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Inside Faith On The Field: How a radio show turned into an interview with National Football League players

      Faith on the Field Sept. 6 served as a time of worship, football, and laughter. Located on the Olson field at Eastern, the Faith on the Field Show had players from the Philadelphia Eagles speak about their relationship with God on and off the field. Included in the event were quarterback Carson Wentz, tight-end Trey Burton, and offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski.

     To start the night, the players sat next to the hosts of Faith on the Field, Doug Horton, Rob Maaddi, and Phil Moser. The six men were accompanied by reverend Kyle Horner and sports personality Howard Eskin. On the stage, the men prayed for the people who were affected by the recent hurricanes and wildfires. They also prayed for the people who may need to see God that night.

     Each of the players have their own way of staying close with God during football season. The players find time during warmups, in the locker room, and even after a hard practice to set aside some time to pray– even if that prayer is only a few seconds.

      “Jesus is available at any time,” Wentz said after admitting to praying during car rides.

      Apart from football, the players gather with their community through charitable organizations. Wentz works with his organization ‘Audience of 1,’ or, ‘AO1.’ in this organization, Wentz provides for third world countries by spreading the gospel. In addition, Burton spoke about his work with the International Justice Mission to help end modern-day slavery around the world. Burton spoke about the competition set up between the Eagles and the Redskins. A group from each team is matching donations to the organization up to $100,000. In doing this, the Eagles are working to end modern sex and labor slavery that is one of the most profitable works under the black market. The players thought of their careers in football as a secondary job because the first is working for God.

      “Work for the Lord first,” Wentz said.

      That was a big theme that night–good works. The players, along with the other men on stage, spoke out about how Christianity is much more than working, it is doing work with faith. Maaddi once believed that one is saved by the actions we do on this earth. However, he found that to be completely static and not for him.

      “We are saved by grace,” Maaddi said.

     Wentz took the theme Maddi was working with by saying, “we are not saved by actions, but our actions come out of our faith.”

      As for being a football player, the three men talked about using the gift God gave them and the privilege they have for playing a sport that they love. In this sport, the players become brothers working toward the common goal of winning football games, but they also work toward the goal of holiness. Burton talked about the brotherhood that was formed when he wanted to see if some teammates would like to be baptised. During a small group that is set up by the team, two men showed interest in being baptised. Burton assisted in baptising them and then asked if there were any others who showed interest. To his disbelief, three more players came to be baptised. In total, five players from the Eagles took part in being reborn in the water tubs in the Eagles’ arena. These water tubs are often used for healing after a game– used to soote the body. Burton liked to see the coincidence of that.

      The Faith on the Field event took place just four days before the Eagles’ first game of the season. The students related to the players’ feelings of being so busy. But, even with their season so close, they made time to come to Eastern to simply talk about their relationship with God. To them, Christianity is a priority even when it doesn’t seem like it.

       “[Christianity] is a discipline. It takes time,” Wisniewski said while referring to Romans 8:5.

      Each faithful player in the National Football League speaks out constantly about his religion and about his beliefs. Even with criticism, the players, especially the ones who attended Faith on the Field, are unapologetically Christian. They speak out about God whenever they can.

“If you love something enough, you’ll talk about it,” Wentz said.

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