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.