Now I Get It, Maybe

March 15, 2006

I have been worried about C.J.’s obsession with Duke basketball.  I am worried that he is more happy for Duke to lose than for his beloved Maryland to win.  This is neither good nor godly.  What can explain it?

Maybe I have found the answer — fear of the Devil.  It must be Duke’s mascot theme, the Blue Devils.  Perhaps C.J. is just like Martin Luther, ready to expose the Devil and his nefarious ways, his evil deeds, and his conspiracy to rob God of His glory.  I am comforted by this thought of my brother, waging a war of wills against the Evil One — a war extended to any athletic team that would claim his name, wear his imagined image, and cheer his victory.  Maybe this is all about theology.

If so, C.J. can take courage from Luther, who knew how to oppose the Devil.  Consider these statements from our German brother:

The devil, too, can quote Scripture and deceive men with it.  But his use of Scripture is defective.  He does not quote it completely but only so much as it serves his purpose.  The rest he silently omits. [LW 52:175]


At all hours the devil is seeking to kill us all.  After you have been baptized, he will not let you have any rest.  If he could kill you in your mother’s body, he would do it.  He is not satisfied to let us have one kernel of grain on the field, one fish or piece of bread, or anything good. Far less does he spare us who are exposing his shame, who rebuke him to his face, and preach what we should — God’s grace and the works of the devil. He would now rather break my neck than let me stand here and preach and storm his kingdom.  [LW, 33:408]

Martin Luther said much more about the devil, of course, and about devils too (many of these statements are not for the faint-hearted or the olefactory-sensitive).  Luther even spoke of "white" devils who appear beautiful in their deception, though I can find no Luther references to devils in any shade of blue.   

But, maybe for C.J this is really about resisting the devil and all who would serve him.  Maybe its really about theology.  Then again, maybe not.