Dear Aaron Rodgers,
I apologize. Profusely. I’m deeply saddened by the accusations, angry words, and even untrue representations of you in the recent Christian news. I read one headline from a supposedly Christian organization that outright lied about what you said in the Danica Patrick interview. I am very sorry. The Bible teaches us as Christians not to bear false witness against our neighbor. I guess some Christians think there is an exception if it increases clicks and ad revenue. I can tell you this is NOT the heart of Christ or the gospel.
I would also like to say “thank you.” Not only have I admired your skill on the football field, I respected your thoughtful answers in the Danica Patrick interview. You didn’t just say what you thought Americans would want you to say or default to childhood teachings. You had the courage to speak what you felt was logical and real. Furthermore, I never sensed any anger in your voice toward those who may disagree with you. Our culture is filled with both hatred and hypocrites. You refused to become either and I think that is admirable.
I would further like you to know, that while I did disagree, I didn’t completely disagree. When you said, “I don’t know how anyone can believe in a God that would want a large portion of the population to die and go to a fiery hell” I couldn’t have agreed more. In fact the Bible in 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is “longsuffering, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Furthermore, the God of the Bible does not limit his grace to 144,000 people. The death of Jesus according to I John 2:2 was “for the sins of the whole world” God wants you, me and everyone to know His forgiveness!
Which leads me to what I would really like to tell you. It seems you haven’t encountered authentic Christianity. From your explanation in the interview it appears you have had two brushes with Christianity both of which do not reflect the teachings of the Bible.
Please know that I have a huge respect for you as a national celebrity and one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played the game. But there is more to life than football. Your soul matters. Your life matters. Like you, I value thoughtful analysis of reality. Reductionists who believe every circumstance is as simple as right and wrong aren’t in touch with reality. The real Jesus and His teachings allow space for nuance and help us better understand the world and to love God and others more deeply.
While you called religion a “crutch” Christianity is far more than that. Jesus is our broken world’s only hope. While a few news outlets in the Christian community have embarrassed themselves in the way they responded to your interview, we also know that the truth matters. In defense of my Christian brothers and sisters, none of us are perfect, we need the love of Jesus just like everyone else.
I know you are a busy man. I can only hope that you might find time to read this letter. If you do, please know that I would be honored to meet you, but even more honored to have a deeper, thoughtful discussion about some of the ideas you raised. I am willing to listen and give you a perspective that will seek the truth while appreciating the nuance of tough situations.
Until that time I am praying that you will find the freedom and fulfillment you were created to enjoy.
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