Interpretations of the Djokovic saga

Was Novak treated with justice and equality? He broke the rules and got what he deserved. Or was he a martyr standing up against chest-beating governments and group-think?

On his return to Serbia, Novak was greeted as a hero. One person said: "I think he made history, as a hero, as a man, as a fighter against this evil that is called corona circus".[1]

But that is not how the French are seeing things. A spokesperson for France's Ministry of Sport has warned there would be no exemption for unvaccinated players at the upcoming French Open in May.[2]

What is fascinating here is that there are two ways to interpret what has transpired. One group sees Novak as out of touch, believing he is above the rules. Novak has been foolish, and has only himself to blame. The other group sees Novak as a crusader, as a hero, who was done over because he stood up against the powers that be. In Serbia, this view prevails.

Which view is true? And how can you know?

I see a similar dilemma play at times in current church circles. One group argues like this: Jesus stood up for the truth against wrong, and he was persecuted. We are being persecuted for our stance because we stand up for (our view of X) which is right and true! Insert here (our view of women, SSM, abortion, etc.)

But there is another view that is plausible. If I made a vocal stand that the bible teaches the earth is flat, and stood up for that, I could expect ridicule. Persecution for my stance would not be evidence I am speaking truth.

The human mind, both individually and corporately, is given to interpreting the facts in ways that align with our pre-existing predispositions. Or as Solomon puts it: “All a man’s ways seem right to him” (Prov 21:2). Persecution is a sign you are being like Jesus – sometimes.

1. article

2. article

Rev David Rietveld

Senior Minister


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