In response to yesterday's post on whether God delights in the art of non-Christians, Rob wrote:
I think I see where you (and Reinke) are coming from, but I still am on the fence here a bit. Can we use the word "please?" There are things that are done in the world by non-Christians that "reflect" something about God Himself, but do they actually "please" Him?
How do you explain it in light of Hebrews 11:6? "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
It is a great question. I told Rob I'd answer his question today, but I'm going to have to delay that answer one more day. For now, let me muddy the issue even more with a similar situation from the sports world.
I have written before of my thoughts on basketball superstar LeBron James. Last night, in his team's biggest game of the year, James played a dud of a game. Here's a snippet from his post-game remarks:
"I spoil a lot of people with my play. When you have a bad game here or there, you've had three bad games in a seven-year career, then it's easy to point that out."
This appears to be the same lack of humility that I have observed in the past (see the two links above). While I want to make clear that I am painfully aware that I am a proud man who has a long way to go in the pursuit of humility, I can't imagine God is very pleased with comments like this from LeBron. I have a hard time rooting for LeBron because of this evident lack of humility. You know it's bad when you actually find yourself rooting for the Celtics!
Nevertheless, though I am not fond of LeBron, I still take a measure of delight in watching some of his extraordinary moves on the basketball court. I don't take pleasure in the man's character, but his skill on the court brings delight to the basketball fan in me.
As I think of my attitude toward LeBron James, or Dave Matthews for that matter, I can't help but come to the conclusion that though the sin of these men causes me grief, I still take pleasure in some of the things they produce.
If I can do that with an athlete or a musician, is it possible that God can (and does) do the same?
Just some more questions to consider. I'll try to answer Rob's question more directly tomorrow. Thanks for bearing with me, Rob!