Let’s get the virtue-signalling out of the way. I’m a football fan – a passionate Alabama fan. In that role, I’m not a huge supporter of Coach Freeze, who has beaten Alabama twice on the field, and bedeviled us on the recruiting trail. That said – football isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things, but the other major thing that Coach Freeze stood for – his following of Jesus – is massively important. While the details are still unknown, Coach Freeze was fired last week as the football coach at Ole Miss for moral turpitude, something that is rare even in the world of seedy college football. That is surprising. What is more surprising is that Hugh Freeze did not merely portray himself as a Christian – that is exceedingly common among southern football coaches in particular. Coach Freeze wasn’t merely a God, character and football kind of coach. He was, apparently, a very outspoken and committed Christian who was heavily involved in Bible studies, in evangelism, and in speaking/teaching in multiple churches. To read Coach Freeze’s twitter feed, you might think he was a pastor or denominational leader who cared about football some, rather than a football coach who happens to be a Christian. Let me repeat it for emphasis: Coach Freeze gave every indication, before last week, that he was a mature, seasoned and passionate Christian, and not merely a person giving lip-service to religion. And then…apparently appears that he was living a whoremongering double life. Whoremonger. Now, that is a strong word, and I use it purposefully. Though archaic, it is still a pertinent word today, and it means, “A person who has dealings with prostitutes, especially a sexually promiscuous man.” The word is used five times in the King James version of the New Testament, including this passage in Ephesians 5:5, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” That is strong. Cameron Cole, who just happens to live in the city I’m from, surprisingly, has written one of the best articles I’ve read this year, and in it he says this:
To many observers Freeze appears to validate his Christian faith by his religious works. His tweets describing quiet times and boasts of his team’s religious activities communicate, “Look, I’m good.” No matter the Christian—whether the non-drinking teenager, the stay-at-home mom, or the preacher—if he or she projects an air that righteousness comes from religious performance, he or she will be viewed as self-righteous. When that person demonstrates even a hint of moral failure, detractors will pile on the charge of hypocrisy. What non-Christians seem to hate most about believers is the perception of moral superiority. And when well-known Christians fall, some take opportunity to say, “See, you’re not any better than I am.” And they’re right. Absolutely right.
If Christians believe their righteousness comes from “moral success,” charitable acts, or humanitarian deeds, they have missed the essence of Christianity. At one level, the Bible is a chronicle of human failure. Whether it’s King David’s rape and adultery, Jonah’s sulking, Noah’s naked debauchery, or the disciples’ cowardice and betrayal, Scripture amplifies the moral weakness inherent to mankind. It proclaims the moral superiority of one person alone: God in the person of Jesus Christ.
True Christianity proclaims that any righteousness a person possesses is inherited, not generated. Jesus repeatedly said all people are equally bankrupt before a holy God. In the Sermon on the Mount, he explained that one who hates another has committed murder in the heart. Any person who has lusted sexually over someone not their spouse has committed adultery. All people repeatedly fall, and thus no room exists for comparison, condescension, or shame. This standard applies not only to those accused of hypocrisy but also to the one judging them. Do any who condemn Freeze really want their boss, their wife, their kids, or their girlfriend to see all their internet history? Does anyone really want every thought, fantasy, or resentful thought projected on a screen for the world to see? I certainly don’t. An honest inventory of every thought and deed instantly undermines condemnation.
Paul spoke of a righteousness that comes “apart from the law,” apart from human effort or religious success. If we possess any righteousness, we received it from Christ. We did not generate it; God gave it through faith in Christ. God takes the righteousness earned by Jesus in his perfect life and attributes it to sinners who seek forgiveness. Therefore, no Christian can boast in religious or moral accomplishment. The apostle Paul summed this up well: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” Source: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/hugh-freeze-and-the-peril-of-public-faith Go read the whole article – it is excellent!