Ray Lewis Doesn’t Speak for God

Ray Lewis will probably have a statue of him erected at the Ravens stadium commemorating his storied career. But no amount of rings or statues will ever erase the cloud of suspicions which still hover over the murders of two men, after Super Bowl XXXIV, as a result of which Ray Lewis was convicted of obstruction of justice, after striking a deal with the prosecutor. He also allegedly settled for an undisclosed amount with the family of the murdered men later on before the matter went to trial on a civil court.

Ray Lewis is undoubtedly a gifted athlete. He also seems to be a sincere man. He claims to be an evangelical Christian, even a preacher. So that means that by virtue of his celebrity status he will at times speak for all evangelicals.

And that is the matter with Ray Lewis. As far as I know, He is not theologically trained and has no authority to speak on biblical matters as if he were some kind of an expert. And I deplore his attempts to appeal to God in explaining away the questions surrounding the issues of the murders of two innocent men. And that is exactly what Ray did on the eve of the most recent Super Bowl. If you didn’t see the interview, here is the critical moment of it. I reproduce the question the CBS reporter asked him and the unmistakably bizarre answer by Ray Lewis:

CBS: “What would you like to say to the family?”

LEWIS: “It’s simple: God has never made a mistake. That’s just who he is, you see. If our system — and this is the sad thing about our system — if our system took the time to really investigate what happened 13 years ago, maybe they would have gotten to the bottom line. But the saddest thing ever is a man looked me in my face and told me, ‘We know you didn’t do this, but you’re going down for it anyway.’ To the family: If you knew, if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits anything like that for his glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.”

If you want to read the full report, go here, but in essence Ray is saying that his innocence is proven by the will of God. I say: nonsense.  (For a more incisive analysis of Lewis’ interview, read this story by NBC). The thought that God does not use someone who is decidedly “bad” for His glory is preposterous.

First, you have to establish whether God is really bringing glory to His name through the individual in question (in this case, Ray Lewis). In the absence of unbiased evidence, are we expected to take Lewis’ own words that God is indeed using him for His glory? How many people have been so successful and done so much good and yet have been so far away from God and don’t care to state that publicly? Goodness is not a propriety of the religiously initiated. Ignorance of God does not make one automatically evil.

Secondly, all you have to do is take a cursory look at some of the Bible stories. David was a murderer, he was an adulterer, and a thief. Saul was a murderer before he became Paul. Rahab was a prostitute before she became an ancestor of the Messiah. The list goes on and on. And may I tell you about me?

Look, I am not calling any of these people “bad.” I am just saying they weren’t exactly walking on the straight and narrow. At a certain point in their lives they were not candidates for the “Person of the Year” award. They were not your hometown heroes, they were not someone you would ask to babysit your children. But fast forward a little and each of those folks ended up being used by God to do some significant things.

Ray Lewis has missed the opportunity to show a little humility. He doesn’t have to admit guilt or confess to something he didn’t do. But I would appreciate if He would just leave God out of his lame explanation. Don’t taint God’s honor with man’s foibles. Don’t think you can fool us by just saying that you and the Almighty have a special deal where He has given you one of a kind killer insight. I cannot bear the thought of hearing that type of nonsense anymore.

And if Ray Lewis really wants to speak for God, I recommend that he should at least start doing some serious reading and systematic studying of God’s Word, now that He will have plenty of time since he is retiring from professional football. And by all means, express some sorrow to the families for the pain you have, intentionally or unintentionally, caused them.

And if you change your mind and decide to accept a coaching position with the Ravens, please don’t hire God as your assistant. You may end up embarrassing Him… again!

Ivanildo C. Trindade