Read a Tennessee Volunteers Excerpt

Read a Tennessee Volunteers Excerpt

Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-6.

“Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world” (vv. 3-4a).

When he was at Tennessee, Steve Kiner was not exactly a peace-loving man.

Kiner was one of the most dominating linebackers in Volunteer history. A three-year starter, he was All-SEC and All-America in both 1968 and ’69. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 1969 and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

His reputation for brawling preceded him to Knoxville, and he certainly embellished it. A scout squad player once tried to chop-block him in practice; Kiner broke his jaw with one punch. “To this day, I feel badly about that one,” he once said.

After a young player rolled up Kiner’s legs in practice, Kiner grabbed his face mask, lifted his helmet, and popped him in the nose. The enraged player went to the training room and returned with two scalpels, determined to cut Kiner’s throat. Kiner told the player to put the weapons down before he got seriously injured. When the player persisted, Kiner clobbered him.

One night in the athletic dorm dining room, a rather large basketball player squeezed in at a table, telling Kiner that if he didn’t like the tight spacing to move. “I thought he was joking,” Kiner said, “but I looked him right in the eye and decided he wasn’t.” The basketball player proceeded to announce that he could whip Kiner and pushed him. Kiner promptly slugged him, picked him up, and slammed him onto the table. End of fight. In what many regarded as a miscarriage of justice, Kiner was told not to come back into the dining room.

Generally, violence is not the Christian way, though in Kiner’s defense he eventually earned three degrees and became a model citizen and mental health therapist. Following Jesus’ admonition to turn the other cheek has rendered many a Christian meek and mild in the name of obedience. But we need to remember that the Lord we follow once bullwhipped a bunch of folks who turned God’s temple into a flea market.

With Christianity in America under attack as never before, we must stand up for and fight for our faith. Who else is there to stand up for Jesus if not you? Our pretty little planet -- including our nation -- is a battleground between good and evil. We are far from helpless in this fight because God has provided us with a powerful set of weapons. Prayer, faith, hope, love, the Word of God itself and the Holy Spirit -- these are the weapons at our command with which to vanquish evil and godlessness.

We are called by God to use them, to fight the good fight, not just in our own lives but in our nation and in our world.

It wasn’t a good idea to take on Kiner. -- UT Coach Lon Herzbrun

‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus’ is not an antiquated hymn but is a contemporary call to battle for our Lord.

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