In a recent podcast, Albert Mohler, who serves as the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, warns that the recent call by a USA Today columnist for the NCAA to ban Oral Roberts University (ORU) from future sports tournaments is a warning for all believers.
Mohler was referring to a column by Hemal Jhaveri, when she called for the NCAA to ban ORU from its tournaments because the university does not embrace the LGTBQ+ ideology. She even suggested that the school should be booted from the NCAA because of its position prohibiting premarital sex and homosexual behaviour among its students.
ORU’s rise to prominence at the NCAA’s national basketball tournament has many in the secular media referring to the team as the Cinderella story of this year’s March Madness. The 15th seeded ORU Golden Eagles advanced to the final sixteen round by beating the No. 2 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 7 seeded Florida Gators.
This is only the second time in the tournament’s history that a 15th seeded team has advanced to the final 16.
In his podcast entitled, “They’re Coming for Oral Roberts University, and that means that they’re coming for you too,” Mohler stated, that Jhaveri’s column is “an indictment of any Christian college, any Christian university, any institution, any chartered organization, any church and denomination that would dare to stand against, or even against the tide, of the moral revolution.”
In his column, “The bigoted call to ban ORU from the NCAA,” Dr Michael Brown summed it best when he noted that this controversy is not about ORU but rather the Bible:
Jhaveri’s problem is with Scripture, not with ORU. And Jhaveri, through the vehicle of USA Today, is, by implication, calling for the NCAA to ban any university that honors Scripture.
Because of its sudden rise to prominence, ORU has becoming the whipping boy for those who oppose the Biblical message.
As Ed Stetzer noted in his column also on USA Today, people aren’t even allowed to enjoy basketball anymore:
In the age of social media hot takes, apparently, we aren’t allowed to enjoy good things. Even a good sports story has to become a flashpoint in our ongoing cultural battles.
But we shouldn’t really be surprised by all of this. Jesus gave a similar warning when He told His follower that when the persecution inevitably comes, it will be due to people’s hatred of Christ (John 15:18).
And Jesus also warned because of this hate, that people will try to exclude and remove you from their company because of what you believe. Perhaps this even includes being kicked out of the NCAA?
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! (Luke 6:22 ESV)
READ: If USA Today Is ‘Coming for Oral Roberts,’ It’s Coming for all Christians, Mohler Warns AND The Bigoted Call to Ban ORU from the NCAA AND No, Oral Roberts University basketball doesn’t deserve to be canceled from NCAA Sweet 16