As Faithwire has reported, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz wears his faith on his sleeve. The second-year footballer is not shy in sharing his love of God and his Christian beliefs on social media, and, at an event last week, Wentz opened up about how his understanding of faith has evolved over the years and why his relationship with Jesus is his number one priority.
On Wednesday, Wentz and fellow Eagles Trey Burton and Stefen Wisniewski attended a special live broadcast of Philadelphia’s “Faith on the Field” radio show at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Despite the rainy weather and outdoor venue, the Christian Post reported that some 2,000 people attended the free event.
Wentz, a born-and-raised Lutheran who now considers himself a nondenominational Christian, shared that, growing up, he found himself falling prey to traditional public opinions regarding the tenants of Christianity. The quarterback explained that he believes there is a particular “lie” about the Christian faith and salvation that the devil wants people to believe.
“I think talking specifically about that and being saved by works is obviously a lie, but it’s a lie that a lot of people believe. It’s a lie just in our culture,” he told Associated Press sports writer Rob Maaddi. “I know for me as a man, even when I was a kid, with sports and anything I did, I was going to work my tail off to earn what I got. That’s how I was wired, that’s how the world kind of instills this value, so to speak, is work, work, work, and earn it.”
“And that’s kind of what I thought. I’d pray, I’d go to church, I’d do this and that, and I’m like that’s great, I’m a good person, I did the right and so I’m going to be saved naturally. That’s what I thought,” Wentz continued. “That’s the lie that the devil wants you to believe.”
In Wentz’s opinion, too many people view heaven as something to earn your way into through actions and deeds, and, as a result, they put their relationship with God and Jesus on the back burner. Wentz believes such a prioritization is faulty and called it a “misconception that a lot of people have,” though he admitted that he too had that understanding of Christianity, until he came across a Bible verse that changed is perspective.
“Ephesians 2:8-10 — ‘For it is by Grace that you have been saved through faith — and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do go works which God prepared in advance for us to do,’” Wentz shared. “So, when I learned about this grace and learned about how my view of Christianity was really just flipped on it’s head, because you see, Christianity is the only religion in the world that you can’t earn Heaven, you can’t earn an afterlife, you can’t earn reincarnation or whatever it is that other people believe.”
“Christianity says it’s done; Jesus already did it. He took it all for you and this is what Paul is saying here in Ephesians,” he added. “He’s saying it’s by grace alone you’ve been saved, not by works so that no one can boast. I mean, he can’t lay it out much clearer. Then he says, ‘But we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.’ See we’re not saved by our actions but our actions come out of our faith.”
While Christians are certainly called to do good by and for one another, Wentz warned against believing that human beings will be saved through works alone.
“I think it’s a daily thing. I know for me, we get caught up in doing good, doing good, doing good. That it’s a daily thing for me to just remind myself like without Jesus in it, I can’t do it,” he said. “I can’t earn my way to Heaven and nobody can. So, I really challenge every one of us to just [have] daily kind of have that perspective because it’s so easy to get caught up in doing good and thinking that I’m good enough, but without Jesus, none of us are.’”
Wentz has been unapologetically vocal about his faith both on social media and in interviews. He recently told CSN Philly that he while he is not trying to “[beat] people over the head with the Bible,” he “loves Jesus” and, therefore, will not shy away from talking about him.
“Christianity is all about love and showing that love and that kindness and that grace,” he said. “I always tell people, for example, if you love your job, you love your wife, you love what you do, you’re going to talk about it. Well, I love Jesus. That’s what I love, so I’m going to talk about it.”
You can't earn grace. It's free. It's the greatest gift there's ever been & will be. Accept it.
Jesus is waiting for you & loves you #AO1
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) June 4, 2017
Through his A01 foundation, the 24-year-old rising NFL star hopes create an environment where he can more easily assist those in need, while deepening his own relationship with God.
“Similar to Carson’s life motto and the tattoo on the underside of his right wrist, Carson’s foundation stands for ‘Audience of One,’” an official description of the charity reads. “No matter what he does in life, Carson is living for an Audience of One — Jesus.”
(H/T: Christian Post)