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Barkley has strong faith, won’t wear it on his sleeve

Barkley AP

USC quarterbacks have a certain image.  Devout Christian isn’t among the perceived characteristics.

But Matt Barkley, a former USC quarterback, is a devout Christian.  He won’t, however, be vocal or demonstrative about it.

Barkley tells Methuselah (a/k/a Larry King) in a Hulu.com sit down that the former Trojan shares the religious views of Tim Tebow.

“We have similar beliefs, and I’m very passionate about my faith,” Barkley said.  “Maybe not as outspoken as Tim is, he’s a passionate guy.  Maybe different in how I approach that.  But I’m very faithful in multiple ways, both to my team now that I’m in Philadelphia and to my God and Jesus Christ.”

From time to time, we (or at least I) have criticized athletes who fly their flag of faith a little too aggressively and zealously and openly.  And of course I end up being accused of hating Christians, even though I am one.

The many mixed signals in the thousands-year-old book to which we look for life guidance extend to the manner in which we should outwardly project our inner beliefs.  On one hand, we’re supposed to try to persuade others to believe the same things we do.  On the other hand, we’re not supposed to pray or engage in charitable works for attention or credit.

It’s a fine line, and I personally prefer Barkley’s approach.  Anyone who opts to make a strong and clear and public demonstration of faith needs to understand that some Christians will be skeptical and suspicious, in part because the thousands-year-old book in one specific portion advises us to be.

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27 Responses to “Barkley has strong faith, won’t wear it on his sleeve”
  1. bathroombenlovemachine says: Jun 6, 2013 8:38 AM

    Matt Barkley will get a Super Bowl Ring for Super Bowl 48 as a back-up quarterback for the Eagles.

    Eagles will win Super Bowl 48.

    Bet On It.

    WU TANG

  2. fwippel says: Jun 6, 2013 8:39 AM

    Not sure why this is posted here. Sounds like more of a personal statement by the author than news about the QB.

  3. trollhammer20 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:41 AM

    It’s been a long while in a church for me, but I do seem to recall a Bible verse about it being preferable to quietly pray at home, even in the closet, as opposed to standing on the street corner and shouting for all to see and hear.

  4. andreweac says: Jun 6, 2013 8:47 AM

    Will there ever be Barkley Time in Philly? Only Tebow knows!

  5. jack3dsd says: Jun 6, 2013 8:52 AM

    saying you are like tim tebow is career sabotage to nfl gms

  6. oldbyrd says: Jun 6, 2013 9:15 AM

    Fine critics, But, it would be a far better world if everyone felt like like Matt. No matter what faith they are.

  7. geo1113 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:20 AM

    @troillhammer20,

    That is the dilemma. How do you pray quietly yet spread the word. Florio points this dichotomy out. It is the excution of delivering the word. For example, Billy Graham had those huge rallies, but he never seemed to offend anyone. Jim Bakker on the other hand came off as fake and subsequently proved he was.

    (Full disclosure – I have been in a church twice in the last 7 years…I know 7 because my father’s funeral was seven years ago. Last time was last month because it was an easy place for me to wait for my car to be serviced.)

  8. gazinkus says: Jun 6, 2013 9:28 AM

    Matthew, verse 6. One of the most ignored sections of the Bible, and my favorite.

  9. tilliebugs says: Jun 6, 2013 9:29 AM

    Very, very nice article. Agree with your views 100%. I agree with Barkley’s approach as well. Tebow is a bit too self-serving for me.
    Personally, I appreciate the author’s view here. He’s saying what a whole lot of us are thinking.

  10. monkeyhateclean says: Jun 6, 2013 9:36 AM

    Religion and sexual preference: 2 things we really don’t need to know about our professional athletes.

  11. lostsok says: Jun 6, 2013 9:39 AM

    The pursuit of meaning beyond material is commendable. And that is, at it’s best, the purpose of religion.

    What Christians–and other religious people–fail to understand is that to many it’s impossible to divorce the multitudes of people who have to one degree or another attempted to better themselves with their faith in God, in whichever manner they pray, from the extreme few who have used it to manipulate masses and excuse murder. For this reason I tend to trust those who are open but humble about their beliefs.

    It seems the more a person boasts of their faith, the more they judge those who disagree with them, and the more they would like to the see the world molded in that image…whether the world wants it or not.

  12. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jun 6, 2013 9:40 AM

    Love me some Matt Barkley and I despise USC. Followed this kid since Mater Dei. His beliefs are pure, his words sincere and his leadership skills solid. Will be perfect in the locker room as a teammate. Hope he makes it and gets a chance to start. Easy kid to root for.

    Unlike 90% of this year’s draft class, Barkley won’t be broke in 10 years!

  13. guypatsfan says: Jun 6, 2013 9:44 AM

    I like this guy’s approach. I’m an atheist, and I don’t go around pushing my beliefs on people, so don’t go pushing you belief in a nonexistent deity on me.

  14. ohiobears says: Jun 6, 2013 9:47 AM

    I agree trollhammer…When i’m out in public with my family, say, for a family dinner, our prayers are short and sweet. We save the longer, deep, and personal prayers for our personal space, our home..

