Arian Foster has been one of the top running backs in the NFL over the last few seasons. The veteran running back out of the University of Tennessee has been shredding defenses with his running style for the Texans. But along with his running style, he is also a dual threat with his hands out of the backfield. He is definitely a guy that gives defenses a problem each week he is on the field. But Arian is not just a football player. He is a man who has been staunch in his beliefs in regards to who he is and what he does regardless of what the perception is. And recently, he expressed himself to ESPN about what he believes in, or should we say what he does not believe in. Foster recently announced via an ESPN article that he does not believe there is a God. He spoke of being quiet about his beliefs but comfortable enough to say what he feels now. Foster also spoke of people telling him that “He has to have faith.” And his response is that faith is not enough for him. Many will not understand the beliefs that Foster has because they do not believe what he believes. And truthfully, some will cheer against him or condemn him for what he believes in his life. Living in the Bible Belt for most of his career (played at the University of Tennessee and plays currently for the Houston Texans), some are expecting some backlash by Christians in the Bible Belt about his statements. But what some miss is it is not up to Christians to condemn him for what he is into or not.
Plenty of people celebrate different religions across the United States and the world much like many express themselves in different ways. And in some instances, people treat others differently because they believe in something they don’t. I cannot speak to others that have different religions than I do, but I do call myself a Christian. And when I read the Bible, in no place has it ever called me to judge someone for having a different religion than them. Sure, I may not believe the same things as other people do and that is ok. But what is not ok is for me to condemn or judge someone for believing something outside of my own personal beliefs. People are not going to be the same. That is something that some people cannot understand. The way someone else practices a religion of the same or different than yours is not for you to decide. The only thing that you can do is treat that person the same way that he or she treats you. And even if that person is rude, you still treat them with the values that your religion teaches you. For me, being a Christian means that I am not a judge of anyone at all. In fact, there is one Ultimate Judge. But some Christians that read through the Bible conveniently miss the one verse that speaks on judging people: Luke 6:37. This verse says this (and I got this from the American Standard Version of the Bible): “And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released. “ This verse says it very clear that we are not to judge or condemn anyone else unless we want to be judged or condemned ourselves. Many Christians have condemned or judged someone that is of a different religions or ways of life. As a Christian, that is incorrect and unacceptable. Besides, would you want someone to judge you on all your differences from them or condemn you for something you may believe, said or have done? That would not feel that great would it?
Instead of treating someone and condemning someone for what they believe, why not treat them like a human being? We are all a part of the human race and we are all different and come from different backgrounds. But even though we all come from different backgrounds, the universal code that breaks through all religions and differences is love. As Christians, we express ourselves, but we cannot condemn someone for being different than we are. Instead, we should love them in hopes of showing them what are religion is about and who we are as a religion. Some that are not Christians do not like Christians not because of the religion but because of how some treat others that are not. And when we do that then we are not living in the spirit of being a Christian and we are again becoming their judge, which is not what we were intended to be. The Bible is filled with verses on love and that is the message that we are supposed to be spreading to the world, no matter what beliefs that person may have. And if you are not spreading a message of love, then you may want to ask yourself what message you are spreading because it sure isn’t one of a Christian.
Foster has made his beliefs clear and is steadfast in what he believes in. And as Christians, we are still supposed to show love to him instead of tossing hate at his doorstep. Everyone is different. It does not mean you are celebrating what he is when you treat him like a human being. But to condemn him would be wrong. God did not anoint us as judges. So hopefully every Christian out there will get this message when they receive what Foster has to say.