make them, the Christians, well, they just won’t quit coming back from the dead.

i sooo wish i was making it up . . .

flip86's avatar

It’s because “God” is a projection of that persons ego. This is why people get so butthurt when you say their “God” doesn’t exist. You are essentially rejecting a part of their personality. Nobody likes rejection.

kritiper's avatar

Same way I think of people who believe in God: totally bonkers.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

It’s because “God” is a projection of that persons ego. This is why people get so butthurt when you say their “God” doesn’t exist.
That is why morality is a projection of that person’s ego. This is why people get so butthurt when you say they are immoral without God, or their morality is balls We can swing that both ways. ;-)

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I don’t worry about it either way. To each their own.

bolwerk's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: you can’t deny that God conveniently agrees with the wishes and desires of people who talk about what God wants just a little too much.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@bolwerk you can’t deny that God conveniently agrees with the wishes and desires of people who talk about what God wants just a little too much.
I won’t deny that. Many believers who are ill-informed or who believe they are believers try to limit God and make God to fit their beliefs instead of truly trying to live as the Bible say.

ibstubro's avatar

I guess as long as your God is allowing you to do your best without judging or harming others, I’m good with it.

Why would I care? By all means, draw on all your personal strengths to do your best, and count on others to do the same. Expect and except it.

Coloma's avatar

“God” doesn’t play favorites, because “God” does not exist.
Probably best to own own ones own shit and say I want this for myself.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

The ones I like are the awards shows where someone wins, then gets up and says something to the effect of, “and I’d like to thank God who made it all possible.” Hey, I’ve got news for you! God didn’t vote for you! She voted for someone else and didn’t even consider you! So why are you thanking her (or him,or both)?

JLeslie's avatar

I just think this is the way these people talk. They feel God is in everything, they feel they need to always be conscious of God, and grateful that all God provides for them. They feel God has a path for them, and so if winning is the path, them God must want them to win. If they don’t thank God they feel they have not done enough to honor him. If they don’t thank God or talk about Him out loud, his religious peers will see him as not being religious enough. It’s just what they do.

I’m not religious or a theist, but that is my interpretation.

bolwerk's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: and there we have the overwhelming evidence that you are projecting your beliefs onto a more powerful (yet imaginary) being that validates to your desires, rewarding and punishing those who don’t comply with what you want.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@bolwerk @Hypocrisy_Central: and there we have the overwhelming evidence that you are projecting your beliefs onto a more powerful (yet imaginary) being that validates to your desires, rewarding and punishing those who don’t comply with what you want.
Unless you perfect your powers of clairvoyance do not assume what I feel or believe. If the world actually went according to my wishes, you might be shocked at the world you would see. I am projecting nothing of my own, nor trying to get them to comply with anything I want. If I profess what He wants, whatever I say is to align people with Him, please store that in your memory banks for future reference seeing your powers of clairvoyance is faulty.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I was raised that praying for selfish things is wrong. I can pray for God’s will to be done anytime but greed, no.

bolwerk's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central: There is no need for any special insight, much less clairvoyance, to see that you interpret it in a manner you find favorable. The claim that there is even a God who would care is already highly dubious. You even want that to exist; what you can’t do is prove it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ No more than you can prove a black hole you believe exist but have never seen, been to, or gotten hold of a piece of, or anyone else for that matter; no one was around at the time of the Big Bang, if their was one, that is an educated guess too. You believe in as much stuff no one can prove inconclusive but at least if you are right, I have lost nothing, if I am right, get the weenies ready the BBQ will last a while.

bolwerk's avatar

Yes, the big bang is an educated guess, supported by observation and theoretical frameworks. The existence of God or gods is somewhere between assumption and wild speculation. It requires faith for a reason.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Yes, the big bang is an educated guess, supported by observation and theoretical frameworks.
It doesn’t matter if it is supported by beer nuts, tarot cards, or a Ouija board, it cannot be proven, it is a guess, no more proven or disproved than God, but is should be, since believe in God is by faith, believe in the Big Bang should have something more to go on than faith in a hunch, even if you point 200,000 guess at it.

bolwerk's avatar

What this shows is you have low scientific literacy. Proof is the realm of mathematics and logic, not science. The big bang is proposed based on observable evidence. It’s not intended to be construed as revealed truth, nor is it a mere hunch. If it ends up being falsified – and there is evidence to the effect that the theory is faulty – what do I care? It would intrigue me, and another theory can be proposed. Maybe even something inductively verifiable.

For that matter, it doesn’t much matter to me if God turns out to exist. If true, it has thus far had no bearing on my life. It’s His followers who just missed my apartment with a hijacked airplane, afterall, so they effect me a little more. The Big Guy was too busy watching The 700 Club at that time to stop them.

And you can’t possibly believe this binary “I’m right or you’re right” notion. What if Islam is right? Better pack some halal weenies!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ What this shows is you have low scientific literacy. Proof is the realm of mathematics and logic, not science. The big bang is proposed based on observable evidence.
I know more of science than you know of the Bible, however, with all this mathematics and logic, no one can prove the Big Bang as a certainty; what does that tell you. As for logic, let’s just say for instance looking out there, something that cannot be detected is between here and there that distorts the view or whatever readings they believe they found. Then the guess is a bust because they are guessing on something that is not real. Let me explain it like this, I a group of people were on an island looking across to another island across a sea. For whatever reason the people on the shore could never build a boat to get to the island they observed. Looking with binoculars they see what appear to be large carved stone objects, by the shape and color. They use their best logical guess that they must be carved because no natural formation would materialize like that, and if they are carved there must be or had been civilization there. If they never seen it clearly because haze was always between the islands, added with never being able to investigate 1st hand, they can only go by what they see. Had they ever had been able to get there, they may find it is not rock after all but large Styrofoam props from a movie long since shot. That is about how science works in a nut shell, but scientist I guess have an arrogant streak and can’t fathom the possibility what they think they see really doesn’t exist but shows appears much as a mirage makes it look like water on the horizon.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central . . . By that logic, if you go to a doctor when you are sick you have just lived up to your username.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

God is on our side!

When I was in high school, there was a conference consisting of all the Catholic high schools in the area. I know for a fact that each and every coach of each and every team would start off each and every game by leading the team in a prayer for victory.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Yetanotheruser – and exactly half of the prayers were effective….

JLeslie's avatar

I would pray for safety for the players.

ibstubro's avatar

Only the non-pious win. God, of course, has spread himself across the pious grid and has to cede to the devil, who is allowed favorites.

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