It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t scripted. It was just a little insight I was sharing based upon our discussion on what is a covenant.
I wasn’t trying to step on any toes. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. My intention was to inform. I’m not judging anyone. I’m not condemning them either.
I am just not going to support a winged Greek goddess bearing a swoosh with my hard-earned money or the money that a local church might share with me as a guest minister in the pulpit, even the faithful believers who support my ministry with occasional free will gifts.
I just cannot do it with Nike.
What’s that about?
When I Discovered Who Nike Really Is
I was attending community college in San Diego in the late 90s and spending a lot of time at the library with my nose in all sorts of books and publications. One of my main research topics was world religions. While browsing through a book on world belief systems for empowerment, confidence and motivation, I discovered who Nike really is.
Nike: Greek Winged Goddess of Victory
- Greek mythological goddess, child of one of the Titans
- Symbols: wings, golden sandals, wreath
- Known as: “the Winged Goddess”
- Famous stone statue depicting Nike erected in ancient city of Ephesus
What God Says about Other Gods
Let me break this verse down in its context. it will make plenty of sense to you when you consider that this verse follows God introducing Himself: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
- the Lord your God: He asserted Himself as their God, not as the God of their fathers as before with the burning bush to Moses on Mount Horeb and through Moses and Aaron in Egypt
- who brought you out of the land of Egypt: He reminds them of His marvelous miracle at the Red Sea that allowed them to escape to freedom but also wiped out the mightiest army on the face of the earth at the time
- out of the house of bondage: He is sure to stress that their outcries for relief from the burden of bondage that seemed to go unheard and unattended were taken care of in the deliverance that he provided them
You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate meExodus 20:5 (ESV)
God’s a jealous God. That says enough right there if we just stop where it says: “a jealous God.” Based upon this warning alone, it would seem only just to not try and play games with God in this regard.
for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous GodExodus 34:14 (NKJV)
The connection to covenants comes in Exodus 34 as God makes a covenant with the children of Israel prior to driving out the inhabitants of the Promised Land. That’s where it is right there. That’s how it fits. God, “whose name is Jealous,” wants you all to Himself and that covenant makes it binding. No other gods have any place in that equation.
Determined Not to Entangle Myself with Anything Like That
Man, I was floored. I think I had tennis for P.E. coming up and I had Nike all over me, including shoes, socks, shorts, and maybe even the shirt. I felt some kind of way about it, even tried to rationalize it. That was all up until I read a little deeper and understood a little bit more about Nike’s influence in historic cities like Ephesus, a city I was familiar with from reading and studying the Bible. Finally, I just made a decision after some consideration, prayer, and quiet time.
I just couldn’t just do it with Nike anymore.
Sporting But Not Supporting
Like I said before, I might own some Nike items leftover from Father’s Day and birthday gifts, even stuff from the 90s when I didn’t know any better. I think it all might amount to 4 or 5 pairs of socks, a sweatsuit, a pair of sweatpants, and maybe 2 pairs of Nike shorts. No Nike shoes. No Jordans either.
You might catch me working out or playing basketball in the Nike shorts. Occasionally, you’ll see me in the sweatsuit or sweatpants. And those socks tend to make their rounds when I wear my steel-toe boots because of their thickness (You know those socks they get you for father’s Day like an afterthought while they’re shopping in Kohl’s or JC Penney.) At worst, you’ll spot me on the Nike Run app but once Strava or Garmin, even Samsung Health, get it together a little better then I am game to switch over whether I lose followers in the community or not.