  15. ajg314 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:49 AM

    “Anyone who opts to make a strong and clear and public demonstration of faith needs to understand that some Christians will be skeptical and suspicious, in part because the thousands-year-old book in one specific portion advises us to be.”

    This is where I have personally taken issue with you in the past Florio. I totally agree with the sentiment in that last paragraph and it is also how I behave with regards to my beliefs. Where I take exception with you is that, although I also don’t prefer Tebow’s approach, I won’t criticize or make fun of him for his beliefs.

  16. ufourya says: Jun 6, 2013 9:56 AM

    Jesus commands his followers to preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 15:16.

    He also says to pray in private, unlike the hypocrites who pray in public. Matthew 6:5.

    So, there is a difference between preaching and praying.

  17. seattle78 says: Jun 6, 2013 10:31 AM

    Actually the bibles very clear that christians r “commanded” in dozens of scripture to be very vocal n outgoing about their Faith.

  18. noaxetogrind says: Jun 6, 2013 10:36 AM

    Mike, I think fwippel hit it right on the head, but for what it is worth let me offer this perspective to both you and trollhammer. I believe you are confused or have been misled concerning Matthew 6. Christ is quoted here as speaking to those who are hypocritical, primarily the Pharisee’s. He is talking about those who pray or do good deeds in public to receive “man’s honor”. Thus, it is an affair of the heart. While I have no idea if Tim Tebow does what he does for man’s approval, the preponderance of the evidence would be against that line of thought. Tebow was doing this stuff when he was an adolescent before anybody even knew who he was. There is no Biblical prohibition from publically sharing your faith. There is a Biblical prohibition from doing it for earthy gain. In closing let me offer this, the Bible also says in Mark 8:38 “for whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when he He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels”. Also in Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are luke warm,and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth”. As you can clearly see, it is about the state of your heart and your motivatation.

  19. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 6, 2013 10:57 AM

    gazinkus says:Jun 6, 2013 9:28 AM

    Matthew, verse 6. One of the most ignored sections of the Bible, and my favorite.
    _____

    Got a chapter for us?

  20. RedRuffensor says: Jun 6, 2013 11:30 AM

    “There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

  21. dasboat says: Jun 6, 2013 11:33 AM

    “On the other hand, we’re not supposed to pray or engage in charitable works for attention or credit.”

    Says who? This is a fairly recent societal trend that falls under the general topic of “political correctness.”

  22. timb12 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:40 AM

    When has Tebow shoved his religion down our throats? He just hasn’t hidden the fact that he is a Christian. Don’t blame Tebow, the media is the one shoving it down our throats. He is unapologetic about his faith and we can’t say whether he’s doing it for attention like that verse in Matthew, or if he’s doing it for God. We don’t know where his heart is.

  23. datrinity says: Jun 6, 2013 12:21 PM

    Barkley, you have the right to express your believes however you see fit. Wether it’s from a hill top or by keeping it on the low. Don’t let the Christian hating media dictate to you how you represent Jesus.

  24. CKL says: Jun 6, 2013 12:25 PM

    lostsok says:
    Jun 6, 2013 9:39 AM
    The pursuit of meaning beyond material is commendable. And that is, at it’s best, the purpose of religion.

    What Christians–and other religious people–fail to understand is that to many it’s impossible to divorce the multitudes of people who have to one degree or another attempted to better themselves with their faith in God, in whichever manner they pray, from the extreme few who have used it to manipulate masses and excuse murder. For this reason I tend to trust those who are open but humble about their beliefs.

    It seems the more a person boasts of their faith, the more they judge those who disagree with them, and the more they would like to the see the world molded in that image…whether the world wants it or not.
    _________________________________
    I get your point and I agree somewhat. Problem is that when people like Kluwe and Ayanbadejo are very vocal about their beliefs, they get kudos, not scorn. And just to put it out there, I am an atheist who believes in gay people being allowed to marry. I just believe in judging things through equal lenses.

    Tebow being an outwardly worshipping Christian if fine by me because he has never said, that I am aware of, that we will all be going to hell or whatever if we don’t believe as he does. He’s positive about his faith. I see nothing wrong with that. Being positive about your message and not slamming opponents of it with nasty names or words is a better way to convice people, I think.

  25. bobbyhoying says: Jun 6, 2013 2:25 PM

    The problem for any Christian, who does the due diligence and reads and studies the Bible, is the knowledge the lost are going to die and wake up in hell with no hope of escape. Many of those destined for eternal horror our are friends and neighbors. So the question is whether or not to say something, knowing many will mock you, only to wake up in hell some day profoundly regretting it, or to say nothing. Tim Tebow obviously prefers to say something. If that leads just one person to accept forgiveness and redemption through belief in Christ, from an eternal perspective, the ridicule he endures is totally irrelevant.

  26. Savage Lizard says: Jun 7, 2013 12:27 PM

    If Barkley, Tebow, or any other athlete were openly Muslim and making a point of bringing it up all the time, thanking Allah, etc. I don’t believe the general public would be cool with their unapologetic displays of faith. People find it “refreshing” because when the faith matches theirs. Since I don’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, monsters under my bed, or any invisible men in the sky, I could do without all of it.

  27. steagles66 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:20 AM

    What a joke

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