Ex-NFL coach Tony Dungy skeptical about Warnock’s faith after ‘pro-choice pastor’ tweet

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Ex-NFL coach Tony Dungy skeptical about Warnock’s faith after ‘pro-choice pastor’ tweet

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy is a man who takes his Christian faith very seriously, and when it comes to Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is running for U.S. Senate in Georgia, he wasn’t so sure about him.

Warnock, a Democrat and pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, is in the middle of a runoff election against Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.

Warnock tweeted Tuesday he was a “pro-choice pastor,” which inherently goes against the pro-life views of most Christians.

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When a Twitter user pointed out on Wednesday that “pro-choice pastors” do exist, the Super Bowl champion head coach appeared skeptical.

“Rev Warner may be a pastor. My question would be ‘Is he a Christian?’  That is, does he follow the teachings of Jesus and does he believe that the Bible is the absolute word of God?” tweeted, who is a football commentaror for NBC.

He added: “I would think it would be difficult for someone who believes that God sees us when we are in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16) to think that it is OK to choose not to bring that life to fruition.”

On Thursday, another Twitter user said being pro-choice didn’t mean that a person was pro-abortion. Dungy replied, “Please read Psalm 139:13-16.  Then tell me if you think God puts babies in the womb or man does?  If you believe they randomly get there then I have no argument. But if you believe God puts them there, then how does anyone have a right to ‘choose’ which ones survive?”

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He then clarified his position in another way.

“What if I was advocating for the right to kill someone who was already born? Would that be morally OK?  Of course not. The only question in this debate is what we think of the unborn baby? Is it a life or is it not?”

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Dungy is not one to shy away from his faith. In 2006, it was noted that Dungy nearly put his football career on pause to join the prison ministry. And over the course of his career he worked in community service organizations and was a public speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Everyone has an opportunity to influence others. We all need to lo0k at what kind of impact we are having on those closest to us.(My father got his picture taken with Tony Dungy and Ken Whitten at a golf tournament in Memphis when Dungy spoke to a group at Bellevue Baptist a few years ago.)

May 9, 2012
By JONI B. HANNIGAN
Managing Editor

WISDOM Tony Dungy, host of NBC’s “Football Night in America,” and member of Central Baptist Church in Tampa, joins Ken Whitten, senior pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, where he was formerly a member, and Mac Brunsoon, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, for an Impact for Living men’s conference at First Baptist April 20-21. Photo courtesy Sarah Orgunov/FBC

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—More than 2,000 men gathered at Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church April 20-21 to hear football coaching legend Tony Dungy and host of “The NFL Today” James Brown talk about how they hope to finish strong—“Living a Legacy of Eternal Impact.”

Another local sport’s personality Tony Boselli, former NFL Jaguar and broadcast analyst, joined the church’s senior pastor, Mac Brunson; Ken Whitten senior pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz; Daniel Crews, popular vocalist in residence from First Baptist Church in Atlanta; and others for the two-day Impact for Living conference.

Dungy, a member of Central Tampa Baptist Church and host of NBC’s “Football Night in America,” asked participants, “What is your platform?”

While it might be tempting to wish for a large platform like those of megachurch pastors like Brunson or Whitten, or to be on television like James Brown—or to have a voice like Daniel Crews—Dungy told the men each has a platform.

“Your platform may not be like theirs, but you certainly have one already,” Dungy said, asking who has family, job or friends. “God has given you one.”

Figuring out your own platform is important, he said, as is asking yourself whom you impact and how you impact them. If you are a Christian, your platform is “huge,” he said.

“It really is—God expects big things,” Dungy said.

Quoting from Acts 1:8, Dungy said Jesus was telling the disciples what would happen once He left the earth. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. You will be my witnesses,” Dungy quoted.

The disciples’ platform can be referenced by a modern day comparison to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, Dungy said.

Jerusalem for Dungy was his like home. “My father made a tremendous impact on me,” he recalled, describing the older Dungy as an example of James 1. He was slow to get angry and he advised his son to not complain, but instead to solve problems. Dungy said he didn’t know his father was a Tuskeegee Airman until his funeral. “He has a Ph.D in biology, but he seldom talked.”

Dungy said words matter, and told of getting into a debate with a colleague a few years ago who uses profanity. “I agree to disagree on this point,” Dungy said. “When I get mad, I say, ‘You got to be kidding.’”

Dungy recalled an incident when his 11-year-old son was upset about a Hot Wheel car and sputtered, “You’ve GOT to be kidding!”

“I was so pleased. Why did he say that? He thinks that’s what you are supposed to say when you get mad,” Dungy laughed.

Reminiscing about another sweet family moment, Dungy said one of his biggest thrills came after watching his son Eric throw a touchdown pass at the University of Oregon last year. Responding to a newspaper reporter for this school who asked him what was the best thing his dad ever told him about football, Dungy said Eric told the reporter, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.”

“How well are you doing in Jerusalem, in your home? You have a platform. What will your kids say 40 years from now?” Dungy asked.

Judea is your surrounding area, your neighborhood, Dungy told the men. Naming people in his life who encouraged him when he was raising young children, Dungy said he was too focused on himself earlier in his life, but has since begun teaching a Bible study for couples in his home. “I feel better about what I am doing in Judea right now.”

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