Cam Newton, the all pro quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, is arguably the best NFL player in 2015-16. Standing at 6’5″ and 245 pounds, Newton is a dominating Quarterback in the NFL, running and passing the football with equal ease.
After finishing the season 15-1, he led the Panthers through the post season to a seat at the Super Bowl.
But from an article on God Reports, we find that Cam comes from a strong Christian background. His father, Cecil Newton, is a bishop presiding over five Pentecostal churches based in Georgia.
There are moments when Cam’s faith peeps through the glamour and fame like on Instagram when he recently cited Luke 12:48:
“To whom much is given, much is required. Thank you God, for giving me this platform, I will be forever be thankful.”
He also escaped serious injury in a car accident. His truck was hit by a car as Newton drove through an intersection causing his truck to roll. Newton missed only one game due to a minor lower back fracture.
He gave glory to God for having suffered only a minor injury. “I am a prime example of how God can turn something that was bad into something that good,” said Newton.
But today Cam lives with a former stripper, Kia Proctor, and their son born in December 2015.
The Advertiser reports that Cam’s dad isn’t fully on board with his son’s lifestyle saying:
“I want it to be known that his mother and I are staunch Christian proponents of marriage and all things pertaining to legitimacy. I have three sons and one woman, and I have been a living example all his life of what a man should be in a family. Cam is 26 years old, not 18 or 19. He has a heightened consciousness of who he is as a man, and I always tell him the decisions you make you have to live with short and long term. I don’t style it as a mistake; I style it as something that can be a gift for him and the young lady.”
Though he is far from the worst behaved NFL player to set foot on the field, Newton is finding it difficult to fully embrace the Kingdom of God.
I see similar moments in the life of mega pop star Justin Bieber. He also has strong Christian roots and at times seems sincerely trying to pull his life together with God. But invariably another Twitter or Instagram post points to his latest antics.
Yet I believe there is part of Justin’s heart that wants to go for God, but there is interference.
And I don’t think the problem is limited to just Hollywood and pro sports, anyone experiencing success can equally struggle — including Christian ministries.
As Jesus fame was growing, crowds were starting gather. An interesting incident took place at Jesus’ home in Capernaum, yes it seems initially Jesus owned a house.
Mark tells us when people heard that Jesus was back at his house, a crowd began to gather. It was so large, that some were forced to cut a hole in the roof of Jesus’ house in order to lower down a paralytic friend for healing.(Mark 2:1-5 NASV)
Jesus was the Hollywood and NFL super star of His day.
So how did Jesus deal with his growing fame?
We read early on in His ministry, Jesus determined to do one thing:
41 I do not receive glory from men; (John 5:41 NASV)
When a person becomes popular through natural ability — leading to money and fame — people are immediately attracted. They start telling the person how great they are as they try to ingratiate themselves into this person’s world.
And then three verses later, Jesus says these words can damage a person’s faith:
44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? (John 5:44 NASV)
So early on Jesus determined not to receive these words. He couldn’t stop people from saying them, but He purposefully chose not to receive them.
For modern superstars struggling with their faith, this is where it starts. Ignore what people are saying about you, including friends, fans and even the media — as one outlet even referred to Newton as “the new NFL superman.”
- Super Bowl QB Cam Newton counts a Godly heritage exhibits uneven path to glory: God Reports
- Is Cam Newton the new NFL Superman?: The Advertiser
- The joy of Cam Newton: How a polarizing QB made (great) football fun: ESPN
- Feature image: Cam Newton passing at the 2014 Pro Bowl: Photo/Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg/Wikipedia/Creative Commons