With increased publicity on performance-enhancing drugs, the leader of Christians in Sport, Pastor Craig Warnock, urged all Christian sports stars to use only those drugs which were currently undetectable.
"It is a poor witness to the Lord when a Christian athlete is found to be using an illegal substance", Warnock said on Saturday, "People are disappointed, kids lose their trust and, most of all, God is dishonoured."
The solution, Warnock says, is for Christian athletes to be more careful in choosing their enhancements.
"It pays to have a contact who is up-to-date with all the information coming out of drug-testing laboratories." Warnock said "They can make sure that any substance you take has yet to be detected by the authorities. It is a wise use of resources to do so."
Warnock points to the incident of Jack Purvis, back-up defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins.
"Purvis was training with the Redskins in 2003 when he was subjected to a random drug test. This test detected a fairly old form of steroid that had been around for over 15 years. Purvis was immediately sacked. In the resultant media coverage, light was made of Purvis' role as a lay preacher at Capitol Hill Community Life Church, as well as his endorsements of products sold by Christian businessman Kenny Baker, who also attends Purvis' church."
"It was a total embarrassment, and many people spoke out against the Lord and against his church as a result. None of this would have happened had Purvis been using an undetectable enhancer."
Christians in Sport, in an effort to educate Christian athletes and prevent such incidents from occurring again, has produced a list of substances that Christian athletes can avoid.
"Of course it would be stupid for us to name substances they can use!" joked Warnock, "but we're hoping that this simple brochure can ensure that Christian athletes do not make a mistake that might lead to public embarrassment."
To ensure that Christian athletes are up-to-date in undetectable drugs, Warnock has organised an informal prayer gathering for Christian athletes to attend so that they may first pray that God gives them courage and strength to win, and also to gain mutual encouragement and information about these undetectable substances.
"Of course, the meetings will never be publicized - it'll be invitation and word of mouth only. We're also going to make sure that no Christian athletes fall into the trap of becoming informants, who disgrace the name of the Lord by their evil activities."
Dr. Malcom Dixon, Christian ethicist from Liberty Seminary in Colorado Springs, has praised the Christian in Sports group for their actions in this area.
"Christians are called to glorify the Lord in all they do, while sin is essentially anything that brings disgrace to God. By taking these undetectable substances, Christian athletes gain an increase in performance that leads to public success and, therefore, glorifies God. If they are caught using an illegal substance, then they bring disgrace to God. Therefore they should only take substances that can't be detected yet. The theology is fairly easy to understand."
From the Department of Attempted Humour
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.