SEC football is widely regarded as the toughest conference in college football. Of course many may argue this point of view, but season after season SEC foot ball has enjoyed a prominent place in the sport. The competition inside the conference is fierce, and you can generally count on a tough fight whenever SEC teams play one another. Even with disparagingly ranked teams, each battle has the potential for huge competition. Evey SEC is every other SEC team’s rival.
During any given season, only one SEC team will ever make it to the national championship game – of course some years no SEC makes it. But, if one does, you can count on people crossing team-loyalty lines to collectively cheer for the SEC team that made it. Even bitter rivals would rather have their most bitter SEC rival win than cheer for a non-SEC team. Loyalty to the conference typically supersedes team rivalry.
We no longer argue over who has the better tradition, or the better coach, or the better players. We come together under one banner and press on united as the SEC.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)
Silly, I know, but I think SEC pride is a handy analog to how Paul sees Christians operate. Believe it or not, there has been contention in Jesus’ church almost as long as there has been a church of Jesus. Even today, there are so many things about which one Christian body differs from another. Yet, we are one in Jesus Christ.
I enjoy a good theological discussion as much as any one could, but vastly more than that, I love when the whole body of Christ expresses Christ’s love together. Whether Reformed or Wesleyan, whether pentecostal or liturgical, whether contemporary or traditional – we are one in Jesus.
It doesn’t really matter what mode of baptism I think is best, or the method and frequency of communion I prefer. Don’t get me wrong: we ought to have well-developed theologies regarding these things. But, the only thing that really matters is the standing of our faith. Are we His or not? If we are, people will know by how our love flows.